LOOP Fishing event postponed due to oil spill
Count the 39th annual Old Salt Loop Tournament, scheduled for this weekend out of Anna Maria, as a victim of the gulf oil spill. The tournament directors sent out a release saying the event has been postponed indefinitely after NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service extended the area closed to fishing in the gulf. The closure closest to the bay area is about 150 miles from Anna Maria and at the loop current, where anglers run for blue marlin, swordfish, sailfish, among other species. This is the first time the event has been postponed.
Expect active hurricane season
Tuesday is the opening of hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its annual forecast Thursday, calling for an "active to extremely active" Atlantic season. 1B
Red snapper season opens
The recreational harvest season for red snapper in Gulf of Mexico waters off Florida reopens Tuesday. The harvest season is scheduled to remain open until July 24 this year. Anglers in the gulf may take two red snapper daily during the open season; however, the captain and crew of for-hire vessels may not keep the recreational bag limit. The minimum-size limit for red snapper in the gulf is 16 inches total length.
Make safety top of mind all the time
With Memorial Day weekend upon us, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Coast Guard are out reminding boaters to be safe on the water and wear life jackets, as this past week was safe boating week in Florida. Already this year, 26 people have lost their lives due to boating accidents. At least 17 of them drowned. "We are losing too many lives to boating accidents," said Col. Jim Brown, director of the FWC's Division of Law Enforcement. For information on boating safety, equipment and flotation devices, visit MyFWC.com/boating or wearitflorida.com.
Things to Do
• Stand-up paddleboard lessons, Egan Park. Cost: $40 for hour and a half session. By appointment, call instructor Chase Kosterlitz at (727) 481-3637.
Rodney Page, Times staff writer