Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Outdoors news and notes: Protecting turtles, free fishing

Making news

Beach visitors must be wary of sea turtles

If you head to a beach this spring, look out for nesting sea turtles, which lay their eggs through April.

These creatures have been around for more than 100 million years, and they are making a comeback thanks to conservation laws. But their survival remains threatened by human interference and development.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission asks visitors to keep their distance from turtles such as the leatherback, which has been seen in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties. A sea turtle digs a nest in the soft sand, depo­sits up to 100 eggs about the size of a pingpong ball, covers them with sand and heads back to the sea.

Eggs typically incubate for 45-60 days, and hatchlings emerge on beaches through the fall. People can help increase the hatchlings' odds for survival by turning off or shielding outdoor lights that face the water. Hatchlings can become disoriented by them and head away from the water, where they can fall prey to raccoons.

Loggerhead, green turtle and leatherback nest regularly along the state's shoreline. But two other species, the hawksbill and Kemp's ridley, occasionally visit. All five species are federally protected.

If you see a nest being tampered with, a sea turtle being harassed or an injured or dead turtle, call the FWC toll-free at 1-888-404-3922 or *FWC or #FWC on your cell phone. You also can text [email protected]

For more information on sea turtles, go to

Free fishing

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently announced four fishing days — all Saturdays — during which licenses won't be required: April 7 (freshwater), June 2 (saltwater), June 9 (freshwater) and Sept. 1 (saltwater).

Instead of providing one weekend for freshwater fishing and one for saltwater fishing like years past, the FWC spread out the days.

For more information, go to

Solunar Chart


minor major minor major

3/30 12:00 6:10 12:20 6:35

3/31 12:50 7:00 1:10 7:25

4/1 1:40 7:45 1:55 8:10

4/2 2:25 8:30 2:40 8:55

4/3 3:10 9:15 3:25 9:40

4/4 3:55 10:00 4:10 10:30

4/5 4:45 10:50 5:00 11:15

Send your news and notes to outdoors editor Terry Tomalin via email at [email protected] or call (727) 893-8808.


Captainís Corner: Grouper moving in as water temperatures rise

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Published: 03/18/18
Updated: 03/20/18

Captainís Corner: Cold causes spiny lobsters to go into hiding

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Published: 03/18/18

Captainís Corner: Snook are the hot bite

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Published: 03/16/18
Updated: 03/17/18

It has been a crazy month regarding all the drastic weather changes. We experienced a record-breaking warming trend in February, followed by an endless amount of cold weather this month. The arrival times for many spring migrations of fish has been i...
Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

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Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

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Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

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Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18
Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

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Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is getting close

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Published: 03/10/18
Updated: 03/11/18

Captainís Corner: Trout return to their early spring areas

Cool air has filtered down, giving us hopefully the last cold blow for awhile. Recent fronts have shaken things up. But fishing has been good considering the weather. Trout have pushed into their early spring areas, basically where they were five wee...
Published: 03/10/18