New Decals drum support for wildlife
How about a holiday gift that pays big dividends for Florida wildlife? The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has issued new $5 decals that celebrate the manatees and sea turtles that thrived 500 years ago when Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon landed on the peninsula he named La Florida, land of flowers. You can order the decals online at myfwc.com or pick one up at the local tax collector's office. Your donation supports the research, rescue, rehabilitation and management efforts for these iconic Florida residents. Manatees and sea turtles were among the animals and reptiles encountered by de Leon, who designated a cluster of islands 70 miles west of Key West as Las Tortugas because of the high number of sea turtles. The islands of Dry Tortugas National Park and many other Florida beaches provide nesting opportunities for loggerhead and green turtles, which come back year after year to lay eggs. Today, the manatee is the state's designated marine mammal, and the loggerhead sea turtle is the state's saltwater reptile.
Naples angler gets huge gray snapper
Another pending world record was recently caught in Florida: Dr. Jan Forszpaniak was fishing with guide Tom Robinson out of his hometown of Naples on Nov. 21 when he caught and released a gray snapper that was nearly 23 inches long. Forszpaniak already holds the all-tackle length record for gray snapper set earlier in this year, when he boated one nearly 21 inches. Forszpaniak's latest fish hit a threadfin herring and was boated, measured, and released alive after the fight.
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