ONE FISH, TWO FISH: REDFISH TOURNAMENT
The feisty big redfish that prowl the marshes off Crystal River are about to have some company. This weekend brings the second annual Plantation Redfish Classic, a tournament for redfish, grouper and trout at the Plantation on Crystal River golf resort about 80 miles north of Tampa. One of Florida's most popular sport fish, redfish are also called red drum after the "drumming" sound they make during spawning and when taken out of the water. Redfish in Florida live a long time (the oldest recorded is 40 years) and can reach 3 to 4 feet in length and weigh up to 51 pounds. They are also delicious. In fact, they were turning up in such great numbers on dinner plates in the 1980s that the state banned commercial harvests, saving the species from being wiped out. Redfish spawn from August to November, and September is usually the peak month for angling. The $75 tournament entry includes a goodie bucket, T-shirt, captains dinner on Friday night and an awards banquet. Prizes range from $100 to $3,000. Proceeds benefit Wounded Warrior Anglers. 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at 9301 W Fort Island Trail, Crystal River. Toll free 1-800-632-6262. plantationoncrystalriver.com.
DO GOOD: MOTHER NATURE HELPERS NEEDED
Get outdoors and give back at the same time this weekend by answering the call to clean up preserves and estuaries. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful needs volunteers for the Hillsborough River and Coastal Clean-Up on Saturday. From 8:30-11:30 a.m., Mother Nature helpers will be sent to clean up 70 locations along the Hillsborough River, Alafia River, Little Manatee River, Lake Thonotosassa and tributaries connecting to Tampa Bay. Volunteers will also become a "Scientist for a Day" and engage in research activities involving litter removal. keeptampabaybeautiful.org.
The Brooker Creek Preserve has put out a call for Return the Preserve Day to help rid the Tarpon Springs preserve of exotic, invasive vegetation and nuisance plants. Bring work gloves and yard tools, and be ready for strenuous garden work. Best for strong volunteers 12 and older. Water and snacks provided 8-11 a.m. Saturday at 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800. brookercreekpreserve.org.
PICTURE THIS: PHOTOGRAPHY HIKES
In this Instagram era, part of the fun in discovery of outdoor beauty is snapping a picture and sharing it. But as any good photographer can tell you, natural light is tricky. You can get some tips at a Photography Hike this Saturday at the Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg. Bring your camera and capture the natural beauty as center volunteers highlight seasonal features to make great photos. Free. 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday at 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Registration required. (727) 453-6500. weedonislandpreserve.org.
Other photography hikes coming up include Brooker Creek Preserve's Seasons of Florida Photography Hike on Sept. 24 and Oct. 29, when photographers join nature lovers Karl and Kathleen Nichter to explore and photograph the Tarpon Springs nature trails. Photography tips and techniques will be discussed. In the event of rain, there will be a classroom session. Free. 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. Registration required. (727) 453-6800. brookercreekpreserve.eventbrite.com.
A highlight of this year's ButterflyFest at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville is the Picture Perfect Photography Workshop from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Oct. 1-2. It allows participants to photograph inside the museum's "Butterfly Rainforest" before it opens to the public with equipment not generally permitted inside the exhibit. Museum employees will be available to help stage photos with newly emerged butterflies. The cost, which includes exhibit admission, is $25 for museum members and $30 for nonmembers at least 18 years old. Registration is required. (352) 273-2064. flmnh.ufl.edu/butterflyfest.