GO FISH: License-Free Day
If you've been itching to break that rod and reel out of the garage but didn't want to pony up the $17 a year for an annual saltwater fishing license ($47 for nonresidents) the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is making it easy this weekend, bringing back License-Free Fishing Day on Saturday and Sunday. The commission declares amnesty a few times a year to make it easy to introduce kids or rekindle that affection for heading outdoors with a bucket of bait. License requirements are waived for all recreational anglers (residents and nonresidents). All other rules regarding season, bag and size limits apply. The waiver applies to crabbing and scalloping, too, and permits for snook or spiny lobster, right, also are not needed this weekend. If you do end up wanting to fish more, know that a shoreline-only license is free for state residents, but you still need to get one. Children younger than 16 and Florida residents older than 65 are not required to have a fishing license. Some popular spots, such as the Skyway Fishing Pier, have blanket licenses for all fishermen on their pier. myfwc.com.
SOCIAL CLIMBERS: Canopy Tree Climbing
You can get a bird's-eye view from the top of a live oak tree using harnesses and a rope pulley system similar to those used by explorers in the Amazon rain forests. The Pathfinder organization's monthly Canopy Tree Climbing is this Saturday in St. Petersburg and climbers ages 6 and older can ascend into the heights of a gorgeous live oak. It costs $10 and Pathfinder Outdoor Education will provide instruction, helmets and gear needed to send you up a tree from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1310 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 328-0300.
OFF ROAD: National Trails Day
This Saturday is the American Hiking Society's National Trails Day, designed to inspire the public to discover nature trails, head outdoors and maybe take part in stewardship projects. You could discover, for example, that there are at least 50 different species of butterflies around the Chinsegut Conservation lands. Brooksville's Chinsegut Conservation Center will host a National Trails Day hike at 10 a.m. Saturday for ages 5 and older. The hike is about three-fourths of a mile, and guides will offer hiking safety tips for families along the route. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and long pants. Bring sunscreen, insect repellent and bottled water. As for those butterflies, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Chinsegut will have a Butterfly ID Walk, an hourlong stroll to see how many species can be identified. Call to RSVP for the free hikes at (352) 754-6722. Chinsegut Conservation Center is at 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.