Urban Wildlife

FWC Proposes Catch-and-Release Only for Bonefish

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) proposed draft rules on Wednesday that would allow only catch-and-release fishing for bonefish, a premier saltwater game fish in Florida.  The proposed rules would also establish new provisions regarding the possession of bonefish by anglers and the possession and transport of bonefish during bonefish fishing tournaments.

FWC Considers Extending Alligator Hunting Hours

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) directed staff to advertise a rule amendment to extend alligator hunting hours. Commissioners will vote on it at their June meeting.

How Many Birds Can You Count?

Chilly weather throughout Florida has kept residents inside and close to their heaters, under blankets and in their sweats, long sleeves and socks during December and January. However, spring is just around the corner and there is wildlife to discover in your backyard!

Get your binoculars ready, because starting Feb. 18, the largest bird count in North America begins. The Great Backyard Bird Count, which runs through Feb. 21, is a wonderful chance to add to your Bird Detective checklist and help scientists monitor birds across America. If you do not have a checklist, download it from MyFWC.com/Learning. In the left-hand menu, click “Fun Stuff.” From there, look on the right side of the page under “Educator Links” for “Jr. Birder Program.”

Eighth Annual NEFAR Charity Bass Fishing Tournament Set For April 30

Eighth Annual NEFAR Charity Bass Fishing Tournament Set For April 30

For the eighth consecutive year, the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR) will raise funds for the Haven Hospice Roberts Care Center in Palatka through a catch-and-release Charity Bass Fishing Tournament on April 30. NEFAR donates one hundred percent of all proceeds raised to Haven Hospice and has donated more than $124,000 during the past seven years.

The Mobile Dog Heart Health Unit to Provide Free Heart Screenings at St. Johns Town Center on Jan 28

The Mobile Dog Heart Health Unit to Provide Free Heart Screenings at St. Johns Town Center on Jan 28

The Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour is heading to Jacksonville for an afternoon of free heart health examinations at the St. Johns Town Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, January 28.  Certified veterinary specialists will perform on-site heart screenings in a soundproof medical unit, as well as educate owners about canine heart disease.

Apply for Nuisance Alligator Trapper Slots in Duval

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program is accepting applications for nuisance alligator trappers in Duval County.

Visit MyFWC.com/Alligator to apply online or to learn about the requirements. 

Applicants must have no criminal history and no fish or wildlife law violations.

For more information, call 863-462-5195 or e-mail FWCGATOR@MyFWC.com.

The closing date for accepting applications is Feb. 7.

Bird Disease Detected in State

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is currently monitoring a Virulent Exotic Newcastle Disease diagnosis which occurred in Cormorants in Pinellas County last week.  Exotic Newcastle Disease is an extremely contagious and fatal foreign avian disease that affects most bird species but is not life threatening to humans.  Human contact with Exotic Newcastle Disease may cause minor irritations such as pink eye or skin irritations.