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ALL VOLUMES CITATION SEARCH THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Some idea of the great number of shrimp boats
that fish Florida waters can be gained from this
Tampa scene. Other cities, Ft. Myers, Key West,
and Tarpon Sl-'r in have similar concentrations
of shrimp boats, a total of over 1,500 vessels.
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MEMBERS OF FLORIDA STATE BOARD OF CONSERVATION
NATHAN MAYO RAY GREEN
Comm. Agriculture Comptroller
R. A. GRAY LEROY COLLINS
Secretary of State Governor
THOSE. D. BAILEY
Supt. Pub. Inst.
STRUCTURE OF CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT
CONSERVATION IN REVIEW-1957-1958
As scientific knowledge increased during the bien-
nium, it became increasingly clear that serious dangers
exist for most of Florida's salt water fishing.
Evidence continued to mount which showed the im-
portance of marshes, shallow coastal flats, estuaries,
bays and lagoons. These areas, previously considered
worthless, are actually some of the most valuable acre-
ages in Florida.
They serve as nurseries for immature shrimps and
fish and as shelters and sanctuaries for plants and
submerged grasses. The latter provide cover and
feeding grounds for the various animals which serve
as food for the more important denizens.
The danger is due to the fact that in most instances
these refuges lie in proximity to urban and industrial
development (either actual or potential).
Urbanization brings with it pollution, channel dredg-
ing, bulkhead and dock construction, dikes and levees,
spoil banks, and breakwaters. But the newest and
potentially one of the most destructive developments is
the creation of real estate by pumping up the bottoms
of shallow water areas. Commonly known as dredging
and filling, this technique has found wide favor among
investors, real estate magnates and developers. Its
popularity is due primarily to the fact that for a nomi-
nal investment, rights to dredge and fill can be acquired
in the very heart of large metropolitan areas where
adjacent real estate values are astronomically high.
But conservation-wise the price is dear, indeed, in
damage done to fishing-one of the State's prime assets.
During the biennium a more cautious approach was
noted among legally responsible agencies. Aided by
the so-called Bulkhead Law, passed in the 1957 Session
of the legislature, county and state authorities have
shown consistently greater care in allowing develop-
ment projects and have been guided by advice from
scientists who studied biological effects.
Unless the trend toward greater conservation is
continued and the rich coastal areas are protected,
even more, fishing in Florida is doomed to radical de-
Since the first recent major outbreak of Red-Tide in
1946 (there have been many since 1844 when the first
record was established) scientists have sought answers
to the riddle of what causes this salt water scourge.
With improved understanding of basic causes, a
remedy was suggested and tried on a small scale in
1953. This method involved the use of copper sulphate,
a commercial chemical, widely available.
When, in 1957, Red Tide appeared prominently off
Clearwater, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife service again
tried copper sulphate, this time on a larger scale. Ex-
hausting their funds, the scientists called upon the
Conservation Department to continue the test. Cooper
sulphate was sprayed from planes and applied from
bridges at 27 locations from Clearwater to Naples.
It was concluded that for all practical purposes no
control agent exists for Red Tide at present. (See
Over $200 million a year are spent in Florida on sports fishing. From bridge to charter boat, there is
fishing for all tastes and all purses.
FLORIDA'S MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR MAGNET
In 1955 a survey was undertaken by the Conserva-
tion Department to determine how important sports
fishing is to Florida. Specifically, the study was to
show the number of anglers fishing our waters, the
amount of time they spend fishing, and how much
money they spend in connection with the sport.
The survey was conducted by telephone and personal
interviews across a representative section of the pop-
ulation. Much of the work was done by conservation
agents in the field. The project was recorded and
analyzed by the University of Miami. The results
were surprising and impressive. The summary follows
on the next page.
During the 1957 session of the legislature, a number
of important laws were passed relating to sports
fishing. One of the greatest examples of cooperation
between sports and commercial fishing interests re-
sulted in the passage of the long sought snook bill.
Snook thus became a game fish and limited to a four
a day catch by hook and line only. This protection
should do much to maintain the species as a prize for
A number of laws relating to particular counties
were passed, such as forbidding the use of snatch hooks
in Brevard County, and outlawing fishing by under-
water lights in Charlotte County.
During the latter part of 1958, a Citizens Marine
Fisheries Advisory Committee was formed which cal-
led attention to the need for protecting resources.
This group particularly called for increased research,
wise management and control, a halt to dredging and
filling, more public education on conservation. Atten-
tion was called to a decline in fishing in some quarters
and a need for rehabilitation by creating artificial
fishing reefs. A need for a salt water fishing license
was mentioned as a means of getting necessary funds
to protect and better Florida's fishing resources.
SUMMARY OF SURVEY
1. 34% of Florida residents fish in salt water.
2. Over $200 million spent each year on salt water
3. Over 20 million fisherman-days spent a year on all
types of salt and brackish water fishing.
4. Florida has an estimated 762 charter boats, 164
party boats, 558 fishing camps, 226 bridges, piers
and jetties devoted to salt water fishing.
5. Of the approximately 240,000 boats in the state,
about 160,000 of them are used for salt water
6. The greatest percentage of fishing (over 10 million
fisherman days a year) is done from private boats.
Second in number of fisherman days per year (51.
million) is that of bridges and piers. Fishing from
camp boat rentals ranks third.
Where else but in Florida would you find a scene like this? During
the spring and early summer, the mighty tarpon moves into bays
and channels. The man in the small boat has the opportunity then
for some real sport with this game fish.
A number of significant advances were made under
the department's administration during the two years
covered by this report:
1. Cooperation of Sports and Commercial Fishing
Organizations. For many years there has been a "cold
war" between sports fishermen and commercial fish-
ermen over real or fancied threats to each others inter-
ests. The administration felt that much of the trouble
was due to a lack of understanding between the two
groups. Plans were made for a series of meetings and
discussions between representatives of the two factions,
the Director of the Conservation Department acting as
the middle man. Results were heartening. The two
groups finally became team-mates to work toward
improving conditions for all. One result: the passage
of protective snook legislation.
2. Treaty with Cuban Government on Tortugas
Shrimp Fishery. The department was asked to rep-
resent the U. S. State Department in working out an
agreement with Cuba to protect the Tortugas shrimp
beds. The Director joined in drawing up a treaty and
served in an advisory capacity to the Federal Govern-
ment. The results assure the observance by Cuba of
our Tortugas conservation regulations.
3. All Conservation Agents in State Patrol Cars.
This goal was reached; and the cars were equipped
with two-way radio.
National attention has come to the state for leadership in shrimp
conservation. A number of conferences have been held nationally
and internationally regarding this $24 million yearly industry. Here,
one of the regular samples are being taken at a "station" in a
shrimping area. Records indicate migration and growth patterns,
and whether an area should be closed to shrimping.
Dredging and filling, such as was done here in St. Petersburg's E
Ciega Bay, continued to cause administrative concern. The depart
is called upon for investigation and reports on proposed fills throu
out the state.
4. Conferences Called Concerning Red Tide. Fol-
lowing a serious outbreak in the red tide, a number of
conferences were held with state and national officials
to plan control measures. Additional funds and forces
were called for and received from state sources. (See
Red Tide under Research Section.)
5. Changes Made in Personnel. To head the in-
creasingly important and expanding research facilities
of the Conservation Department, biologist Robert
M. Ingle was selected to be the director of re-
search. As home economist and promoter of sea-
food, Mrs. Sarah Alberson joined the staff. A
badly needed education-information department
was started by the addition of James J. Cox, a
veteran information specialist. From Stetson and
university personnel work came Herbert R. Mc-
Quillan to become assistant director. Advanced
to the position of supervisor of agents was Benny
Hendrix, former agent and general agent of five
6. Temporary Closing of Areas of Tortugas
Shrimp Ground. After regularly taken shrimp
loca samples revealed that the shrimp were becoming
ient smaller, the administration followed the direction
igh- of the 1957 state statutes and closed certain nurs-
ery areas of the Tortugas. A number of problems
arose over violations of closed areas. Enforcement
was difficult and hazardous. Funds for this work ran
short and had to be stretched from other sources. That
this conservation measure was sound is shown by
shrimp landing reports for 1958. Despite closed
shrimping, the Tortugas yielded 8 million pounds more
than it did in 1957.
7. Host To the Outdoor Writers of America. At a
conference at Key Colony, the administration helped
in arrangements and took part in the schedule.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
On September 10, 1955, the State Board of Conserva-
tion acquired a Marine Laboratory at the Maritime
Base, Bayboro Harbor, St. Petersburg. The Labora-
tory is ideally located near the center of the State,
being approximately equidistant from Miami, Jackson-
ville, and Tallahassee. The location of the Laboratory
offers a wide range of conditions, hydrographic, geolo-
gical, and biological. The fourteen-room building
fronts on Bayboro Harbor, which is open to Tampa
Bay, and via the latter to the Gulf of Mexico. A two-
room annex has recently been acquired. This annex will
house the fish reference collection and a workshop. A
channel with a controlling depth of over 14 feet per-
mits vessels of considerable size to approach the Lab-
oratory docks. In addition to the above desirable fea-
tures the Laboratory is readily accessible by land and
air. It is located only eight blocks from downtown
St. Petersburg. Immediately adjacent to the Labora-
tory is Albert Whitted Airport which is used frequently
by the planes of the Board of Conservation.
The Laboratory is presently staffed by five biologists,
a laboratory technician, a secretary, a clerk-typist, and
Here are the miniature fish, crabs, snails, shrimp, and other sea
life observed in the laboratory under microscope. Such creatures
are the concern of the scientist in his research because of their
importance as food and to general productivity of Florida's coastal
two maintenance and field men. During the biennium
grants amounting to over $52,000 were received from
the U. S. Public Health Service for research on diseases
and parasites of marine and coastal animals.
A major Red Tide outbreak occurred during the
biennium. Gymnodinium breve, a protozoan, has been
shown to be the agent responsible for Red Tide along
the west coast of Florida. It was found after much
laboratory study that copper sulphate, a chemical
widely used in commerce, was highly poisonous to the
Red Tide organism. In the 1957 outbreak fish kills were
first observed during September 1957 in the inshore
waters off St. Petersburg and Clearwater. During the
last week of September the U. S. Fish and Wildlife
Service initiated the first extensive attempt at control
by spraying copper sulphate from crop-dusting air-
planes and from the State Board of Conservation
vessel, Mayan. When the Fish and Wildlife Service
ran out of funds the Board of Conservation undertook
the testing program. The testing area was expanded to
include all major passes from John's Pass to waters
south of Naples. State Conservation Agents were
drawn into the fray from all over the State. The De-
partment's two planes actively patrolled the area al-
most every day and water samples were flown to the St.
Petersburg Conservation Marine Laboratory from
various parts of the range for checking. State Con-
servation Agents put copper sulphate into the water
at scheduled rates at all 27 passes. When the test
was finally discontinued in December 1957, a thorough
analysis of the effects of the control measure was be-
gun. This evaluation is continuing but at present it
appears that the cost of extensive application would be
enormous, the effect is short-lived, and side-effects on
other marine life are uncertain. Throughout the Red
Tide outbreak various phases of the phenomenon in-
cluding laboratory research and attempted control were
recorded on 16 mm. movie film for the first time. Me-
teorological phenomena rather than man's efforts ap-
peared to have halted the 1957 Red Tide outbreak
during the month of December.
Periodically, as the need presents itself, samples of
water are taken along the southwest coast of the State
to determine the incidence of the causative agent of
Red Tide, Gymnodinium brevis. One object of these
studies is to advise county and municipal governments
of impending fish kills along the beach. With local
agencies thus apprized, measures can be taken to
eliminate the carcasses quickly and minimize the harm.
Also, it may later be possible to correlate outbreaks
with meteorological phenomena.
t- AL -
A plane is shown spraying copper sulphate over the Gulf waters
in the fight against Red Tide. Scientists check with pilots for
locations of the fast multiplying organism.
A bag of copper sulphate is being prepared for hanging
from a bridge and to thus leech out into the Red Tide
infested waters. This was an experimental control ma-
Extensive shrimp investigations were initiated by the
Laboratory in January 1957. These studies, involving
the pink shrimp Penaeus duorarum Burkenroad, have
been concentrated along the west coast of Florida from
the Tortugas shrimping grounds north to Pensacola
Bay. Other penaeid shrimps encountered have also
been investigated. Valuable information on spawning,
growth, migration and other factors has been gathered
over the past two years.
During November 1957 the Department's 104 foot
research vessel, the Mayan, was assigned to the con-
trolled area on the Tortugas shrimping grounds in ac-
cordance with the provisions of Chapter 370.151, Flor-
ida Statutes (1957). Weekly samples were taken from
twelve stations by trained conservation agents. Data
concerning the sex, size, and abundance of Penaeus
duorarum obtained from this area are being analyzed
and evaluated. Information on other penaeids en-
countered in the Tortugas sampling and elsewhere will
be the subject of future scientific reports.
A two year shrimp research study, in the Tampa Bay
area, was initiated during January 1957 and termin-
ated during December 1958. These investigations are
concerned with the growth, migration and other factors
of Penaeus duorarum under estuarine conditions.
Monthly shrimp samples were taken from six stations
in this area. Specimens were collected with a try net,
a frame trawl and by push-netting.
Seasonal occurrence, size ranges, migration, sexual
development have been correlated with the hydro-
graphic data collected from each station and will be
published in the near future.
A report on the sexual development and impregna-
tion of P. duorarum was published during 1958.
Studies of the stomach contents of the pink shrimp
are being conducted and much knowledge will be ac-
cumulated in regards to diet, habitat preferences, and
certain other habits of this species.
Frequent samplings are being made in Apalachicola
and Pensacola Bays. These investigations concern
Penaeus aztecus, the brown shrimp, P. setiferus, the
white shrimp, P. duoraru m, and other incidental pen-
aeids. Results of these samplings are being assembled
Penaeid specimens collected from various areas of
the east and west coasts of Florida are sent to the
Laboratory for identification and other biological
Specimens of the river shrimp, Macrobrachium,
have been collected from the rivers and canals along
the east coast of Florida. Physiological requirements
are being investigated.
MARINE LABORATORY '
In June 1957 the State Marine Laboratory cooper-
ated with biologists from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife
Service Shellfisheries Laboratory in Pensacola on a
survey of the oyster bottoms of Sarasota County to
ascertain whether or not this region had any commer-
cial oyster production potential. Water temperatures
and salinities, bottom types, predator abundance and
presence of natural or producing oyster reefs were
recorded. There was an unanimity of opinion among
the investigating biologists that Sarasota County had
little oyster growing potential because of increasing
population, water pollution and high salinities with In oyster research it is important to know
resultant marine oyster predators. Surveys like this growth rate of oysters.
are valuable as they prevent well-intentioned people -- -
from investing time, money and energy in oyster
culture where ecological factors are grossly unfavor-
able to deserved remuneration.
Careful attention has been given to the remaining
oyster leases in Pinellas County where commercial
production continues. Two leases in the vicinity of the
Weedon Island Bridge stand in the path of at least
two proposed dredging and filling projects. Presently
the oysters from these leases are excellent in size
and quality. It is hoped that these producing bars J
can be spared from too much "progress' in waterfront
14 Mrs. Bonnie Eldred, a member of the marine
14 1 f h i.
ora ory s a as examined and re
on thousands of shrimp of many varieties.
During September, 1957, an ecological study of the
fishes in the Tampa Bay region on the west coast of
Florida was commenced. The purpose of the study
was to obtain basic information on the life histories of
the fishes in the area with emphasis on growth rates,
food habits, reproductive habits, and salinity and
temperature requirements. Information is also being
obtained on relative abundance, population composi-
tion, and habitat preferences. Monthly stations were
made using a variety of collecting gear. The stations
are located in Tampa Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, a bayou
entering Boca Ciega Bay, a sandy beach on the open
Gulf of Mexico, and some grassy flats exposed to the
open Gulf. This study was terminated during Decem-
ber, 1958, and the results are being compiled and
evaluated for future publication. The report on this
study will discuss well over two hundred species of
fishes from the area; a considerably larger number
than has been reported for any other particular local-
ity on the coast of the entire Gulf of Mexico, other than
Tortugas, and possibly the Gulf of Campeche. Of
interest has been the finding that the common silver
mullet of the area is Mugil trichodon, rather than
Mugil curema, as has always been supposed. The im-
portance of the study has been enhanced by the fact
that shortly after its inauguration there was a massive
Red Tide kill, followed by large cold kills resulting
from one of the severest winters on record. Superficial
observations at present seem to indicate that catches
of sport fishes are about the same as they were prior
to these kills.
In addition to the regular stations mentioned, num-
erous randomly placed stations throughout the area
were collected. Of special interest are a number of
poison collections using diving apparatus which are
still being made on the rocky reefs ten to twenty miles
offshore. These reefs have never previously been in-
vestigated and preliminary findings indicate a large
and unsuspected fauna.
A number of ichthyological surveys have been made
in areas on both coasts of the State with regard to
effects of fresh water releases and dredging and
filling. In these matters, information has been sup-
plied responsible officials in the form of reports and
An ichthyological reference collection has been
established at the Laboratory. At present the col-
lection contains representatives of about three hundred
species of Florida fishes. The collection is useful
not only to ichthyologists throughout the country who
have borrowed specimens for their studies, but also for
educational purposes in familiarizing the Conserva-
tion Agents and public with the fishes of the state.
Prior to World War II the coastal waters of Collier
and Monroe Counties supported a flourishing clam
industry which employed 300 people with an estimated
payroll of $400,000 a year. During World War II
clam production suddenly declined to terminate an
industry which had produced as many as 140,000 bush-
els of clams per year. In the past few years there
has been talk that the clams from this area are stag-
ing a comeback. The Department of Conservation
initiated a study of this area to discover if these ideas
of the possible revival of clam production were founded
on fact. A survey of shallow bars formerly productive
of clams from Gullivan Bay to the Shark River, made
in March 1957, indicated that the clam population was
not reviving in areas accessible to hand digging meth-
ods. Without adequate deeper water dredging equip-
ment it was impossible to determine the extent of clam
repopulation, if any, in areas which had been harvested
with mechanical devices. Further studies of this im
portant matter await adequate funds and sampling
A never ending task in the laboratory is the study of
growth rates, food preferences, and spawning of fish.
MARINE PLANTS AND BOTTOM STUDIES
A more concentrated study of the marine plants
of Florida was undertaken during the biennium. Mar-
ine plants occur at the base of the food chain in the
ocean. Algae and attached grasses serve as refuge,
feeding and breeding areas for fish and shrimp. Thus
a study of environmental factors and their influence
on the growth of the marine plants must of neces-
sity be basic to fish and shrimp studies. The marine
plants are most abundant in shallow waters of Florida
bays, and thus emphasize the importance of biological
research in estuarine environments.
Most of the work to date has been concentrated in
the Tampa Bay region. Regular monthly visits have
been made to Tarpon Springs in order to study plants
in deeper water situations. The deeper water offshore
areas which support beds of seagrasses are rela-
tively rare. Study of the plants at Tarpon Springs
enhances the value of the shallow water bay grass
studies as well as sheds light on the role these beds
play in the biological economy of its local area. The
research conducted on the grasses includes distribu-
tion, ecology, seasonal variation in abundance or
growth vigor, growth rates and productivity. The
algal studies include distribution, ecology, seasonal
variation, and morphology. Periods of flowering or
fruiting of both groups have been studied and this
correlated with environmental factors.
The marine plants are important in the nutrient
budget of the habitat. As they die, in the case of the
marine algae, or leaves fall off, in the case of the
grasses, the nutrients found in these plants are re-
leased into the water. These nutrients undoubtedly
are either reused through absorption by other plants,
or are used to support the growth of microscopic
plankton forms which are actually themselves food for
shrimp and fish.
Several additional estuarine studies have been made;
namely at Crystal River, St. Lucie River at Stuart, and
at the Caloosahatchee River at Ft. Myers. Seasonal
and ecological studies of the algae and grasses are
being conducted in each location.
A substrate study in Boca Ciega Bay and Tampa
Bay was completed with the cooperation of the Florida
Geological Survey. Various transects were formed in
these bays and coring patterns arranged. Many of
the samples taken were located in grass beds. The
data derived from these samples will be correlated with
the grass data at a later date.
A start was made on offshore algal collecting in the
Gulf of Mexico during the previous summer. As
colder waters of winter became uncomfortable, it
was possible to add suitable equipment to allow the
diver to collect in cold water. Thus valuable data is
being gathered on the seasonal variation of plants in
deep water in the Gulf of Mexico.
A long neglected aspect of marine biology is now re-
ceiving attention due to the established value of coastal
aquatic plants as cover for developing fishes and
shrimps. Practical studies are aimed at the effect of
various kinds of fishing gear upon the salt water
PARASITE AND DISEASE PROJECTS
A major part of the Marine Laboratory research
program is the study of parasites and diseases of
marine and coastal animals. This work has been
financed largely by The National Institutes of Health,
of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
Grants in the amount of over $52,000 were awarded
to the State Marine Laboratory for (1) Studies of the
Parasites of Penaeus duorarum, the pink shrimp, and
(2) Studies of the Trematode Parasites Encysted
in Florida Mullet, by the U. S. Public Health Service.
Included in the aims of this work are (1) the description
and identification of parasites, (2) life history studies,
(3) geographical distribution and incidence of infec-
tion, (4) effect of parasites on the hosts, (5) possibility
of determining migrations of the pink shrimp by the
parasites it harbors, and (6) to determine if a combina-
tion of the fishing burden, reduction of nursery areas
along the west coast of Florida, and effects of parasites
on shrimp are reducing the abundance of bait shrimp
along the west coast of Florida. Much progress has
been made in these studies. A number of papers
concerning this work have been prepared for publica-
tion in scientific journals. Some of these papers have
already been published and a number have been accep-
ted for publication.
From the standpoint of law enforcement it is some-
times desirable to be able to tell processed fish (fillets)
of one species from another species. In most cases
we are now able to differentiate mullet fillets from
snook, trout and other species by the presence of
certain larvel trematodes (Mesostephanus appendicula-
toides), encysted in the flesh. Also, in many cases we
are now able to tell trout fillets from other species by
the presence of a species of cestode in the flesh.
Seven new species of trematode parasites have been
named and described in eight manuscripts dealing
with the parasites of commercial and/or sport fishes
and other marine animals from the coast of Florida.
These manuscripts have been sent to journals of na-
tional repute. All manuscripts have been accepted
Certain larval parasites, the trematodes, must of
necessity, pass part of their life cycles in snails. Each
trematode species is usually restricted to one species of
snail during this part of the life cycle. Approximately
8000 snails have been examined to determine the types
of trematodes causing infections. This snail-parasite
information is extremely valuable in further research
on trematode parasites.
Parasites of certain animals such as the grass
shrimps, an important food item of fishes in grassy
flats, are being studied whenever time allows.
The pathology of certain parasites which infect
snails, marine fishes during the larval stages and
marine birds as adults, is being studied.
As time goes on, much basic information, important
to the understanding of host-parasite relationships of
marine animals and humans of the coast of Florida is
The Florida State Board of Conservation has had as
one of its aims a more careful and wise utilization of
its salt water fishery resources. Prime examples of
resources being wasted are trash fish and shrimp
heads which are discarded during shrimping opera-
tions and also scrap fish and crab wastes which
are discarded from processing houses. Possible mar-
kets for the above are: human food industry
(Sardinella anchovia and Harengula spp.), sports
and commercial bait industries, fur farm industry, pet
food industry, food for marine aquaria, fish meal in-
dustry, and fish hatchery foods. During the biennium
experimental work on the feasibility of mink ranching
using scrap fish as the main dietary ingredient was
completed. Results of this work indicate: (1) Mink
can be raised successfully in Florida on a diet consist-
ing of at least 85 per cent scrap fish. (2) Florida fish
scrap is a relatively cheap source of high protein
food for mink, but the diet needs other food factors
to insure maximum results, (3) Florida mink "fur
out" and the pelts will find a ready sale at good
prices, (4) Mink ranching in Florida could be profit-
able if properly managed, (5) Disease does not appear
to be a serious problem if the proper sanitary condi-
tions are maintained.
During these studies, the feasibility of freezing
and shipping frozen fish to mink ranches in the North
was investigated. It was learned that these ranches
were paying approximately 12 cents a pound for horse-
meat and from 4 to 8 cents a pound for fish. During
the biennium fish suitable for mink food could have been
produced in Florida for 4 cents, but shipping costs to
the North made the enterprise impractical. Depending
upon future supply and demand, the shipping of Flor-
ida fish north may prove practical. Additional in-
formation on raising mink in Florida may be obtained
by writing to the State Board of Conservation Marine
DREDGE AND FILL OPERATIONS
Land developers have increasingly turned to dredg-
ing and filling operations as a means of creating new
waterfront properties which bring a premium price on
the real estate market. These operations with their
accompanying effects upon the areas of saltwater
fishing and other recreation bring the land developers
into direct conflict with conservation, fishing and rec-
reation interests. The dredging and filling of shallow
flats with their attached marine grasses and algal cover
have posed the most serious threat to the marine re-
sources of the State that has ever confronted conserva-
tionists, sports and commercial fishermen, and the
seafood-consuming public. The states bordering the
Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, speaking through
the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission and the
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission have
voiced their alarm at the rapid reduction of valuable
natural fishing aand nursery grounds by such activities
as dredging, filling and pollution. Formally, these
groups have urged Federal and State agencies to in-
tensify their research efforts into the basic dynamics
of estuaries and associated coastal regions and to en-
courage such areas to be set aside permanently as
refuges in much the same way as forests, game and
wild fowl are now protected. The selection and setting
aside of a few thousand acres as refuges does not
appear to be enough. A better possibility to insure
maximum productivity for the sports and commercial
fisheries of the State would be to set aside all the coastal
In addition to their regular research investigations,
during the past several years biologists of the State
Board of Conservation Marine Laboratory, St. Peters-
burg, have inspected and evaluated the biological pro-
ductivity of proposed dredge and fill sites. These
studies were carried out in Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee,
Hillsborough and Pasco Counties. Results of these
studies have been prepared in mimeographed form
and submitted to the local authorities and to the Trus-
tees of the Internal Improvement Fund. These are
listed under the section entitled "Publications".
FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT
During the biennium, under the sponsorship of the
Central and South Florida Flood Control district, the
entire scientific staff has taken part in studies of the ef-
fects of vast amounts of fresh water upon the idigenous
marine animals of the St. Lucie Inlet and North and
South Forks of the St. Lucie River. To date, scientists
and technicians in organized teams have made five sep-
arate studies in the area concerned. During each inves-
tigation data was obtained on flora, fauna, water tem-
perature, salinity, turbidity and incidental ecological
factors. An interim report of this work, edited by
Robert M. Ingle, Director of Research, was issued
during October, 1958.
MARINE LABORATORY .
Under a rotating participation
and training schedule, conservation
agents spent one week at the De-
partment's Marine Laboratory in
St. Petersburg. They helped col- -
lect specimens for study, and they
also learned something of the re-
search methods and aims. They
learned how records were kept of
feeding habits, growth, and habitat
of sea life.
Thousands of phoned, written,
and telegraphed requests for in-
formation were handled during the biennium. Labora-
tory personnel gave demonstrations and talks to sports
clubs, garden clubs, civic organizations, high schools,
and colleges on the work of the Florida State Board
of Conservation. Personnel of the Laboratory par-
ticipated in the Pinellas County Science Fair as project
advisors and judges. Staff personnel appeared on both
radio (WSUN) and television (WFLA-TV and WSUN-
TV) programs. Several high school classes visited the
This photo shows clearly the difference between the male and
female stone crab. The male, left, has a long, narrow flap
running forward on its under-shell. The female, right, has a
broad flap with lines cutting across the shell.
Legal, conservation, and biological aspects of com-
mercial oyster culture were thoroughly presented to
and discussed with conservation agents, oyster bio-
logists and Mr. D. C. Crawford and his vocational
agricultural students from Crystal River High School
at a two-day meeting at the St. Petersburg Laboratory.
The crown conch, Melongena corona, most ubiqui-
tous of Florida oyster predators, has been studied in
both the field and laboratory to determine the lowest
critical salinities in which it is found and will survive.
This information is valuable in determining oyster
growing sites which will not be subject to damaging
crown conch predation. The crown conch is
very abundant in the waters of Tampa Bay,
particularly in the vicinities of intertidal 'coon
oyster bars. Determinations of the minimum critical
salinities in which M. corona was found in the field and
would survive in laboratory aquaria were made for
the purpose of recommending oyster growing sites
which would be free of damaging crown conch preda-
tion. These minimum critical salinities were observed
to be 19 o/oo in the field and 8 o/oo in aquaria. It is
certain that M. corona can survive in the field at salini-
ties below 19 o/oo but observations indicate it avoids
such habitats when possible. It preys actively on
oysters, other marine bivalves and other gastropods.
Its value as a scavenger is not generally appreciated.
In aquaria, in the absence of other food, Melongena
will readily resort to cannibalism but this was never
observed in the field. Distribution is generally limited
to intertidal zones. It is found on sand, mud, shell and
clay bottoms. There are both local and regional varia-
tions in shell structure along the west coast of Florida.
The sense of smell has been shown to be more acute
than sight in the crown conch's quest for food. Copula-
tion was observed in the field from February until mid-
October. These snails have survived for over a year
in laboratory aquaria without feeding. They seem
capable of surviving on their body reserves for as yet
an undetermined time. Following pressure cooking
or boiling, a tasty chowder can be made from the
Technical assistance and advice have been extended
to Crystal River High School in its unique oyster plant-
ing and growing program instituted by the vocational
agricultural department of this Citrus County seafood
center. It is hoped that the Department of Conserva-
tion can be of additional help in the future if this
program of "saltwater farming" expands into one of
general marine biology and conservation which could
serve as both a model and incentive for other high
schools in coastal Florida.
A report on the mortality of marine life during the
seismographic explorations for oil off the west coast
of Florida was prepared by Robert H. Forsyth, a bio-
logist working out of the Conservation Depart-
ment's Marine Laboratory. This work was
carried out between Tarpon Springs and Fort
Myers, and in Lake Okeechobee, during Feb-
ruary and March, 1958, by the Western Geo-
physical Company, for the California Con-
pany. Considering the large area covered by
the operations, the size and numbers of fish
killed, and the location of these fish in regards
to the "bubble" caused by the explosion, it
appears the larger fish suffered less damage
than the smaller fish. The only large fish seen
were within 50 to 60 feet of the point of de-
tonation, while small fish were killed up to
600 feet from the center of the "bubble". It
was noted that many more fish were killed in
smooth water than in rough water. The mor-
tality of edible size fish seemed to be extremely
small, considering the large area covered by the opera-
tions. Those large fish that were killed and examined
had most of their internal organs ruptured.
During seismographic explorations, depth charges are exploded
at short intervals. A marine laboratory report showed that
destruction of fish was negligible.
Results of scientific research by the State Board
of Conservation Marine Laboratory were issued as
publications in the following forms: (1) scientific
journals, (2) Technical Bulletins, (3) special mimeo-
graphed scientific reports. In addition to the above,
for the first time a documentary film of a major Red
Tide was prepared. The following papers were
issued during the biennium:
1. ELDRED, Bonnie. 1958. Meioceras lermondi
Dall as food for Penaeus duorarum Burkenroad.
The Nautilas, 71 (4) : 152. (Contri. $8)
2. ELDRED, Bonnie. 1959. Observations on the
structural development of the genitalia and the
impregnation of the pink shrimp, Penaeus duo-
rarum Burkenroad. Fla. St. Bd. Conserv. Mar.
Lab., Tech. Ser. No. 23: 1-26. (Contri. 5)
3. HUTTON, Robert F. 1957. Preliminary notes
on trematoda (Heterophyidae and Strigeoidea)
encysted in the heart and flesh of Florida mullet,
Mugil cephalus L. and M. curema Cuvier & Valen-
ciennes. The Bulletin, Dade Co. Med. Assoc.,
XXVII(3): 29-30. (Contri. $4)
4. HUTTON, Robert F., & ELDRED, Bonnie. 1958.
A sarcophagid larva (Diptera) from the terminal
ampoule of the pink shrimp, Penaeus duorarum
Burkenroad. J. Parasitol., 44(1) : 27. (Contri. $6)
5. PHILLIPS, Ronald C. 1958. Extension of dis-
tribution of Ruppia maritima var. obliqua (Schur.)
Aschers and Graebn. Quart. J. Fla. Acad. Sci.,
21(2) : 185-186. (Contri. 9)
6. PHILLIPS, Ronald C. 1958. Notes on the develop-
ment of Anadyomene stellata. Quart. J. Fla. Acad.
Sci. 21(2): 145-148. (Contri. $11)
7. PHILLIPS, Ronald C. 1958. Notes on gametangia
in Udotea. Quart. J. Fla. Acad. Sci., 20(4):
253-254. (Contri. $7)
8. SOGANDARES-BERNAL, Franklin, & Hutton,
Robert F. 1958. The status of the genus Bianium
Stunkard 1930, a synonym of Diploproctodaeum
La Rue 1926. J. Parasitol., 44(5) : 566-567. (Contri
9. HUTTON, Robert F. and SOGANDARES-BER-
NAL, Franklin. 1958. Variation in the number of
oral spines of Phagicola longicollis Kuntz and
Chandler, 1956, and the description of P. inglei
n. sp. (Trematoda: Heterophyidae ). Jour. Parasi-
tol., 44(6) : 627-632.
SPECIAL MIMEOGRAPHED REPORTS
1. HUTTON, Robert F. 1957. (February). Studies
on the trematode parasites encysted in Florida
mullet E-1447(C) (replaces RG-4583(C). Fla,
St. Bd. Conserv. Mar. Lab. Pp. 1-24
2. 1958. (January). Report on proposed dredge and
fill area in vicinity of Anclote Key, Florida. Fla.
St. Bd. Conserv. Mar. Lab. Pp. 1-19
3. 1958. (June). Survey of the Mermaid Point area,
St. Petersburg. Fla. St. Bd. Conserv. Mar. Lab.
4. 1958. (September). Estuarine research program.
Florida State Board of Conservation Tallahassee,
Florida, 1 July 1958, to June 1959. Fla. St. Bd.
Conserv. Pp. 1-12.
5. 1958. (September). Report on proposed Burk-
land dredge and fill area in Pasco County, Florida.
Fla. St. Bd. Conserv. Mar. Lab. Pp. 1-11.
6. 1958. (September). Report on proposed Caladesi-
Honeymoon Islands dredge and fill area. Fla. St.
Bd. Conserv. Mar. Lab. Pp. 1-16.
7. 1958. (October). Report on proposed dredge
and fill area in vicinity of Longboat Key, Sarasota
County, Florida. Fla. St. Bd. Conserv. Mar. Lab.
8. INGLE, Robert M. 1958. (October). A study
of St. Lucie estuary with particular reference to
proposed improvements in canals (C-23A) and
(C-24). Fla. St. Bd. Conserv. Mar. Lab. Pp. 1-10.
9. 1958. (December). Report on proposed dredge
and fill area of Scratch Key Bank off the Sunshine
Skyway. Fla. St. Bd. Conserv. Mar. Lab. Pp. 1-7.
1. 1958. The Florida RED TIDE. (16mm. color
movie film photographed by R. F. Hutton and J.
Torpey), Fla. St. Bd. Conserv. Mar. Lab., 30 mins.
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
1. Fisheries Production Statistics
Collection of commercial landing figures, started
some years ago, was continued and a series of data is
now becoming available which permits an understand-
ing of the dynamics of fish stocks not possible before.
Accuracy and coverage of the commercial landings
were considerably increased during the biennium. A
major step forward was the use of "fish tickets" by part
of the industry. These are copies of the receipt the fish-
erman gets on selling his catch and it contains more de-
tailed information than can be obtained in any other
2. Sports Fisheries
Because of the great extent of the coastline, the very
large number of anglers, and of fish species, the prob-
lems of getting accurate estimates of the amount of
sport fishing, number of anglers and other related
data, are immense. A study was conducted during
the biennium for this purpose, however, and estimates
made. This material has been published.
Much over half the value of the seafood landed com-
mercially in Florida is derived from the shrimp indus-
try. The Tortugas ground is the most important shrimp
area of the state and considerable work has been done
on the biology of the pink shrimp caught there.
Tagging experiments have been conducted to deter-
mine rates of growth and details of migration. Meas-
urements of the shrimp at the time of tagging and
upon recapture provide growth estimates. Migration
results show that the shrimp move from shallow water,
to the north and west from the fishing grounds, into
deeper water. Over 5,000 tagged shrimp were released.
Analysis of commercial shrimp landings has provi-
ded valuable information on shrimp abundance, and
should lead eventually to estimates of mortality rates,
seasonal occurence and related matters which are re-
quired for the design of regulations for the fishery.
Details of spawning have also been studied.
Pulling a special planktonic net from a boat at sea will bring up
plankton and small marine life of importance to fishing, for study
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
4. Biology of Sport Fishes
Tagging has played an important part in game fish
studies, with sea trout, tarpon, snook and sailfish all
being tagged during the past two years. Sailfish
tagging proceeded only at a slow rate. Because of
the small numbers of sailfish caught by individual
boats in a day, it is very difficult to tag this species in
numbers large enough to provide many returns. None-
theless three tagged sailfish were recaptured in the last
two years. As in previous cases little migration was
Tarpon were tagged during their runs in the sum-
mer. In 1958, 185 tags were put on adults of this
species at Boca Grande, using a yellow spaghetti tag.
One of these was reported from Texas, and was taken
from a dead tarpon washed up on the beach. Several
returns were made of smaller tarpon tagged in the
Keys, one after 11 months free. Five-foot tarpon
were estimated to be 12 years old.
Snook were tagged and samples were collected for
age and other biological studies. Age studies show,
for example, that six year old fish attain a length of
about 30 inches, with females becoming bigger than
males. Fishermen catch mostly two and three year old
Of the sport fish studied, most data were gathered
on the sea trout, or weakfish. A detailed study of this
species on the east coast, in the Indian River area, was
completed, a similar study started on the upper west
coast, and a tagging program initiated on the west
coast. Observations were made on over 3,000 fish.
Information from these included the fact that distinct
differences in average and maximum growth are
shown by different populations of sea trout in different
parts of the state. Fish from as close as Cocoa and
Fort Pierce showed such differences. The Cocoa
fish averaged about 21 inches long and 2.2 pounds in
weight, while the average at Fort Pierce was 141/2
inches and 1.2 pounds. The biggest Cocoa fish seen
was 333/ inches long and weighed 13% pounds; the
biggest trout at Fort Pierce was 291/4 inches and 7
pounds 1 ounce in weight.
Over 1,500 sea trout were tagged at Fort Myers,
Cedar Key and Apalachicola. An interesting tag
was employed, consisting of a piece of green plastic
which was slipped into the body cavity of the fish
through a small slit made with a scalpel. This type
of tag is necessary since the soft bones and flesh of
the weakfishh" prevent more usual kinds from being
used. To date about 50 tagged trout have been re-
turned, providing growth and migration data. Trout
recaptured have moved only short distances, some 5
to 10 miles at most.
5. Fish Larvae
The pelagic fish larvae life history program consists
of a study of larval (young) fishes, mainly from the
Florida Current. There are several reasons for such
a study, the main one being that since the young
stages of only a few marine fishes are known we in-
crease our knowledge of marine life by studying this
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
phase of fishes' lives. Although it is not felt necessary
to have an immediate practical application for any
particular study, the studies often prove useful to the
Readers of conservation literature will have been
impressed in recent years by the increasingly frequent
references to the necessity of learning more about our
estuaries. These coastal areas where fresh and salt
waters mix, are more and more obviously vital to the
welfare of our marine resources, yet they are disap-
pearing or being changed at an increasing rate.
Because of this situation, an important aspect of
fisheries research in the past two years has been di-
rected to a study of the estuary in Everglades National
Park, at the tip of Florida. This big area is probably
one of the most important nursery grounds for the
Tortugas shrimp population, and supports a very big
assemblage of other invertebrates, fish, birds and
plants. The study has included life histories of some
of the more important of these animals, and observa-
tions of chemical and physical conditions in the estuary.
This study is unique in being able to make observations
on an area only lightly touched by man, and one which
will not be greatly altered in the future.
Lists of the animals and plants in the area are being
compiled in the course of the study; over 70 species
of fish are included.
Growth of several animals is being studied, and in
many cases very rapid growth has been observed.
For example, the common barnacle Balanus eburneus
has shown growth of as much as 12 mm. (about half
an inch) in a month.
Interesting differences in several hydrographic con-
ditions have been noted between the two years of study.
These are undoubtedly related to the differences in tem-
perature, rainfall and other weather conditions in the
As an example, salinities have shown as much as 30
parts per thousand difference at the same place, twelve
months apart. These and other variations have caused
considerable faunal and floral changes, in composition
and relative abundance.
7. Fish Technology
Technological problems of the fisheries were also
concerned with the shrimp and the finfish industries.
Considerable attention was given to the chemical con-
trol of "black spot" on shrimp, the dark discoloration
which appears on iced and frozen shrimp during stor-
age. Tests with several methods of control met with
varying success, the best results being obtained by em-
ploying a dilute solution of sodium bisulfite into which
shrimp were dipped. This technique was adopted by
many of the shrimp fishing vessels.
Methods of controlling bacterial and autolytic spoil-
age of shrimp were investigated. Best results were
obtained with antibiotics and these methods may come
into commercial practice if the chemicals are cleared
for use by the Food and Drug Administration.
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
Many of Florida's important commercial fishes con-
tain high proportions of fat, and thus are difficult to
store or ship because of rancidity. The development
of new markets for mullet, for example, and increased
consumption of Spanish mackerel and other species,
may depend to an important degree on the discovery
of methods of reducing fat deterioration. Good results
have been obtained by the use of butylated hydroxy-
toluene, and this promises to become a commercial
practice. This chemical has also been found to be
efficient in maintaining the natural color and hence
consumer appeal, on red snapper, Spanish mackerel
and other species.
In an attempt to stabilize the supply and to find a
cheaper bait for blue crabs, several "artificial" baits
have been tried. These include fish oil, hydrolysed fish
proteins, nonfat milk solids, fish meal and others. None
has yet proved as effective as scrap fish in catching
8. Emergency Projects
During the biennium a number of investigations were
carried out to determine the advisability of dredging
and filling coastline or around Keys. These projects
are too numerous to mention individually. For each
investigation a written report was sent to the Florida
State Board of Conservation and these are listed in
the publication below.
The general tendency is for more and more very val-
The University of Miami tags great numbers of fish to learn biological
facts. Here the important game fish, the tarpon, is being tagged.
able estuarine areas to be altered sufficiently to make
these areas unsuitable for certain stages of the life
history of many of our important fish and shellfish.
As in the past, the usual large number of inquiries
on marine fish and fisheries have come either from the
Florida State Board of Conservation or to The Marine
Scientific and civic organizational meetings were
attended and in many cases talks were given by staff
members of The Marine Laboratory.
Bein, Selwyn J.
1957. The relationship of total phosphorus concen-
tration in seawater to Red Tide blooms. Bull.
Mar. Sci. Gulf and Carib. 7(4).
Broadhead, Gordon C.
1958. Growth of the black mullet (Mugil cephalus)
in west and northwest Florida. Tech. Series
DeLaubenfels, M. W. and J. F. Storr
Routine biological measurements on young fish are made to de-
termine facts useful to management of fisheries.
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
The final stage of all research is the publication of
results for the use of the industry and the public. A
number of printed bulletins were issued during the
last two years, as well as mimeographed and type-
written reports. These are listed in right hand column.
1958. The taxonomy
of American commercial
sponges. Bull. Mar. Sci. Gulf and Carib.,
1957. Studies on the age and growth of the Atlantic
sailfish Istiophorus americanus (Cuvier),
using length-frequency curves. Bull. Mar.
Sci. Gulf and Carib., 7(1).
Ellis, Robert W.
1957. Saltwater Gamefish Research Newsletter, Nos.
8, 9, 10. The Mar. Lab., Univ. Miami.
1957. Surveying Florida's saltwater sport fishery.
2nd Intern. Gamesfish Conf. The Mar. Lab.,
Univ. Miami. Mimeo.
Ellis, Robert W., Albert Rosen and Alan Moffett
1958. A survey of the number of anglers and of
their fishing effort and expenditures in the
coastal recreational fishery of Florida. Tech.
Idyll, Clarence P.
1957. The commercial shrimp industry of Florida.
Ed. Series 6.
1958. Progress in fisheries education in the Gulf
and Caribbean area 1948-1957. Proc. Gulf
and Carib. Fish. Inst., 10th Ann. Sess. 1957.
1958. Contributions of biology and oceanography
to increased harvest of marine fishes. Trans.
Am. Fish. Soc. June 1958.
Iversen, E. S., C. P. Idyll and A. Volpe
1958. Research on the biology of the Tortugas
shrimp. Proc. Gulf and Carib. Fish. Inst.,
10th Ann. Sess. 1957.
McKenney, T., E. Alexander and G. Voss
1958. Early development and larval distribution of
the Carangid fish, Caranx crysos (Mitchell).
Bull. Mar. Sci. Gulf and Carib. 8(2).
1957. A survey of spearfishing in the Florida Keys.
Proc. Gulf and Carib. Fish. Inst., 9th Ann.
Regan, James, C. P. Idyll, and Edwin S. Iversen
1957. Mesh size regulations as a possible method
of managing the Tortugas shrimp fishery.
Proc. Gulf and Carib. Fish. Inst. 9th Ann.
Robins, C. Richard
1958. Checklist of the Florida game and commercial
marine fishes. Ed. Series 12.
Rosen, Alfred and Robert W. Ellis
1958. Summary of Florida commercial marine fish
landings for 1957. Fla. St. Bd. of Cons. and
The Mar. Lab., Univ. Miami. Mimeo.
Saltwater Fisheries Newsletter
New Series. Vol. 1, Nos. 1, 2. Fla. St. Bd. Cons.
and The Mar. Lab. Univ. Miami. Mimeo.
Smith, F. G. Walton
1958. The spiny lobster industry of Florida. Ed.
Storr, John E.
1957. The sponge industry of Florida. Ed. Series 9.
Tabb, Durbin C.
1957. Studies on the life history of the spotted sea
trout, Cynoscion nebulosis (C. & V.) (Ab
stract). Proc. Gulf and Carib. Fish. Inst.
9th Ann. Sess. 1956.
1958. Report on the bait shrimp fishery of Biscayne
Bay, Miami, Florida. Rept. to Fla. St. Bd.
Cons. Mimeo. The Mar. Lab., Univ. Miami.
1958. Report on possible effects upon the marine en-
vironment as a result of extension of the bulk-
head line in Dade County. Rept. to Fla. St.
Bd. of Cons. The Mar. Lab., Univ. of Miami.
The Marine Laboratory, University of Miami
1958. Investigation of possible effects on the marine
environment of dredging and filling the Rag-
ged Keys. Rept. to Fla. St. Bd. Cons. Mimeo.
The Marine Laboratory, University of Miami
1958. Investigation of possible effects of dredging
and filling Elliot and Old Rhodes Keys. Rept.
to Fla. St. Bd. Cons. Mimeo.
During the biennium efforts
were renewed to attract capital
and know-how to the oyster in-
dustry of Florida. At a time
when the producers of northern
areas were beset by lack of seed,
pests, and over-all reduction of
harvests, Florida's potential
never seemed brighter.
An extensive rehabilitation
program was undertaken during
1957-58. Plantings were made
as shown below:
During the past two years, the Conservation Department has "planted" many thousands
of bushels of shell on bay bottoms. This shell gives the young oysters something to
cling to, a necessary beginning for oyster growth.
1,500 baskets oysters
3,336 bushels oysters
32,000 bushels shell
48,000 bushels shell
200,400 bushels shell
3,460 bushels oysters
* (Also, in several selected areas oysters were raked
extensively from coon bars into deeper water.)
SERVICE TO PUBLIC
THE MAN IN THE GRAY UNIFORM
For a long time it was realized that an agent spends
a considerable amount of time, in addition to his regu-
lar duties, rendering public service. In the course of a
day, for instance, an agent might be asked by the High-
way Patrol to direct traffic at an accident, requested to
pull a motorist out of the sand, sent to search for a
boat missing at sea. Many of the chores are routine,
taking an hour or two, some are dramatic, dangerous,
Agents have saved lives of accident victims, rescued
drifting men in useless boats, tracked down criminals.
The statistics for a year follow this pattern:
Written Reports of Services --- 361
Services Requested (Police, officials, etc.) 207
Services Volunteered ..._- -- 154
Public Service Missions -. 232
Search and Rescue Missions .--- -- 212
Average Time Per Mission (Hours) 31/.
Approximate Man Hours -------.-. ---- 2,332
In the final analysis, the 'keepers" of salt water con-
servation are found on and around the Gulf and
Atlantic waters that surround Florida. The men who
work with the actual conservation measures and strive
to enforce the laws are the 80 conservation agents in
the field. It is they who put teeth into regulations-
not always by arrests, but often by their presence on
the scene. Much of their work involves public educa-
tion and service. They arrest only as a last resort.
(See table of arrests in statistical section)
Since the advent of the state Merit System selection
of agents, about three years ago, the men have enjoyed
job security and equitable pay. The quality of the
agent force has improved, results also. Each agent
drives a radio equipped, gray state car, has a boat for
water patrol, attends a yearly refresher course per-
taining to his duties. The agent in his gray uniform,
with name plate and green shoulder patch, is the
"show-case" of the department. His courteous treat-
ment of the public, his good relationship with public
officials, reflect on the entire conservation organization.
LIST OF AGENTS
Kennedy, John J.
LaLander, John L.
Livingston, A. D.
McLeod, Ira W.
Sanders, A. J.
Wright, A. B.
Clark, Otho B.
Bullock, W. J.
Henderson, Wm. T.
Lanier, A. C.
Martina, Joseph, Jr.
McCall, Gordon E.
Skidmore, Clarence C.
Thomas, Vernon C.
Warren, George L.
White, James M.
Gibson, H. V.
Everett, Billie E.
Gibson, J. H.
Martin, Lee Roy
O'Berry, Edmund R.
Ft. Walton Beach
During the closed season on sea turtles during the summer, agents
patrol the coast all night in special "beach buggies," to protect egg
laying turtles against marauders.
Guess, Raymond G.
Allen, Wilbur D.
Harding, Ehrman R.
Holloway, Robert W.
King, A. P.
Little, Edward G.
Mann, Arthur B.
Thompson, W. N.
.--A rn' 9P
F-f kL aX
... -:' ,, __., i ,i''Sc*' ''
r"- --''l *:- '-'" .^ -:;"-
^^ *^~t ^ *-. *** -**" ; '-' *.
V .-- -, *^-^
.. .. ,. '
.. ... : I .-, .. ..,?~4i4 -5 -. rt.,t
TT' ,..'.- -- .. ,.. .~- ,, ,, ... s* ,,
Within the past two years, all conservation agents have been provided with patrol cars. They are gray and
bear the state insignia on the sides.
LIST OF AGENTS-(Continued)
Davis, W. Melvin
Anno, Forrest C.
Courtney, Marvin P.
Dickerson, A. T., Jr.
King, William T.
Mickle, Ward F.
Schmidt, Louis J.
Whitehead, Ben C.
Wolcott, Lucian A.
Clifton, Terry A.
Lawler, Lee R.
Loftus, J. J.
Morehead, Glenn R.
Purdom, Ronald R.
Ryder, J. M.
Saunderson, Wm. M.
Terjesen, John W.
Jones, Roy F.
Byrd, Rolland C.
Pearce, James R.
Pfister, Robert J.
Roesch, W. P.
Shelfer, Lewis W., Jr.
Williams, D. F.
West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach
Mackery, H. C.
Dowty, Frank E.
Hendry, Marcus B.
Holland, Charles V.
Joyce, John W.
Newbold, Daniel B.
Willis, C. A.
Morgan, H. C., Jr.
Dodson, James H.
Hobbs, Jack A.
McLaughlin, Warren G.
A general agent keeps in touch with his several agents over a wide area
by frequent use of the patrol cars' two-way radio system.
Boat licensing has taken a great jump during the
past year. Whereas a mere 5.500 pleasure boat licenses
were issued in 1955-56, the figures for the last fiscal
year show 27,760 pleasure boats licensed.
In all, the license department handles a dozen differ-
ent licenses, and mails out over 50,000 of them in a
year. During the first few weeks of the fiscal licen-
sing period (new licenses become due on July 1) the
rush is so great that the department may run several
days behind current applications.
Every county in the state has one or more retail
seafood dealers, the greatest number being in Dade
County: 383. Duval County is second with 291.
As the population of the state increases, and as the
liking for seafood grows, so does the number of whole-
sale dealers increase to fill the need. Wholesalers were
licensed in 50 counties during the last fiscal year. First
in number was Dade County with 68; next in number
was Duval County with 48.
From the snapper boats at Pensacola, over to the
menhaden vessels at Fernandina, down to the sponge
fleet at Tarpon Springs, and away down to the shrimp
boats at Key West, boats and seafood are a huge
Non-resident Boat Tax
Special Purse Seine
ses 1956-1957 Licenses 1957-1958
77ie g^ -- %~jp=lT **^?"f^
;Zi" ~ Jr t ~X~c"lI'.~8tlF 13
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The license department issues boat licenses, seafood dealers licenses, and other special licenses.
Here are the forms used by the department to do its work.
The department issues a number of permits for
special activities. The permits are sent to applicants
from the Tallahassee office and give permission to
trap crawfish, for instance, or hold marine life exhibi-
tions. The permits, for which there is no charge, are
a method of control and an aid to conservation. For
sufficient cause, a permit may be denied or revoked.
Crawfish Traps 42,196 78,849
Crawfish Permits Issued 328 636
Shrimp Landing .... .....1,329
Live Bait Shrimp -- 197
Special Permits --.-- 96 70
County Net Permits
ida crawfish, or spiny lobster, are increasingly in demand as a
e delicacy. As one of the seven different types of permits
d, a lobster trapping permit allows a person to catch and
this seafood specialty.
A definite program was put into action by the de-
partment's Home Economist to tell the Florida seafood
story to the public by every conceivable means possible.
This is being accomplished in the following way:
1. A new set of attractive seafood recipes are tested,
developed and printed weekly. These are released to
newspaper, magazine, radio and television editors,
both in Florida and other states. Over 350 new recipes,
with instructions on the care and preparation of fishery
products, have been compiled in printed form for dis-
tribution to the public.
2. Close cooperation and good relations with the
seafood industry are sustained by offering assistance
and suggestions in the preparation, merchandising and
promotion of their products. The fact is stressed in
news releases that while living costs soar, the price
of seafoods is comparatively lower than other meats
and should be used every day for well-balanced, nutri-
tious meals. Hints and shortcuts, do's and don't in
fish cookery and interesting facts about seafoods are
sent out to dealers to use in their ads and on their radio
and TV programs.
3. Personal appearances, giving talks and demon-
strations to social, civic, educational and other groups,
as well as regular television and radio programs in
all sections of the state, creates a demand for Florida
4. Instructions and demonstrations are given to
school lunch room personnel and workshops for Home
Demonstration Agents are conducted in this and ad-
joining states to encourage wider use of seafoods in
5. Cooperation with local, state, and national agen-
cies by giving talks and joining panel discussions at
conventions; planning special promotions and menus
for such events as the Florida Products Festival, Na-
tional Seafood Week, home and food shows and na-
6. The sports fisherman is not forgotten in our
program. Hints on the care of his catch, how to pre-
pare the fish he brings in, and instructions on outdoor
cookery, home smoking of seafoods, freezing, canning
and other methods or reservations, are released to
and used by outdoor editors.
7. Assistance is given dealers and manufacturers
in the industry, by compiling data on consumer trends
in demand and popularity of fishery products.
ALBERSON, Sarah D. Home Economist-
TIPS AND RECIPES FOR FLORIDA COOKERY
A Lucious Baked Fish Dinner
Home economist, Sarah Alberson, describes and
demonstrates the use of seafood. Over radio and
television, at public appearances and by newspaper,
she helps the sale of Florida fish and shellfish.
Fulfilling a need of long standing, a department of
information-education was established in November,
1957. With a growing state, a great year-around
tourist trade, and' immense interest in salt water sports,
information-education demands became insistent.
Not only do residents and out-of-state visitors want
to know about fishing laws (closed seasons, lengths,
limits), they also want to know where to fish and how
to fish for different species. Such information makes
enforcement more acceptable and easier. It makes
friends for the state, and more loyal residents.
Having the longest coast line in the United States,
some 7,000 miles in all, and a population of nearly
4,000,000, (one out of three fish in salt water) informa-
tion-education coverage presents problems. Contin-
uously, the public must be reached by printed matter,
by spoken word, by personal and material presentation.
The tools involved include newspaper items, radio and
TV announcements and presentations, pamphlets and
mimeographed matter, exhibits and talks.
Thanks are given to Florida's public-service minded
radio and television stations and newspapers, and to
the cooperation extended by outdoor clubs, civic organ-
izations, and to other state agencies and national organ-
Written Requests for Information 1
New Posters Designed and Printed
Number of these distributed (approx.) 5,
Different Pamphlets and News-sheets printed
Numbers of these distributed (approx.) 111,
Mimeographed Information Sheets Compiled
Numbers of these distributed 4,
(Exclusive of recipes)
Individual News Items Released
(Each sent to about 400 outlets)
Individual Radio Interviews with Agents
Collected Spot Announcements to Radio
Other Radio Appearances, tapes, discs
(Not counting other staff shows)
Feature Stories Written, with photos
Movie Films Added to Library
Personal Participation on Programs -
(Not counting other staff appearances)
During the year, the exhibit of the department is seen
in more than a dozen fairs and shows. Agent Rudy
Guerra is assisted by agents across Florida in setting
up and removing the display. A new, modern exhibit is
now being used.
As an example of educational publicity, the unique story
of Crystal River High School's oyster culture project
was told in a feature article. The story was printed in
the National Educational Association Journal and in the
Florida Educational Association Journal. Other schools
may thus follow this example of conservation.
SUMMARY OF COMMERCIAL MARINE FISH LANDINGS
In 1956, the Florida fishery achieved its second most
productive year since the statistical program was star-
ted in 1950. The total catch of 210 million pounds,
worth about $30 million, was exceeded only by the 250
million pounds of 1952, and by the $31 million value
of the 1953 catch.
The food fin fishery (excluding shrimp and shellfish)
was the lowest in value since statistics have been as-
sembled. The increased catch and value of shrimp,
over 54 million pounds worth nearly $20 million,
brought up the overall commercial fishery worth.
Mullet continued to be the leading food fin fish in
value and poundage. The value has continued to de-
cline, however; while landings have increased sharply
since 1952 (with a leveling off since 1955) values have
dropped steadily since 1951.
Most of the commercially popular fin fish showed
increased catches and values: Spanish mackerel,
grouper, trout, pompano, and menhaden. Leading
counties were (1) Nassau (2) Monroe (3) Hills-
The 1957 State Legislature passed a number of bills
which vitally affected the commercial fishing industry
of Florida. Snook was established as a game fish, with
the cooperative approval of both the commercial and
sports fishing interests. The closed season on mullet
was removed, following the wishes and advice of com-
mercial fishermen and the Conservation Department.
Authorization was given to the department to close
certain defined areas of the Tortugas shrimp grounds
when the catches began going over 50 to the pound,
During the first half of 1958, it was found neces-
sary to close the Tortugas shrimp area marked by deep
water buoys. This action, taken in the interests of
conservation of an extremely valuable resource, re-
sulted in difficult and dangerous enforcement by agents.
Improved and enlarged reporting practices of com-
mercial catches, resulted in more accurate figures in
1957. It was still realized, however, that improved
reporting was needed from dealers as well as sports
anglers to present the full landing picture.
There was a general decline in landings during the
year. The corresponding loss in value was slight, how-
ever, particularly because shrimp continued to increase
in value. The eight million pound loss over the prev-
ious year represented only about a $1 million loss. The
following tables, taken from the SUMMARY OF
FLORIDA COMMERCIAL MARINE FISH LAND-
INGS, prepared for the department by the University
of Miami Marine Laboratory, shows the landings in
BUDGET FIGURES .- ;
ARRESTS FOR VIOLATIONS
THE TOP TEN
FISHERIES FOR 1956
(_ Q 7'-
P" "' .
THE TOP TEN FISHERIES FOR 1957
$VALUE (MILLIONS) POUNDS(MILLIONS) $VALUE (MILLIONS)
S8 R GROUPER 0.7
18 U* ^ > ^ _- --
r -6 .
r 0-5 .
.,. F";L' 1
. . ... ..i ;I ^;
Commercial fishing by net, hook, and trap is a $26 million a year business in Florida. The state ranks fourth among
all states in seafood production. Seining, the operation shown above, has suffered a decline in recent years.
~-7- ~ Pr~~rlvCnZ IC-(rtll~A%4~ ~c
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SUMMARY OF FLORIDA COMMERCIAL MARINE FISH LANDINGS
1956-ALL FLORIDA-FOOD FISH
Value in $
Sea Trout: gray _-_
Sea Trout: spotted
Sea Trout: white
Value in $
SUMMARY OF FLORIDA COMMERCIAL MARINE FISH LANDINGS
1957-ALL FLORIDA-FOOD FISH
;er --- ..-.... 2,791,221
Value in $
Sardines (Spanish) ---_
Sea Trout: gray ------__.-.-_._
Sea Trout: spotted .._.. ---
Sea Trout: white ....------...
Snapper: mangrove ----....-.
Snapper: vermillion --------
Snapper: yellowtail ---
Spanish Mackerel -----
Value in $
HALF KEG HOLDING LU:;E
/"\J' '..- LBJS
.". i', t -* .
6 I 1rIr- -
---_- -- "-' ..... y LU--'
-- A / / P "
The snapper fishery ranks third in the total value of state fish catches, exceeded only by shrimp and mullet.
One of the biggest snapper fleets in the country was, until recently, based at Pensacola.
SUMMARY OF MARINE FISH LANDINGS BY COUNTY
Bay, Gulf and Washington
Pasco and Hernando
_----- - -
------ -- -- -- -
SUMMARY OF MARINE FISH LANDINGS BY COUNTY
Bay, Gulf and Washington
Pasco and Hernando
St. Johns ---
-- - -
-- -- -- -------
SUMMARY OF FLORIDA COMMERCIAL MARINE FISH LANDINGS
Menhaden -- 68,030,347
Tenpounder: ladyfish -...-.. 259,187
TOTAL NON-FOOD FISH --- 69,089,701
Tenpounder: ladyfish --....------ 404,293
TOTAL NON-FOOD FISH -- 17,721,015
Clams -- 18,649
Crabs, blue: hard .. -- .. 11,777,441
Crabs, blue: soft 1.354
Crabs: stone 275,850
Scallops ..--. 278,319
TOTAL SHELLFISH ....----- 16,353,356
Crabs, blue: hard 11,834,257
Crabs, blue: soft 10,030
Crabs: stone 240,543
Spiny Lobster (crawfish) --.. 4,039,839
TOTAL SHELLFISH ..-- ... 17,215,717
The Tarpon Springs sponge fishery has been gaining in poundage of catches for the past five years. This is
the only sponge fishery in the U. S., and it is noted for its colorful surroundings.
- ", A
SHRIMP LANDINGS 1956
SPONGE LANDINGS -
SPONGE LANDINGS -
SHRIMP LANDINGS 1957
....--. ... 16,746,017
.. .. ..... 3,384,447
SPONGE LANDINGS -
1957 58 CASH DISBURSEMENTS
Education and Information
HOW THE MONEY WAS SPENT
EDUCATION a,\ -
INFORMATION \ >
TOTAL BUDGET $1,121,840
STATE BOARD OF CONSERVATION
REPORT OF ARRESTS
FISCAL YEAR 1956-57
STATE BOARD OF CONSERVATION
REPORT OF ARREST
FISCAL YEAR 1957-58
Alachua 3__ _
Bay __- _- 2
Brevard _---- 14
Broward ____-_ 15
Citrus __ 10
Collier -______ 11
Columbia ___- 1
Dixie --- 16
Duval _- ____- 6
Escambia ___ 4
Flagler -___.___ 2
Gilchrist 3__ _
Indian River -- 8
Jackson _____- 1
Lee _______ 7
Levy __-_____- 8
Manatee ______ 1
Martin __ 18
Monroe __ 30
Okeechobee ____ 1
Palm Beach _-_ 33
Pasco ------_ 3
Pinellas ----- 6
Putnam ----_ 2
St. Johns _____ 4
St. Lucie ____ 4
Sarasota ----. 4
Taylor ._______ 2
Volusia ------ 38
Wakulla -- 3
TOTAL _---- 301
% of Total --- 100
Guilty Bond Released Sentence Pending
1 2 __--
_ 3 5
2 2 --- -
58 46 30 11
19 15 10 4
Alachua __ 1
Bay _---- 14
Brevard .____- 6
Broward __. 16
Citrus _-_ 2
Dade -- 40
Dixie ____ 12
Duval -------- 2
Franklin ______ 36
Gulf __-__--.- 18
Indian River 4
Jackson -.- 2
Levy ____-__--- 5
Martin __. 34
Monroe __ 116
Nassau ___ 4
Oka!oosa _----- 5
Palm Beach __- 25
Pinellas _- 10
St. Johns 17
St. Lucie -__-- 6
Santa Rosa __ 2
Sarasota -- 13
Suwannee _____ 1
Taylor 6----- 6
Volusia ----_ 2
TOTAL -_---- 411
% of Total _-__ 100
Guilty Bond Released Sentence Pending
---- --- ---- --
1 7 26 2
2 3 4 -
20 --- --
- -- ---
6 16 38
---- ---- ----
3 -_- 1
--- ---- ----
50 69 43
12 17 10
TOTAL LANDINGS AND VALUES-1950-1957
Millions of Pounds
210 I other shellfish
80- I I non-food fish
150 food fish
90 Figure 1 Total landings and landings of shrimp,
other shellfish, non-food fish and food
o --. . *:. : .. .- : . . . : : .- :. i : .: .- .
1950 1951 .
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 19
L:illions of dollars
1950 1951 1952 1953 154 1955 1956 19
8 ... . . . . . ... ... . .- .%
4. ..-.:':-:': ':." ". . .
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 19
16 Figure 2 Total. values and values of shrimp, other shellfish,
non-food fish and food fish.
12 1950 1957
Millions of dollars
Due Returned Due Returrpn