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STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
JULY 1, 1971-JUNE ,0, 1972
DURING THE PAST YEAR, probably the most important aspect
of the administration of the Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission involved its adjustment to governmental reorgani-
zation. For example, the Commission voluntarily placed its
employees under the State Career Service System (effective
February 1, 1971).
Basically, the Commission is attempting to fit its operations
into the pattern of state government while retaining its consti-
tutional autonomy. Our agency has complied with general
state law and administrative policy with reference to such
things as purchasing, communications, law enforcement, and
personnel management while maintaining its own administra-
We seek to present a unified statewide program, easily
accessible and responsive to the public, through our five re-
gional offices, each staffed with personnel representing our
major functions: law enforcement, fish management, wildlife
management, radio communications, information-education, and
Our efforts to accomplish the above have not been without
problems. For example, there are points of view which sup-
port the thought that retention of the Commission's constitu-
tional status is contrary to the aims of governmental reorgani-
zation. The Commission feels differently, and, judging from
the state referendums in 1942, 1960, and 1968, believes that
the majority of Florida citizens share the Commission's view.
Some of the reasons for the Commission view in favor of
retaining constitutional status are as follows:
We prefer the appointed citizen board-type organization for
natural resource agencies. Appointees to natural resource
boards or commissions are normally appointed because of their
particular interest in conservation matters, plus an obvious
involvement in the political process.
We further believe that such appointees are closer to, and
more appropriately represent, those individual hunters, fisher-
men, boaters, campers, bird watchers, nature lovers, and other
outdoors-oriented citizens whom they are appointed to serve,
than would be a salaried state employee with the same re-
Thirdly, we believe that a layman board or commission
working closely with a professional staff constitutes the ideal
1971-1972 Fiscal Year
DR. RICHARD H. SCHULZ, Marianna
Appointed January 20, 1967
Term expired January 6, 1972
WILLIAM M. BLAKE, Tampa
,.l o Appointed January 6, 1968
S AMES B. WINDHAM, Jacksonville
-f: Appointed January 22, 1969
:'- / C. A. PEACOCK, JR., Miami
Appointed February 18, 1970
0. L. PEACOCK, JR., Fort Pierce
Appointed January 5, 1971
HOWARD ODOM, Marianna
Appointed January 10, 1972
balance between the public to be served and the scientific
expertise of the professionals. This position is supported by a
study conducted by the Wildlife Management Institute, a
privately financed conservation organization of international
stature and influence. The WMI makes the following state-
"An ideal commission consists of five non-partisan members
serving staggered terms and appointed by the Governor on a
statewide basis, as opposed to a district basis. Adequate dis-
cretionary legal authority is absolutely essential to manage
fish and wildlife populations effectively. Each agency should
have: (1) clearly stated organizational objectives in an up-to-
date manual of basic policies, (2) dedicated funds supp'e-
mented with general funds, (3) sufficient professionally trained
personnel, (4) an in-service training program, (5) planning
for species, habitats, areas, and future human demands to
define and set forth both short- and long-range achievement
goals, (6) problem-oriented research within the agency and
freedom to contract with outside organizations for basic re-
search, (7) knowledge of the status and distribution of sport-
ing, endangered, and other species and their habitats, (8)
management units for handling fish and game populations,
(9) programs to maintain and restore fish and wildlife envi-
ronments, (10) cooperative programs with private landowners
as well as land- and water-use agencies, (11) public informa-
tion and education programs, and (12) staunch support of
As now constituted, the Florida Game and Fresh Water
Fish Commission follows exactly the "ideal commission" setup
delineated in the above statement.
Another extremely important point in favor of the citizen
board is that the average board member or commissioner has
only the particular board or commission on which he serves
as his primary governmental responsibility. Therefore, he is
able to devote his time and energy to this specific field and
consequently becomes much more knowledgeable than in a
situation where a person with diversified responsibilities must
depend largely upon an aide or staff member for guidance
about any certain field. We feel this leads to many decisions
being made fundamentally by staff aides who frequently are
not professionals in the field they represent.
Conversely, with a citizen board the members make deci-
sions on a subject with which they are quite familiar because
of the time they have to devote to the particular area of
governmental responsibility. Such decisions are made with con-
sideration of the opinions of members of a staff normally
composed of professionals in the areas of resource manage-
ment for which they are responsible.
The constitutional Commission is a creation of the people.
It was established through the leadership of then-Governor
Spessard L. Holland and the 1941 Legislature in an effort to,
among other things, bring some political continuity to the
state's game and fish conservation program-which had been
characterized by a history of forming and abolishing agencies;
a half-dozen changes in 30 years.
The Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, which
has been an autonomous agency since January 1, 1943, is
dedicated to the preservation of its constitutional status be-
cause it believes this system has best served the people. Judg-
ing from the results of the 1960 and 1968 referendums, both
of which strongly supported retention of the agency as ap-
proved by the original vote in the general election of 1942,
this is the way the people want it-because it has worked.
We believe it will work in the years ahead. The Commis-
sion has no desire to alter its present organizational structure,
but it recognizes and accepts the mandate of the Legislature
to improve governmental efficiency in general. This we have
striven to do during the past year, and the Administration
continues to seek ways to increase the agency's effectiveness
as it looks to the future.
July 1, 1971 through June 30, 1972
Disbursements and Balances
Disbursements by Object Code:
Salaries ................. ............................ .$ 3,722,477.50
Other Personal Services ............................... 82,108.96
Advertising Florida's Commodities, Resources
and Attractions ....................................... 2,655.34
Communications and Transportation of Things ...... 99,164.29
Postage, Freight, Express, Drayage & Parcel Post .... 43,979.00
General Printing & Reproduction Services ............ 152,559.93
Repairs and Maintenance ............................... 186,979.25
Travel .............................................. 257,646.90
Travel Other Than Employees .......................... 11,175.90
U utilities ........................................... 65,244.68
Other Contractual Services ........................... 198,663.80
Uniform Cleaning ...................................... 33,791.10
Bedding, Clothing, Linens & Other Textile Products .... 47,614.43
Shoes .................................................. 7,820.00
Educational, Medical, Scientific & Agricultural
Materials and Supplies ............................. 102,881.31
Food P products ........................................ 2,809.11
Maintenance Mat. & Heating Supplies (Janitorial) .... 121,942.17
Motor Fuels and Lubricants ........................... 253,728.94
Office Materials and Supplies ........................... 23,073.80
Other Materials and Supplies ........................ 92,109.51
Insurance & Surety Bonds & Auto Liability .......... 146,432.66
Rental of Buildings ................................... 125,774.60
Rental of Equipment .................................. 26,425.58
Service Charges to General Revenue ................... 163,606.00
Other Current Charges and Obligations ................. 64,901.92
B ooks ............... ............................ ..... 1,741.37
Buildings and Fixed Equipment ........................ 123,016.15
Educational, Medical, Scientific & Agricultural
Equipment ......................................... 20,785.07
Motor Vehicles, Airplanes .............................. 260,357.23
Motors, Boats and Trailers ............................ 141,758.11
Other Motor Vehicles .................................. 22,818.17
Office Furniture and Equipment ........................ 23,540.60
Other Structures and Improvements .................... 97,620.92
Other Capital Outlay ...................... ............ 40,464.03
Data Processing ....................................... 21,758.74
Building & Cont. Materials ............................. 646.20
L and ............................................. .. 21,054.00
Debt Service ................... ......................... 135,000.00
Grants and Aids .................. ................... .. 15,000.00
Other Distributions .................................... 30,000.00
TOTAL $ 6,991,127.27
Disbursements by Departments:
Administration and Support Services:
Salaries ............................. $
Other Personal Services ............
General Expenses ..................
Operating Capital Outlay ............
Administrative Cost to
General Revenue 4% ..............
D ebt Service .........................
Fixed Capital Outlay ..............
Information and Education:
S salaries ..............................
Other Personal Services ...........
General Expenses .. ...............
Operating Capital Outlay ............
Fixed Capital Outlay .................
S salaries ............... ..............
Other Personal Services .............
General Expenses ....................
Operating Capital Outlay ...........
Fixed Capital Outlay ...............
Salaries .................. .........
Other Personal Services .............
General Expenses ....................
Operating Capital Outlay ............
Fixed Capital Outlay ............
Grants and Aids .....................
Other Personal Services ..............
General Expenses ....................
Operating Capital Outlay ............
Fixed Capital Outlay ................
Aquatic Weed Control:
Other Personal Services ...........
General Expenses ................
Operating Capital Outlay ............
Fixed Capital Outlay ................
Total Disbursements by Budgets:
Salaries ................................................ $ 3,722,477.50
Other Personal Services ............................... 82,108.96
General Expenses .. ................................. 2,283,385.16
Operating Capital Outlay .............................. 511,464.58
Fixed Capital Outlay .................................. 241,691.07
G rants and Aids ...................................... 15,000.00
D ebt Service .......................................... 135,000.00
GRAND TOTAL $ 6,991,127.27
Statement of Cash Receipts
AK Fishing ..........................$ 137,827.25
Fishing .............................. 2,139,419.25
AK Hunting ......................... 350,833.00
Hunting ............................. 1,109,879,75
U.S. Permits ......................... 1,675.00
State Hunting Permits .............. 451,190.00
Dove Permits ........................ 14,264.00
Archery Permits ..................... 46,745.00
Under-Age Permits .................. 19,792.50
Quail Permits ........................ 6,560.00
Previous Yr. State Hunt Permits .... 39,160.00
Retail Fish Dealer ................... 19,685.00
Non-Resident Retail Fish Dlr. ....... 350.00
Resident Wholesale Fish Dlr ........ 6,700.00
Non-Resident Wholesale Fish Dir.... 500.00
Duplicate Commercial Licenses ...... 6.00
Fish Pond Licenses ................. 654.00
Trapping ............................. 1,870.00
Hunting Preserve .................... 2,025.00
Guide ................................. 450.00
Game Farm ................... ....... 1,930.00
Wholesale Fur Dealer & Agents ...... 575.00
Local Fur Dealer .................... 90.00
License to Exhibit Poisonous or
Venomous Reptiles ................. 185.00
Field Trial Rentals .................. 250.00
Wildlife Exhibit or Sale Permit .... 3,765.00
Court Costs .......................... 2,037.75
Miscellaneous Receipts ............... 36,183.24
Previous Yrs. Licenses Collected ..... 171,845.50
Magazine Subscriptions .............. 39,554.90
Magazine Single Copies .............. 317.88
Sale of Old Equipment .............. 169.50
Confiscated Material & Equipment .. 1,125.34
Fund Transfer-Hyacinth ............ 1,009,020.97
Fund Transfer-Building Trust ....... 215,881.71
Concession Revenue .................. 13,681.35
Pollution Damage .................... 17,978.47
Oil Lease ............................ 59,221.17
Federal Aid Hyacinth Control ........ 69,207.93
Dingell-Johnson ...................... 387,135.10
Pittman-Robertson ................... 641,283.94
Webb Area Grazing Lease ............ 25,485.48
Palm Beach County Lease .......... 10,000.00
Stump Lease ......................... 22,996.50
Miscellaneous Lease ................ 3,408.80
FOUR INTERVIEW SESSIONS for prospective new employees
were conducted during the year. Over 300 applicants were
interviewed for the positions of biologist, 'botanist, wildlife
officer, fish management and game management specialist,
and aquatic weed control specialist.
Promotional interviews were held for the positions of
sergeant, lieutenant, and captain of law enforcement.
Two salary adjustments were completed during the report
period, the first in January 1972; the other in June. These
raises, recommended by the "Brown Report" and approved
for all state agencies, reflected an upward adjustment in
nearly all Commission employees' salaries.
Forty-seven opening and closing orders were completed dur-
ing the year and filed with the Secretary of State's office,
after which all affected court officials and Commission per-
sonnel were notified.
Routine work in the Personnel Office consisted of process-
ing personnel records upon terminations of employment, main-
taining sick leave and annual vacation records of affected
employees, and coordinating Commission recordkeeping with
that of the State Division of Personnel and Retirement.
At the end of the report period, the Commission had a
total of approximately 500 employees.
A PLANNING UNIT consisting of two members of the Tal-
lahassee staff, two regional managers and the planning co-
ordinator was established by the Commission two years ago
for the purpose of formally expressing recommended policy
and direction for agency operating programs, and to assist
(continued on next page)
(continued from preceding page)
Administration in the matter of preparing and submitting
The specific objectives of the Unit are to provide a process
whereby the needs of the Commission can be related to
the resources available; to provide the best information avail-
able to those responsible for allocating resources; to exercise
continual review and analysis of the execution of approved
budgets; and to coordinate the process of feeding back the
field output results in a manner which will achieve better
operating efficiency in all programs.
An employee attitude survey questionnaire was drawn up
and circulated after the approach was approved by the State
Division of Personnel. The questionnaire was filled out by
all employees during various regional meetings conducted
throughout the state during the month of September 1971.
Considerable time was involved in tabulating the data,
making an analysis, and determining the results of the
survey. After the work was completed and presented to the
director, the first of a 3-step evaluation of the personnel
questionnaire survey was taken at the staff meeting held in
Tampa in June 1972. The Planning Unit report in this
matter was reviewed and accepted by the Commission staff.
The next step is the implementation of the recommendations
resulting from this study.
The Planning Unit completed the monumental task of pro-
ducing the new Operational Procedures Manual in August
1971. After staff study and Commission approval, the man-
ual was printed and distributed to employees, with an effective
date of January 1, 1972.
The planning officer took part in the study and drafting
of a new employee performance rating form, which has since
been adopted and put into use.
At the end of the report period, the Planning Unit was
working on the program outline of a study of office workload
in an attempt to identify areas of overload-where changes
in work assignments may be beneficial. Also under study was
the matter of a physical fitness program for Commission em-
The planning officer worked with the director of adminis-
tration on the 1972-73 Program Planning & Budget System
report. Several meetings were held to work out a program to
be used as a guide in approaching the 1973-74 PPBS planning
and fiscal period.
The planning officer worked with the director of administra-
tion in other fiscal matters throughout the year, including
COMMUNICATIONS PERSONNEL participated in meetings with
the Division of Communications of the Department of
General Services at which bid specifications were assembled
and bids awarded for mobile communications equipment
needed by all state agencies in the current year.
The Commission's first order of mobile units was received
and installed before the beginning of the 1971-72 hunting
season, and an additional order was placed for units to com-
plete the Commission's needs.
A number of meetings were attended in regard to the
maintenance proposal for the several state agencies' commu-
nications systems. The related Gautney & Jones report was
reviewed, and comments were made to the Division of Com-
munications, Department of General Services.
The Centrex telephone system proposal for state offices in
Tallahassee was reviewed and recommendations made.
Commission Communications personnel attended a meeting
in Tallahassee with the director and assistant director at which
a discussion was conducted concerning the Division of Com-
the interviewing of an applicant for the new position of budget
and fiscal planning coordinator.
THE FLORIDA POLICE Standards Board approved the Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission's Wildlife Officer Training
Academy in September 1971, a milestone in state police
training. It is only the second state-organized law enforce-
ment training academy to have been approved in Florida-the
other being that of the Florida Highway Patrol.
All other police recruit courses, now 280 hours long, are
conducted at junior and city colleges and at local police
academies and vocational-technical schools.
The Florida State Wildlife Officer Training Academy gradu-
ated its first class March 10, 1972. Fourteen officer candidates
successfully completed a total of 472 classroom hours of
instruction, including 200 hours of basic law enforcement; 192
hours on the Wildlife Code, Florida Statutes, Commission
orientation, and physical fitness; and 80 hours in the field
of environmental protection.
With the approval of the Police Standards Board, the
Commission operates its academy in two parts. A class ses-
sion for newly employed wildlife officers is conducted in
September and October, after which the men are assigned
to field work for three months under the supervision of an
enforcement sergeant. They then return to class in February
and March to complete the prescribed course, at the end
of which they have also completed their six months proba-
A problem in all professional law enforcement for many
years has been personnel turnover. Hopefully, better salaries
and better training will continue to reduce the problem as
time goes on.
In order to assure that only those candidates most likely
to make career-type professional officers are accepted for
Commission training and employment, the screening of ap-
plicants has been made purposefully severe.
Of a typical group of approximately 675 applicants for
the position of wildlife officer in a year's time, slightly more
than 50% pass the initial written examination. These receive
letters of notification to appear for oral interviews on a speci-
fied date. All but 10 or 15 of the interviewees are likely to
be rejected by the interview board. The candidates are then
scheduled for training, which is commenced when sufficient
numbers have been declared eligible in accordance with
state law and Commission standards. Three out of five
normally complete their academy course work and probation-
ary employment period successfully.
munications' proposal to take over the communications and
maintenance functions of all state agencies.
A 3-day meeting was completed at the Commission's central
Communications office at New Smyrna Beach, where records,
test equipment, tools and other property were checked.
As a result of an intensified effort by Communications, the
majority of all Commission vehicles have been equipped with
radio consoles and the associated components.
A tower site for the Perry station was located during the
report period, a new tower was installed, and the base station,
with all associated components, was moved.
Modification of the Starke station, along with replacement
of an antenna and feed line, gave some relief to radio commu-
nications problems in that part of the system.
Antennas have been installed on the Sunland water tank at
Orlando in preparation for the installation of a radio station
for the Commission's new office facilities in that city. Tests
were conducted which showed the water tank to be an ade-
quate antenna location at the time.
The two national political conventions at Miami Beach
placed some unusual demands on Communications personnel.
These were met expeditiously with installations not normally
PROGRESS IN THE SCIENTIFIC management of Florida's fresh
water fisheries continued during the report period. However,
as might be expected in a state with such a rapidly growing
human population, new problems and frustrations also cropped
up to confound some of the best efforts of Fish Management
to provide continued good sport fishing.
Thanks at least in part to the currently strong "ecology
movement," more general public awareness of the great prob-
lems has in some ways smoothed the path for Fisheries person-
nel in their efforts to bring about corrective measures.
The funding of fish management projects is provided chiefly
from a specifically designated portion of the income from the
sale of resident state fishing licenses, and from a budgeted
portion of the general operating funds collected by the Com-
mission from the sales of licenses and permits and other in-
Another important source of funding is the Federal Aid to
Fish Restoration program, through which funds are disbursed
to the states by the U. S. Government from taxes collected by
retailers on sales of all sport fishing tackle.
The following summary will provide a general idea of the
scope of fisheries research and management activities during
St. Johns River-During this report period, matters of major
concern on the St. Johns involved water hyacinth problems,
efforts to supplement the marginal natural production of
striped bass by artificial propagation, continuing investigation
of water pollution problems, and monitoring of the sport and
commercial fisheries in the watershed.
The matter of water hyacinths shows two broad facets. On
one hand, a thriving hyacinth crop removes from the water
large quantities of nutrients, the "pollution" which has in-
creasingly plagued the river during recent years. Hyacinths
and other aquatic plants in moderation can help the habitat
by this improvement of water quality as well as by providing
more favorable living conditions for game fish and the organ-
isms on which they feed. On the other hand, an overabun-
dance of water plants prevents access to recreational areas
and can block out usefulness of large bodies of water to fish
and other wildlife.
There are problems connected with the spraying of large
masses of aquatic vegetation. Smothering of bottom areas by
sinking dead plants, release of nutrients into already overly
rich waters by decay of hyacinths and other plants, and the
elimination of organisms from the food chain are some of the
detrimental effects to be encountered.
A mechanical hyacinth harvester, privately developed, was
evaluated by Commission personnel. It appears that the ma-
chine is capable of removing up to 3 acres of hyacinths a
day for less than $1250.00 per acre.
Survey of sport fishing activities on the St. Johns revealed
that angling has been better than at any time during the
past 10 years. Commercial fish catches from the river are also
up, rising from 1.5 million pounds in 1970 to 2.0 million
pounds in 1971. The 1972 catch is expected to top that of the
previous year. Major species taken are catfish, blue crab,
American eel, and American shad.
Continuation of the project to supplement the natural pro-
duction of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in the St. Johns
system by hatchery propagation showed some degree of suc-
cess this year. In cooperation with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, some 160,000 striped bass fingerlings produced at
the Welaka National Fish Hatchery were released into the
St. Johns River and its tributaries. It is planned to continue
Aquatic Research-Plants are an essential part of the aquatic
environment. Important as they are, however, under favorable
conditions certain aquatics present problems of considerable
magnitude. It is with matters concerning these plants that the
aquatic plant research section is concerned.
Among the activities of the past year has been the estab-
lishment of a 52-lake survey in which regular monitoring of
the species composition of algae of these lakes was conducted.
Data of this type is used as an indicator of the water quality
of the lakes.
Surveys of the vegetation composition of other bodies of
water, including Rodman Reservoir and lakes Jackson, lamonia,
and Carr are being conducted on a continuing basis. Changes
in plant composition detected in such a monitoring program
will indicate any changes in water quality and other matters
that indicate the need for closer investigation.
In cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources,
an evaluation of the white amur (grass carp) was launched
during the year. Thus far, it appears that the species may eat
certain problem plants, especially naiad and chara, and possi-
bly some other species. Other effects of the amur on the envi-
ronment are being evaluated.
Cooperation with a New York company involved in develop-
ment of a multi-spectral film that would enable workers to
identify plant species from aerial photos, and the preparation
for the Department of Agriculture of a set of guidelines for
registration of herbicides, were among the other activities of
the aquatic research section.
Eustis Laboratory-In addition to providing office and lab-
oratory space for a number of fisheries research projects, the
Eustis facility houses the Commission's chemistry laboratory.
Here a considerable volume of water quality investigations and
other chemical studies are conducted. Some of this work is
carried out on a regular schedule as part of a continuing
study of fisheries-related matters on selected waters. Included
are such projects as the 100-lake survey and the Rodman Res-
ervoir, Lake Tohopekaliga and Kissimmee River studies.
Some special short-term projects that have been conducted
during the report period include analysis of water samples
from Shingle Creek (on which Orlando's sewage treatment
plant is located) to document flushing action of rainfall, a
study to determine the removal of nutrients from water by
aquatic plants, and another involved with the release of nu-
trients from decomposing water hyacinths.
(continued on next page)
Fish's tissue is examined for parasites at Eustis laboratory.
Photo By William Greer
(continued from preceding page)
Lake Okeechobee-A number of matters relating to the
management of the fishery resources of Lake Okeechobee re-
ceived attention during the year. With a 1971 commercial
harvest of over 1.5 million pounds of catfish clearly indicating
the continued importance of this fishery, an intensive investi-
gation on channel and white catfish populations in Okeechobee
An investigation of the black crappie was also launched
by project personnel.
Other matters relating to management of area fisheries
which received attention included fish population sampling,
recording of temperature profiles, and sampling invertebrate
populations in the Kissimmee River following extensive dredg-
Suwannee-Santa Fe River-Investigation of life histories of
major game fish species in the Suwannee-Santa Fe river sys-
tem continued during the year. Activities involved regular
sampling of fish populations by electrofishing gear and rote-
none, sampling of the aquatic invertebrate communities, food
habits investigations of. game species, fecundity measurements,
water chemistry work, and creel census.
Richloam Hatchery-Largemouth bass production at Rich-
loam Hatchery topped 325,000 fingerlings during the 1972
season. These fish were distributed to waters throughout the
state. In addition to filling all requests on file, sufficient fish
were available to make heavy emergency stockings in the
Peace River following a heavy fish kill resulting from an
earlier industrial mishap.
A total of 285,000 bream (bluegill and redear) were dis-
tributed to sites in various areas of the state, except for the
Northwest Region, which was adequately served by distribu-
tion from Holt Hatchery.
Some 274,500 striped bass were produced at Richloam this
year, with 200,000 fingerlings reared there and the balance
at the Holt Hatchery.
The expansion of hatching and early-rearing facilities, re-
finement of equipment, and experience of all personnel in
the demanding techniques required for hatchery production of
striped bass were responsible for this success. Previously, fry
had been obtained from a South Carolina hatchery. This
year's successful effort, using Florida-captured brood stock,
offers great promise for the future of the striper program.
In addition to fish production, the facilities at Richloam
are used for various research purposes.
One project that continued through the year is concerned
with lake eutrophication. Other research is planned for the
Regional Biologists-Each of the five regional offices has
fisheries specialists on its staff. These people handle a multi-
tude of matters concerned with fish and the aquatic environ-
ment. The ultimate goal of their activities is to see that sport
Richloam Hatchery, Sumter County, has been a model "fish-
factory" for other states ever since it was opened in 1966.
Photo By William Greer
Photo By Carlton Jackson
The striped bass project helped to produce almost 7 million
eggs. Many were reared to fingerlings and used for stocking.
fishing continues to be one of the Sunshine State's major
One activity to which much time is devoted in all regions
is consultation with private landowners regarding management
of their fishing lakes and ponds, including control of aquatic
vegetation. Some of the other activities conducted during the
past year are cited here as an indication of the scope of
regional fisheries work.
Northwest Region-Much time was devoted to environmental
issues during the past year. In one month, for example, 19
projects were investigated and comments prepared regarding
the probable impact of the proposed work on the.environment.
The projects ranged from a proposed desnagging operation in
the Choctawhatchee River by a federal agency to dredging
and filling of streams by private operators.
Effort was devoted to developing improved lake manage-
ment techniques in an attempt to increase fish production.
One means of accomplishing this was an effort to match water
conditions in one of the most productive ponds at Holt
To this end, 20 tons of hydrated lime were introduced into
the watershed of recently completed Hurricane Lake. Some
five weeks after the lime application the acidity of the water
was substantially reduced, improving conditions for fish and
other aquatic organisms. The lake has been stocked with
largemouth bass and bluegills, and the project looked promis-
ing at the end of the report period.
Another activity was the drawdown of 202-acre Merritt's
Mill Pond. Plagued with an overly luxuriant growth of naiad,
chara. and filamentous algae, this popular fishing lake was
fast being choked with aquatic vegetation. The drawdown was
successful in killing back substantial amounts of it, greatly
improving fishing conditions.
Northeast Region-As part of an intensive study of the
Suwannee River sport fishery, some 7,000 largemouth bass
fingerlings were marked with flourescing pigment and released
into the river. The project was initiated in an effort to deter-
mine the rate of survival of stocked largemouths and to study
fish movements in the river. Applied under air pressure, suffi-
cient granules of the color pigment become imbedded in the
scales to show up as glowing color spots when, on subsequent
capture, the fish is exposed to ultraviolet light.
Environmental threats of various kinds required much time
to investigate during the year. Typical of these was the in-
vestigation of a proposed .bridge site involving much filling
and altering of currents in a productive marsh near Cedar Key.
Another was a check of a proposed canal through Dixie
County swamps which would have gone through California
Lake and resulted in the unnecessary drainage of a swamp
habitat important to fish and wildlife.
Among the environmental protection efforts that met with
success in the Northeast Region during the year was the case
of one soap producing plant that was fined and closed down
by court order. For many years this firm had been dumping
oil, grease, and other pollutants into Black Creek, a St. Johns
River tributary. The company is to remain out of operation
until completion of a system capable of treating two hundred
thousand gallons of waste material a day.
A number of fish kills were investigated during the year.
Typical of these was one which occurred in May when cloudy
weather, along with a high organic load, brought on oxygen
depletion in New River at Raiford State Prison, killing 200-
Central Region-There were a number of environmental
matters involving other public agencies in which the Com-
mission became involved during the year. As an example, a
channelization project on the Palatlakaha River which would
affect thousands of acres of important wildlife marsh habitat.
Some mitigating actions were proposed by the agency in-
volved, but these fell far short of alleviating this unnecessary
threat to the dwindling wildlife habitat.
Among the fish kills investigated was one resulting from
the City of Maitland's weed control efforts. The estimated
value of the fish lost in this all-too-common incident was
South Florida Region-During this report period, an investi-
gation of some unusual bait minnows reported to the Com-
mission by an alert and cooperative wholesaler resulted in the
discovery of numbers of mirror carp being distributed by a
dealer. This is one of the species restricted from import into
the state. The fish were destroyed. Nine piranha were also
confiscated in an inspection of tropical fish dealers following
the July 1, 1971 deadline for possession of this species.
Encouraging notification was received from the Department
of Pollution Control concerning settlement of a number of
pollution incidents by regional fisheries personnel. Among other
pollution investigations conducted during the year was one on
Pemberton Creek and Lake Thonotosassa involving effluent
from the Plant City sewage treatment plant. A settlement was
received from a Dade City packing company for damages and
costs of investigating a fish kill which occurred there in
A unique fish kill was investigated in Arbuckle Creek south
of Sebring. A train derailment on the trestle crossing the creek
resulted in some 20 box cars and piggy-back semi-trailers
piling up and spilling their cargo into the creek. A massive
fish kill resulted when tons of detergents, soap, and heavy
This trammel net is used for sampling fish populations. The
Information gained tells much about sport fishing in Florida.
Photo By Art Runnels
duty cleaning agent broke open during the mishap. Debris
from the site littered the shoreline and bottom for 8 to 10
miles, well on into Lake Istokpoga, and there was also the
loss of productive lake and stream area for a period of time.
A continuing series of industrial accidents extending back
a number of years occurred in the South Florida Region
during the report period. A break in a dike allowed a sizable
amount of phosphatic clay "slime" to flow into the Peace
River. There was a substantial fish kill, which was investi-
gated by Commission personnel. A remedial restocking of
largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish was made in
the river as soon as water conditions made it practicable to
Everglades Region-As might be expected in a region where
there is a high concentration of people and attendant land
development, there were many environmental problems to be
investigated during the year.
With the appointment of a Commission representative to
the Palm Beach County Zoning Code Task Force and the
Dade County Waterways Task Force, it appears there is a
trend away from poor planning, which is the basis of many of
Florida's environmental problems.
Appearances on television programs and talks to various
special interest groups were perhaps more numerous in this
region, although such functions are part of the regular work
schedule of fisheries biologists in every region.
A number of flood control district projects were checked
out at the request of the Department of Administration. Sev-
eral proposed sewage treatment plants were studied for the
The Commission constructed three fishing ponds on the
J. W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area.
Cooperative efforts to control environmental damage were
obtained in some cases. For instance, a developer agreed to
construct an earthen dam in his waterway to prevent siltation
of the South Fork of the St. Lucie River.
Pesticide problems continued to be widespread in the re-
gion, with the use of persistent pesticides still common.
A continuing bird kill, affecting mainly fish-eating species,
in the Delray Beach-to-Melbourne area was investigated in
cooperation with Game Management Division personnel.
Other Fish Management and Research Projects-In an at-
tempt to improve angling by manipulating the fish population
of a sizable lake, an experimental haul seining program was
initiated on 465-acre Lake Hollingsworth at Lakeland. The
removal of 100-150 pounds per surface acre of gizzard shad,
threadfin shad, brown bullhead, and stunted panfish of various
species was accomplished. No largemouth bass or striped bass
were removed in this operation. The results, evaluated by
creel census and block net sampling, showed a largemouth
bass population increase of about five times the original
density and a significant improvement in angling. So promis-
ing were the results of this effort that, in cooperation with
county authorities, the Commission is now conducting an
extensive haul seining program in Polk County.
As was noted under the Richloam Hatchery and St. Johns
River discussions, the striped bass is receiving considerable
attention by Commission biologists. The striper has consider-
able potential as a game fish, as witnessed by its popularity in
other areas where it is native and occurs in some numbers. In
addition, the species appears to offer much promise as a bio-
logical control on overpopulated forage fishes, especially
gizzard shad and the smaller threadfin shad. Striped bass
have been introduced into a number of selected lakes, including
Lake Talquin near Tallahassee, Newnans Lake near Gaines-
ville, and lakes Griffin, Hunter, Julianna, and Mattie in
the Lakeland area. Good populations are established and
will be supplemented by annual stocking with fingerlings
reared at the Commission's hatcheries. The striper program
(continued on next page)
(continued from preceding page)
is still in an experimental stage and research findings will
provide a basis for making future recommendations.
During 1972, seven million striper eggs were obtained
from wild-caught fish taken from northeast Florida runs.
From these eggs, one million fry were hatched at Richloam
and 274,500 fingerlings reared to stockable size at Richloam
and Holt. Success of this project is important to the main-
tenance of landlocked fisheries for striped bass, since stripers
do not reproduce naturally in lake habitat, so must be stocked
The extent of the sport fishing catch, the man-hours of
effort devoted to angling, and the degree of fishing success
in lakes Griffin and Harris near Leesburg are the subject of
a creel census study continued during the year. A decline
in the sport fishery of Lake Griffin is indicated by the 5 years
of data thus far accumulated. Although located in the same
watershed, Lake Harris shows a relatively stable sport fishery.
The results of this study are expected to tie in with creel
census work at Lake Apopka, where a lake level drawdown is
Fish population studies directed toward determining the
general status, fluctuations and trends in the numbers of
major species of sport, forage, and rough fishes are being
conducted on a number of lakes, including Julianna-Mattie,
Hollingsworth, Trafford, Hunter, and Tohopekaliga, all in the
central Florida area. The data will be used in evaluating
research and management efforts by determining trends in
fish population structures. The data should also be useful
in indicating future problem areas where specific fishery
improvement measures might be called for.
In the Tallahassee area, an intensive study of three
lakes, Talquin, lamonia, and Jackson, is being conducted.
The objective of this effort is to formulate a sound basis
for protecting and managing the sport fishery of these popu-
lar and important bodies of water. Among the various matters
being given attention in this study are the impact of such
cultural developments as the construction of the new inter-
state highway which crosses near Lake Jackson's south shore.
An intensive investigation of the life history of the large-
mouth bass continued during this report period. An accumu-
lation of information on the early life history of the species
was completed and the findings published. A promising phase
of the research concerns use of hormone injection to stimulate
reproduction of largemouth bass in waters which have had little
or no recent reproduction.
Another project which is continuing is a largemouth bass
food and feeding habits study related to the drawdown
of Lake Tohopekaliga in early 1971. It has been shown that
the food and feeding habits of largemouth vary significantly
during changes in lake level. Such changes are an important
consideration in manipulating a lake level for management
In some Florida lakes the largemouth bass density is rela-
tively high while the fishing success is comparatively low.
Whether this trait is environmentally or genetically based, it
is believed the problem could be at least partially alleviated
through stocking fish selectively bred for greater catchability.
Efforts to breed for desired characteristics have been success-
ful in many other species, which gives credence to the be-
lief that a more aggressive, heavier-bodied strain which would
grow more rapidly than usual could be developed in the
Florida largemouth. The bulk of this work, now in its early
stages, is being conducted at Richloam Hatchery.
A stream investigations program, active during the year
and continuing, involves monitoring the plant and animal
life as well as the water quality of some key Florida streams.
Currently under study in the program are the upper Apala-
chicola and upper Suwannee rivers and the St. Johns River.
Regular sampling at key stations established on these streams
will enable the Commission to detect changes in the environ-
ment. The knowledge accumulated from a continuing study
of this type will put the State in a better position to take
action to solve pollution problems and other matters having
a detrimental effect on these streams.
Lake Carlton, in central Florida, was the scene of a habitat
alteration experiment during the year. A sand dredge
was used to convert deep muck-bottom areas to shallower
sand-bottomed types. Holes and trenches left by the dredge,
as planned, collected much of the muck moved by the
bottom currents. By the end of the report period, much of
the dredge work was completed and evaluation had begun.
It is probably too expensive for widespread use at the present
time. In the future, the technique may have limited feasible
application in lakes where little or no gqod bottom remains.
Fish attractors of two types have been placed in selected
waters in an effort to determine the value of such devices
as a management tool. The project is still under way, but
the results of the quarterly sampling show promise. Sunken
brush pile attractors thus far seem to have the edge over
clusters of old tires.
An exotic fish investigation, designed to determine the
distribution and effects of exotic (non-indigenous) fresh water
fishes on the aquatic ecology of central and south Florida
was active throughout the year. The first phase, a survey and
inventory of exotic fish populations in the state, has been
An exotic fish research facility at Boca Raton was under
construction by the end of the report period. From this
center, a continuing assessment will be conducted of the
ecological damage, real or potential, to sport fish populations
and their food organisms from introductions of exotic fishes.
Photo By Jim Floyd
Records of changing water quality through
the years are obtained by water chemistry
sampling on a routine or emergency basis.
This public document was promulgated at
an annual cost of $467.00, or $0.2335
per copy, to provide an administrative,
financial, and operations annual report.
Wildlife research aims toward gaining new
knowledge and enhancing all sport hunting
opportunities. Tagged and radio-toting hens
reveal secrets about turkey nesting and
poult production throughout the state.
Photo By Larry Martin
T HE DECADE of the '70's began with promises of an uphill
struggle against the many stresses modem Florida imposes
upon its wildlife resources.
Up to now, Game Management has been able to report
substantial progress every year in the form of increased game
and improved hunting success for the ever-increasing number
of Florida hunters. Those bright days are gone. If any opti-
mism is in order, it is in the hope that ways can be found
to solve Florida's new wildlife problems without our having
to give up hunting opportunities and seeing our remaining
wildlife eventually relegated to a few preserves or zoos.
By the end of the present decade, Florida's human popu-
lation will be the third largest in the nation. Minimizing the
adverse impact of this population explosion on wildlife will
continue to occupy Game Management as it has during the
In 1970, the statewide turkey harvest declined substantially
(Table 1), and for the first time since records have been
kept, the population did not recover appreciably during the
next two years. A survey indicated that virtually all land in
Florida that can support wild turkeys in significant numbers
has been fully stocked, thus indicating that restocking alone
cannot put Florida back in the number one place in the nation
for turkey hunting that we have enjoyed for several years.
It has been determined that Florida turkey populations
are declining because of rapid elimination of suitable habitat
by urbanization. Studies are now under way to secure the
factual data needed to insure that hunting regulations will
make the fullest possible sporting use of our still-substantial
wild turkey population while insuring that overharvest does
not join urbanization as a factor in the decline of the species.
This problem is considered to well warrant the intensified
study it received in 1971-72, and is now receiving.
Florida is blessed with the greatest variety and quantity
Table 1. Statewide Harvests of Major Game Species
Species 1969-70 1970-71
Deer 41,900 48,624
Turkey 32,600 25,200
Wild hog 28,500 36,034
Quail 2,847,500 2,423,520
Squirrel 1,691,500 1,630,060
Dove 2,386,600 2,157,380
of nongame wildlife in the United States, but this brings with
it added responsibility and expense for protection and man-
One of the state's better-known and best-loved birds is the
brown pelican that greets every resident and tourist visiting
the beaches. In the 1960's, brown pelicans became ex-
tinct in Louisiana, began to disappear in California, and were
in critical danger in other regions. The blame was placed on
environmental pollution by the insecticide DDT.
During early 1972, Game Management completed the first
phase of its study of the brown pelican in the state and is
happy to report that Florida's 20,000 brown pelicans are not
dangerously contaminated with DDT, and that the population
shows no sign of a downward trend.
There has been an increasing demand-and need-by the
public for more knowledge about Florida wildlife, especially
about the species generally not afforded the attention game
species receive. Substantial progress has been made in re-
search on nongame species, particularly sandhill cranes, brown
pelicans, the alligator, and other threatened species of wild-
Brief mention should be made of a few other problem areas
that received special attention during the past year.
A massive die-off of seabirds occurred on the Florida east
coast during the winter of 1971-72, and remains unexplained
even after an intensive study of the incident.
Botulism outbreaks of serious proportion occurred in several
waterfowl areas, most notably on Lake Okeechobee, where
one epidemic took a heavy toll on Florida Ducks and non-
game water birds.
"Progress" in many forms takes its toll in wildlife, especi-
ally if not controlled. The Division has become increasingly
active in the area of environmental impact studies. Note-
worthy controversies have been our opposition to the U. S.
Department of Agriculture's program to control fire ants with
aerial application of the persistent pesticide Mirex, and oppo-
sition to continued construction of the Cross Florida Barge
The acreage included in the management area system grew
larger during the year, increasing from 4,180,000 to 4,793,000
acres (Table 2).
The white-tailed deer is the most important game species
on most wildlife management areas, and its populations con-
tinue to increase, with a few local exceptions. Deer harvest
is also still on the increase, and is expected to continue to
The present Florida deer herd is estimated to number some
(continued on next page)
(continued from preceding page)
Exotic (non-native) animals continue to cause some anxiety
in Florida because of their great potential for rampant repro-
duction and ecological and agricultural damage.
Florida has more species of acclimatized foreign wildlife
than any other continental state. Special study has recently
been given to the possible harmful effects of the cattle egret,
which is suspected by some conservationists of representing
a potential threat to the native herons, and feared by some
sportsmen as a predator on wildlife, especially young quail.
Studies concluded in 1971 showed that the food habits of
cattle egrets are not detrimental to wildlife (or especially
beneficial to agriculture either), and no evidence was found
to support the idea that the species is harmful to native
herons, egrets, or bobwhite quail.
A major development in waterfowl management is the new
bag limit system based on assigned points, whereby some
species of ducks may be harvested in greater numbers than
others to make better use of those that are most numerous
and give better protection to the scarcer species.
Beginning in 1970-71 and continuing during this report
period, Florida waterfowl hunters were permitted to take
as many as 10 ducks per day of the commoner species if
S they were able to identify them before shooting.
Waterfowl populations showed no significant change during
the year, and the closed season on Canada geese remained in
effect (first closed in 1969-70). Geese have dwindled to
about 10% of their former numbers in Florida. Experimental
work is underway to introduce nonmigratory Canada geese
into Florida in the hope that they will nest here.
Game management involves work with protected species such
as the brown pelican with all funds provided by sportsmen.
Photo By Lovett Williams
Changes in the character of Florida wildlife habitat have
been so great that some species have been pushed out of
large acreages by such things as improved cattle pastures.
It is possible, however, that other desirable species of game
might be found that thrive in such places.
The spotted tinamou of Argentina is being studied as a
prime game bird candidate for improved pastures, a habitat
type in which no game bird now lives in Florida.
The natural pasturelike terrain of Argentina supports excel-
lent populations of this "partridge," which has every quality
of a fine game bird.
In 1970, 300 of these birds were trapped and shipped to
Florida for continuing experimentation. Biologists believe
the spotted tinamou has the best possibilities for Florida of
any non-native game bird known.
Table 2. Florida's Wildlife Management Areas in 1972
Cecil M. Webb
J. W. Corbett
St. Vincent Island
Lykes Bros. Fisheating Creek
Roy S. Gaskin
La Floresta Perdida
G. U. Parker
Grand Total 4,793,000
FLORIDA WILDLIFE OFFICERS made 7,294 arrests during the
1971-72 reporting period. Of these, 190 cases were made
for violations of the laws protecting deer, plus 153 arrests
for the illegal possession of a gun and light at night for the
purpose of taking deer.
There were 29 citations issued for possession of hen tur-
keys during the spring gobbler season and for possession of
turkeys during the closed season.
Another 34 arrests were made for violations involving the
unlawful taking of quail, and there were 37 cases for viola-
tions of the laws protecting squirrels.
Cited for violating migratory game bird and waterfowl
laws were 478 persons.
There were 122 arrests for violations of laws concerning
alligators, and 117 citations were issued for the illegal pos-
session of a gun and light at night for the purpose of taking
wildlife other than deer.
In addition, there were 1,095 arrests for violations in the
general hunting category.
Persons cited for various fishing violations totalled 3,172,
and 923 were arrested for violating the Florida Boat Regis-
tration and Safety Law.
Commission wildlife officers cited 602 lawbreakers for a
miscellany of offenses observed or encountered during routine
patrol. Among them were littering, narcotics, assault, and
traffic violations-including 66 cases of DWI (driving while
A disturbingly high total of 60 cases were made for resist-
ing arrest, assaulting an officer, and interfering with an officer
in the performance of his duties.
Training is the key to upgrading enforcement. All wildlife
officers must qualify initially with the service revolver.
Photo By William Greer
The normal work of enforcing conservation laws was in-
terrupted several times during the year.
It became necessary to dispatch 32 officers to a State
university campus in May 1972 to assist local and other State
authorities in a coordinated effort to quell disturbances
caused by anti-Vietnam War activists.
Hurricane Agnes caused another rescheduling of enforce-
ment assignments during her flood-causing rampage through
the state in June. Wildlife officers assisted citizens during
emergency evacuation of low-lying areas, conducted search
and rescue operations, and assisted other enforcement agencies
with security patrols aimed at controlling looters, who ap-
peared in the wake of the disaster.
Special teams were dispatched to areas on Lake Okeechobee,
where local law enforcement authorities specifically requested
Commission assistance in guarding against organized rings
Sixty wildlife officers and one Commission secretary were
assigned by the Governor to work at the national political
conventions of 1972, both held at Miami Beach. The wild-
life officer force, commanded by the chief of law enforcement,
received a one-week course of intensive training in riot con-
trol and mob psychology in Tallahassee during the month of
June. The special training was specifically tailored to pre-
pare the officers for situations they might expect to encounter
in Miami in the event efforts were made to disrupt the schedule
of events in connection with the two conventions.
The complexity of law enforcement functions continually
increased at a staggering rate during the report period, and
one of the approaches taken to meet the demands was in
the form of expanded specialization. In an attempt to re-
solve two perpetual dilemmas for the law enforcement divi-
sion, an Inspections and Investigations unit was initiated
during the year.
The I & I team is primarily responsible for planning and
conducting fulltime undercover operations on a statewide
basis, as the need seems indicated. The function of this
plainclothes force is to complement the work of the uniformed
ranks in order to increase the Commission enforcement divi-
sion's effectiveness in dealing with large-scale violations-il-
legal commercial hunting and fishing activities being con-
ducted in the state.
Although uniformed wildlife officers are very effective in
stemming localized hunting and fishing law violations by
individuals, they are hampered by several obvious handi-
caps when confronting organized rings of persons who deal
in game, fish, and fully protected species of wildlife-for
First, uniformed officers are generally easily recognized
within their respective enforcement areas and regions, so
attempts to "work in close" in an investigation are difficult.
Secondly, wildlife officers are responsible for a wide range
of enforcement and other duties, so it is impossible to con-
centrate on one major case; day-to-day duties must be at-
tended to. Finally, a commercial ring of violators usually
encompasses many counties, which presents something of an
impediment to the individual uniformed officer, whose patrol
area is normally a specific county. It requires painstaking,
persistent effort to successfully infiltrate and break an organ-
The investigation team members, working incognito, are
able to work into the ranks of violators, gain their confidence,
and slowly construct several strong cases that include evi-
dence and information on all aspects of the operation.
Case violations as a result of an undercover investigation
will usually include arrests of persons who buy, sell, store,
and transport protected wildlife species as well as those
charged with the unlawful taking of them.
In essence, a comprehensive undercover investigation is
an attempt to "get the whole pie; not just a slice."
(continued on next page)
(continued from preceding page)
The culmination of a cooperative undercover investiga-
tion by the Commission and the U.S. Forest Service in central
Florida in February exemplifies the psychological deterrent
that this type program offers.
Thirteen defendants were taken into custody to face 37
state and 10 federal charges as a result of an 8-month inves-
tigation of an illegal commercial deer hunting and selling
With just over half the cases having been tried, the final
dispositions reflected a total of approximately $4,050.00 in
fines, with $2,400.00 of that sum earmarked for replacement
of deer in the Ocala National Forest and in the Citrus Wild-
life Management Area. A total of approximately 7 years in
jail sentences had been levied in the cases tried during the
report period, with most suspended provided the defendants
replaced the deer they were convicted of having taken un-
The inspections team has the dual role of monitoring cap-
tive wildlife in the state and helping regulate the importa-
tion of foreign animals.
Enforcing reasonable standards for holding and exhibiting
captive wildlife has been a perennial law enforcement problem.
Since Florida's tourist attractions represent a major state
industry, the problem is further magnified by the increasing
numbers of such establishments.
The adoption by the Game and Fresh Water Fish Com-
mission of uniform standards for the humane, safe, and sani-
tary housing of captive wildlife certainly represents land-
mark progress in this very difficult-and sometimes emotional-
enforcement field. These standards, formally adopted in May,
became effective July 1, 1972. They were the first of their
kind in the nation, and quickly became the model for
other states to follow.
In addition to ensuring public safety and attaining the
goal of humane treatment for captive wildlife, the standards
are also serving to enhance the appearance and general quality
of all the wildlife exhibits in Florida.
The committee that drafted the standards included the
assistant director of the Commission, who served as chair-
man, a member of the Inspections Unit, the president of the
Florida Attractions Association, a number of zoologists and
administrators representing large wildlife exhibits and munici-
pal zoos around the state, and spokesmen for the Florida
Department of Health.
As mentioned, inspection team members are also responsible
for the regulation of licensed commerce in exotic birds, mam-
mals, reptiles, and fishes in the state. (Tropical fish dealers
alone represent a major industry in Florida, doing some $50
million worth of business annually, according to a recent esti-
mate.) Among their specific duties are inspecting tropical
fish farms, pet shops, and aquariums, reviewing applications
for wildlife collecting permits, inspecting facilities and re-
viewing requests for wildlife possession permits, inspecting
and testing in connection with requests for falconry permits,
and attempting to monitor all introductions of non-native wild-
life into the state, whether accidental or intentional, legal
The problems associated with exotics are tremendous and
still growing in Florida. Further expansion of the I & I unit
will be sorely needed in the near future if any significant
progress is to be made in "stemming the tide."
Other enforcement activities of record during the year in-
clude the instituting of confiscation proceedings in the circuit
courts for items of property used in connection with violations
of the various statutes concerning the protection of deer and
alligators, as well as illegal commercial transportation of fresh
water game fish.
This property included 49 motor vehicles, 91 firearms, 28
lights, six boats, a boat trailer, an outboard motor, and a hand
A number of additional items of equipment were confis-
cated by county courts throughout the state.
Confiscation of personal property may seem to some a harsh
penalty, but Law Enforcement feels that enactment of these
statutes is having the desired effect, which is to deter some
who otherwise would violate the laws protecting and helping
to conserve the state's valuable wildlife resources.
Commission aircraft, as always, played a major role in law
enforcement efforts during the year.
At present the Commission has three fixed-wing aircraft.
They are used for aerial surveillance in all parts of the state.
A Cessna 310 is based at Ocala, a Cessna 182 at Panama City,
and a Cessna 150 at West Palm Beach. A helicopter is also
based at West Palm Beach.
All of the Commission pilots are veterans of many years'
service and are to be commended for their valid contributions
to the effectiveness of good wildlife law enforcement around
the clock in Florida.
Worthy of special recognition and commendation are the
wildlife officers themselves, who are for the most part young
family men, all trained for their work and with a great love
for the outdoors. Each has one weekend off in six, on the
average, and, in spite of all the hardships both the officer and
his family endure, caused by extended absences from home,
inclement weather, mosquitoes, and an element of personal
danger, each man is totally dedicated to the task of protecting
Florida's wildlife resources.
This year, the enforcement team, comprised of 183 wildlife
officers, worked a total of 495,983 hours, an average of 2,740
Two officers were wounded by gunfire in line of duty, in
February and March 1972, respectively. One was assisting a
sheriff's deputy, who, in attempting to make an arrest, lost his
life. The other injured wildlife officer was struck down by
three shots fired by a night hunter he was attempting to
Both men recovered from their wounds and are back on
duty, determined as ever to get the job done-to enforce
Florida's wildlife code fairly, but firmly.
Alligator protection and answering gator-related complaints
occupies much of a wildlife officer's day in south Florida.
Information and Education
HE JOB OF Information and Education is people-the
determining factor in the success or failure of wildlife
conservation. While other activities within a natural resource
agency may be concerned with tangibles such as fish, wild-
life or enforcement, Information and Education is involved
with a most intangible substance, the human mind.
Wildlife administrators indicate their greatest problems are
in the field of human relations and acknowledge that wildlife
resource management is 90 per cent people management and
10 per cent resource management. If this statement is true, it
is obvious that the success of hunting and fishing in Florida is
directly related to the interests and concern of the sportsman-
citizen and his activity in support of wildlife conservation
Call it what you will, public relations or information and
education, it is a phenomenon necessary to obtain sportsman-
citizen support, and the key to the success of any conservation
program. Conservation public relations is a two-way system of
contact and understanding between agency and individual
public. In essence, this system is the objective of Information
There are two distinct kinds of information and education
ventures: Internal and external. The internal includes the
day-to-day contact which is a result of the efforts of all em-
ployees of the Commission and is generally unorganized and
To the average sportsman-citizen, the Commission is
represented by the man in the field. This may be a wildlife
officer, biologist, game or fish specialist, or an information
It is the job of Information and Education to help
establish better public understanding by providing the man
in the field with information relative to conservation and
Commission programs. Public confidence in the Commission,
resulting from good impressions and sound information, is
a prime prerequisite in the overall program, and does much
toward assuring the success of conservation endeavors.
The second type of information and education venture
is concerned with external public relations. This includes
ideas and concepts as well as activities to improve the two-
way system of contact and understanding between the Com-
mission and the sportsmen-citizens of Florida.
It is difficult to comprehend Information and Education
operations without some knowledge of the procedures and
programs. The programs are divided into five separate
activities as follows: General Information and Education,
which includes Administration, Central Planning and Re-
gional Extension; Audio-visual; Conservation-Education;
Hunter and Firearms Safety Training; and the Commission
Wildlife Reserve Program.
General Information and Education
To establish efficient two-way conservation communica-
tions, the Central Office is responsible for the administration
and planning of statewide programs. Plans formulated by
this office are applied uniformly at a grass roots level in
each region through the work of the Regional Information-
While the Regional Information-Education Officer is
responsible for implementation of programs at a regional
level, the Central Office has the responsibility for state-
wide application of approved programs and operations.
The techniques and tools at the command of Information
and Education include the following:
News and Information Releases: All news and informa-
tion releases for statewide and out of state distribution
originate at the Central Office. Releases concerned with
local hunting, fishing and conservation subjects are handled
at a regional level. Releases are mailed to all news media
including daily and weekly newspapers, radio and television
stations, sportsmen and conservation clubs, County Judges,
and other public officials. Each employee also receives each
release in order that he might keep abreast of events within
the areas of conservation and the Commission. During
1971-72 a total of 127 news and information releases were
distributed from the Central Office. A comparable number
of local or regional releases originated from the combined
efforts of the regional operations.
Brochures and Pamphlets: The majority of brochures and
pamphlets are designed for the purpose of informing and
educating the general public. They are written in a style
that is easy to understand and at the same time provides
basic wildlife information. Most are designed to fit into the
standard business type envelope and provide a handy source
of information in reply to numerous mail requests.
During the past year Information and Education designed
and produced a new printed version of maps and regula-
tions for wildlife management areas. The new hunt maps
proved to be a great improvement over previous mimeo-
graphed regulations and provided recognition for land-
owners who make their lands available for public hunting.
New designs were incorporated in the information bro-
chure and registration forms for the Youth Conservation
Education Camps. Other information brochures were up-
dated, reprinted and distributed.
Newspaper and Magazine Feature Articles: It is some-
times difficult to tell a complete story in a regular news or
information release, so it becomes necessary to utilize
methods by which the full story can be told. These methods
include magazine and newspaper feature articles. Features
are prepared on local, regional and statewide levels and
may be read in a magazine of national distribution or a
statewide publication or may be included in the Sunday
supplement of a newspaper.
Weekly Newspaper Columns: Information-Education pre-
pares copy for a weekly column relative to wildlife and
conservation. The column "Florida Wildlife" with comments
on the outdoors is mailed to all newspapers and radio sta-
tions in Florida on a weekly basis and provides an area for
expanded discussion of conservation subjects. The latest
tabulation indicates the column is used by 11 daily papers
with a total circulation of 89,550 and by 95 weekly papers
with a total circulation in excess of 300,000.
Personal Appearances: Information-Education personnel
make many personal appearances before groups of all types.
A regular daily schedule of operations may include a school
group in the morning, a civic club program at noon and
a sportsman club presentation in the evening. In addition
to presenting programs, the Information-Education Officer
serves as booking agent for other personnel when a program
relating to a specific subject is considered appropriate. In-
formation-Education personnel appeared on more than 500
radio and television programs in order to utilize the broad
coverage of the broadcasting media to carry the conservation
message, and launched a new concept in radio programming
during the hunting season. The program "Hunter Hotline"
is carried each evening by a commercial station and pro-
vides information on weather, hunting rules, conditions and
harvest. The program also provides a method by which a
sportsman in the field can receive messages from the home
Plans were initiated for a new statewide radio conserva-
tion program in cooperation with the University of Florida
in which the University will carry messages developed by
Information and Education in their regularly scheduled pro-
(continued on next page)
(continued from preceding page)
gram. These will be carried by 47 radio stations from
Pensacola to Miami.
Exhibits: Information and Education designs, constructs
and maintains permanent exhibits at various fairs and ex-
hibitions throughout the state. Such exhibits provide an
opportunity for maximum exposure to visual concepts of
conservation and serve as a medium for exchange of com-
munications between the man on duty and the visitor who
may never meet a representative of the Commission in his
regular way of life.
Correspondence: One tool of public relations that is often
overlooked is the two-way communication of correspondence.
Each year thousands of letters are received requesting con-
servation information. Each letter, regardless of contents or
subject, is handled with individual attention. Many require
an extensive reply while others may be answered with an
informative brochure or pamphlet. If an individual takes the
time to write a letter, Information and Education policy
provides that the writer deserves individual attention in
During the past year the Commission's movie film library
was moved to the media center of Florida State University
which now handles all mailings and requests for Commission
films. This program has served to free personnel of Audio-
visual from the time consuming chore of checking and filling
film requests. Emphasis has been switched from the use of
existing movie films to the creation and use of color slide
lectures that essentially serve the same purpose but are less
expensive and provide an opportunity for expanded two-way
communications. The overall concept of Audio-visual is that
a good photograph is a capital investment that will pay divi-
dends for many years to come, and the emphasis is on quantity
with quality. Production of the slide series, "Marks of a
Sportsman," which relates to sportsmanship and hunter atti-
tude, is one highlight of this operation.
In summary, Information and Education is interested in
maintaining good relations between the sportsmen and the
Commission, and in developing good progressive two-way
communication while creating a broad understanding of
the need for wildlife and natural resource conservation.
FLORIDA'S YOUTH CONSERVATION CAMPS provide a setting
for the introduction of young people to the wilderness, wild-
life, woods, and waters.
These are camps which are unique; there are no ball fields,
instead youngsters from eight to fourteen experience a van-
ishing way of life. They learn the silent art of paddling a
canoe, learn fishing from an expert. They may learn the art
of archery and the safe handling of a firearm.
There are presently two camps, each serving a completely
distinct environment. The Central Camp, located at Lake
Eaton in the Ocala National Forest, provides an area of
pines and hardwood hammocks, fresh water lakes and streams.
The Everglades Camp is located in the J. W. Corbett Wild-
life Management Area near West Palm Beach. Here is a
setting of sawgrass, savannah flats, cypress and palm ham-
mocks, and everglades-related wildlife.
Programs at both camps are interrelated and divided into six
areas of interest. This includes nature, riflery, achery, fishing,
swimming and canoeing. In nature study a camper may
choose a study of water, conservation and soils, or land
study. No matter which area he might choose, an instructor
specializing in that field imparts an enjoyable learning ex-
perience through lectures and physical contact with the
Photo By Jim Floyd
Time spent at youth conservation camps introduces Florida's
young people to outdoor education-recreation and science.
During the past session 1,616 boys and girls attended the
two camps. For the first time, an experimental co-educational
session was initiated at both camps. The program proved to
be both popular and successful and does encourage addi-
tional attendance at the camps as there are few camps which
a brother and sister may attend simultaneously.
During the 9-week camp period, 603 youngsters were
introduced to firearms and successfully passed the Florida's
Hunter and Firearms Safety Course, and were so certified.
Another 46 youngsters received Junior Life Saving Certificates.
This year the cost of the camp was increased from $35
to $45 to meet the increased cost of materials and personnel.
This did not seem to have any adverse effect on camp
attendance. Especially in comparison with the average of $75
per week charged by similar camps.
A new director was installed at the Central Camp and
given additional duties as Conservation Coordinator. This
man, a trained biologist with public school teaching experience,
will coordinate the programs of both camps as well as carry
the Commission's Conservation-Education message to schools,
scouts, clubs, and individuals throughout the state.
As part of that program the Central Camp is preparing
to carry out its program on a year-round basis, as has been
the Everglades Camp for the past two years. Under this
plan, the camps' facilities are available for other programs.
During the week, schools and universities use the areas for
ecological classrooms, workshops, and field trips. On week-
ends, church groups, clubs, sportsmen's organizations, and
scouts may be found at the camps. During the past year,
for example, the Everglades Camp was host to 30 various
groups, giving the opportunity to get the message of Flor-
ida's conservation program to over 1,200 young people and
Game and Fish Reserve
THE GAME AND FISH Commission Reserve Program is a
relatively new operation that involves the Commission and
uniformed citizens interested in wildlife conservation. The
program gives conscientious and dedicated sportsmen an
opportunity to be trained in wildlife conservation work and
to use this training to benefit the conservation programs of
Florida by working with personnel of the Commission in
The G.F.C. Reserve has become an important function
of the total Information and Education operation and has
extended the conservation arm of the Commission by freeing
regular personnel for more demanding responsibilities.
Starting in 1969 as a pilot operation in Orange, Brevard
and Seminole counties, under the supervision of the Regional
Information and Education Officer, the program became
stabilized and expanded in 1971 to include Citrus, Lake,
Sumter, Osceola, St. Lucie, Marion and Volusia counties
under the supervision of a fulltime program coordinator.
Reservists are identified by a uniform consisting of khaki
shirts, olive trousers, trooper style hats, a distinctive shoulder
patch and the badge of a G.F.C. Reservist.
Becoming a member of the G.F.C. Reserve includes con-
siderably more than just joining. Applicants for the Reserve
are recommended by Commission personnel in the area in
which the applicant resides. The applicant must also pass
a written and oral examination relating to wildlife, and be
physically fit and able to perform required duties. The maxi-
mum strength of the G.F.C. Reserve is limited to three times
the number of wildlife officers in each county.
The G.F.C. Reserve program has its own chain of com-
mand and its own supervisory personnel who coordinate
activities of the reserve members through the Commission
Duties and assignments of the reservist are many and may
range from accompanying a wildlife officer on regular patrol
to working with fish and game management personnel, check-
ing fishing creels or posting a public hunting area. They may
be called on at any hour to capture a nuisance alligator,
present a conservation lecture to a scout or school group or
a program to a sportsmen's or civic club. They may assist
with or present a hunter and firearms safety training program
as most are certified instructors. The reservist may man an
information booth at an exhibit, operate a check station on
a wildlife area, maintain a radio communication station or
appear in court as a witness when involved in an arrest
with a wildlife officer.
Many reservists have attended the 280-hour Police Standard
Course and all are required to attend at least the 80-hour
Auxiliary Police Officers Course. The scope of authority for
reservists completing the approved training is limited to
violations of laws governing wildlife and fresh water fish.
Reservists are required to file a regular activity report and
it is interesting to note that during an average period of
30 days 10 reservists reported a total of 564.5 hours carrying
out conservation-related programs. These included 346 hours
of law enforcement assistance, 95 hours of information-educa-
tion activities, 7.5 hours answering complaints about alligators
or other wildlife, 3 hours assisting wildlife management pro-
jects, 108 hours of in-service training and 5 hours spent in
hunter and firearms safety training.
The G.F.C. Reserve Program is still new, but it is growing
and holds great promise for the future of wildlife conservation
in the State of Florida.
Hunter and Firearms Safety Training
WHY CAN'T JOHNNY SHOOT?
He doesn't know how and there isn't any place to do it!
The Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission is
deeply committed to changing both of the above answers,
through its Hunter and Firearms Safety Program throughout
Prior to May 1971, one Information and Education Officer
was able to devote 5% of his working time to a program
of firearms safety. The limited scope of the operation can
be seen in the 1970 figures, listing 97 certified volunteer
instructors who trained a mere 448 students. In May 1971,
a federal aid grant from the Pittman-Robertson Act provided
the needed financial boost that permitted the Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission to greatly expand its Hunter
and Firearms Safety Program. A statewide coordinator was
appointed, and a 5-year plan was implemented around four
1. Development of a statewide Hunter and Firearms Safety
Training Program, to reduce and eventually eliminate
all hunting and firearm accidents.
2. Implementation of a program to recruit and train 3,000
3. Training of 100,000 students in the program.
4. Construction of five firing ranges throughout the state.
During the first year, 1,000 volunteer instructors, many
already involved in the National Rifle Association Hunter
Safety Program, have been recruited.
Some 1,800 students have been properly trained and certified
in firearms safety.
Under a cooperative agreement with the Columbia County
Law Enforcement Association, one firing range has been com-
pleted, and a second range is in the final planning stages
for Palm Beach County. Plans for the immediate future
of the program include:
1. Distribution of training aids and manuals to currently
active certified instructors.
2. Workshop sessions for both current and potential in-
structors, to prepare this cadre for training a new,
expanded instructor corps.
3. A plan to provide weapons on a small scale, which
would be assigned to Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission Regional Information Officers working with
the volunteer instructors.
The preamble to the Firearms Safety Manual reads, in
part, "This course will help sportsmen to safely enjoy Flor-
ida's wildlife bounty and to better understand, appreciate
and practice the code of good sportsmanship."
So far, the program is making inroads into the "Doesn't
Know How" answer regarding Johnny's shooting. The other
half of the answer, pertaining to a lack of shooting areas,
is covered in the plan to have at least five firing ranges
that may be made available for Hunter and Firearms Safety
During 1971, Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
records show there were 231 weapon accidents, of which 42
were the direct result of hunting. The aim of the Hunter
and Firearms Safety Program is to, hopefully, reduce these
figures to zero.
With the assistance and cooperation of the anticipated
3,000 certified volunteer instructors the program is aiming
for, and the 5-year goal of 100,000 trained hunters and
firearms users, this aim will become a fact.
This dragline can cause irreversible environmental
changes. Machines have no minds: the men who plan
to alter the landscape are responsible for damage.
DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1971-72, the Environmental Pro-
tection Section increased in scope to include many facets
of work important to preserving, protecting, and enhancing the
state's fragile and endangered natural environment.
In complying with new and updated state and federal laws
and policies, the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission has
taken an increasing part in helping formulate state policies
regarding almost every type of natural resources planning.
Included in this report are examples of projects the Environ-
mental Protection Section, with the valuable help of Commis-
sion regional fisheries and wildlife biologists, was involved
with during the last fiscal year.
In compliance with the Fish and Wildlife Coordination
Act of 1958, and with state policies enacted in 1971, the Sec-
tion processed 1,090 dredge and fill applications. These in-
cluded proposed construction in fresh water lakes and along
the coastal zones of the state. Projects ranged in size from a
few square feet to over a thousand acres.
Biological field inspections were performed on each of
the proposals, and comments were prepared and submitted
to the State Cabinet (sitting as the Trustees of the Internal
Improvement Trust Fund) and to the U. S. Army Corps of
Engineers, when appropriate.
In many instances the Section was requested to take part
in the preliminary planning stages of large-scale projects.
This procedure was adopted because it has been adequately
Chemical wastes, including detergents, kill aquatic
life and destroy beauty of the state's waterways.
Photo By Lovett Williams
demonstrated that environmentally important acres can best
be preserved by educating the developers prior to com-
mencement of the expensive procedures involved in engineering
In addition to the dredge and fill applications, the Section
processed over 500 projects received from the State Planning
and Development Clearinghouse, which was set up in response
to the 1971 National Environmental Policy Act for the central
accumulation and distribution of state and federal projects.
All public works, financed with federal funds, are received
from this agency. The Game and Fresh Water- Fish Commis-
sion has the responsibility of assessing and commenting on
the probable ecological-biological ramifications of each pro-
ject, and these comments are utilized in the formulation of
Clearinghouse projects come from and through the Depart-
ment of Transportation, the Central and Southern Florida
Flood Control District, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Soil
Conservation Service, and from power generating plants, drain-
age districts, and many similar type agencies and jurisdictions.
Biological field inspections and evaluations were conducted
on each project proposed, and comments, with recommenda-
tions, were prepared and sent to the Clearinghouse.
Besides the legally obligatory functions of the Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission, members of the Environmental
Section staff became involved in many other projects which
had an impact on the Florida environment.
For example, our staff took an active part in the Governor's
Conference on Water Resources in September 1971, in the
establishing of boundaries for the State's Aquatic Preserves
System, in committee work concerning governmental reorgani-
zation of natural resources agencies, in interagency field
inspections of the Florida Keys, in the proposal to draw down
Lake Apopka, in the establishing of water levels for the Okla-
waha and Kissimmee chains of lakes, in continuing studies of
Rodman Reservoir, and in many other projects when our par-
ticipation was requested by a governmental agency or private
organization involved with environmental regulations.
The many varied functions assigned to the Environmental
Section all point toward one main goal: that of protecting and
enhancing the unique natural values of Florida so that future
Floridians will have a place in which to enjoy natural re-
source-oriented activities. Without ecologically-intact, produc-
tive fresh water marshes, forests, rivers, lakes, and estuaries,
future management objectives relating to populations of fish
and wildlife will be useless.
With increasing numbers of people desiring to live in the
Florida environment, the job of protecting ecosystems has
become extremely difficult. However, as the agency primarily
responsible for resources, the Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission must find ways to meet the great challenges that