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STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
JULY 1, 1972-JUNE 30, 1973
HIS HAS BEEN a landmark year for the Garu_ ahrdi Frn4h
Water Fish Commission. For the first time inslorv;y-th'e
1973 Legislature recognized in a substantial way the re-
sponsibility of every Florida citizen to the stewardship of
our wildlife resources. As a result, $2,036,737 was appropriated
from general revenue funds, primarily to assist the Com-
mission in carrying out those responsibilities beneficial to
the state as a whole as well as the hunter and fisherman.
These funds became available July 1, 1973, and provided
well-generated enthusiasm in looking toward future operations
of the Commission.
The past year was one of trying to cope with the problem
of meeting the Commission-delegated responsibilities within
its financial constraints. This has been a two-edged sword.
On the one hand the Commission is more and more called
upon to participate in all manner of environmental impact
studies, ecological research, general peace officer tasks, con-
trol of civil strife and other emergencies, boating safety func-
tions, etc., which enormously affect its ability to meet its
pure fish and game management objectives. On the other
hand, the Commission's trust fund revenue is directly related
to an outdoor environment-wildlife habitat-which continues
to deteriorate in the face of a user population explosion. This
situation is compounded by the current inflationary trend.
Despite this set of circumstances, the Commission made
commendable progress in all phases of its operations. In
general, the Commission accelerated its management of the
state's wildlife and fresh water fisheries resources to insure
optimum wildlife and fish populations for the recreational
and aesthetic benefit of the citizenry.
Such management encompassed the promulgation of codes
and regulations for protection of the resource; enforcement
of these codes and regulations and those provided by Florida's
Statutes; habitat improvement; research directed towards
solving resource problems; regulation and inspection of wild-
life exhibitors; regulation and inspection of wildlife importa-
tion; control of aquatic vegetation; biological inspection and
reporting of construction and development projects which
may affect the resource; acquisition and development of pub-
lic recreation areas; and a conservation information and
education program. In addition, the Commission enforced
boating safety and other specified laws and other general
police functions when called upon. These activities are de-
scribed in greater detail in other sections of this report.
In summary, the Commission had a progressive year and
with general revenue funds becoming available for next year's
operation, the future is bright. The Commission appreciates
the support of the Legislature, the sportsmen, and other out-
door-oriented citizens of the state, and intends to justify that
WILLIAM M. BLAKE, Tampa Appointed January 6, 1968
Term Expired January 6, 1973
J. B. WINDHAM, Jacksonville Appointed January 22, 1969
C. A. PEACOCK, JR., Miami Appointed February 18, 1970
Resigned January 16, 1973
0. L. PEACOCK, JR., Ft. Pierce Appointed January 5, 1971
HOWARD ODOM, Marianna Appointed January 10, 1972
OGDEN M. PHIPPS, Miami Appointed January 18, 1973
E. P. BURNETT, Tampa
July 1, 1972 through June 30, 1973
Disbursements and Balances
Disbursements by Object Code:
Salaries ........................................... $ 4,228,990.39
Other Personal Services ............................. 100,732.20
Communications and Transportation of Things ........ 99,566.13
Postage, Freight, Express, Drayage and Parcel Post .... 44,819.52
General Printing and Reproduction Services .......... 132,743.86
Repairs and Maintenance ................. ........... 197,751.14
Travel ......... ... ................................. 244,040.50
Travel Other Than Employees ........................ 8,698.71
Utilities ................. ............................. 64,122.49
Other Contractual Services ........................... 126,959.32
Uniform Cleaning .................................... 48,916.00
Bedding, Clothing, Linens & Other Textile Products .... 15,910.97
Shoes ................................................... 7,760.00
Educational, Medical, Scientific & Agricultural
Materials & Supplies .................................. 67,916.13
Food Products ...................................... 3,027.47
Maintenance Material & Heating Supplies (Janitorial) .. 119,497.03
Motor Fuels and Lubricants .......................... 313,592.88
Office Materials and Supplies .......................... 24,657.67
Other Materials and Supplies .......................... 73,319.24
Insurance & Surety Bonds and Auto Liability .......... 117,948.31
Rental of Buildings ................................... 72,454.91
Rental of Equipment .................................. 22,938.05
Service Charges to General Revenue .................. 186,266.64
Other Current Charges and Obligatiots ................ 102,202.80
Books ................................... ... ...... 768.81
Buildings and Fixed Equipment ........................ 79,441.88
Educational, Medical, Scientific & Agricultural
Equipment ... ..................................... 32,038.99
Motor Vehicles, Airplanes .............................. 13,019.24
Motors, Boats and Trailers ............................ 31,944.62
Other Motor Vehicles ................................. 3,189.85
Office Furniture & Equipment .......................... 7,718.42
Other Structures and Improvements .................. 49,161.11
Other Capital Outlay .................................. 34,390.78
Data Processing .................. ..................... 18,404.45
Land ............................... ...... 21,054.00
Debt Service ........................................ 135,000.00
Grants and Aids ..... ................................. 10,000.00
TOTAL $ 6,860,964.51
Disbursements by Departments:
Administration and Support Services:
Salaries ........................... $ 660,442.32
Other Personal Services ............ 13,223.05
General Expenses .................. 421,382.74
Operating Capital Outlay .......... 11,318.19
Administrative Cost to
General Revenue 4% .............. 186,266.64
Debt Service ........................ 135,000.00
Fixed Capital Outlay ................ 4,633.45
Information and Education:
Salaries ............................. 175,061.95
Other Personal Services ............. 2,509.47
General Expenses .................... 77,438.50
Operating Capital Outlay ............ 17,754.62
Fixed Capital Outlay ................ 4,730.12
Salaries .............................. 1,663,005.59
Other Personal Services .............. 212.80
General Expenses .................... 569,246.41
Operating Capital Outlay ............ 1,262.07
Salaries ............... .............. 546,860.92
Other Personal Services .............. 73,734.81
General Expenses .................... 390,891.77
Operating Capital Outlay ............ 24,154.33
Fixed Capital Outlay ................ 25,475.98
Grants and Aids .................... 10,000.00
Land ................................ 21,054.00
Salaries .................... ......... 746,793.78
Other Personal Services ............ 8,745.22
General Expenses ................... 305,556.79
Operating Capital Outlay ............ 31,860.10
Fixed Capital Outlay ................ 79,544.45
Aquatic Weed Control:
Salaries .............................. 436,825.83
Other Personal Services .............. 2,306.85
General Expenses .................... 162,731.37
Operating Capital Outlay ............ 36,721.40
Fixed Capital Outlay ................ 14,218.99
Total Disbursements by Budgets:
Salaries .................................................$ 4,228,990.39
Other Personal Services ............................... 100,402.20
General Expenses ............................. .... ....... 2,113,844.22
Operating Capital Outlay .............................. 122,856.44
Fixed Capital Outlay .................................. 149,871.26
Grants and Aids ...................................... 10,000.00
Debt Service .......................................... 135,000.00
GRAND TOTAL $ 6,860,964.51
Appointed January 17, 1973
Statement of Cash Receipts
AK Fishing ......................... $ 150,683.50
Fishing ............................ 2,309,966.50
AK Hunting ......................... 383,558.00
Hunting ............................ 1,083,628.75
U.S. Perm its ......................... 3,367.50
State Hunting Permits .............. 660,122.00
Miscellaneous Permits ................ 211,249.00
Retail Fish Dealer .................. 21,675.00
Non-Resident Retail Fish Dealer .... 300.00
Resident Wholesale Fish Dealer ..... 15,200.00
Non-Resident Wholesale Fish Dealer .. 1,500.00
Duplicate Commercial Licenses ...... 14.00
Fish Pond Licenses ................... 849.00
Trapping ............................. 1,695.00
Hunting Preserve .................... 2,050.00
Guide ... ............................. 460.00
Game Farm .......................... 1,950.00
Wholesale Fur Dealers & Agents ..... 470.00
Local Fur Dealer ................ 110.00
License to Exhibit Poisonous or
Venomous Reptiles .................. 230.00
Field Trial Rentals ................... 500.00
Wildlife Exhibit or Sale Permit ...... 5,695.00
Court Costs .......................... 555.90
Miscellaneous Receipts .............. 83,129.56
Previous Years Licenses Collected .... 200,171.00
Magazine Subscriptions .............. 45,307.17
Magazine Single Copies .............. 182.10
Sale Old Equipment .................. 5,988.85
Confiscated Material & Equipment ... 178.65
Fund Transfer-Hyacinth ......... 625,584.00
Fund Transfer-Building Trust ...... 176,583.68
Concession Revenue ................ 5,011.42
Manatee County Reservoir Revenue .. 10,785.00
Oil Lease ............... ........... 127,325.52
Federal Aid Hyacinth Control ........ 89,626.76
Dingell-Johnson ...................... 311,825.70
Pittman-Robertson ................... 537,975.43
Webb Area Grazing Lease ........... 28,562.68
Palm Beach County Lease ............ 10,000.00
Stump Lease ....................... 22,279.04
Miscellaneous Lease ....... ...... 750.00
HE PERSONNEL OFFICE conducted four interviews for new
employees. Approximately 300 persons were interviewed
for positions of botanist, biologist, wildlife officer, game and
fish management specialist, and aquatic weed control spe-
Salary adjustments, merit increases, and other routine per-
sonnel matters, such as vacation time and sick leave, were
completed and filed.
Routine closing orders were handled, and wildlife code
books were compiled and filed with the secretary of state.
Brochures were prepared and distributed regarding Blue
Cross and Blue Shield Insurance,. and a report was pre-
pared and presented to the Commission on personnel turn-
New personnel directories were prepared, assembled, and
distributed throughout the state.
The personnel officer attended several meetings with the
state Division of Personnel to discuss personnel regulations
regarding the 40-hour work week, vacation, sick leave, and
other personnel matters.
The training officer attended the Florida Peace Officers
convention in July as a representative of the Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission, and began scheduling of the
Wildlife Officers Training Academy recruit school for Sep-
tember and October.
Several meetings were attended in October regarding the
Police Training Academy and other law enforcement training
in the Tallahassee area.
The Wildlife Officer Training Academy was in session the
entire month of September. In October, a workshop on water-
s2,4o60,60.00 fowl hunter performance was conducted, and paper work
was begun on the Intergovernmental Personnel Act federal
grant for the training of supervisors.
In November, a 1-week school was conducted for U.S.
Forest Service personnel, and work continued on the I.P.A.
In December 1972, the training officer prepared a course
in wildlife law enforcement to be taught on a trial basis at
the Lively Law School, Tallahassee. As a result of these
efforts, the Florida Police Standards Board in February ap-
proved the addition of 2 hours training in instruction of
13,160.00 wildlife law enforcement for all recruit police officers in the
In January, examinations were prepared and administered
for positions of regional manager and sergeant of law en-
forcement, and a firearms training program was conducted
for wildlife officers of the South, Everglades, and Central
1,280,802.85 Final approval was obtained on the I.P.A. grant in the
amount of $30,000, and two 40-hour refresher courses for
law enforcement officers were conducted. A Police Standards
Board meeting was attended in Jacksonville, and scheduling
was completed on the next session of the Wildlife Officer
The first week of March, a 40-hour refresher course was
conducted, and the remainder of the month was occupied
by recruit training at the academy. The first week of April
939,427.89 was spent on the pistol range with wildlife officer recruits.
At the end of the week, the academy graduated 10 officers
S at a ceremony at the Tallahassee office. The remainder of
the month was spent conducting the first phase of the super-
visory training course, which continued through May.
____ In June, an orientation school was conducted, and the
$ 7,137,095.71 training officer attended the state convention of the Fraternal
Order of Police.
Sept. 5-29, 1972
Oct. 16-18. 1972
Jan. 29, 1973
Feb. 1, 1973
Feb. 19-23, 1973
March 5-9, 1973
March 11, 1973
April 6, 1973
April 16-20, 1973
April 3-27, 1973
April 30, 1973
May 4, 1973
May 7-11, 1973
May 14-18, 1973
May 21-25, 1973
Training Hours 1972-73
Type of School Number of
Basic Recruit 23
Board Refresher Law
Board Refresher Law
Basic Principles of
Basic Principles of
Basic Principles of
June 3-8, 1973 Orientation School
Communications lc/ 72/
D UING THE FISCAL YEAR, the chief of communications re-
As a result, Communications Section was placed under the
executive officer, with headquarters being moved from its
original location at New Smyrna Beach to the state office in
After the relocation and organization of the Communica-
tions Section, a meeting was conducted by the executive offi-
cer, with the operational procedure being explained and a
number of problems resolved.
The Communications Section was represented at a majority
of the conferences conducted by all agencies participating in
security at the Democratic and Republican national conven-
tions, held in Miami Beach.
A Communications Section representative was present at a
meeting where the Atlantic Research Company briefed the
Division of Communications and the Department of Natural
Resources on a study it had completed for the purpose of
establishing common radio dispatch points for all agencies
in the field of natural resources.
This Section provided assistance and material in order for
an accredited dispatcher course to be set up and conducted
THE YEAR WAS MARKED with continuing progress in the Com-
mission's efforts to maintain and enhance the prime fresh
water fishing that has made Florida so favorably known
throughout the angling world. As with any complex endeavor,
there were some setbacks also. But as the fiscal year came
to a close, there was optimism that at least some of the most
pressing problems would yield to the efforts of the Com-
mission's technical staff, backed by an enlightened angling
This report touches upon some of the activities of fisheries
personnel during the past year. Its purpose is to give an idea
of the scope of the effort being put forth to assure that sport
fishing remains a major asset to the Sunshine State.
Regional Biologists-Each of the five regional offices has
fisheries specialists on its staff. Upon these workers falls the
task of handling the day-to-day fisheries problems. In addi-
tion, the planning and implementation of long-range manage-
ment activities is their responsibility. The scope of regional
fisheries activities is indicated in the following summary.
Northwest Region-Management of public waters was con-
centrated heavily on the Commission's manmade lakes, in-
cluding Bear, Karick, Juniper, Hurricane, Campbell, Victor,
and Stone lakes, and at Compass Lake, Smith Lake and the.
Dead Lakes. Attention was given to evaluating techniques
of attracting fish to specified areas within our management
lakes to allow more harvest, especially of panfish. Population
sampling also received much attention. The data obtained
from these population surveys will be of value in determining
the success of future management efforts.
The reopening of 107-acre Bear Lake Fish Management
Area, in Santa Rosa County, following renovation was a high-
light of fish management activities during this report period.
The long-awaited opening day attracted between 900 and
1000 fishermen. During the first two days an estimated 1,325
fishermen harvested 2,790 pounds of fish, one of the most
successful management area openings recorded for the region.
Fishing has remained excellent despite continued heavy fish-
Karick Lake Fish Management Area is a 58-acre, clear
at Gainesville. The course was made available to people
interested in all facets of radio-telephone operation.
One of the Commission's original radio station locations,
at Leesburg, was closed down during the report period. The
facilities were moved to a new location at Orlando, and the
new station provided that area with better-than-expected
A radio control console for the Niceville station was in-
stalled at Eglin Air Force Base security headquarters, where
operators are on duty around the clock. Section personnel
also conducted a short course in radio operation for those
An agreement was completed with the Division of Forestry
for the purpose of moving our Tomoka radio facilities to the
DeLeon Springs site in order to fill a void that existed in radio
coverage for that area.
A survey was completed on the east coast, and Titusville
was selected as a suitable tower site for the purpose of re-
locating the Magnolia radio facilities. The change resulted
in better coverage in that part of the state.
The new mobile radios required were received and tested,
which resulted in numerous tests being conducted prior to
a modification recommendation from the vendor's laboratory.
The communications officer completed a course in Prin-
ciples of Supervisory Management at the Commission's Wild-
life Officer Training Academy.
water lake. Light penetration has resulted in a heavy growth
of vegetation in depths of 10 feet or more. This dense plant
growth, mainly bladderwort, has made bank fishing nearly
impossible. Fish population sampling has shown good re-
production of both panfish and bass, but a limited food sup-
ply for panfish has resulted in a population of stunted fish.
Efforts to improve the fishery include use of herbicides, lime,
Japanese millet plots, and a fertilization program.
Extensive fish population sampling on the Dead Lakes, in
Gulf and Calhoun counties, confirmed that these waters have
an excellent game fish population. The rampant growth of
submerged vegetation poses a problem which continues to
eliminate available spawning grounds and limits fishing
space. Groundwork has been completed in a cooperative effort
by the Commission, the Department of Natural Resources,
and the Dead Lakes Water Management District for a draw-
down of the lake, scheduled for the fall of 1974.
On 665-acre Juniper Lake Fish Management Area, in Wal-
ton County, aquatic weeds are also a problem. Complications
in staging a major drawdown are present since the lakeshore
area is undergoing rapid residential development. The county
holds title to the lake bottom, and it now is planned, with
the county's agreement, to draw the lake down in the summer
of 1974 to control the encroachment of bladderwort. Popula-
tion sampling indicates an adequate population of game fish
in the lake, and adequate reproduction of both bluegill and
On 400-acre Hurricane Lake Fish Management Area, in
Okaloosa County, failure of largemouth bass reproduction de-
layed the scheduled opening of this new fishing lake. A sub-
stantial population of panfish and channel catfish of harvest-
able size is available.
At Compass Lake, in Jackson County, both baled hay and
old tire fish attractors are being tried out in an effort to
improve catches. A fish population survey revealed an ex-
cellent bass population, but there has been poor bluegill
and shellcracker reproduction, with few of these fish of har-
vestable size available. This is apparently due to heavy com-
petition from warmouth and yellow bullhead. This lake, his-
torically a water skiing, boating, and swimming lake, attracts
relatively few fishermen. Vandalism on fish attractor markers
has been a problem there.
At Smith Lake, in Holmes County, a survey revealed ade-
quate bass reproduction to sustain this fishery. Here, the
usually desirable maidencane is becoming more plentiful than
needed, and further spraying for boat trails is planned.
Considerable interest was displayed by local sportsmen in
having a longnose gar control program initiated on the Choc-
tawhatchee River. A cooperative effort was launched with
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel to test the feasibility
and cost of a possible commercial fishery on gar. One week's
efforts on the project, at a total expenditure of $2,500,
yielded $78.30 worth of gar, based on the value of the fish
meal the catch would yield.
In an associated project, from a total of 217 longnose gar
stomachs examined, only two game fish were identified.
Threadfin shad predominated the food items during this
study. Car have long been known as opportunists in their
feeding habits, taking whatever they can catch most readily-
more evidence that gar are not a serious threat to game
Several days were spent sampling with net and electric
shocker for dye-marked bluegills and redears released into
the Chipola River. The effort showed a good population of
game fish in the stream, with an especially notable large-
mouth bass population, but none of the marked fish were
collected. These results support the contention that under
normal conditions stream stocking of bream is nonproductive.
Environmental protection activities required considerable
time of regional fisheries personnel during the year. Numerous
projects were studied. On the Apalachicola River, the Com-
mission adopted a strong resolution opposing any further
alteration of the river bottom. The Commission also opposed a
recent Corps proposal to construct a series of locks and dams
on the river. Developers still eagerly eye productive marshes
in the region for house sites. Dredge and fill operations are
a steady cause for concern. Working closely with other state
Seining a lake or pond indicates which species are present.
whether they've spawned successfully, and what general con-
dition they are in. Stunted, overabundant fish in a sample,
or diseased fish, would call for some corrective measures.
Photo By Gene Smith
and federal environmental protection agencies has resulted in
curtailment of many illegal, environmentally damaging ac-
tivities in the region.
Consultation with private pond owners, giving technical
assistance and advice on meeting farm pond problems, also
accounted for a great many hours of activity during the year.
Northeast Region-Fish population sampling as a basis for
establishing trends in population occupied much time of
region fisheries personnel during the year. Waters sampled
included Lake Francis, Koon Lake, Perch Pond, Blue Pond,
Blue Springs Lake, Orange Lake, Lochloosa Lake, Newnans
Lake, and Magnolia, Lowery and Santa Fe lakes. Regional
personnel also took part in the massive block net sampling
project on Lake Kissimmee. At Newnans Lake, where striped
bass have been stocked during recent years, an 11V4-
pound specimen in its 3rd year of life was recovered. Other
reports, as well as photos of stripers of 5 pounds or more in
weight, give rise to the hope that the species may become
well established there.
Although stocking with channel catfish has most often
yielded little in the way of creel returns, the work at Magnolia
and Lowery Lakes shows these clear, sand-bottomed waters
are producing a good supply of 3- to 5-pound channel cats
which are making a substantial contribution to the fisher-
The Santa Fe Lake sampling confirms reports of the severe
reduction of black crappie and shad in this lake. Possible
causes for this reduction are herbicidal spraying of fruit
trees, and recent dredging work done on the lake. The bass
population is thriving, however, with large poundages taken
in the block net samples.
A number of biological impact statements regarding pro-
posed construction projects were prepared during the report
period. Two of these were involved with state plans for a
6-lane highway crisscrossing the intertidal marsh-creek system
north of Jacksonville in the Blount Island area, and a road
built through a Dixie County salt marsh.
Some time was spent investigating the spread of aquarium
fish and elodea from a neighborhood pond in Gainesville.
The pond has a direct connection with Paynes Prairie and
several other important lakes in this region. During the in-
vestigation it was noted that the general public fails to realize
the dangers to the native fish population when goldfish, platys
or any other exotic fish are released into open native waters.
Much public relations work is needed concerning this sub-
ject, or we may be facing insurmountable control problems in
the future. Treatment of the Gainesville pond turned up 272
pounds of goldfish and platys per acre.
Regional fisheries personnel were featured in a number of
scenes in a Commission documentary film. Shots depicting the
investigation of fish kills, fish population sampling, and lab-
oratory work by fishery scientists were filmed.
At Suwannee Lake Fish Management Area, after a consider-
able amount of preliminary population survey work, a selective
antimycin treatment was made. Bluegill, redear, and some
other "forage" species have outstripped the bass population,
making it essential that corrective measures be applied. An
initial application of 0.4 parts per billion of antimycin
eliminated quantities of smaller bluegills, redears, shiners and
lake chubsuckers. Bass were not affected by this concentration.
A second application some weeks later at the increased rate
of 0.6-0.7 parts per billion resulted in a desirable reduction
in the overly heavy population of 4- to 6-inch bluegills.
Fish attractors were placed in a number of lakes, notably
at Lochloosa Lake, where six brush pile attractors were
built by a Jacksonville bass anglers club in cooperation with
fish camp operators. Other lakes receiving attractors include
Watertown Lake, Newnans Lake and Lowery Lake.
A number of fish kill reports were investigated this past
(Continued on next page)
(Continued from preceding page)
year. One was on Clarkes Creek and involved a spill of
3,200 gallons of caustic soda.
On Newnans Lake, numerous fish population samples were
taken and the findings compared with population figures
gathered a year before the lake level was stabilized by a
control structure. The findings showed that forage species
had increased substantially, but that the bass population had
stabilized. Nutrients entering the lake are trapped there under
present conditions, and eutrophication is proceeding at a
fairly rapid rate. A feasibility study is planned on returning
the lake to its natural fluctuation cycle.
Among the other activities in the region were handling
numerous requests for farm pond and weed control assistance,
and helping a Commission crew in the construction of a fish-
ing pier on Watertown Lake in Lake City.
Central Region-At Lakes Kissimmee and Hatchineha, a
couple of the better lakes remaining in the state, population
data were gathered to fill the lack of reliable population
information. A total of 18 block net samples were made
within a week by fish management personnel.
A chain pickerel rearing project was initiated with the
idea of providing fingerlings for stocking in selected lakes
where population studies indicate additional predators would
be of benefit. Some difficulties were encountered in main-
taining the project, centered at Oviedo Hatchery, but the
program is continuing on a "learn-as-we-go" basis.
A research project involving fish populations in dense sub-
merged plant beds is well under way. The specialists in-
volved in this work have expressed continued surprise at the
large number of fishes inhabiting dense weed growth.
Environmental protection efforts continue in the region,
with numerous biological surveys being conducted in con-
nection with dredge and fill permits. An aerial survey was
conducted in Sumter and Citrus counties in the search for
illegal dredging operations. In the month of July alone, 17
such operations were investigated, and eight were found to be
On Lake Harris, a 40-unit stake bed fish attractor has been
installed. The device, placed below an existing fishing cat-
walk, was built with the financial backing of the Lake County
Improvement Association, which gave $1,200.00 to be used
Much effort was devoted to construction and placement
of auto tire fish attractors. The attractors are made by band-
ing together seven tires with plastic straps to form a unit.
Holes are drilled in the top of the tires and the unit sunk
and secured to the bottom. Twenty-one such units were
placed in Lake Dias, in Volusia County, and 60 units in
Lake George, in Putnam County. At Wildcat Lake, in the
Ocala National Forest, where a combination tire and drain
tile attractor was placed, several schools of minnows, blue-
gills, and juvenile bass began congregating even before the
device was completed. In addition, several bales of hay were
sunk around this attractor to stimulate localized zooplankton
bloom and thus provide additional food for smaller fish.
An antimycin treatment of 25-acre Lake Adair, in Orlando,
was highly successful in reducing the number of gizzard shad
present. This selective treatment removed 64 pounds per acre
of gizzard shad and 27 pounds per acre of threadfin shad,
with very minor losses of bluegill, redbreast and redear. Only
six small bass and two black crappie were killed in the pro-
Improvement of conditions on Lake Panasoffkee received
attention during the year. A survey of present vegetation,
and correction of an old bottom contour map, were com-
pleted. The way was cleared for deflation of Wysong Dam,
an inflatable weir structure on the Withlacoochee, below the
Panasoffkee outlet. With the onset of drier weather, the re-
establishment of the natural cycle of fluctuating water level
One proven method of increasing catchability of game fish
is to build them attractive "homes"-structures that will
concentrate the fish in a particular area. Old tires, be-
low, are good, as are blocks, pipe, wood and brush piles.
Fishermen can spot attractors by floating markers, above.
in the lake should considerably improve deteriorating angling
Many miscellaneous projects were worked on by regional
fisheries personnel during the year, including such things as
rendering technical assistance to the City of Orlando in re-
storation of Lake Eola, in the downtown area, assistance in
collecting striped bass brood stock for the Richloam striped
bass project, removal of tilapia from a pond in Satellite Beach
(heretofore the only location in the region with a tilapia pop-
ulation), and an artificial feeding experiment with a bluegill-
bass population in a farm pond.
South Florida Region-A year and a half after a spill of
some billion gallons of phosphatic clay residue from an oil
company installation inundated an 80-mile stretch of the Peace
River, a report on the Commission's detailed investigation of
the devastation was completed.
The extreme turbidity of the water, and slime deposits
dropped on adjacent flood plains-the deposits were nearly
6 feet deep near the source of the spill-resulted in environ-
mental damage of unprecedented magnitude. In addition
to the loss of fish, there was a calamitous effect on fish food
organisms, as well as a temporary displacement of birds and
other wildlife because of the loss of their food source.
The estimated kill totaled well over three million fish of
some 22 species. The monetary value of these was more than
$700,000.00. In addition, stream renovation costs were placed
at $200,000.00, and the price tag on field investigation, as-
sembling data, and preparing the 60-page report ran the total
cost up another $18,000.00.
Litigation is still pending on this incident.
Habitat destruction of a different nature, also on the Peace
River, was investigated in cooperation with other state agen-
cies. Illicit logging of cypress along the river for at least a
12-mile stretch took in both sides of the stream. Prosecution
resulted in a light fine for the offending logger.
It is believed that civil action may be forthcoming in the
A report based on an intensive investigation of the tilapia
fishery in Polk County was published during the year. There
are now five permittees licensed to haul seine tilapia in the
area (T. area, also called nile perch). In addition, a $5.00
retail fish dealers license is required to use a commercial cast
net to take these fish. Acceptance of the species for food is
indicated by the retail price, tilapia apparently finding a
ready market at up to 790 a pound in the Tallahassee area,
and up to 400 a pound in Polk County.
It was previously the general opinion that tilapia did not
compete with native species. However, it has now become
apparent that they do.
In Lake Parker, at Lakeland, tilapia have increased so
greatly that prior to control efforts the species made up more
than 68 per cent (by weight) of the fish population. Gizzard
shad, formerly the predominant species, comprised only 5
per cent of the population.
The assumption is that the tilapia have held down gizzard
shad reproduction, and seriously compete with them for food.
This relationship very likely applies with regard to other
native species. If this trend should continue, Lake Parker and
other lakes having a predominant tilapia population will
soon provide little worthwhile sport fishing.
Commercial seining activities were conducted in Lake
Parker, Banana Lake, Lake Hancock, and the Winter Haven
Chain of Lakes. In all areas, nongame fish were removed.
At one extreme, from Banana Lake, over 600 pounds per
acre of nongame fish-mostly tilapia-were removed, and there
was no significant decrease in subsequent catches of rough
fishes. On the other hand, in Lake Parker more than 80
pounds per acre of tilapia and other rough fish were removed,
and it appears that this degree of rough fish cropping allowed
catfish and bream to assume a dominant place in the total
Return of conditions suitable for bass spawning have not
yet been realized at Parker, however. No natural spawning
of largemouth bass has been noted there to date.
Work at DeSoto Pond, northeast of Port Charlotte, dormant
for a number of years, has now been resumed. This body
of water has been recognized as a Fish Management Area
by a new county administration. Management efforts are
now beginning to show results, and it now appears likely the
lake may be opened to public fishing in the not too distant
future. Efforts to provide a good fishing lake have included
use of various techniques, to control vegetation, transplanting
fresh water clams to improve forage conditions for redear,
and correction of engineering problems connected with water
level control devices. It is planned to introduce adult snook
Photos By Bill Lynn
.* Y A L
into the pond to help bring a threatened overpopulation of
bluegills under control and incidentally to provide a bonus
for anglers lucky enough to connect with one of these highly
rated gamesters. Long planned parking, picnicking and camp-
ing facilities are scheduled to be developed by the county.
Fish attractor development on a number of regional lakes
continues with promising results, indicating they may provide
numerous fishing hotspots. Various materials are being used
to form the attractors. Citrus trees, clay and plastic pipe, old
tires, and other materials have all been successful.
Fish population surveys in Lake Effie, near Lake Wales,
showed the lake at one time supported more than 8,000 pounds
of fish per acre. About 93 per cent of this total was tilapia.
This represented one of the heaviest concentrations of fish
in a natural lake, according to Commission data.
A massive tilapia kill occurred in this lake, which receives
treated water from a citrus processing company and the City
of Lake Wales. The fish population was reduced to less than
100 pounds per acre. The Department of Pollution Control
has issued orders for corrective action.
A financial settlement was reached with Seaboard Coastline
Railroad to pay for fish kill damages incurred as a result of
a train derailment at Arbuckle Creek in October 1971. (This
was reported in the previous annual report in some detail.) In
addition, the company is responsible for completely cleaning
up all non-biodegradable debris from several miles of stream.
The majority of the spillage, which included plastic con-
tainers, bulk paper rolls, lumber, and twisted pieces of metal,
is submerged and will probably require the efforts of divers
Everglades Region-A fish attractor project was started in
the south end of Conservation Area Three. More attractors
are planned for other Dade County Fish Management Areas
in the near future.
Fish sampling activities were given attention at various
times throughout the year. Among the areas sampled were
overdredged Lake Ida, in Delray Beach, where the most
abundant fish was found to be gizzard shad, and Lake Os-
borne, another lake which was found to have a heavy pop-
ulation of gizzard shad.
Renovation work was done in a number of fishing areas,
including two ponds on the Corbett Wildlife Management
Numerous fish kills were investigated during the year,
including one in a canal at Blue Cypress Lake and one on
the St. Lucie River. An outbreak of a "whirling" disease in
salt water catfish and a massive kill at a commercial catfish
farm were also investigated.
As might be expected in an area of high population and
continuing construction and development, environmental
problems occupied a great deal of regional fisheries personnel
time. A few examples will serve to indicate the scope of the
difficulties. During the construction of drainage control struc-
tures at Royal Palm Beach Colony, the developers by-passed
a canal by cutting into a fresh water lake and, in turn, made
another cut to drain water into the West Palm Beach Canal.
As a result of this poorly planned project, turbidities ex-
ceeded water quality standards. The case was dismissed.
A major victory was won on a proposed dredge and fill
project when the Florida Supreme Court upheld a lower
court ruling against the City of West Palm Beach. The City
had leased 5.4 acres of submerged land to a private devel-
oper for the construction of several condominiums.
A dredging operation was stopped at Boca Hi, on the
Intracoastal Waterway, for exceeding turbidity standards.
A GFC boat was used to carry two assistant attorneys gen-
eral, a field inspector for the Trustees, and a Pollution Con-
trol official to the dredge site. The following day, the opera-
tion was halted by the company.
Excessive turbidities were documented from a dredge
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operated by Palm Beach County. After a meeting, the county
agreed to alter the operation to correct the problem, and also
to create additional littoral zones.
Assistance was given to personnel of the Trustees in
determining unauthorized dredge and fill projects in the
Many other incidents of damage or potential damage to
the environment were investigated by Fisheries personnel,
and appropriate action taken.
Because of climatic and other conditions, the Everglades
Region is in a position to be overrun with numerous plant
and animal forms introduced from other areas. The walking
catfish problem, which has received national attention, is now
coming back on the tropical fish growers who introduced
the species in the first place. An investigation was made
during the year of a fish farmer's complaint regarding de-
struction of valuable tropical fish by the walker.
The Comfort Canal, in Miami, has been reinvaded by
exotic fish species, a population sample revealed. The black
acara is the most abundant fish present.
Some effort was made by regional fisheries personnel to
bring about development of additional sport fishing areas.
In Palm Beach County, shell rock pits owned by the county
were surveyed and designs prepared for presentation to the
County Engineering Department for approval by the Board
of County Commissioners. Approval would open the way for
developing additional public fishing areas.
Preparations have been made to renovate and restock
Tamarac Lake. This body of water was the site of a pollu-
tion-caused fish kill, a matter which was settled out of court.
Additional arrangements have been made for opening to
the public selected ponds excavated mainly for bridges along
the turnpike. A proposal has been made to the Palm Beach
County Board of County Commissioners to set aside 905
acres of county-owned land for park and recreational pur-
poses. The property has two ponds suitable for fish manage-
ment. It was also suggested that the county acquire 705
acres of borrow pits adjacent to the county-owned land. In
general, the borrow pits have good littoral zones and would
be ideal for fish management. The Commissioners agreed to
pursue the acquisition proposal and assigned a commissioner
to work with the regional fisheries biologist on the project.
Efforts were made during the year to inform the public
of what the regional fisheries staff is doing. They taped radio
and television programs, and appeared at numerous public
As has been the case in the past, many requests for as-
sistance and consultation on private fish pond problems were
handled during this report period.
Fisheries Research Laboratory, Eustis-Work areas, both
inside and outside the Eustis Laboratory, have reached a
saturation point, and it is now evident that expanded facilities
must be constructed to meet future demands. In addition to
programmed research projects, laboratory personnel assisted
in investigating such unscheduled projects as the accidental
drawdown of Lake Griffin due to a dike rupture, heavy
mortality of large alligators during the drawdown, and im-
plementation of a citizens' advisory group to work with lab
personnel in restoration of key lakes in the Oklawaha Chain.
The chemistry laboratory at the Eustis facility serves
primarily in a support role for research projects throughout
the state. Water samples, as well as some solid bottom sam-
ples, are analyzed for a wide range of ions, compounds and
physical properties. Trouble-shooting fish kills or industrial
pollution, as well as routine analysis, is performed. The work
is accomplished through the cooperative efforts of a chemist,
technologist, technician, and student assistant.
Projects on Lakes Carlton and Tohopekaliga, Rodman Pool,
St. Johns River and the 100-lakes survey occupied the greater
part of the routine analysis work, with the balance being
occupied with trouble-shooting, lake bottom analysis, and
minor research projects. The 100-lakes survey was completed
for 10 years of background data collection, but new projects,
such as the upper Oklawaha Chain of Lakes investigations,
Lake Eutrophication Studies-In certain eutrophic lakes,
conditions have deteriorated to the point that there is little
or no reproduction of largemouth bass. With no replace-
ments coming on, the bass sport fishery can only decline
in such bodies of water.
In an effort to determine the exact causes for lack of
reproduction, four ponds at the Richloam facility were pre-
pared to simulate an overcrowded, eutrophic lake. Early
indications from this study are that panfish predation on
bass eggs and fry was responsible for lack of largemouth
bass reproduction, and work is continuing on this phase to
determine for certain this is actually the case. There are also
some grounds to suspect that the physical presence of ex-
cessive populations of bream may in some way preclude
A food and feeding habits study of largemouth bass in
Lake Tohopekaliga was initiated as part of the overall study
of that lake in 1971. Results indicate that the food and feed-
ing habits of largemouth bass vary during changes in lake
level. This change coincides with alteration of the forage
Aquatic Weed Research-Surveys of the vegetation of
lakes Jackson, lamonia and Rodman were continued. Lake
Jackson had undergone a natural drawdown and the resultant
vegetative changes were documented. Rodman was drawn
down for approximately six months during the fall and win-
ter, and the effects on the vegetation during and after the
drawdown were monitored. These studies will continue for
an indefinite period.
Vegetation transects and mapping work was done on the
white amur (grass carp) project in cooperation with the
Department of Natural Resources. A year's background study
was completed and the fish readied for release in four ponds.
St. Johns River-During this report period the project was
concerned with continuing efforts to supplement the marginal
natural reproduction of striped bass of the St. Johns River
by stocking artificially propagated native fingerlings, moni-
toring water pollution problems and water quality, investigat-
ing dredge and fill operations affecting the shoreline, study-
ing the sport and commercial fishery of the watershed and the
relationship of environmental factors to abundance of fish,
and, through cooperative efforts with other governmental
groups, attempting to manage and improve the resource.
Photos By Wallace Hughes
Use of sophisticated laboratory equipment, left, and
practical field and hatchery work, above, combine to
improve fishing through modern fish management tech-
niques. Research being done at the Eustis Laboratory
helps keep tabs on water quality throughout Florida.
Through a cooperative program with Putnam County and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fish hatchery at Welaka,
a total of 36,800 fingerling striped bass, ranging from 11/4
inches to 2 inches long, were produced and stocked in the
late spring of 1973. Of this total number, 18,700 were stocked
in the St. Johns River, including Lake George; 5,600 in Lake
Crescent; 5,000 and 2,500, respectively, in two inland lakes
of Putnam County, George's and Stella; and 2,500 fingerlings
each in the Nassau and St. Mary's rivers, from which pro-
ducing brood stock had come. A limited evaluation of stock-
ing success demonstrated that anglers had recovered year-old
striped bass from the previous year's program in these areas.
A springtime 1973 fish population study of the shoreline
fishes of lakes George, Crescent, and the St. Johns River
downstream demonstrated a very high potential productivity
for the fishery in terms of young largemouth bass, black crap-
pie, bluegill, shellcracker, other sunfishes, catfish, minnows
and other forage fishes. This study also indicated that float-
ing and submerged vegetation is of great importance as
habitat for young fishes. It was found to be more important
than the physical character of the bottom.
Reports from anglers in this region of the river indicate
that sport fishing success, found to be better in the 1971-72
period than at any time during the preceding 10 years, con-
tinued to further improve during 1972-73. A 1972-predicted
increase in commercial catches of catfish from the river also
materialized. It rose from 4.0 million pounds in 1970, and
5.8 million pounds in 1971, to 8.3 million pounds by the
end of 1972.
The total commercial production of fishery products as
reported to the U.S. Department of Commerce also showed
a continued and marked increase: from 6.4 million pounds
through the year 1970, to 9.8 in 1971, and 11.8 million
pounds by the end of the year 1972. Major commercial
species taken, other than catfish, are blue crab, American eel,
American shad, and various types of estuarine and marine
Attempts are being made-but so far without success-to
relate water quality, water level, and water temperature
fluctuations during the past three years to this steady increase.
It is believed that the greater abundance of floating and
submerged vegetation in the river during this time period
was more important than any other factor. Efforts at control of
excessive growth of aquatic plants, rather than their elimina-
tion, should be continued.
Water Quality Investigations-During the past fiscal year,
fall and spring collections of water were made from 52 im-
portant recreation lakes throughout the state. Analyses of
various physical, chemical, and biological features were made
on these samples as part of a continuous effort to document
some of the basic characteristics of Florida's more important
fresh water fishing lakes.
In addition, a more intensive program of a broader nature
has been in effect on the Rodman Reservoir for the past
two years. Information gained will provide important his-
torical data as the reservoir changes in character, and has
had immediate application in recent studies performed by the
President's Environmental Task Force, which has as its goal
the inclusion of the Oklawaha River in the national Wild
Rivers Study and a halt to further construction on the Cross-
Florida Barge Canal.
Stream Investigations-The stream investigations project
conducted an annual surveillance survey on the upper reaches
of the Apalachicola River as a continuation of the detailed
ecological study made there from 1968 through 1970. The
remainder of the year, the project was concerned with prob-
lems of the upper St. Johns River. Biological and physical
surveys were conducted to document areas of concern.
A picture of basic problems for the upper St. Johns evolved
through these surveys. Two primary concerns are the deterio-
ration of the water quality and the loss of marsh habitat.
When added to data from previous years, as well as data
from other studies, the seriousness of the problems were
brought to light. Possible remedial actions have been pro-
posed by the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control
District. Currently the FCD has partially implemented their
plan. Therefore, the stream investigations project addressed
itself to evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the pro-
posed FCD plan. Possible adverse ecological impact was
found in relation to certain aspects of the plan. Considerable
time was spent looking at alternatives to the more adverse
aspects of the FCD plan. The alternatives have led back
to a basic need of more flood plain marsh and a return of
water that is being lost to the river system. A possible method
for restoring reclaimed wetlands to their former state was
developed by project personnel.
Richloam Hatchery-Some 345,000 bass and bream were
distributed from Richloam Hatchery during the year. Half
of these were largemouth bass and the balance, bluegills and
redears. Continued efforts at hatching and rearing striped bass
from Florida-caught brood fish met with some success. Al-
though striper fingerling rearing of Richloam-hatched fry
was highly successful at the Blackwater facility near Holt,
abnormally high mortality in the rearing ponds at Richloam
cut the overall success of the program substantially.
A bright spot in the project was the successful rearing
of a cross between female white bass and male striped bass.
Several thousand of these hybrids were brought to fingerling
size, the first time this cross has been successfully made. An
experimental stocking has been made of the fish in a small
lake in the South Florida Region, and a substantial number
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of the fish are being held at Richloam for closer observation.
The hybrids appear to be notably vigorous and fast growing.
Hatchery work involving the hybrid will continue.
Research efforts centered at Richloam Hatchery include
lake eutrophication studies, a study of the relationship of
overpopulation of bluegills to largemouth reproduction, a
selective breeding program to attempt development of a
superior strain of largemouth bass, an evaluation of the
white amur, development of methods for control of bird
predation on hatchery fish, and evaluation of control methods
for certain aquatic plants troublesome to hatchery production
White Amur Project-A program to evaluate the white
amur, being considered as a natural control for aquatic
vegetation, is a joint venture with the Department of Natural
Resources. The first segment of the three year project has
concentrated on the selection of "safe" sites for experimental
introduction of the species, and the gathering of the neces-
sary background data to make possible an evaluation of the
effect of the species on the environment. Ponds have been
located in Broward, Madison, Pasco, and Suwannee counties.
Major consideration was given to security from human inter-
ference and to potential escape and flooding possibilities.
Limnological data are being analyzed by Rollins College
Lake Tohopekaliga Study-Standing crops of fish have
about doubled in Lake Tohopekaliga since reflooding follow-
ing the drawdown. Largemouth bass fishing effort and fisher-
man success continued to increase over the predrawdown
conditions. Panfish data reveal significantly lower numbers
compared with 1970 predrawdown figures, but it is also
evident that the fishery has recovered considerably from the
low exhibited during the drawdown phase.
Other postdrawdown changes indicated by the study are
an increased population of aquatic invertebrates, increased
hyacinth growth and resultant loss of many desirable aquatic
plants such as bulrush and panic grass, an increase in eelgrass
and other submerged plants, and an increase in abundance of
blue-green algae-a major causative factor in many fish kills.
For the period of February 1972 to January 1973, five
sewage plants have discharged an estimated 415,000 pounds
of elemental nitrogen and 576,000 pounds of phosphates into
Lake Tohopekaliga and its tributaries. The changes in water
quality observed since the initiation of this study make it
obvious that any long-term improvement in the lake requires
complete removal of the large and ever-increasing volume
of nutrient-laden sewage being discharged into it.
Lake Management and Research-The striped bass program
conducted under this project showed continued progress
during 1972-73. Major achievements were improved spawning
techniques, greater fry production, and the establishment of
additional striped bass fisheries in Florida lakes.
Production of striped bass fry approached 3 million this
year, from a total of 35 female striped bass. As with any
new research, additional problems were encountered that
limited our overall fry survival and fingerling production. An
estimated 90,000 fingerlings were produced and stocked
into the following research lakes:
Lake Julianna-Polk County
Lake Hunter-Polk County
Lake Gibson-Polk County
Crystal Lake-Polk County
Lake Thonotosassa-Hillsborough County
Newnans Lake-Alachua County
Additional fingerlings were obtained from the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service fish hatchery at Welaka for stocking Lake
Griffin, Lake County waters, and Lake Talquin, near Talla-
hassee. A total of 300,000 fingerling striped bass were re-
leased into Florida fresh water lakes.
Increased fishing success for striped bass has been noted
in lakes Julianna, Hunter, Gibson, Newnans, and below Lake
Talquin Dam. Specimens weighing up to 12 pounds were
caught this year. The larger fish were three years old, which
indicates Florida stripers have grown at a very rapid rate in
fresh water lakes. Preliminary evidence indicates that striped
bass may be effective in controlling the troublesome gizzard
shad, on which it has been feeding almost exclusively. In
Lakes Julianna and Hunter, shad populations have been
reduced significantly following three years of striper stocking.
It was determined that striper fishing was best during the
cooler winter months, and usually very early or late in the
day. Creel surveys have found that 90% of the catches were
made during the months of December through March. The
more successful methods have been trolling with spoons
or shad-type plugs or casting artificial lures into surface-
feeding schools. Live bait fishermen have done best fishing
shiners near the bottom at night.
Fish population surveys were continued on Lake Griffin,
near Leesburg, and Lake Trafford, at Immokalee. This year's
results indicated that the fishery quality of Lake Griffin is
decreasing, due largely to cultural eutrophication. The shad
population continued to increase, while game fish are showing
evidence of decline. It is anticipated that intensive manage-
ment efforts will be required for this lake in the near future.
The creel survey on Lake Griffin further substantiated
a significant decline in the black crappie (speckled perch)
fishery, a species for which this lake was once famous.
The results of Lake Trafford sampling showed the fish
population to be generally good. Largemouth bass, black
crappie, and panfish were abundant, and should afford ex-
cellent fishing for fishermen in this area. So far, habitat
conditions remain favorable for game fish production.
Lake Jackson-Lake Jackson, only 10 miles from the capitol
steps, has been the object of much discussion and concern
during the last year. The concern centers around the in-
creasing amounts of sediment being washed into the lake
from construction sites in the southern portion of the water-
shed. A continuing survey and inventory project by the Flor-
ida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission is monitoring
the effect of sediments on both plants and fish in this portion
of the lake. Data have demonstrated an adverse effect there,
and the trend at present seems to be towards expansion of the
The Florida Department of Transportation, in response to
the problem to which the construction of Interstate Highway
10 is contributing, has installed siltation barriers to retard
the expansion of the damage. The degree of success of these
structures has not yet been determined.
The lake has risen over 4 feet since last summer, and data
indicate an increase of desirable plants. In turn, a very good
year class of all game fish species, especially bass, is expected.
Data indicate that the number of harvestable bass (10 inches
and over) is approximately 50 per acre. A creel survey was
initiated in July 1973 to determine fisherman success and
Lake Talquin-Lake Talquin, 20 miles west of Tallahassee,
received over 100,000 striped bass fry again this year. A
continuing project by the Florida Game and Fresh Water
Fish Commission is monitoring the survival and growth of
these fish. The condition and growth of previous years' stock-
ing continues to be excellent. A fishery for stripers has devel-
oped at the base of the dam. Catches in the lake continue to
be sporadic but on the increase as local anglers discover more
about the techniques of striper fishing. Fish of 20 pounds or
more now swim in the lake and await the trophy angler.
Fish population surveys continue to indicate good popu-
lations of all game fish, especially speckled perch (black
crappie). Fishermen were especially successful during the
5-foot drawdown in the months of December 1972 and Jan-
uary 1973. The outlook for the coming year is bright.
Lake lamonia-Lake lamonia, 20 miles north of Tallahassee,
has long been famous for its large bluegills and shellcrackers.
Fish population data collected during the past 2 years indi-
cate the reason for this reputation. The fish population is
small in pounds per acre, averaging about 50, but is made
up of mostly large individuals. Bluegills over 1 pound, shell-
crackers over 2 pounds, and fliers over 12 ounces are not
uncommon. Bass and chain pickerel also run on the large
Plant survey data indicate a relatively stable population,
with the white water lily (Nymphaea odorata) being the
dominant species. Because of the great abundance of plants,
Lake lamonia continues to be a difficult but rewarding place
to wet a line.
Lake Okeechobee Investigation and Development-This
project encompasses a wide field of investigations on this
large and important body of water. There was a trend toward
an increase in annual catches of channel and white catfishes
from Lake Okeechobee during the period from 1968 through
1971. During the current reporting period, however, there
has been a decrease in landings. Harvest of channel catfish
in fiscal 1971-72 was 1.2 million pounds, and .6 million
during 1972-73. During the same period, white catfish land-
ings dropped from .9 million to .6 million pounds.
Early in the report period, some 45 miles of boat trails
were cut in the lake marsh to facilitate hunter and fisherman
access. With drought conditions since that time, and below
average water levels, no trail cutting has been conducted.
Creel census, black crappie investigations, and research on
aquatic plant communities and associated fauna are among
the other segments of the Lake Okeechobee project.
Florida's wild turkey population, though
still substantial, is steadily declining
because of elimination of turkey habitat.
Increasing human population is putting a
real squeeze on the wildlife of Florida.
Public hunting areas are going to remain
in spite of many being much too crowded.
Photo By Lovett Williams
THE GAME MANAGEMENT DIVISION reported substantial prog-
ress in the form of increased game and improved hunting
every year for more than two decades for the ever-increasing
number of Florida hunters. Those very bright days are gone.
The number of hunters has more than doubled in 10 years,
while the land area suitable for hunting, and open to the
hunter, has approximately halved.
The new, restrictive trespass laws, sharp increases in the
number of hunters, wildlife habitat losses to housing devel-
opment and highway construction, and a number of other
factors combined have placed a high premium on places
where the public can hunt.
Timber corporations and other owners of large tracts are
eyeing more and more the potential profits from leasing their
acreages to groups of organized sportsmen.
While this is not undesirable from a game management
standpoint, it may ultimately result in further crowding on
the shrinking area still open to the general public. In this
vicious cycle the excessive crowding stimulates more dis-
satisfied hunters who can afford to pay to join groups who
seek to lease hunting rights on additional acreage and close
it to the public. All the time, the overcrowding continues
and the open acreage diminishes.
If any optimism is in order, it lies in the hope that per-
haps the same technology that has made possible our modern
day progress can be put to work to solve Florida's new wild-
By 1980, Florida will be the third most populous state in
the nation. Minimizing the adverse impact of this human
population explosion on wildlife will continue to occupy
game management programs for the foreseeable future.
In 1968, the statewide turkey harvest declined substantially.
A survey indicated that virtually all land in the state that
can support wild turkeys in significant numbers had been
fully stocked, thus indicating that accelerated restocking
cannot place Florida back in the number one place in the
nation for turkey hunting-a distinction enjoyed for several
It has been determined that Florida turkey populations
are declining because of rapid elimination of suitable habitat
by urbanization. Unfortunately, it appears that nothing can
be done to effectively curb this phenomenal trend. To the
contrary, every day's news brings reports of whole cities
springing like toadstools after a summer rain from the bull-
dozed soil of Florida's few remaining wild places.
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 overhunting does not
join urbanization as a factor in the further decline of the
Florida is blessed with the greatest variety and quantity
of interesting and unique nongame wildlife in the United
States, but this brings with it added responsibility for ef-
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fective protection and management. We also have our share
of the so-called "endangered" species.
One of the state's better known and best-loved birds is
the brown pelican that greets every resident and tourist that
visits our beaches. In the 1960s, brown pelicans faded
entirely from the scene in Louisiana, the Pelican State, and
began to disappear in California. Pelicans were in critical
danger in most regions. The blame was placed on environ-
mental pollution by the insecticide DDT.
During early 1972, Game Management biologists com-
pleted an initial study of the brown pelican in Florida. They
report that the state's 20,000 brown pelicans are not dan-
gerously contaminated with DDT, and that the population
shows no signs of a downward trend.
Armed with confidence that Florida's pelicans were in no
imminent danger, the Game Management Division entered
into a brown pelican reintroduction program with Louisiana
in 1968 by transplanting young wild Florida pelicans to
Louisiana. As a result of this restocking, the Brown Pelican
began nesting again in Louisiana and may be on comeback
in the "Pelican State".
There has been an increasing public demand, and need,
for more knowledge about Florida wildlife species that are
generally not afforded the attention that the game species
receive. Some progress in nongame research has been made,
particularly on sandhill cranes, brown pelicans, and the
The Florida Legislature, in 1973, approved the hiring of
a "nongame" research biologist which will permit more
emphasis to be placed on the predatory, nonhunted, and
endangered species in the future. One of the first jobs in
the new nongame studies will be a thorough inventory of
Florida's herons and other wading birds, otters, and foxes.
Other personnel additions and adjustments will result in
a biologist assigned to deer management problems especially
in the Everglades and Ocala National Forest, areas which
have begun to experience critical problems in their deer herds.
A massive seabird dieoff occurred on the east coast during
the winter of 1971-72 (and remains unexplained even after
an intensive study of the incident), and botulism outbreaks
of serious proportion occurred in several waterfowl areas,
most notably on Lake Okeechobee where one outbreak took
a heavy toll on Florida ducks and nongame water birds.
"Progress" in many forms takes its toll in wildlife, espe-
cially if not controlled. The Division has become increasingly
active in the area of "environmental impact."
Noteworthy among the controversies has been our opposi-
tion to the USDA's program to control fire ants with aerial
applications of the persistent pesticide Mirex, opposition to
continued construction of the Cross Florida Barge Canal,
and opposition to the channelization of the Kissimmee River
and restoration of the river to its original condition and re-
flooding the expansive and important marshes. Channeliza-
tion of the Kissimmee eliminated approximately 15 per cent
of the small amount of remaining Florida sandhill crane's
habitat. The crane is an "endangered" species.
The white-tailed deer is the most important game species
on most management areas, and its populations continue to
increase, with a few local exceptions. Deer harvest is also
still on the increase and is expected to continue to increase
until statewide herd densities reach about one deer per 10
to 15 acres. This will approximately triple the Florida herd.
The Everglades deer herd continues to be plagued with
either too much or too little water, and the solution seems
farther out of sight every day. Deer "islands" were con-
structed after the last period of extremely high water, but
their value to the herd cannot be assessed before the next
flood. Plans are being made to determine the value of the
manmade deer islands by studying deer movement and
habitat utilization through radio-telemetry.
Photo By Lovett Williams
Many wildlife research dollars are spent on nonhunted spe-
cies like sandhill crane, above, cattle egrets, brown pel-
icans, alligators and others. White-tailed deer, at right,
is Florida's top big game mammal-responds to management.
A survey of the Florida panther was conducted by re-
search cooperators last winter. The panther is on the verge
of extinction with fewer than 30 left. The only hope for the
species is the immediate strict enforcement of state laws
protecting it, and the timely purchase of Big Cypress Swamp
so that at least a remnant of the original numbers can be
given protection in all its forms, including habitat control.
Exotic animals continue to cause some anxiety in Florida
because of their great potential for rampant reproduction and
ecological and agricultural damage. Florida has more species
of acclimatized foreign wildlife than any other continental
Special study has recently been given to possible harmful
effects of the cattle egret, which is suspected by some con-
servationists to represent a possible threat to the native
herons, and feared by some sportsmen as a predator on wild-
life, especially young quail.
Studies conducted in 1970 and 1971 showed that the
food habits of cattle egrets are not detrimental to wildlife
(or especially beneficial to agriculture either), and no evi-
dence was found to support the idea that the species is
harmful to native herons and egrets.
Exotics, both good and bad, are scheduled for more at-
tention. The black francolin, a very fine partridge from the
Old World, is well established in two study areas in south
Florida, and will be studied further and redistributed into
other suitable habitat during the next three years.
Further studies are planned for the South American tinamou
and four species of ducks that will make good game birds
if they can be acclimatized to Florida conditions. A thorough
inventory is also planned for the "bad" exotics so that we
can see where we stand with potential (and real) vertebrate
One major development in waterfowl management has
been the new bag limit system based on the point system,
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
Beginning in 1971 and continuing during this reporting
Table 1. Statewide annual harvest trends of major game species
Species 1969-70 1970-71 1971-72 1972-73
Deer 41,900 48,600 48,900 58,500
Turkey 32,600 25,200 25,800 28,900
Bear 18 7 13 10
Wild Hog 28,500 36,000 38,700 60,900
Quail 2,847,500 2,423,500 1,712,700 3,154,800
Squirrel, Gray 1,691,500 1,630,000 1,458,000 1,333,000
Duck 389,200 546,965 522,500 510,700
Dove 2,386,600 2,157,400 2,219,300 2,650,300
period, Florida duck hunters were permitted to take as many
as 10 ducks of the commoner species per day if they were
able to identify them before shooting.
Florida populations of migratory waterfowl continue to
decline. No change in this 20-year trend is expected until
the common practice of "shortstopping" ducks and geese
in the North is discontinued. For many years now, more and
more waterfowl refuges in the north have placed out more
and more winter feed and created greater areas of waterfowl
habitat in their programs to attract and hold more huntable
waterfowl. This has shortstopped most of Florida's winter
ducks and geese.
The Canada goose has dwindled to less than 10 percent
of its former numbers in Florida. Experimental work is
under way to introduce nonmigratory Canada geese in Florida
in the hope that they will nest here.
Photo By William Greer
Table 2. Florida's Wildlife Management Areas
Cecil M. Webb
St. Vincent Island
La Floresta Perdida
PRIMARILY TO THE CREDIT Of farsighted leaders and the
examples set by individual officers, law enforcement's
professional status continued to gain recognition during
1972-73. The 1973 legislative session emphasized this by
allocating a substantial salary increase to all state law en-
forcement officers. It was noted that law officers are not only
continually furthering their education and increasing their
skills, but, by the very nature of their business, are confronted
daily with situations requiring split-second decisions affecting
their own and the public's safety and welfare. To whom other
than skilled law enforcement officers can such responsibility
With specific reference to the growing responsibilities
shouldered by the Law Enforcement Bureau of the Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission, the Legislature approved 17
new wildlife officer positions, six inspector positions, and a
secretarial position. A crucial justification for these employees
was the growing need for increased enforcement activities in
associated conservation fields. New positions and additional
operating funds were imperative if the bureau was to do its
Job questionnaires for all positions within the bureau are
being updated. The new basic requirements for a wildlife
officer applicant will be two years of college; or two years
of military service; or three years of responsible work experi-
It is apparent that the minimum requirements for law
enforcement positions are increasing at an accelerated pace.
The modifications are an inherent part of the current law en-
forcement trend towards increased education, experience, and
expertise, and will be a vital link in any progressive conser-
In recognition of the multitude of responsibilities handled
by the Law Enforcement Bureau, the Commission recently
promoted the chief to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and the
assistant chief to the rank of major.
If one key word could be used to describe the current law
enforcement bureau's philosophy, it almost certainly would
be specialization. Continually expanding duties involving
highly technical fields dictate that the bureau consolidate
its personnel resources to meet this demand.
Although less than two years old, the Inspection and
Investigation Section was formed to help fill a need for
The investigation team recently concluded the second
major undercover case in 12 months. It resulted in the arrest
of 12 men, charged with a total of nearly 50 violations.
Although most of the cases involved commercialization of
illegally taken deer, turkey, and alligator, undercover inves-
tigators also solved a score of burglaries at rural north Florida
plantation homes. As was stated at the outset of the investi-
gations program, full-time undercover operations are the most
effective means of dealing with organized market hunting
A noticeable by-product of the exposing and subsequent
prosecution of market hunters has been the deterrent factor.
Wildlife officers report significant lulls in illegal hunting
activity in their areas following mass arrests.
It has likewise been apparent that the investigation
of organized market hunting rings almost invariably leads to
related violations that are equally serious, or more so-
charges such as trespassing, possession and sale of narcotics,
burglary, cattle rustling, and receipt of stolen property.
The inspections team spent considerable time during this
report period revamping existing permitting procedures and
continuing to develop rapport with the pet and wildlife ex-
hibit industry and their suppliers.
Photo By William Greer
A wildlife officer's preparation for duty includes learning
what is expected of him from the Commission, above, but his
specialty is police work in the outdoors. Night hunting is
still a very serious problem in Florida-up 33% in 1972.73.
A representative of the Inspection and Investigation Section
attended the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council meeting and
the Pet Industry Distributors Association meeting in an
attempt to solicit the industry's help in educating consumers
to the potential threats of introduced exotic species. The
conference was very successful, and a cooperative campaign
is being launched. The pet industry manufacturers are plan-
ning to print environmental warnings on many products
The inspections section is attempting to gear itself for the
six new positions approved. As previously indicated, the pri-
mary function of this unit will be to monitor and regulate
the importation, exportation, exhibiting, propagation, trans-
portation, and sale of fish and wildlife.
The Law Enforcement Bureau dispatched 20 officers to
the Florida Keys to provide assistance during the opening
of the annual crawfish season. This has proven to be a highly
successful reciprocal agreement between the Marine Patrol
and the Game and Fish Commission. (Marine Patrol officers
are assigned to assist wildlife officers during the opening of
hunting season.) By combining uniformed forces during these
peak concentrations, the best possible enforcement coverage
Florida wildlife officers made 6,587 arrests during the
1972-73 reporting period. Of particular importance was a
33% increase (229 cases) in the number of arrests for hunt-
ing deer at night with a gun and light. Violations of other
laws protecting deer numbered 176, for a total of 405 deer-
Although primarily speculation, it is entirely possible that
currently high prices for domestic meat may be a major factor
contributing to this increase in deer cases.
On the plus side of the ledger was a reduction in the
number of cases related to the illegal taking or possession of
wild turkey. Only 8 such cases were recorded this year, as
compared with 29 turkey cases for the previous year.
There were 97 citations for the unlawful taking of quail,
and an additional 47 cases for violation of laws protecting
squirrels. Five hundred fifty-nine persons were cited for
violating migratory game bird and waterfowl laws.
A total of 54 violations were recorded that involved alli-
gators; another 154 arrests were made for the illegal pos-
session of a gun and light at night for the purpose of taking
wildlife other than deer; and there were an additional 1,141
arrests for general hunting violations.
Persons cited for various fishing violations totaled 2,674;
and 533 were apprehended for violation of boating safety
Narcotics arrests totaled 98, including 10 charges involving
Traffic violations numbered 90, including 28 for driving
Confiscation reports indicate that 73 vehicles, 145 firearms,
77 lights, 4 boats, and 14 miscellaneous items of equipment
were seized during this reporting period.
As indicated in previous reports, a disturbing trend toward
resisting arrest is continuing. During 1972-73, 23 charges
were made against persons resisting arrest, four for interfering
with an officer in the performance of his duty, and 15 for
assaulting an officer.
Sad to note, two Commission enforcement officers lost their
lives tragically in line of duty during the year.
Sgt. Harry C. Chapin was fatally shot November 5, 1972
as he and other officers were attempting to apprehend a group
of night hunters in Gadsden County; and Sgt. James L. Cook
drowned when he accidentally fell from his patrol boat De-
cember 8, 1972 in a Polk County lake.
They will be remembered by their contemporaries as officers
who always gave unselfishly of themselves; as men of high
courage and higher ideals. They had pride of profession. They
were devoted to their families. They were dedicated to
serving their communities well. No more can be asked of
Photo By Bob Brantly
Information and Education
ERE THE GAME COMMISSION to adopt the titles and
classifications of private industry, the Information-
Education Bureau would doubtless have the title of "Sales
Department." Call it what you will; Information-Education,
Public Relations, Advertising, etc., the name of the game is
Three hundred sixty-five days a year the bureau is in the
business of "selling" the Commission. This might be as direct
as selling the Commission's new game management program
relative to a particular area to members of a local club. Or
it could be an effort in a weekly column to persuade the
nonhunter of the necessity of hunting, or of the inherent
dangers in a particular gun control law.
To accomplish this overall program requires the utilization
of many diverse disciplines. There are needs for photo-
graphers, script writers, artists, sound technicians, layout
men, lecturers, public relations types, broadcast and TV
folks, and yes, even salesmen! The bureau has the use of
these specialized talents in its own group of 13 officers.
Still, there are times when a situation requires those talents
not available in-house, and these are often provided by other
bureaus of the Commission.
Within the bureau there are five distinct programs con-
tinuing on a year-round, on-going basis. These are: general
information and education, which includes administration,
central planning and regional extension; audio-visual; con-
servation-education; hunter and firearms safety training; and
the wildlife reserve program.
General Information and Education
The bureau personnel includes five regional information
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officers who, along with their secretaries, are responsible
for the "sales" in their particular regions. A region will in-
volve an average of 13 counties, and will cover about /1 of
These five officers, plus a sub-regional officer in Dade
County, are responsible for implementation of programs at a
regional level. They are in daily contact with local media, and
with local sports and government leaders. They carry out
two programs. One is the overall statewide sales program as
it applies to their regions. The other is a parallel program
to meet local problems and requirements.
At both levels, there are a number of techniques and tools
to carry out the program.
News and information releases: All news and information
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, sports-
men and conservation clubs, county tax collectors, and other
public officials. Each Commission employee also receives news
releases in order that he might keep abreast of events con-
cerning conservation and the Commission.
During 1973, a total of 150 news and information releases
were distributed from the central office. A comparable num-
ber of local or regional releases originated from the combined
efforts of the five regional I & E officers.
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 stan-
dard business type envelope and provide a handy source of
information in reply to numerous mail requests.
During the past year, new designs were incorporated in
the information brochure and registration forms for the Youth
Conservation Education Camps. Other information brochures
were updated, reprinted and distributed.
Newspaper and Magazine Feature Articles: These articles
are used when a regular "hard news" release won't tell the
full story. They also provide an excellent opportunity to
spread a philosophical message to the public. This past year,
the bureau released six illustrated feature articles. These
were illustrated with pen and ink sketches provided by the
An evaluation of clipping returns revealed high usage of
the material by the media, primarily attributable to the
inclusion of the artwork. Over 85% of the media using these
feature releases used them in their entirety, and several en-
larged the artwork to make a full page article.
Weekly Newspaper Columns: The column "Florida Wild-
life," with comments on the outdoors, is mailed to all news-
papers and radio stations in Florida on a weekly basis. It
provides an area for expanded discussion of conservation
subjects. The latest tabulation indicates the column is used
by 68 daily and weekly newspapers with a combined cir-
culation of 1,393,950. This is an increase of 33 1/3% over
last year's usage. This increase is attributed to our conver-
sion to a complete in-house operation rather than using an
external mailing service.
Personal Appearances: Information-Education personnel
make many personal appearances before groups of all types.
A regular daily schedule of operations may include a talk
for 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 ap-
Information-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 con-
servation message, and launched a new concept in radio
programming during the hunting season.
Radio and Television: While the Commission appears
regularly on but two radio stations with their own program,
there are large numbers of appearances as guests on radio
and TV outlets statewide. In West Palm Beach and Miami,
the regional and sub-regional officers host a 5-minute daily
program called "Hunter Hotline," which is aired nightly
throughout the hunting season.
Other use of these media this year has been the adoption
of a policy of sending a series of typed, 30-second, public
service announcements on a monthly basis. These carry
messages of current interest on youth camp opening, licenses
due, season dates, and other appropriate subjects.
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: Each year, thousands of letters are re-
ceived requesting conservation information. Each letter, re-
gardless of content or subject, receives individual attention.
Many require an extensive reply while others may be an-
swered 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 prompt,
individual attention in reply.
Last year's major A-V effort, MARKS OF A SPORTS-
MAN, has proven to be a success statewide. This series,
relating to the courtesies of hunting, has been viewed by
several other states and is being incorporated into the pro-
grams of those states as well as safety programs being offered
by two national agencies.
This year, a similar presentation aimed at fishing has been
completed. WET LINE WISDOM follows the same general
format as its predecessor, and in initial viewing before a
variety of audiences has been well received. Both productions
are completely in-house, with contributions of acting talent
from other bureaus and sportsmen's clubs.
A 24-minute film, MEN IN GREEN, which tells the story
of the Commission's diverse activities, was completed and
made available to the public through our film loan library
and through regional information officers. The film was
contracted to a private company, with contributions of talent
and equipment and technical supervision by the Commission.
Information exhibits often include samples, left, of printed
matter available from I & E. Main objective of this division
is education for the young and old. Summer camps with strong
themes on conservation are popular with both boys and girls.
Photo By Jim Reed
With the increased activity of regional programs, and
special projects by the Hunter-Firearms Safety Program, the
Tallahassee photography laboratory has become increasingly
important. Duplication of slides for various series are done
here, as is processing and printing work for law enforcement,
game and fish projects, and for Florida Wildlife magazine.
A new facet was added to the A-V section with the acquisi-
tion of a video tape unit. Primarily intended for use at the
training academy, this will enable the Commission to produce
"quickie" in-house training films and sequences.
"Come, join us for an adventure, exploring Florida's woods
and waters" was the invitation extended by the Commission's
Youth Camps this summer. Over 2,000 Florida youngsters
between the ages of 8 and 14 responded to the offer for an
introduction to the wilderness, wildlife, woods, and waters.
This year, for the first time, both camps operated a com-
pletely co-educational session. All 10 weeks were open to
girls and boys, allowing families to send children as a group
rather than as individuals, an especially attractive feature
since few camps are operated so a brother and sister may
There are presently two camps, each serving a completely
distinct environment. The Ocala 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, in a setting
of sawgrass, savannah flats, cypress and palm hammocks,
and everglades-related wildlife.
Programs at both camps are inter-related and divided into
six areas of interest: nature, riflery, archery, fishing, swim-
ming 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 spe-
cializing in that field imparts an enjoyable learning experience
through lectures and physical contact with the major subject.
During the 10-week camp period, youngsters were intro-
duced to firearms and the Hunter and Firearms Safety course,
and were so certified. Many youngsters also received junior
During the winter months the camps are made available
to groups on an organizational basis. During weekdays the
sites may be utilized by schools or universities for ecological
classrooms, field trips, or seminars. On weekends, scouts,
churches and civic groups hold retreats or conventions.
Sportsmen's clubs are invited to consider the facilities for
meetings and barbecues.
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 Information and Education operation, and has ex-
tended the conservation arm of the Commission by freeing
regular personnel for more demanding responsibilities.
The pilot program was begun in 1969 in Orange, Brevard,
and Seminole counties under the supervision of the regional
information officer. In 1971, a full-time coordinator was ap-
pointed and the program was expanded to include Citrus,
Lake, Sumter, Osceola, St. Lucie, Marion, and Volusia coun-
ties. This past year it has been enlarged further to encompass
(Continued on next page)
(Continued from preceding page)
all 12 counties of the Central Region, from St. Johns County
to Osceola, and from Citrus to Flagler County.
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
written and oral examinations relating to wildlife, and be
physically fit and able to perform required duties. The
maximum strength of the G.F.C. Reserve is limited to three
times the number of regular wildlife officers in each county.
The G.F.C. Reserve program has its own chain of com-
mand and its own supervisory personnel, who direct the
activities of reserve members through the Commission Re-
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 pro-
gram, 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 either the 280-hour Police
Standards Course or the 80-hour Auxiliary Police Officers
Course. The scope of authority for reservists completing the
This public document was promulgated at
an annual cost of $590.84, or $0.2954
per copy, to provide an administrative,
financial, and operations annual report.
approved training is limited to violations of laws governing
wildlife and fresh water fish, and all cases are made under
the supervision of regular wildlife officers.
Reservists are required to file regular activity reports 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-
education activities, 7.5 hours answering complaints about
alligators or other wildlife, 3 hours assisting wildlife manage-
ment projects, 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 grow-
ing and holds great promise for the future of wildlife con-
servation in the State of Florida.
Hunter and Firearms Safety Training
The Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission is
deeply committed to its Hunter and Firearms Safety program.
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 safely
training program aimed primarily at young people, but
also designed to interest and benefit adults.
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.
In 1972, eighty new instructors were trained and certified,
and 660 existing instructors were trained in new programs
and concepts, providing a statewide instructor pool of 740
men. During this past year 3,774 sportsmen and sportswomen
of all ages were certified in Commission-supported Hunter
and Firearms Safety courses.
Major accomplishments for this year have been:
1. The distribution of Instructors Manuals to all instructors.
2. The adoption of student training manuals, and their
use in all courses, thus providing a statewide uniform
3. The assigning of regional information officers to serve
as coordinators for the program in their respective
4. Completion of a project to have all data relative to
students and instructors compiled on data processing
equipment at the state's data processing center in Talla-
This last project provides a monumental amount of data
relative to individual instructors' performances, student in-
formation, a monthly feedback of instructor validity, and
miscellaneous time and cost data.
During 1972, Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
records show there were 136 weapon accidents, of which
21 were associated with hunting. This is a notable drop
from 42 hunter-related accidents out of 231 total firearm
accidents in 1971.
The aim of Florida's Hunter and Firearms Safety program
is to reduce these figures to zero. With the assistance and
cooperation of the anticipated 3,000 certified volunteer in-
structors the program is aiming for, and the 5-year goal
of 100,000 trained hunters and firearms users, this aim could
become a reality.
URING THE PAST YEAR the environmental movement in
Florida continued to gain strength with the passage of
landmark legislation and with the realization by public
officials that there is indeed a potential of an environmental
crisis in Florida. Fish kills, water crises, floods, environ-
mentally damaging developments, and population pressures
continually made headlines in newspapers throughout the
Public awareness of ecological problems heightened and
could be noted in the increased numbers of citizens attend-
ing public meetings relating to proposals that could be
damaging to rivers, bays, or aesthetically pleasing habitat.
Public officials and citizens began to realize that natural
systems can provide many services to man, such as assimi-
lating waste products and providing clean air and water at
less cost and greater efficiency than a lagging engineering
The Environmental Protection Section of the Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission has taken an active role in
assisting in the implementation of the two new legislative
mandates passed during 1972. The Florida Environmental
Land and Water Management Act, administered by the De-
partment of Administration, allows the State of Florida to
identify and designate Developments of Regional Impact
and Areas of Critical State Concern. The Land Conservation
Act of 1972 provided the State of Florida with 240 million
dollars as the result of a bond issue, to buy environmentally
endangered areas and recreation lands.
The Environmental Protection Section has been providing
considerable input into these selection processes through our
newly initiated wildlife survey. The survey is designed to
determine, by watersheds and habitat, the relative abundance
and distribution of wildlife throughout the state. Although
still in the preliminary stages, the survey has provided useful
information to the administrative process for the recognition
of existing endangered wildlife habitat.
During the past year the staff of the Environmental Pro-
tection Section has been active on many other diverse projects
of environmental significance. Our input into these programs
guarantees that fish and wildlife benefits will be considered,
and in most cases mitigation measures are implemented to
help insure that the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission's interests, and therefore the sportsmen's, are
protected. Significant programs are listed below, along with
a brief description of our activities.
Florida Public Works Program-Each year public works
projects are selected by the Florida Cabinet and submitted
to the Federal Office of Management and Budget for funding.
Environmental Protection Section biologists provide bio-
logical information on projects proposed for selection, and
attempt to discourage funding of potentially destructive
National Water Commission Report-Considerable time
was spent providing substantive comments on the National
Water Commission Report. This report offers policy guide-
lines to the executive or legislative branches of the federal
government regarding future water resource programs. This
report offered significant changes in existing federal water
Kissimmee River Restoration-The Environmental Protec-
Alteration of natural water bodies and shorelines is a
major threat to Florida's fragile aquatic environment,
and on public waters, it's a violation of the law. 11-
legal timbering and dredging were detected during 1973.
tion Section, along with other Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission bureaus, has been providing biological expertise
to the various agencies concerned with restoration of the
Kissimmee River. Our staff feels that it is of the utmost im-
portance that an environmentally sound restoration project
be implemented that will improve the existing degraded con-
dition of the river.
Dade County Jetport Site-The Site Selection Committee
for a South Florida Jetport selected a new site in North Dade
County. Biological comments were prepared on the effects
of a jetport in this area.
Apalachicola River-Testimony was prepared and presented
at a U.S. Corps of Engineers public hearing regarding massive
alterations of the Apalachicola River in the interest of naviga-
tion. The Corps received overwhelming opposition to this
project because of the effects alteration would have on fish,
wildlife, and aesthetics.
Rainbow River-Biological expertise was provided to the
(Continued on next page)
Photo By E. M. DeFoor
(Continued from preceding page)
Marion County administrators relative to proposed zoning
along the Rainbow River. A moratorium has been passed
until additional studies can be made to determine the en-
vironmental impacts of various zoning proposals.
Congressional Subcommittee-Testimony was prepared and
submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcom-
mittee on Natural Resources, chaired by Congressman Henry
S. Reuss of Wisconsin. The committee visited Florida to hear
testimony relating to the effectiveness of federal agencies in
curbing environmental degradation in this state.
Soil Conservation Service-Close coordination continued
this year with the Department of Agriculture, Soil Conser-
vation Service. Biological information and planning was pro-
vided to the SCS regarding the Palatlakaha River (Lake
County), Prairie Creek (Highlands County), Prairie Creek
(Hillsborough County) and the Resource Conservation and
Development Program in northwest Florida.
Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District--
Monthly board meetings and staff planning sessions were
attended regularly during this year. Advice was presented to
the board on many projects. These included the C-51 Canal
(Palm Beach County), L-100 Canal (Glades and Hendry
Counties), Lake Okeechobee water levels, south Dade water
supply canals, Everglades National Park water supplies, the
Kissimmee River restoration proposal, backpumping proposals,
and drawdown projects.
Department of Transportation-Biological reports were
written on 75 projects under the jurisdiction of the Florida
Department of Transportation. Primary interest projects in-
cluded 1-75, Florida Turnpike, Winkler Road (Lee County),
and Niceville By-pass (Okaloosa County).
State Planning and Development Clearinghouse-The En-
vironmental Protection Section processed 190 projects dis-
tributed by the Florida Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse 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 projects financed by federal
funds are received from this agency. The Game and Fresh
Water Fish Commission has the responsibility of assessing
and commenting on the probable ecological-biological rami-
fications of each project, and these comments are utilized in
the formulation of state policies.
Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund-Biolo-
gists in the Environmental Protection Section, in cooperation
with other bureau personnel, processed 562 TIITF dredge and
fill applications. These applications included proposed con-
structions in fresh water lakes and along coastal zones of the
state. Projects ranged in size from a few square feet to over
Biological field inspections were performed on each pro-
posal, and comments were prepared and submitted to the
TIITF and to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Many acres
of valuable wildlife habitat were preserved through this pro-
The above list of projects is by no means complete, but
serves to point out the many diverse proposals of environ-
mental interest processed by the Environmental Protection
Section. This section operates closely with other divisions
in the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission in an earnest
attempt to protect and enhance the unique natural values of
Florida so that future Floridians will have a place in which
to enjoy natural resource-oriented activities. Without eco-
logically-intact, productive fresh water marshes, forests, rivers,
lakes, and estuaries, future management objectives relating
to populations of fish and wildlife will be unattainable.
Progress was made during the year, but colossal environmental challenges remain. Protection
of Lake Okeechobee, seen below, for example, is going to require some strong public support.
Photo By Florida Department of Commerce