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Annual report - Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
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 Material Information
Title: Annual report - Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
Publisher: Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.
Place of Publication: Tallahassee
Creation Date: 1973
Frequency: annual
regular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Wildlife management -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Fishery management -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000349325
oclc - 05513917
notis - ABY7045
lccn - 79644252
issn - 0195-6256
System ID: UF00075971:00003
 Related Items
Preceded by: Report - Florida, Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

Full Text
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission


ANNUAL


REPORT


JULY 1, 1973
through
JUNE 30, 1974


MARCH 1975







Financial Statement

July 1, 1973 through



Statement Of C

Sport Fishing:
AK Fishing
Fishing
Sport Hunting:
AK Hunting
Hunting
U. S. Permits
State Hunting Permits
Miscellaneous Permits
Commercial Fishing:
Retail Fish Dealer
Non-Resident Retail Fish Dealer
Resident Wholesale Fish Dealer
Non-Resident Wholesale Fish Dealer
Duplicate Commercial Licenses
Fish Pond Licenses
Commercial Hunting:
Trapping
Hunting Preserve
Guide
Game Farm
Wholesale Fur Dealers & Agents
Local Fur Dealers
License to Exhibit Poisonous or
Venomous Reptiles
Field Trial Rentals
Wildlife Exhibit or Sale Permit

Miscellaneous:
Court Costs
Miscellaneous Receipts
Previous Years Licenses Collected
Magazine Subscription
Magazine Single Copies
Sale Old Equipment
Confiscated Material & Equipment
Concession Revenue
Manatee County Reservoir Revenue
Sale Right-of-Way-Webb Area
Investment Earnings
I.P.A. Grant
Fund Transfer-Hyacinth
Fund Transfer-Building Trust
Federal Government:
Federal Aid Hyacinth Control
Dingell-Johnson
Pittman-Robertson
Leases:
Webb Area Grazing Lease
Palm Beach County Lease
Stump Lease
Miscellaneous
General Revenue:


$ 520,330.00
9,081.00
347,774.00
32,277.00


$ 90,809.00
1,919.00
15,632.00
17,940.00


$ 67,055.00
2,800.00
22,205.00
,y 42,246.00


$ 909,462.00




$126,300.00




$ 134,306.00
$8,847,055.00


its By Budget Category


$ 5,233.773.00
108,658.00
2,737.092.00
567,030.00
65,502.00
135,000.00


$8,847,055.00


lents By Fund Source


$1,295,756.00
7,551,299.00


2,204.45
57,819.01
51,884.50
46,831.77
286.65
10,826.60
988.11
10,169.62
10,785.00
126,450.00
485.75
12,500.00
889,536.00
155,464.00

71,365.90
355,653.50
663,278.48

30,299.21
10,000.00
7,404.09
100.00


TOTAL REVENUE


Disbursements by Department


Administration and Support Services
Salary
Other Personal Services
General Expenses
Operating Capital Outlay
Debt Service
Data Processing

Law Enforcement
Salary
Other Personal Services
General Expenses
Operating Capital Outlay
Data Processing

Fish Management
Salary
Other Personal Services
General Expenses
Operating Capital Outlay

Wildlife Management
Salary
Other Personal Services
General Expenses
Operating Capital Outlay
Data Processing

Information and Education
Salary
Other Personal Services
General Expenses
Operating Capital Outlay
Data Processing


$ 484,486.00
10,621.00
672,659.00
1,076.00
135,000.00
50,610.00


$2,408,228.00
4,131.00
642,205.00
238,552.00
4,271.00


$ 799,252.00
4,063.00
406,232.00
98,136.00


$ 592,580.00
18,235.00
431,057.00
134,783.00
1,682.00

$271,033.00
7,808.00
199,328.00
2,020.00
8,565.00


$8,847,055.00


Administration


OR THE PAST THIRTY-ONE YEARS since the Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission became a constitutional
agency, the Commission has carried out its programs
with revenue derived from the sale of hunting and fish-
ing licenses. During the early years of the Commission
this was appropriate, as the programs of the agency
1,090,297.88 were primarily directed to benefit hunters and fishermen.
However, over the years, particularly during the past
decade, the Commission has become increasingly in-
47,80330 volved in matters affecting and benefiting not only the
hunter and fisherman but the general citizenry: pro-
tection, research and management of nongame species
of wildlife; boating safety, civil emergencies and other
1,301,45.00 general police actions; environmental protection encom-
$9,030916.9 passing water quality, pollution control, and ecological
systems; and development of a recreational program for
i the Everglades.
Realizing that these activities benefited the general
public rather than exclusively hunters and fishermen,
the 1973 Legislature appropriated $2,036,737 in general
revenue funds to assist in the Commission's overall
program. These funds have been put to good use, as
$1,354,452.00 can be ascertained by a review of the various programs
and accomplishments set forth in this report.
In general, the Commission accelerated its manage-
ment of the state's wildlife and fresh water fisheries
resources to insure optimum wildlife and fish popula-
$3,297,387.00 tions for the recreational and aesthetic benefit of the
public. Such management encompassed the promulga-
tion of codes and regulations for the protection of the
resource; enforcement of these codes and regulations
$1,308,057.00 and those provided by Florida's statutes; habitat im-
provement; research directed toward solving resource
problems; regulation and inspection of wildlife importa-
tion; regulation and inspection of wildlife exhibitors;
control of aquatic vegetation; biological inspection and
$1,228,37.00 reporting of construction and development projects which
could affect fish and wildlife resources and their habitat;
acquisition and development of public recreation areas;
and a conservation information and education program.
$ 488,754.00 Next year there may be a change in our status because


FLORIDA WILDLIFE






of a forthcoming constitutional referendum. However,
we favor these changes as expressed in the following
position statement which was adopted at the March 8,
1974 meeting in Panama City:

The Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
cherishes and strongly supports its constitutional
autonomy because of its traditional and well demon-
strated role of leadership in the protection and
management of Florida's wildlife and natural en-
vironment. It nevertheless recognizes the propriety
of its adherence as a state agency to the funda-
mental and appropriately ever-changing operational
policies and procedures of the State of Florida.
Therefore, the Commission has sponsored, and
strongly and enthusiastically supports, the constitu-
tional amendment relative to its status which will
be voted upon in the general election of 1974. This
amendment maintains the basic constitutional au-
thority of the Commission to manage and regulate
the fish and wildlife resources of Florida while
providing the following:
1. The members of the Commission appointed by
the Governor shall be confirmed by the Senate.
2. The Commission shall operate by state law in
the areas of planning, budgeting, purchasing, and
personnel management.
3. Hunting and fishing license revenue shall be
used only for protection, management, and conser-
vation of wild animal life and fresh water aquatic
life.
4. The Legislature may enact laws in aid of the
Commission not inconsistent with the constitutional
authority of the Commission.
5. The authority of the Commission is more
specifically denoted by defining its powers as "regu-
latory and executive" rather than "non-judicial."
Finally, the next fiscal year appears even brighter in
view of the 1974 Legislature appropriating $5,196,711 in
general revenue funds to carry out the expanded re-
sponsibilities of the Commission. One item approved
was funding of a 24-hour radio system which has been
sorely needed for many years. Many other programs
will be upgraded and expanded. The Commission appre-
ciates the support of the Legislature, the sportsmen, and
other outdoor-oriented citizens of the state, and intends
to justify that support.


Administrative Services


DURING THIS YEAR PRELIMINARY PLANS were started to
organize the Administrative Services for the Commis-
sion. Several meetings were held with the Division of
Budget, Division of Personnel, and the Bureau of Man-
agement Improvement. The results of these meetings led
to a legislative request for approval of the Administrative
reorganization and the necessary positions to implement
the proposed changes. This was approved for implementa-
tion for 1974-75 fiscal year. The various sections spent
the remainder of the year carrying on normal business,
and began plans to carry out the future reorganization.
In July, 1973, the Legislature authorized a pay increase
for all state-employed law enforcement officers and for
other employees below pay grade 24. The Personnel Office
was responsible for making these changes in the salaries
of all Game and Fish Commission employees affected by
the act. A total of 242 new employees were added to the
Commission's payroll, and 125 employees were terminated


during the fiscal year. Commission identification cards
were prepared and distributed to all Commission em-
ployees, OPS employees were hired for hunting season,
personnel records were converted to computer, and inter-
views for prospective field employees were held periodi-
cally throughout the year. Annual revisions to the code
book were made, and approximately 50 orders were pro-
cessed, including fish and game management area regu-
lations and resident game seasons. Reports were sub-
mitted to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commis-
sion.
During this report period, the Training Section con-
ducted Supervisory Training Schools, which began in
April and were completed in August. Also conducted
were an Orientation School, June 3-8; an 80-hour Auxili-
ary School, July 9-13; the final phase of Basic Recruit
School #5, September 4-28; and phase one of Basic
Recruit School #6, October 1-12. The second through the
fifth phases were commenced in January and completed
in June of 1974.
During this period, all Auxiliary officers were re-regis-
tered with the Police Standards Board, progress reports
on Equal Employment Opportunity efforts were made to
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and a
final report was made on the Intergovernmental Personnel
Act grant. Annual promotional examinations were pre-
pared and administered to Commission law enforcement
employees during the month of May.
A major accomplishment was realized when the Police
Standards Board Curriculum Revision Committee man-
dated that two hours of the required Police Standards
training be devoted to environmental-oriented law enforce-
ment.
The production of 12 issues of FLORIDA WILDLIFE Maga-
zine and the annual package of hunting and fishing regu-
lations summaries and related materials, plus an unusu-
ally heavy amount of special printing, presented a year-
long challenge to the six-member Publications Section in
1973-74.
Besides the normal load of summer and fall work, the
Section produced a considerable amount of printing in
connection with the International Association of Game,
Fish and Conservation Commissioners' annual meeting,
held in Florida in September 1973. Other major demands
on the staff included production and delivery of one
technical bulletin (No. 6, "Fish Attractors") and the
200-page Everglades Five-Year Recreation Plan book.
The Section also processed a score of general service-
type printing jobs, and was nearing the end of its work
on technical bulletin No. 7 ("Largemouth Bass") when
the year ended.
Ill health forced the retirement of the section supervisor
and long-time editor of FLORIDA WILDLIFE, Bill Hansen,
in March 1974.



Commission Membership
1973-74

J. B. WINDHAM, Jacksonville Appointed January 22, 1969
Term expired January 5, 1974

0. L. PEACOCK, JR., Ft. Pierce Appointed January 5, 1971
HOWARD ODOM, Marianna Appointed January 10, 1972
RANDOLPH R. THOMAS, Jacksonville
Appointed January 5, 1974

OGDEN M. PHIPPS, Miami Appointed January 18, 1973


E. P. BURNETT, Tampa


Appointed January 17, 1973


MARCH 1975







Communications


THE COMMUNICATIONS SECTION had relatively routine
activities during the 1973-74 fiscal year with the
following highlights:
There were 631 repairs performed on the 440 mobile
radios employed in Commission vehicles. This included
modification of 55 Motorola radios delivered the previous
year to meet the demanding requirements of the radio
system, which has to provide communications to per-
sonnel in very remote areas. Delivery was also made on
52 General Electric radios in March 1974. These were
purchased to equip new personnel and replace those
radios damaged beyond repair.
There were 375 repairs performed on the base and


repeater radios, of which there are 76. Much of this
repair was due to damage by lightning, which seems to
have a peculiar appetite for Commission equipment.
Communications personnel installed 14 base station
radios. This number includes the relocation of certain
existing stations to improve system performance.
Other activities of the communications officers included
the inspection of all new automotive equipment purchased
by the Commission, assistance with the installation of
emergency equipment used in law enforcement vehicles,
and the supervision of operator personnel.
Communications personnel traveled 120,473 miles in
the performance of their duties. Five regional communi-
cation officers, 14 radio dispatchers, and a section chief
were utilized, with a total operating budget of
$216,015.00.


Recording data, left on catch made in fish
sampling effort. Information keeps special-
ists informed on status of local fish popu-
lations. Fisheries workers, at right, lower
baled hay into lake, to encourage growth of
aquatic organisms on which fish feed. Tests
showed increase in the growth rate of fish
in the treated waters and at less cost than
if a chemical fertilization had been used.








Fish Management


I


FISCAL 1973-1974 MARKED A YEAR when fish management
biologists were relieved of most of the environmental
inspections and comments that had previously taken a
considerable amount of time. They are now able to put
their full effort into producing more fish for the fisher-
man's creel.
The Everglades regional personnel, plagued by an ever-
increasing number of exotic species, took many samples in
canals and lakes.
Low water levels in the Conservation Areas brought
most fish to the canals, and limit strings were common.
Spring and summer rains returned water to the area,
allowing brood fish to once again move out in the marsh
and spawn.
DeSoto Fish Management Reservoir was opened by
fisheries personnel from the South Florida Region. This
particular area has proven to be a problem child, as
aquatic weeds, water levels, and fish populations have
caused much concern.
Samples from Lake Thonotosassa show the fishery to
be much improved from 1969, when the largest fish kill
in the U.S. occurred there. As usual when a population
suffers a die-off, the reproduction is more successful, and


Photo By Art Runnels

the area quickly repopulated. Indications point to an
improvement in the water quality.
Haul seine efforts in Lake Parker removed 240 pounds
per acre of shad and tilapia. Samples show that bass
were successful in spawning, and while one may not be
related to the other, follow-up studies should reveal
whether the competition was responsible for the low
survival of bass fry.
Fish attractors placed in Lake Juliana have increased
the catch per unit of effort, according to a voluntary creel
system. Attractors were constructed from brush, old tires,
and pieces of waste PVC pipe.
Fish kills from various causes continue around the
state, but none have been as large as the one on the
Peace River two years ago. That famous case is still
awaiting settlement.
The Central Region staff, in addition to sampling and
making management recommendations, attempted to
spawn the chain pickerel. Water quality problems pre-
vented success and caused a die-off in brood stock.
Subadult bass released in Suwannee Lake by Northeast
Region personnel were marked with several colors of
fluorescent die embedded under the scales. Samples were


FLORIDA WILDLIFE




































Photo By Bill Lynn


taken at regular intervals, and by fall only 6% survival
of the stocked fish was indicated. Apparently, fish stocked
into established populations suffer extremely high preda-
tion.
Bear Lake, in the Northwest Region, had produced good
catches of bass, bream, and channel catfish for a number
of years until it was drained several years ago. When it
was refilled and restocked, fishery personnel decided to
fertilize the lake with hay. Twenty tons were applied
over a 6-month period, which produced an abundant crop
of the little aquatic organisms upon which fish feed.
Improved growth rates of the fish, and the rising costs
of commercial fertilizers, indicate that more north Florida
lakes may receive applications of hay.
Regional management personnel routinely sampled
many lakes, streams, and rivers in a continuing effort to
monitor the fish populations and to make recommenda-
tions to improve them.
Considerable time was devoted to assisting pond and
lake owners with various fish management problems.
While these are generally private bodies of water, they
do relieve the public areas of a great deal of fishing
pressure.
Fisheries research provides the tools for the manage-
ment biologist, and so, scattered over much of the state,
research biologists and specialists are probing into the
everyday lives of fishes.
LAKE OKEECHOBEE-The black crappie is very
underfished, and it will take a significant increase in the
harvest before we can look for an increase in size. Bass
under 14 inches in size could stand a fishing pressure
two to three times greater, while those over 14 inches
long are being overfished. This is probably true all over
Florida.
A long look was taken at the Suwannee Bass, a rare
redeye species found in the Suwannee, Santa Fe, and
Ochlockonee rivers. Stomach analysis revealed 77.4%
of the diet to be crayfish. Spawning takes place between
December and March. Indications are that while the
species is rare, populations are stable and, barring a
great habitat change, are in no danger.


SNOOK AND FLATHEAD CATFISH-Large pre-
dator species are desirable for several reasons. They are
a challenge to catch, and they assist in controlling over-
populated bream and shad. For these reasons new species
are being tried to fill these niches.
The flathead catfish is supposedly one of the most pre-
daceous of the catfish family. This fish was stocked in a
lake overpopulated with bluegill, and studies are pro-
gressing to determine whether or not it significantly
reduces the bream population.
The snook is a well-known predator in salt water, and
has the unique ability to adapt to fresh water. For the
first time, biologists of the Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission were able to spawn the snook, and while
there will undoubtedly be problems, a project has been
established to investigate the stocking of this fish in
inland waters.
Another first was scored when Florida was the first
state to successfully spawn the hybrid obtained by cross-
ing the female white bass with the male striped bass.
Several thousand of this unique hybrid were released in
Florida lakes.
The striped bass program was continued, with the
release of around a million fingerlings in selected areas
of the state. Since the striper is selective to feeding only
on soft-rayed fishes (shad), they have only been released
in waters that contain shad. It is hoped that hybrids
(crosses between white bass and striped bass) will feed on
the spiny-rayed fishes (bluegill, shellcracker, etc.) and
can be stocked in a number of lakes.
The non-native fish laboratory was completed in Boca
Raton and studies begun on some of the more trouble-
some species. Biologists have determined that 45 exotic
fish species are now established with reproducing popula-
tions in Florida waters. The black acara and walking cat-
fish are competing with largemouth bass.
STREAM INVESTIGATIONS-There has been a con-
tinued reduction of the St. Johns River marsh as develop-
ment interests drain the area. The study team has rec-
ommended that waters diverted from the St. Johns River
(Continued on next page)


MARCH 1975






(Continued from preceding page)
be returned to the marsh, and that major north-south
canals be plugged.
Water quality in the Apalachicola River apparently
has improved, as the latest chemical analyses indicate.
It is recommended that an interstate study be initiated
to look into the many and varied problems facing this
body of water.
LAKE TOHOPEKALIGA-Three years after the
drawdown, benefits are still available to fishermen as the
increased sport fishery yields good catches. Some of the
benefits were short-lived, as the major cause of the nutri-
ent flow (municipal sewage) has not been stopped. In
fact, predictions are that it will double. Although most of
the vegetation is beneficial, water hyacinth is not. Great
mats of hyacinths shade out the desirable emergent veg-
etation, leaving the area ripe for invasion by trouble-
some submerged plants.
BASS TOURNAMENTS-Since bass tournaments were
first begun, fishermen have wondered to what extent fish-
ing has been affected. One tournament held on the St.
Johns River was monitored to determine catch and mor-
tality, as all fish caught were released. In three days of
fishing, 200 fishermen caught 1,165 bass over 12 inches
in length. Of those fish caught, roughly 1/ died within
30 days and 875 lived to be caught again.
LAKE TALQUIN-Project biologists say Lake Tal-
quin is underfished and could stand two to three times
the pressure it now receives. Striped bass are being caught
regularly, and recommendations are that no more be
stocked until it can be determined whether the fish will
successfully spawn in the watershed. Investigators found
water samples to contain high levels of nitrogenous
wastes but low levels of chlorinated hydrocarbons.
LAKE JACKSON-One blow after another has fallen
on Lake Jackson, and still it ranks as the "big bass" lake.
It has experienced crippling turbidities, is grossly con-
taminated with heavy metals in the run-off, and is burd-
ened with breaks in sewage treatment lines. Help is slow
in coming, and biologists are offered their first oppor-
tunity to study a lake in early eutrophication-which
means it is dying.
LARGEMOUTH BASS INVESTIGATIONS-Can bass
grow faster, live longer, and bite better? That is the
purpose of this study to determine if by selective breeding
we can develop a bass that practically jumps in the boat.
So far, some populations do grow faster than others,
females grow faster than males, and, to complicate the
study, 18% of the fish lose their tags in 5 months. Popu-
lations from Lake Seminole and Lake Dora are the most


Aquatic Weed Control


N 1952, THE GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMIS-
SION recognized that aquatic weeds caused problems for
the fishermen and boaters in Florida. The Commission
further recognized that the control or management of
aquatic plants or weeds were an integral part of fresh
water fish management. They implemented a program to
develop control techniques and established a control
program.
The Aquatic Weed Control Section is divided into
three general areas: field operations, permitting, and
research. The operations branch operates from a state-
wide headquarters in Lakeland which coordinates state
operations through five supervisors located throughout


catchable, more fish are caught in the morning, and bot-
tom type lures get the most strikes.
LAKE IAMONIA-Plans for a water manipulation
structure on this body of water proceeded, as investiga-
tions revealed a very low fisherman utilization. The stand-
ing crop of fishes in this relatively sterile body of water
was determined to be 50 pounds per acre.
OKLAWAHA RIVER BASIN-Samples showed the
presence of tilapia for the first time, and environmental
conditions favor the shad and catfish, not a very bright
picture for this troubled chain of lakes. However, a new
project is beginning to examine the problems, and, hope-
fully, fishing will increase.


the state. These supervisors also coordinate state opera-
tions with federal and local programs to avoid duplica-
tion. The permit section is composed of six aquatic
botanists whose primary responsibility is the permitting
of aquatic weed control operations under the guidelines
established by the Department of Natural Resources.
The research group provides research capability for the
control programs as they relate to fresh water fisheries
in the areas of biological, chemical, environmental, and
mechanical control.
The Commission's Aquatic Weed Control operational
section increased the number of field crews from nine,
and one spray plane, to 19 field crews, two additional
area field supervisors, and the spray plane crew, since
additional funding was received from the Department
of Natural Resources in 1971-72 fiscal year.
The field equipment, which had consisted primarily of
wooden-hulled airboats, was replaced with up-to-date


FLORIDA WILDLIFE






aluminum, heavy duty airboats. The smaller 5 gallon/
minute spray pumps were replaced with 10 gallon/minute
spray pumps, and all required safety equipment was
purchased in accordance with U. S. Corps of Engineers
and Commission rules and regulations.
The 19 spray crews, each consisting of an airboat
manned by a crew chief and a deck hand, are strategi-
cally located around the state in an effort to keep the
crews near their assigned work areas, thereby reducing
travel time as much as possible.
The Piper PA 36-A spray plane, stationed in Lake-
land, was placed in service during the 1973-74 FY
to replace the Piper PA 25 which was lost while con-
ducting spraying operations near Ft. Pierce during the
summer of 1972.
The spray crews and the aircraft treated a total of
43,192 acres of noxious vegetation in 501 bodies of
water during the 1973-74 FY.
The Commission, in order to provide the public with
technical assistance regarding aquatic weed control
activities, has employed six aquatic botanists, located in
DeFuniak Springs, Lake City, Orlando, Lakeland, Boca
Raton, and Ft. Lauderdale.
The aquatic botanists are required to have knowledge
of and the ability to identify all species of native and
exotic aquatic plants found in the southeastern United
States, particularly those found in Florida. They are
required to make recommendations to control and/or
manage the various aquatic plants throughout the State
of Florida and are responsible for reviewing and recom-
mending approval or disapproval of all aquatic vegeta-
tion control program permits as required by the
Department of Natural Resources or the Florida Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission. Duties include pro-
viding the general public with an extension service
regarding the latest and safest methods of aquatic
vegetation control.
Aquatic botanists also set up and carry out research
projects in either chemical, mechanical, biological, or
physical controls of noxious aquatic vegetation, and must
have knowledge of general fish management methods and
equipment.
Aquatic botanists are often called upon to speak to
various civic, garden, and sportsman clubs on aquatic
weed control and/or related subjects. They are required
to meet with other state agencies, aquatic weed control
groups, and private applicators in order to provide the









Successful attempt to produce largemouth
bass, left, that grow faster and hit more
readily would be a big plus for Florida's
fishermen. Meanwhile, the natural Florida
largemouth is no slouch when it comes to
producing a happy smile. Spray plane, at
right, passes over hyacinth-choked water.


latest information on herbicides, permitting, and regu-
lations.
An average of 1,000 requests for assistance are re-
ceived and acted upon by each aquatic botanist during
the course of one year, and approximately 400 aquatic
weed control permits are processed.
Miscellaneous duties include conducting vegetation
transects for the grass carp study areas, surveillance of
public boat ramps to prevent the spread of noxious
aquatic vegetation, and miscellaneous emergency aquatic
plant control measures required to keep popular fishing
areas open to boat traffic.
The Aquatic Weed Control research section consists
of two biologists, located in Eustis, who are responsible
for determining the effects of herbicides on bottom
organisms, and specialized field studies such as the
recent study on the Rodman Pool of the Florida Cross
State Barge Canal. A third biologist, located in Ft.
Lauderdale, is responsible for collecting field data
information on the four study areas stocked with the
grass carp. The grass carp project is a cooperative
study being conducted by personnel of the Florida Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission and the Department
of Natural Resources.
The Department of Natural Resources designed a large
water hyacinth harvester which will be operated by
Commission personnel on the St. Johns River when lease
agreements can be obtained to provide a mooring site,
and if plant material is available in the river.
An aquatic vegetation survey conducted by Aquatic
Weed Control personnel during the winter of 1973
determined there were an estimated 350,000 acres of
noxious aquatic weeds in Florida waters. The figure
included water hyacinth, hydrilla, eurasian watermilfoil,
and alligatorweed, all of which are exotic or non-native
species of aquatic plants in Florida.
A project designed to place the Withlacoochee River
under a maintenance control program as a pilot study
was implemented during the past year.
A total of 11,647 acres of water hyacinth were treated
with 6,449 gallons of 2,4-D at a total cost of $105,696.70,
for an average cost of $9.07 per acre of treated plants.
An increase in the price of 2,4-D, combined with a
growing shortage of chemical from suppliers, will cause
the cost-per-acre-treated figure to increase in the future.
The cost of one gallon of 2,4-D increased from $2.35 to
$7.15 within a 14 month period.


MARCH 1975






Everglades Recreation


N 1973, THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE and Governor recog-
nized the need for improved recreation facilities in
the water conservation areas of the Everglades. As a
result of this recognition the Legislature passed Chapter
73-249 Laws of Florida which created the Everglades
Recreational Planning Board. The Planning Board was
directed to develop a one-year and five-year plan for
recreation improvements in the water conservation areas
of the Everglades. The Board consists of 13 members
appointed by the Governor. The selection of board mem-
bers is restricted in order to provide representation
from appropriate agencies, Indian tribes, and citizens
of the three counties included in the plan.
In addition to creating a Planning Board, Chapter
73-249 charges the Game and Fresh Water Fish Com-
mission with the responsibility of implementing the
first-year and five-year plans. Staff positions include a
project director, recreation planner, wildlife officers and
game management specialists.
During the first 12 months of operation the primary
objectives of staff personnel were to implement construc-
tion projects already funded, to improve and maintain
wildlife habitat on the area, and to regulate use of the
area by recreation enthusiasts.
In addition to these responsibilities, project staff
assisted the Everglades Recreational Planning Board in
the formulation and completion of the first-year and
five-year plans. These plans have been completed, and
they include proposed improvements at 26 sites in the
water conservation areas, ranging from improved access,
such as boat ramps, to major facilities offering camping,
picnicking, nature study areas, and fishing opportuni-
ties. In the five-year plan, other activities planned include
hunting, nature appreciation, target shooting, and boat-
ing. These activities can all be accommodated on the
area with minimum impact to the environment.
Initially, the largest project was a major recreation
facility at Tamiami Trail and L-67 in Dade County.
Facilities at this site, known as Thirty Mile Bend, in-
clude camping, picnicking, bank fishing, nature study,
and improved access. Construction of this facility is
scheduled to begin in early 1975.
Other improvements currently scheduled include ex-
tensive work at Everglades Holiday Park, Loxahatchee
Recreation Area, day use facilities along U.S. 27, and
habitat improvement projects.
At Everglades Holiday Park and Loxahatchee Recrea-
tion Area, improvements include landscaping, sewage and
water treatment facilities, increased camping sites, and
improved parking and boating access.
Day use facilities along U.S. 27 will include picnic
areas, landscaping, bank fishing, and improved parking.
Habitat improvement projects, coordinated with the
Game Management Bureau, include construction and
planting of wildlife islands, mucking of spoil banks along
the Miami Canal, control of melaleuca trees, and installa-
tion of water control structures in the Miami Canal.
The first phase of the wildlife island project is the con-
struction of 53 islands, each 1/8 acre in size, in Dade
and Palm Beach counties. Following construction, native
trees, including saltbush (Baccharis glomerulifolia),
maple (Acer barbatum), elderberry (Sambuccus simp-
sonii) and strangler fig (Ficus baurea), were planted
on these islands.
The islands and the spoil banks of the Miami Canal
will provide additional elevated sites for wildlife during


extended periods of high water. The spoil bank project
consists of placing muck on existing rock spoil banks
along the Miami Canal. By mucking these areas, growth
of native vegetation will be encouraged and their value
to wildlife enhanced. Under initial plans, 55,000 square
yards of muck 6 inches thick will be placed on one set
of spoil banks and 55,000 square yards of muck 9 inches
thick will be placed on another set.
The melaleuca control project was initiated by Game
Management Bureau personnel. Under this project, ap-
proximately 15,000 trees have been treated in an attempt
to discover an effective method of control for the mela-
leuca, an exotic plant that threatens to displace native
species of plants in the Everglades because it is resist-
ant to both fire and fluctuating water tables, two domi-
nant forces in south Florida ecosystems. To date, no
effective treatment has been discovered, although the
chemical Silvex has produced favorable results under
some circumstances.
The most important habitat management program
currently planned for the area is water control struc-
tures along the Miami Canal. The need for these structures
has been emphasized by the severe muck fires which
occurred in the northern end of Conservation Area 3
between 1970 and 1974. The water control structures
would minimize the damage caused by destructive fires
such as the one which destroyed the area known as the
Mud Canal in 1974. Prior to the fire, this unique area
provided some of the best wildlife habitat found in the
Everglades. Funding has been made available for these
structures, and design plans should be completed in the
near future by the Central and Southern Florida Flood
Control District.
In other project action, negotiations were conducted
between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission. As a result, an
agreement was reached between the two parties concern-
ing tribal lands. Under terms of this agreement, approxi-
mately 17,000 acres of tribal land in Conservation Area
3 will remain open to public recreation, including hunt-
ing and fishing. In return for these privileges, the Com-
mission has agreed to assist the tribe in keeping the
remaining tribal lands closed to public use and access.
As a result of these efforts, it is hoped that the general
public will reap maximum recreational benefits in the
Water Conservation Areas, with minimum impact on
the wildlife and other natural resources of the area.


Photo By Morrie Naggiar
TiI


FLORIDA WILDLIFE



















































Photo By Art Runnels

Game Management



DURING THE 1973 FISCAL YEAR, the Game Management
Division accelerated its continuing endeavor to
provide more lands and game for Florida hunters. The
Edward Ball Wildlife Management Area in Gulf County
was opened to public hunting for the first time since its
inception 7 years ago. Hunter success on the area was
considered excellent, with a good crop of deer being
harvested.
The deer harvested statewide remained stable on most
management areas. During the annual deer trapping
operation, a total of 105 deer were relocated to new areas
to provide breeding stock where low populations were
evident.
Interest continues to mount in archery and primitive
weapons hunting. Early season archery hunts were con-
ducted on 17 wildlife management areas, and special
season hunts involving two or more time periods were
held on seven wildlife management areas. Primitive fire-
arms hunts were conducted on five management areas.
Two special bear hunts were conducted, and resulted in
considerable interest by the sportsmen.
At the request of the Commission, the Game Manage-


Construction and planting of wildlife islands in the 'glades
will benefit deer, opposite page, as well as other wildlife.
Sign at entrance to Webb area, left, is typical of ones that
welcome hunters to nearly 5 million acres of public hunting
grounds in 40 areas scattered throughout the sunshine state.


ment Division undertook an investigation of the high
hunter use on the wildlife management areas, with an
eye toward the possibility of establishing a quota system
on the individual areas to insure a sustained wildlife
population while assuring continued hunter satisfaction.
The Commission believed that the combination of in-
creased human population within the state and the
decreasing acreages available for public hunting was
resulting in more and more sportsmen using wildlife
management areas for hunting. The hunter-use survey
accomplished by the Division substantiated the Commis-
sion's belief.
In 1951, 10 percent (9,710) of the licensed hunters in
Florida (96,887) used the public wildlife management
areas. In 1961, 20 percent (33,619) of the licensed
hunters (170,061) in Florida used the management areas.
In 1971, 40 percent (101,475) of the licensed hunters
(256,005) in Florida used them. From 1951 up to 1971,
the number of licensed hunters increased 64 percent while
the number of licensed hunters utilizing wildlife manage-
ment areas increased 845 percent. This obvious increase
in the use of the public wildlife management areas by
hunters reflected the high interest that was generated
in Florida for public hunting areas.
Compared with the 1971 license figures, the 1973 figures
indicate an increase in licensed hunters (257,353) of .5
percent and a decrease of 9 percent in the number of
licensed hunters (91,199) who used the public wildlife
management areas. To some, these latter figures may
seem disturbing, and rightly so. The wildlife manage-
ment areas cannot continue to sustain annual increases
in utilization of 25 percent, as experienced from 1951
to 1961, or 20 percent, as experienced from 1961 to
1971. At some point our management areas will reach
a state of saturation and will not be capable of support-
ing greater numbers of hunters, not to mention the
increasing hunter dissatisfaction.
The 1973 figures support the premise that maximum
hunter pressure has been reached on some management
areas and that the decrease in permit sales could be a
direct result of hunter dissatisfaction.
If there is hunter dissatisfaction, there must also be
a decreased overall hunting experience, regardless of
what makes a quality experience. There is also the
problem of possibly outpricing hunting by the establish-
ment of special fee areas. If the Commission does not
take action to alleviate hunting pressure, spread out the
legal harvest (80% of the legal deer harvest occurs in
the first few weeks of the season), or provide equal
hunting opportunities at a uniform price, the trend
indicated in the 1973 license data may further deterior-
ate, thus indicating further inability to supply an
equitable hunting experience on public hunting areas.
This initial survey is being expanded and further
determinations are anticipated during the next year.
An adjunct to the study has been an investigation into
the possibility of establishing a procedure whereby the
Commission could enter into written agreements with
owners of large tracts of forest or agricultural lands
with the landowners charging fees in exchange for public
hunting access.
Early results from discussions with several landowners
(Continued on next page)


MARCH 1975





Table 1. Statewide Annual Harvest Trends Of Major Game Species


(Continued from preceding page)
have brought a favorable response to the proposal, and
the future of this program, which would make available
substantial acreages to alleviate pressure on existing
management areas, appears certain.
Closely paralleling the activity involving the proposed
quota system to improve the Florida hunting situation,
the Division of Game Management, in cooperation with
the Department of Natural Resources, carried out ne-
gotiations with the owners of the vast Three Lakes
Ranch property in Osceola County with the objective of
bringing a substantial portion of the property into the
wildlife management area system. Culmination of this
transaction will result in 51,000 acres of highly produc-
tive hunting lands ultimately being added to the present
total of 4,724,513 acres now under management area
protection.
Special surveys and studies did not occupy the full
time of personnel of the Division by any stretch of the
imagination. Biologists, researchers, and game managers
all reported a wide variety of activities. The following
brief summaries in no way indicate a priority of im-
portance. Each activity adds an important component to
the total picture of the accomplishments of the Division
during 1973-74.
The development and maintenance of Florida's im-
mense wildlife management area program consumed a
large share of the effort of Commission personnel. The
program currently comprises 4.8 million acres, with 39
separate management areas over the entire length and
breadth of the state. The system includes 12.7% of the
land in Florida, and approximately 40% of the state's
licensed hunters utilize it. The program is of vital
importance to the future of public hunting in Florida,
because of the state's rapidly expanding human popula-
tion and its rapidly diminishing amount of land avail-
able to the public for outdoor recreation.
The Management Area System includes 120,000 acres
owned by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission, 1,253,184 acres owned by other agencies
of state government, 1,671,600 acres of federally-owned
land, and 1,679,729 acres owned by various private com-
panies and individuals. The majority of the privately-
owned land has been secured through a series of lease
agreements with numerous large industrial forestry firms
that have in the past donated their land free of charge
or at a very nominal lease fee.
Forty percent of the recent increase in management
area permit fees has been allocated to increase lease fees
to private landowners participating in the management
area system, and $200,000 has been set aside for this
purpose. The Commission feels that a fair reimbursement
to landowners is badly needed to assure their continued
cooperation in the future.
Game Management Division personnel were busily


Table 2. Florida Wildlife Management Areas
State-Owned Lands
Blackwater
Brown's Farm
Bull Creek
Camp Blanding
Cecil M. Webb
Citrus
Croom
Everglades
J. W. Corbett
Richloam
Green Swamp
Three Lakes Ranch
Total


Federally-Owned Lands
Apalachee
Apalachicola
Avon Park
Eglin
Ocala
Osceola
St. Vincent



Privately-Owned Lands
Aucilla
Edward Ball
Farmton
Fisheating Creek
Fort McCoy
Gaskin
Guana River
Gulf Hammock
Hudson
La Floresta Perdida
Lake Butler
Lochloosa
Nassau
G. U. Parker
Point Washington
Robert Brent
Steinhatchee
St. Regis
Tide Swamp
Tomoka


Total


Total


Recap:


State
Federal
Private


Total


In 1974
Acres
183,100
5,900
20,800
70,000
62,500
41,000
21,700
755,300
56,000
55,500
49,900
51,484
1,373,184


6,000
557,400
107,600
464,700
366,700
157,200
12,000

1,671,600


206,136
65,025
52,170
71,668
18,609
115,555
12,200
68,453
8,920
30,116
101,291
40,447
80,589
17,000
165,000
95,000
390,764
20,505
20,543
99,734
1,679,729

1,373,184
1,671,600

1,679,729
4,724,513


FLORIDA WILDLIFE





engaged in wildlife habitat improvement programs on
wildlife management area land during the year. Exten-
sive controlled burning programs were accomplished on
areas where terrain and land ownership allowed. Division
personnel planted approximately 5,000 acres of wildlife
food plots for such species as deer, turkey, quail, and
dove during the year. Nine public dove fields were
planted, on which over 6,000 doves were killed by
hunters. Three waterfowl impoundments (Hickory Mound,
Guana River, and Arbuckle Marsh) were operated by
the Commission on wildlife management areas, to provide
quality waterfowl hunting. Other habitat improvement
projects accomplished included planting oak seedlings on
selected areas, the construction of wood duck nesting
boxes, chopping of vegetation for stimulation of native
wildlife food plants, and the operation of quail and
turkey feeders on selected areas.
A total of 105 deer were trapped and relocated through-
out the state as penalty deer and breeding stock for
management areas with low deer populations, and a deer
telemetry study is in the planning stages, with most of
the activity centering around a literature review and
equipment testing.
A total of 451 wild hogs were trapped and relocated
to selected wildlife management areas during the year.
Areas receiving the hogs were Webb, Corbett, Ever-
glades, Browns Farm, Avon Park, Guana River, and
Bull Creek.
Three hogs were trapped on the Lochloosa Area for
neck measurements to test transmitter collars. Each was
weighed and ear tagged, and one was given two I. P.
injections of a tranquilizer to test methods of handling
large wild hogs.
Alligator holes were surveyed in Conservation Area 3
for nesting activity. No nests were discovered north of
Alligator Alley and west of the Miami Canal. Four nests


Photo By Lovett Williams


were discovered north of the Alley and east of the Canal,
and three were discovered south of the Alley. By August
30, six of these nests had been destroyed by rising water
tables. The remaining nest was completely above water,
and this clutch hatched on August 31.
Personnel working on the long-range turkey studies
began compiling data for several studies that have
reached the reporting stage.
One sick turkey specimen was obtained from the Au-
cilla Wildlife Management Area. Upon autopsy at the
Veterinary Science Lab, the turkey proved to be debili-
tated with fowl pox.
Approximately 23 turkey nests were located for the
productivity studies at Fisheating Creek. Some of these
were robbed by project personnel to check renesting ten-
dencies. The hens renested as expected, one for the third
full clutch and her fourth nesting attempt that spring.
The first poults hatched on April 26, 1974. Five turkey
nests were found on the Lochloosa study area.
Research activities during the period included com-
pletion of arrangements for the fall turkey hunting
study.
At the Fisheating Creek study area, 29 hen turkeys
were radio instrumented for the seventh and final year
of the turkey reproduction study. The turkey hunting
study continued as planned, with regular monitoring of
kill, crippling, and behavior of hens and gobblers on the
hunting area. A significant proportion of the hens were
killed illegally. From the hen kill data and hunter inter-
views, it is evident that hunters cannot distinguish young
gobblers from hens, even in hand after being shot. This
has caused a reduction in the reported legal turkey kill
because many hunters fear that they have killed hens,
when in fact they have shot a young gobbler. Some of
the hens and young gobblers have been left by hunters
where they fell and later found by radio contact.
Three toe-clipped turkeys of known age were examined
on the Fisheating Creek study area during December to
obtain data on feather growth rate to be used in de-
veloping an aging method for wild turkey specimens
based on wing tips.
Six gobblers and 12 hens were instrumented in the
spring gobbler study on Lochloosa Area. One of the
objectives this year was to compare clutch size, hatching
rate, and season of nesting on Lochloosa, where a spring
gobbler season is held. The disturbance effect of heavy
hunting pressure during spring warrants more attention
as the spring season becomes more popular and the fall
season is closed completely in the Northwest Region. Two
of the instrumented gobblers on the Lochloosa Study
Area were killed by hunters during the spring turkey
season.
Field trips were made into the Big Cypress Swamp to
evaluate the habitat for turkey, for general familiariza-
tion, and to make a preliminary assessment of its value
to the state as a wildlife area.
A mail survey of otter populations was distributed, and
manuscripts were prepared on the food habits of the
white ibis and armadillo in Florida, based on specimens
taken in connection with other studies. Plans are being
made to study a well-established population of white-
winged dove in the Homestead area, with a view toward
assessing its potential as a new game bird.
(Continued on next page)



A turkey hen and brood, left. Productivity of this prime
game bird is presently the subject of study on the Fish-
eating Creek Wildlife Management Area In Glades County.


MARCH 1975





(Continued from preceding page)
Two meetings were held with university and Division
of Health biologists to plan cooperative wildlife disease
studies under Federal Aid jobs, including a recent blue
tongue problem in deer at a Duval County hunting pre-
serve.
Eight white ibises were collected for parasite work,
and three wood storks were collected for a display group
at the American Museum. The stork specimens were
analyzed for pesticides, examined for parasites, disease,
and reproductive condition, and then stomach contents
were identified and analyzed for pesticides.
A loon die-off reported during December did not reach
the alarming proportions of the die-off of 1970-71. Three
carcasses were examined by the Veterinary Science
Group, and several others were obtained to be shipped
to Gainesville from storage on the east coast. A large
die-off of red knots (a salt water shore bird) was inves-
tigated. A number of live, sick and freshly-dead speci-
mens were obtained from the Gulf coast, and were
autopsied at the Veterinary Science laboratory. Prelim-
inary indications are that oil, pesticides, or botulism
were not involved, but laboratory work continues, espe-
cially on the possibility of a rare type of botulism.
Three sandhill cranes which were hatched from wild
eggs and raised at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Cen-
ter in Maryland were received for experimental release,
and are being held in the pens at the laboratory site.
They will be radio-instrumented to monitor their adap-
tation to living wild, for a study in cooperation with the
Patuxent Center. The Federal Aid project was amended
to include this study as a new job. The work was for-
merly being done under General Game Management.
A lesser scaup die-off was reported from Tampa Bay
and investigated by a field party of research cooperators
under the Federal Aid project and by DNR. Early re-
ports that the die-off was related to a red tide outbreak
were not corroborated by the laboratory work, but ad-
ditional tests were made. Botulism and chemical poison-
ing were also ruled out by the preliminary work.
A sea bird die-off that has been underway (and under
investigation) since early fall on the lower Gulf coast
may be due to pesticide poisoning, according to the early
lab reports. Cormorants were the most seriously affected.
Taxonomic examinations were made to determine whether
the cormorants are local residents or of the northern
migratory subspecies. Additional collections of specimens
will be made to further pin down the origin of the
highly contaminated birds, and the levels of their pesti-
cide residues.
The mourning dove call count survey conducted during
the year involved 16 routes. The number of doves heard
on the survey routes this year was down 2.4 percent from
last year, but on par with the 6-year average of 7.1 calls
heard per mile. The telephone dove kill survey determined
that 63,100 hunters killed 1,478,300 doves during the
1972-73 season, a 38.1 percent increase over the previous
season harvest. The total kill for the 16 states in the
Eastern Management Unit was 21,984,500 birds, a 2.4
percent decrease from the previous year.
Ten nestling brown pelicans were taken into captivity
for tests of drugs to rid them of a species of parasitic
fluke which has been implicated in several reported die-
offs. If the pen work goes as expected, larger-scale tests
can be conducted on a wild colony at some future date.
A series of waterfowl inventories were taken, a bald
eagle survey flown and the data tabulated, and two sets
of quail management plans prepared-one for Carpen-
ter's Ranch, at LaBelle, and one for Agrico Chemical
Company, at Pierce.
A proposal was made to the General Development


Photo By Wallace Hughes
Mourning dove is a major game species in Florida as It is
throughout the South. The total annual harvest in the 16
eastern management area states is about 22 million birds.



Corporation for a small wildlife area for possible leas-
ing, and inholders on the Webb Area were contacted
regarding a possible trade or purchase of land.
A telephone survey of the hunters who purchased Cecil
Webb area daily quail permits during the 1972-73 season
was conducted. The purpose of the survey was to obtain
the feeling of quail hunters relative to increasing the
permit fee from $5 to $10. The results of the survey
showed that about 54% favored the increase; approxi-
mately 46% opposed.
Wood duck nesting boxes were checked for utilization
on the Aucilla, Camp Blanding, Lake Butler, Nassau,
and Steinhatchee management areas. Nest box utilization
by wood ducks ranged from approximately 10% to 45%,
depending on habitat conditions.
Research was conducted in the Tallahassee area on
geese and bears. A trip was made to New Jersey to re-
locate geese in the continuing effort to establish non-
migratory flocks in Florida. A total of 272 young of the
year Canadian geese were obtained at the Brigantine
Refuge in New Jersey. One hundred sixty birds were
released on 13 sites in Northwest Florida and the balance
on seven sites in Central Florida. The spring nesting
period proved very successful. Thirty-six birds were
observed nesting, and 31 goslings were eventually counted.
Many nests probably were not located due to the se-
clusive habits of geese in selecting their nesting sites.


FLORIDA WILDLIFE






As the fifth year of this program is concluded, the re-
sults to date appear significantly good. The transplanted
young birds appear to be acclimated to their new habi-
tat, and evidence no inclinations to embark on migratory
flights to northern climes during the spring. The program
will be continued, with further efforts being made to
locate predator-free habitats in the south central areas
of the state.
Vegetation sample plots were surveyed on the Osceola
National Forest, to determine the effects of summer con-
trolled burning on runner oak and vaccinium production
on longleaf upland sites. The initial findings on this
survey indicated an 800% increase in runner oak acorn
production and a 1200% increase in vaccinium berry
production one year after an August controlled burn.
In the Everglades Region, experiments have been made
with various herbicides and dosages for the control of
exotic plants. The primary target species has been
melaleuca. By organizing area Boy Scouts to help, Game
Management personnel succeeded in treating over 10,000
melaleuca trees in Conservation Areas 2 and 3.


Work continued on assessment of wetlands throughout
north central Florida, as part of the North Central
Florida Regional Planning Council evaluation of set-aside
areas for open space wildlife and nature study and en-
vironmental protection.
During the year, research project personnel assisted
the Environmental Protection Section in identifying
valuable wildlife areas in the state which are endangered.
Personnel spent other time flying Florida duck inven-
tories, assisting with deer research in the Ocala
National Forest, turkey and deer management at Wekiva
State Park, quail management, quail trapping and band-
ing, assembling information on legislation in the south-
eastern states relative to threatened and nongame species
(which were summarized and reviewed by the Rare and
Endangered Species Committee at the Southeastern
Association of Game and Fish Commissioners meeting in
Hot Springs), participating in and attending various
training schools held during the year, and preparing
various Federal Aid project progress reports for submis-
sion to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Atlanta.


Of the 7,410 cases posted by Commission
wildlife officers during the report period.
gun and light cases numbered 360. Cases
involving illegal taking and possession of
deer were recorded at 265 during the year.









Law Enforcement


Photo By E. M. DeFoor


IONG-RANGE PLANNING, evaluation of existing enforce-
ment programs, and implementation of specialized
enforcement projects were the keynotes of 1973-74.
The Bureau expended considerable time laying the
groundwork for an eventual transition to a 40-hour
workweek, 24-hour communications system, and FCIC-
NCIC terminal capabilities. Although not destined for
implementation until the summer of 1974, the cumu-
lative effect of these innovations will completely revamp
current enforcement efforts.
With spiraling interest in promulgation of federal
laws affecting fish and wildlife, the Enforcement Bureau
became progressively more involved in reviewing and
commenting on the potential impact of these laws. Such
federal legislation as the Endangered Species Act of
1973, the International Endangered Species Treaty, the
Injurious Wildlife Amendment to the Lacey Act, the
falconry amendment to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,
the Marine Mammal Act, and the proposed accreditation
bill for zoological parks have consumed a great deal of
time and effort. However, since each of these federal


enactments has a significant impact on the functions of
a state wildlife agency, it has proven essential that the
Bureau take an active role in the review of these laws
and, through negotiations, propose compromise amend-
ments that will be in the best interest of the respective
state programs.
The funding by the 1973 Legislature of six inspectors
positions enabled the Bureau to fully implement the
inspections program this year. The inspectors, strategi-
cally located throughout the state, are responsible for
monitoring the importation, exportation, exhibition,
propagation, and sale of fish and wildlife. Early reac-
tions indicate the overwhelming success of the Bureau
in stemming unwarranted commercial exploitation of
certain species, preventing inhumane treatment of captive
wildlife, and reducing the frequency of illegal imports
and exports. This specialized function of law enforce-
ment is destined to expand as interest grows in regu-
lating these wildlife-oriented enterprises.
The Investigation unit culminated another successful
(Continued on next page)


MARCH 1975






(Continued from preceding page)
undercover operation in April of 1974, resulting in the
arrest and conviction of six market hunters in the Eglin
Wildlife Management Area. Adjudication of these cases
resulted in 22 days of jail time, $14,375.00 in fines, 14
years supervised probation, and forfeiture of two ve-
hicles.
The basic requirements for new wildlife officer candi-
dates were upgraded this year, requiring two years of
college, or two years of law enforcement experience, or
two years of honorable military experience, or three
years of progressively responsible work experience deal-
ing with the public. Through its selection of new officers
and training programs, the Bureau is continually seeking
the best qualified and subsequently the most profes-
sionalized wildlife officer candidates.
The Bureau of Law Enforcement is now providing 20
wildlife officers to instruct courses in environmental law
enforcement for 40 accredited Police Standards schools
throughout the state. The two-hour course was recently
included as a portion of the mandatory Police Standards
curriculum for all law enforcement officers in Florida.
Wildlife officers are well equipped to instruct this broad-
based course for prospective enforcement officers because
of the knowledge and experience gained from a diversi-
fied enforcement program. As indicated in previous
reports, the Bureau of Law Enforcement is continually
expanding its efforts to meet the demands of all environ-
mental enforcement problems. Such a program encom-
passes active participation in pollution control, habitat
preservation, dredge and fill, humane treatment of wild-
life, boating safety, police support services, search and
rescue, and both game- and nongame-oriented functions.


Information and Education



W 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, or advertising,
the name of the game is sales.
Three hundred sixty-five days a year, the Bureau is in
the business of "selling" conservation. 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 utili-
zation of many diverse disciplines. There are needs for
photographers, 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
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
continuing on a year-round, on-going basis. These are:
general information and education, which includes ad-
ministration, central planning and regional extension;
audio-visual; conservation education; hunter and firearms
safety training; and the wildlife reserve program.
GENERAL INFORMATION AND EDUCATION-The
Bureau personnel includes five education officers assigned


Wildlife officers posted 7,410 cases during this report-
ing period. Cases relating to the illegal taking or
possessing of deer numbered 265, while gun and light
cases totaled 360. Alligator violations slightly increased
from 49 in 1973 to 59 during 1974. Fishing without a
license remained the leading category, with 2,719 cita-
tions issued; and boating safety violations totaled 600.
A total of 76 narcotics violations were recorded, and
officers were involved in 69 traffic-related cases. Resisting
arrest accounted for 35 charges and continues to be a
concern of the Bureau.
The final paragraphs of the previous year's annual
report eulogized wildlife officers who had lost their lives
in the line of duty. It was a meager attempt to put into
words the dedication, courage, unselfishness and devotion
exemplified by the wildlife officers serving the State of
Florida. As public servants, wildlife officers are vested
with the difficult responsibility of protecting this state's
natural resources and serving its citizenry. It is a task
they eagerly accept and devote their lives to fulfilling.
It is, however, reprehensible that such dedication to a
worthy and public cause may be answered by the bullet
of a man who places little value on this state's wildlife
resources, and even less value on human life itself.
Wildlife Officer Dan B. Crowder paid the ultimate
price for his devotion to the cause of wildlife law
enforcement. In the early evening hours of May 3, 1974,
Officer Crowder was senselessly slain while attempting
to apprehend a deer poacher in Lafayette County. He
was a respected law enforcement officer, and will be
remembered by his family, friends, and compatriots for
his devotion to each.


to regional operations who, along with their secretaries,
are responsible for the "sales" in their assigned regions.
A region will involve an average of 13 counties and
will cover about 1/5 of the state.
These five officers, plus a branch 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: During this reporting
period, a new and exciting concept of news and informa-
tion releases was adopted by the bureau. The Biweekly
News and Information packet consisting of from seven
to twelve short crisp news and human interest features
from around the state combined into one packet is mailed
on a biweekly basis to all news media including daily
and weekly newspapers, radio and television stations,
sportsmen and conservation clubs, county tax collectors
and other public officials. Each Commission employee also
receives the news packet in order that he might keep
abreast of events concerning conservation and the Com-
mission. It should be reported that response from the
media regarding the news and information packet has
been excellent in that it keeps the media abreast of state-
wide events.
In addition to the Biweekly News and Information
packet, the Bureau utilizes a system of statewide news
releases with emphasis on immediate news as well as
releases concerning local level news from the regions.
In matters of emergencies, the Bureau relies on the wire


FLORIDA WILDLIFE









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Basic information on Commission activities and the state's wildlife is presented in series of pamphlets and brochures.


services as a speedy form of communication with the
news media.
During 1973-74, a total of 26 biweekly news and infor-
mation packets were distributed from the central office,
plus 32 releases of immediate news value. While a limited
number of releases were mailed from the regional offices,
it must be pointed out that the biweekly packet has not
only reduced the necessity for regional mailing but has
also served to improve the overall coverage area of the
local level type of news story.
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,
provide basic wildlife information. Most are designed to
fit into the standard business type envelope and provide
a handy source of information in reply to numerous mail
requests.
During the past year, new designs were incorporated
in the information brochure and registration forms for
the Youth Conservation Education Camps plus an infor-
mation brochure relating to the Commission's program
of Hunter and Firearm Safety training. Other informa-
tion 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 magazine staff. 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 enlarged
the artwork to make a full page article.
An outstanding example of such feature would be the
special program developed by the Bureau for the Labor
Day weekend. On this occasion, the Bureau mailed a
special packet of feature stories and informational copy


of fishing hotspots to encourage citizens to try fresh
water fishing for the Labor Day. The packet contained
screened photographs for reproduction by offset presses,
line drawings, and fishing fillers, as well as color photos
to television stations and fishing messages to the Florida
radio stations.
Weekly Newspaper Columns: The column "Florida
Wildlife," with comments on the outdoors, is mailed to
all newspapers 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 a consistent 68 daily and weekly news-
papers with a combined circulation of 1,393,950.
During the year, the Commission's Bureau of Infor-
mation and Education received the annual Florida Out-
door Writers Association award for Outstanding Public
Relations. The awards program was judged by the edi-
torial staff of SPORTS AFIELD Magazine, with the award
presentation based on the exceptional quality of the news
and information service of the Bureau.
Personal Appearances: Information-Education person-
nel make many personal appearances before groups
of all types. A regular daily schedule 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 spe-
cific subject is considered appropriate.
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 conservation message, and launched a new concept
in radio programming during the hunting season.
Radio and Television: While the Commission appears
regularly on but one television station with its own
program, there are large numbers of appearances as
guests on radio and TV outlets statewide.
Other use of these media this year has included the
(Continued on next page)


MARCH 1975


4fl*


IIl~l~


KG


I _






(Continued from preceding page)
policy of sending a series of typed 30-second public
service announcements on a regular basis. These carry
messages of current interest on youth camp openings,
licenses due, season dates, and other appropriate subjects.
Exhibits: The Information and Education Bureau
designs, constructs, and maintains permanent exhibits
at various fairs and exhibitions throughout the state.
Such exhibits provide an opportunity for maximum
exposure to visual concepts of conservation, and serve
as a medium for exchange of communications between
the man on duty and the visitor who may never meet
a representative of the Commission in his regular way
of life. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Bureau
utilizes a mobile or portable exhibit on special occasions.
Such occasions during the past year included exhibits at
the annual meeting of the Organized Fishermen of
Florida, and special outdoor recreation shows at one of
the Tallahassee shopping malls, at the Taylor County
Forestry Festival, and at the Seafood Festival, at Apa-
lachicola.
The Bureau was also heavily involved in aiding and
assisting local sportsmen and conservation clubs with the
planning and erection of exhibits during the annual
National Hunting and Fishing Day. This Bureau was
responsible for statewide coordination of this event.
Correspondence: Each year thousands of letters are
received requesting conservation information. Each let-
ter, regardless of content or subject, receives individual
attention. Many require an extensive reply while others
may be answered with an informative brochure or
pamphlet. If an individual takes the time to write a
letter, Information and Education policy provides that
the writer deserves prompt individual attention in reply.
AUDIO-VISUAL-By definition, audio-visual covers a
broad spectrum of activities and disciplines. This has
been reaffirmed by the varied and diverse needs of the
Commission during the past year. Photographic and
related services were provided for Commission news
releases, FLORIDA WILDLIFE Magazine, scientific and
technical reports and publications, Commission ceremonies
and activities, and identification photos for all Commis-
sion employees.
The Audio-Visual Section is much more than simple
photography and includes operations such as script
writing, film production, graphic art assignments, and
technical advisor on matters relating to both audible and
visual presentations and programs.
The Audio-Visual Section of the Information and
Education operation has continued to place emphasis on
the production of color slide lecture series rather than
movie films. Following a basic concept that the objective
is to inform and educate, the color slide series can be
produced at a fraction of the cost of a movie film of
equal time and message content. The color slide lecture
can be interrupted by the programmer for ad lib com-
ments or local level input, and may be updated to apply
to any given situation by substitution of one or more
slides.
Audio-Visual is a service section to the other operations
of the Commission and, as such, adheres to the philosophy
that audio-visual will not tell others what to say, but
will advise on how to improve the communication concept
through use of visual communication and audio tech-
niques.
Programs initiated over the past year included new
color slide lecture series and public service color slides
for use by the television media.
CONSERVATION-EDUCATION-"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 1,800 Florida youngsters between


.---~


Photo By Jerry Girvin


the ages of 8 and 14 responded to the offer for an intro-
duction to the wilderness, wildlife, woods, and waters. A
program initiated in 1973 was continued into 1974, and
the youth camps continued to be operated with coeduca-
tional sessions. All sessions 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 attend
simultaneously.
There are presently two camps, each set in 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 Wildlife Management Area, near West Palm
Beach, in a setting of sawgrass, savanna 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, fish-
ing, swimming and canoeing. In nature study, a camper
may choose a study of water, conservation and soils, or
land study. No matter which area he might choose, an
instructor specializing in that field imparts an enjoyable
learning experience through lectures and physical contact
with the major subject.
During the summer camp period, youngsters were
introduced to firearms and the Hunter and Firearms
Safety course, and were so certified. Many youngsters
also received junior lifesaving certificates.
During the winter months, the camps are made avail-
able to groups on an organizational basis. During week-
days, 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.
WILDLIFE RESERVE-The Wildlife Reserve program
is an operation that involves the Commission and
uniformed citizens interested in wildlife conservation.
The program gives conscientious and dedicated sports-
men an opportunity to be trained in wildlife conservation


FLORIDA WILDLIFE





work, and to use this training to benefit the conservation
programs of Florida by working with personnel of the
Commission in various activities.
The Wildlife Reserve has become an important func-
tion of the Information and Education operation, and has
extended the conservation arm of the Commission by
freeing regular personnel for more demanding responsi-
bilities.
The pilot program was begun in 1969 in Orange,
Brevard, and Seminole counties under the supervision of
the education officer assigned to the Central Florida
Region. In 1971, a full-time coordinator was appointed
and the program was expanded to include Citrus, Lake,
Sumter, Osceola, St. Lucie, Marion, and Volusia counties.
In 1973, the program was further enlarged to encompass
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 distinc-
tive shoulder patch, and the badge of a wildlife reservist.
Becoming a member of the Wildlife Reserve includes
considerably more than just joining. Applicants 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 the required duties.
The maximum strength of the Wildlife Reserve is limited
to three times the number of regular wildlife officers in
each county.
The Wildlife Reserve program has its own chain of
command and its own supervisory personnel, who direct
the activities of reserve members through the Commis-
sion Reserve Coordinator.
Duties and assignments of the reservist are many, and
may range from accompanying a wildlife officer on regu-
lar patrol to working with fish and game management
personnel, checking fishing creels, or posting a public
hunting area. They may be called on at any hour to


Among the most popular activities at the Commission's


capture a nuisance alligator, or present a conservation
lecture to a scout or school group or a sportsmen's or
civic club. They may assist with or present a Hunter
and Firearm Safety training program, as most reservists
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 approved training is limited to detecting
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 a six month
period, 10 reservists reported a total of 2,715 hours
carrying out conservation-related programs. These in-
cluded law enforcement assistance, information-education
activities, answering complaints about alligators or other
wildlife, assisting wildlife management projects, in-service
training, and time spent in Hunter and Firearms Safety
training.
The Wildlife Reserve program is still new, but it is
growing, and holds great promise for the future of
wildlife conservation in the State of Florida.
Provisions of the Wildlife Reserve program require
that each regional reserve unit be staffed with a full-
time Commission employee to serve as coordinator of
the reserve activity. At the present time, the Commis-
sion has but one such employee; however, a request is
being made for four additional employees to enable the
Commission to expand the program into the other regions
of the state. The true value of the Wildlife Reserve
program and the individual wildlife reservist is realized
upon viewing the current mandatory 40-hour work week
of the regular wildlife officer and noting that the Com-
mission might actually double the effective manpower
(Continued on next page)


youth camps are fishing, left, and riflery, below. More
than 1800 Florida youngsters between the ages of 8 and
14 attended sessions at the two camps this past summer. Photo By Jim Reed
maumimumum a dearnanarm ll ImLE- gaiIiLminI- rMOWI iBMWHiiEi


--


MARCH 1975






(Continued from preceding page)
force for wildlife conservation through an accelerated
program of active wildlife reservists.
The high caliber of the individuals serving as wildlife
reservists is best documented by the single fact that
ten reservists have joined the Commission as full-time
officers, nine as wildlife officers and one as a fisheries
aide. One former reservist was selected as the outstand-
ing wildlife officer for his assigned region. Viewing the
Wildlife Reserve program cannot help but cause a person
to ponder and wonder if the untimely death of Wildlife
Officer Dan Crowder might have been prevented if a
reservist had been riding with him.
HUNTER AND FIREARM SAFETY TRAINING-The
Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission and the In-
formation and Education Bureau is deeply committed to
its Hunter and Firearm Safety Training program, and
while the commitment is great, the pride is even greater.
As a newly revised concept of a long-standing program,
it is of interest to note that the Florida Hunter and
Firearm Safety Training program received a third place
in international competition during the past year.
The primary purpose of the training program is to
teach proper gun handling in circumstances relating to
hunting. However, more than that, it offers the oppor-
tunity for a youngster or adult to become familiar with
the fundamentals of firearms handling and firearms
safely while at the same time opening the possibility of
an interesting and challenging hobby.
Regardless of the benefits, the primary purpose of the
training program is safety with firearms.
Florida has over 800 certified instructors who volunteer
their time and talents in teaching Hunter and Firearm
Safety. The training program covers a wide area of
hunting-related activities and each student is exposed to
subjects ranging from the basic laws and regulations
of firearms and the taking of wildlife, landowner-


Environmental Protection




T HIS YEAR WAS ANOTHER YEAR OF GROWTH for the
State of Florida. New arrivals swelled the population
at the rate of over 6,000 per week, and each new arrival
created more stress on already over-strained fish and
wildlife resources. The Environmental Protection Section,
as has the rest of the Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission, continued to address the compound problem
of maintaining adequate fish and wildlife habitat within
the state in the face of increased urbanization and
unprecedented population growth.
The Section works within a governmental system
which was developed to put wildlife and wildlife habitat
values into perspective with traditional social and eco-
nomic values. It has always been difficult to quantify
these fish and wildlife values but we know that they
are of recreational, aesthetic, educational, biological,
social, and even commercial importance. These values
are becoming increasingly important as the state's human
population continues to expand, and as the needs of the
human and wildlife populations come into more frequent
conflict. The Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission,
through the Environmental Protection Section, works
closely with those agencies responsible for planning for
the needs of present and future Floridians by providing
a full assessment of fish and wildlife values along with


sportsman relations, nomenclature and discussion of
firearms, the common causes of firearm accidents, proper
and safe firearm handling, first aid, marksmanship,
wildlife management, and a trip to a firing range where
the student fires live ammunition under supervision.
The statewide training program has trained over 5,000
students as safe hunters, and the program is just begin-
ning.
During the past year, the nation's first firing range
constructed under the new program was completed in
the Osceola National Forest. This range is now open
and supervised for training of young hunters in firearm
safety and for public use on scheduled occasions.
During 1974, approval was granted for an expansion
of the statewide program through a regional concept,
with employment of five regional Hunter and Firearms
Safety Training Supervisors. While this concept was
somewhat slow getting off the ground, it will eliminate
the necessity of the local volunteer instructor having
to communicate with one program coordinator stationed
in the central part of the state, and will improve both
the supervision and the liaison between the program
supervisor and the individual instructor.
The Hunter and Firearm Safety Training program
has continued to encourage hunters to wear blaze orange
hunting garments as a safety factor. Reportedly, not one
hunter wearing such colors has been the subject of a
situation in which he was mistaken for game.
It is interesting to note that while legislation for man-
datory hunter safety training for young hunters was not
approved by the 1974 Legislature, the U. S. Fish and
Wildlife Service will have a mandatory training program
during the 1975 hunting season on the Merritt Island
Wildlife Refuge. Prior to being issued a permit to hunt
on the area, a hunter must exhibit certification that he
has attended and successfully passed the Florida Hunter
and Firearm Safety Training course of instruction.


a determination of the effects of human expansion into
their environs, in order that the planning agencies can
review all facets of the problem.
This fiscal year marked the continued growth of the
Environmental Protection Section. With an increase in
the number of biologists, the Section was able to perform
almost all field inspections "in-house" without having
to draw on biologists from other divisions. Close coordi-
nation has been maintained, however, with personnel
of the Fisheries Management and Game Management
Divisions in order to take advantage of their research
findings and to remain abreast of management activities
throughout the state.
However, as Section manpower has increased, so have
its responsibilities. The time required for inspecting and
commenting on dredge and fill projects has often limited
the number of other, more long-range land planning
activities that the staff has been able to comment on.
Particularly urgent are the Developments of Regional
Impact (DRI). The Florida Land and Water Manage-
ment Act of 1972 requires that proposed developments
of a certain magnitude be reviewed through the DRI
process to give local and regional planners an oppor-
tunity to determine the impact of these projects on the
economy, transportation needs, water, and, of special
interest to us, the fish and wildlife resources of the
area. Environmental section biologists have been re-
quested to evaluate DRI applications and provide this
information in a number of situations where potential
losses to wildlife could be significant.
One type of development subject to the DRI process,


FLORIDA WILDLIFE







and which often has a major impact on wildlife resour-
ces, is the large-scale "new community." For example,
the Section provided an assessment of Arvida Corpora-
tion's proposed community of 100,000 residents in a
sawgrass marsh adjacent to two of the water conser-
vation areas in Broward County. Our interest in this
project resulted not only from the potential loss of
wildlife on the site but also because of the proximity
of this project to the Everglades Management Area and
its possible impact on wildlife management in this wet-
lands area. In a detailed report, the Environmental
Section expressed concern over predicted problems of
water quality, aquatic weeds, habitat losses, solid waste
disposal, and future impingement on recreation and
management activities in the conservation areas.
In this instance, the Regional Planning Council chose
to recommend the development. Although the Section's
efforts did not prevent a major loss of habitat, never-
theless the Regional Planning Council had access to a
comprehensive wildlife report to aid in making its
decision. Expanded input into these types of decisions
must continue in order to convince decisionmakers of
the importance of fish and wildlife in their considera-
tions.


What is the dollar value of an osprey and its nest?
As the human population pressure continues to grow,
we are starting to appreciate more the recreational,
aesthetic, educational, biological, social, and even
commercial value of Florida's rich wildlife resource.
Photo By Janet Alexander


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

IIrIl ll If II I IIIIllll III IAII Iill
As part of its 1 3 1262 04982 4120 ife
comments for a broad range of land planning decisions,
the Environmental Section participated in the selection
of lands to be acquired under the Land Conservation
Act of 1972. Valuable proposals supported by the En-
vironmental Section and subsequently approved for
purchase included San Felasco Hammock in Alachua
County, Three Lakes Ranch in Osceola County, portions
of the Apalachicola River floodplain in Gulf County,
and portions of the Fakahatchee Strand in Collier
County. Each of these purchases provides valuable wild-
life habitat and Three Lakes Ranch, with over 50,000
acres, has already provided an extensive new hunting
area for the sportsman.
The bulk of the workload of the Environmental Sec-
tion continued to be in the area of providing fish and
wildlife comments to the Trustees of the Internal
Improvement Trust Fund on permit applications. One
example of our involvement was the Cocoplum develop-
ment in Dade County. This massive project, if approved,
would have filled large areas of mangroves at what is
now Tahiti Beach on south Biscayne Bay. The Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission opposed this project
because of the large-scale loss of wetlands involved,
and prepared a report outlining the values of these
areas and pointing out the loss of wildlife that would
ensue. Alternate recommendations were made, many of
which were included in the recommendations of the
Trustees' staff. The Environmental Section will also
continue to make recommendations at the federal level
of permitting in order to reduce the damages resulting
from this work as much as possible.
Another type of Trustees project which has less of a
direct effect on fish and wildlife but which may have
important long-range significance is the maintenance
dredging of harbors or existing channels. The Environ-
mental Section, commenting on a specific dredging
project in Jacksonville, carefully documented the prob-
lems associated with the proposed dumping of spoil from
the dredging in shallow open waters, and recommended
upland spoil disposal or, if necessary, deep water spoil-
ing. The Corps of Engineers subsequently closed this
portion of the St. Johns River to open water spoiling,
but the problem remains in a number of ports through-
out the state.
In a somewhat special case, Environmental Section
biologists were requested to investigate the potential
problems with a Deltona Corporation development in
Volusia County. As part of the development, Deltona
was draining many of its lakes, steeply grading the
shoreline, and dredging much of the lake bottoms for
fill material. There was considerable dispute over the
jurisdiction of the Trustees in these lakes which resulted
in lawsuits and countersuits. Because a wildlife officer
had made the original arrest for violation of dredge
and fill laws, the Commission was also involved in these
suits. Section biologists determined that extensive dam-
ages had resulted from Deltona's work. The destruction
of the shallow grassy areas around the edge had re-
moved cover for forage fish and juvenile game fish and
had eliminated valuable spawning areas.
The proposed construction of homes and lawns down
to the edge of the lake will also increase the flow of
excess nutrients and pollutants into the lake, and rapidly
increase the aging, or eutrophication, of these lakes.
In addition to providing comments to the Trustees
of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the Environ-
mental Section provided fish and wildlife expertise to
other agencies whenever necessary. The Department of
(Continued on next page)


MARCH 1975





(Continued from preceding page)
Pollution Control, for example, went to court to stop
the illegal construction of a causeway across the Jensen
Savannas in St. Lucie County, and requested the Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission, through an inter-
agency agreement, to provide an assessment of this
causeway's impact on the natural resources of the
Savannas. Environmental Section biologists responded
with a report outlining the adverse effects that would
accompany this project, and testified at the subsequent
hearings. The results of this action were favorable, and
significantly broadened the state's jurisdiction over
freshwater wetlands.
A major category of development which often seriously
affects fish and wildlife is the construction of highways
by the Florida Department of Transportation. The
majority of the Section's work with the Department
of Transportation centered around reviewing the impact
of proposed highways and associated bridges, causeways
and storm drainage systems on fish and wildlife habitat.
Section biologists often suggested alternatives that would
reduce the impact on fish and wildlife habitat. Par-
ticularly important was our work in encouraging the
Department of Transportation to span wetlands, espe-
cially marshes and river swamps, rather than filling
these areas for a causeway. Aside from the direct habitat
loss from filling, these causeways often interrupt the
movement of waters in these wetlands during high water
periods, with potential long-range adverse effects on
both upstream and downstream portions of the wetlands
system.
Environmental Protection also worked in close cooper-
ation with the Department of Transportation in an
effort to insure that hunters and fishermen will continue
to have access to the fishing and hunting areas along
Alligator Alley in Collier and Broward counties. Alliga-
tor Alley, utilized by a variety of sportsmen ranging
from cane pole fishermen to half-track operators, is
slated to become part of Interstate-75, a limited access
highway. On the advice and urging of the Environ-
mental Section, the Department of Transportation has
tentatively designed access areas along the new highway
route specifically for the benefit of hunters and fisher-
men.
This fiscal year also marked the introduction of the
Power Plant Siting Act administered by the Division
of State Planning. This requires that power companies
plan their facilities well in advance, and outline these
plans for state review. Since the expansion or new con-
struction of power plants usually involves at least some
impact to aquatic life in that area, the Environmental
Section became involved in assessing the impact of these
power plants on fish and wildlife. One of the recurring
findings in several of these assessments was that direct
losses of wildlife resources were limited when compared
to the long-range losses resulting from the encourage-
ment of increased industrialization and residential con-
struction resulting from the increased availability of
electric power.
In addition to participating in various aspects of state
planning, the Environmental Protection Section was also
involved at the federal level. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife
Coordination Act states that the comments of the state



Demands of modem highway systems exert a substantial
impact on the wildlife resources. Seeking alternative
measures to some construction methods to minimize en-
vironmental damage is one phase of Commission action.


game and fish administrator will be given equal weight
with those of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service on
federal projects having an effect on fish and wildlife.
Corps of Engineers permitting procedures provide the
Commission with an excellent opportunity to provide
this input.
Another highly publicized example of the Section's
federal involvement was the Moretti project on Key
Largo. The developers did extensive dredging and filling
in a mangrove area of Florida Bay without a federal
permit. Environmental Protection's comments concern-
ing this after-the-fact permit were submitted to the
Corps not only for the purpose of assessing the damages
already incurred but also to suggest restoration pro-
cedures. The permit was denied and the courts have
since ruled that the developer must restore the area
to its former condition, a decision that should be effec-
tive in warning developers to obtain permits before
starting construction in those areas where the Corps
of Engineers has jurisdiction.
Other responsibilities for input arose from our par-
ticipation in the A-95 State Clearinghouse procedures
where public works projects and proposals requiring
environmental impact statements are reviewed. During
FY 74 the Environmental Section reviewed proposals
for harbor deepening, navigation channel dredging, and
flood control and water management projects while also
providing wildlife management comments for program
reviews such as the Rural Environmental Conservation
Program.
Fiscal 1973-74 was an important year for the En-
vironmental Section and the environmental movement
in general, and 1974-75 promises to be even more
important, with the establishment of regional environ-
mental centers throughout the state designed to mini-
mize the complexity and cost for developers to gain
ecological and land planning guidance. It will also be
a year of reorganization for the state's environmental
agencies. And, most importantly, it will be a year when
the need for sound biological assessments of fish and
wildlife values of Florida, and of the impact of various
types of development on these values, will be needed
more than ever before. The Commission's Environmental
Section will continue to provide such assessments during
this critical year.


Photo By Gene Smith


FLORIDA WILDLIFE