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Annual report - Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075971/00004
 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: 1975
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: UF00075971:00004
 Related Items
Preceded by: Report - Florida, Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

Full Text

ANNUAL


REPORT


JULY 1, 1975 JUNE 30, 1976


Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of $350.00 or 0.35 per copy
to inform the public on commission acitiles for fiscal year 1975 76. j










WISE USE of our natural resources


through wise ADMINISTRATION


For the first thirty years after the Florida Game and Fresh
Water Fish Commission became a constitutional agency, on
January 1, 1943, it carried out its programs with revenue de-
rived from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. During the
early years of the Commission, this was appropriate, as the
programs of the agency were primarily directed to benefit hun-
ters and fishermen. However, over the years, particularly during
the past decade, the Commission has become increasingly in-
volved in matters affecting and benefiting not only the hunter
and fisherman but the general citizenry: protection, research
and management of nongame species of wildlife; boating safety,
civil emergencies and other general police actions; pollution con-
trol, and ecological systems; and development of a recreational
program for the Everglades.
Realizing that these activities benefited the general public
rather than exclusively hunters and fishermen, in 1973, for the
first time, the Legislature appropriated $2,036,737 in general
revenue funds to assist in the Commission's overall program.
Subsequently, the 1974 Legislature appropriated $5,196,711 in
general revenue funds to carry out the expanded responsibilities
of the Commission. (Of this amount $1,735,164 was for capital
outlay projects, primarily for development of recreational
facilities in the Everglades.) Finally, the 1975 Legislature ap-
propriated $3,534,200 for the same purpose. These funds have
been put to good use, as can be ascertained by a review of the
various programs and accomplishments set forth in this report.


"A TRUE CONSERVATIONIST IS A MAN
WHO KNOWS THAT THE WORLD IS
NOT GIVEN BY HIS FATHERS BUT
BORROWED FROM HIS CHILDREN."
Audubon Magazine


In general, The Commission accelerated its management of
the state's wildlife and fresh water fisheries resources to insure
optimum wildlife and fish populations for the recreational and
aesthetic benefit of the public. Such management encompassed
the promulgation of codes and regulations for the protection of
the resource; enforcement of these codes and regulations and
those provided by Florida statutes; habitat improvement; re-
search directed toward solving resource problems; regulation
and inspection of wildlife importation; regulation and inspector
of wildlife exhibitors; control of aquatic vegetation; biological
inspection and reporting of construction and development pro-
jects which could affect fish and wildlife resources and their
habitat; acquisition and development of public recreation areas
and a conservation information and education program.
The Commission appreciates the support of the Legislature
the sportsmen, and other outdoor-oriented citizens of the state
and intends to justify that support.


FLORIDA WILDLIFE


,
































ACCOUNTING for the wildlife dollar through



ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES


"WE LIVE IN DEEDS, NOT YEARS;
IN THOUGHTS, NOT BREATHS; IN
FEELINGS, NOT IN FIGURES."
Philip James Bailey


The Administrative Services Division, literally, has a hand in
everything the Commission does. Starting with the formula-
ion of the annual budget to collecting revenue and paying for
supplies and personnel, continuing with accounting for all phys-
cal property, maintenance of facilities, to providing 24-hour
communicationn throughout the state, this Division is involved.
activities of this Division include fiscal and accounting, property
maintenance and inventory, publications and printing, purchas-
ag of equipment, personnel management, communications,
budget programming and planning, and general support ser-
ices.
program : PROPERTY MAINTENANCE AND INVENTORY
Everything the Commission owns, rents, leases or sells must
be accounted for. Accountability is the key to successful property
management and is the main task of the property office which
maintains all property transactions.
Progress:
A complete purge of all files and installation of a new filing
system has been accomplished. The land, buildings and com-
munication property records were reviewed and updated. A
statewide semi-annual property inventory was instituted with
every employee having the property assigned to him inspected
by his supervisor. Surplus and confiscated property was disposed
of according to procedures and resulted in the sale of 175
firearms for $10,000. In addition, 110 vehicles, 31 boats and 16
trailers were processed and disposed of.
Program: PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
Getting the best value for the wildlife dollar is but one of the
goals of this activity. Maintaining a tight control on expendi-


tures along with seeing that all financial obligations are paid
promptly and completely are vital to a progressive operation.
Progress:
A complete reorganization in the processing and filing of
purchase orders was initiated. The filing system was subse-
quently reduced from three to two systems yet provided a work-
ing file and a required audit review file. A total of 2,479 purch-
ase orders and 128 legal and formal bids were processed. With
the improved purchasing procedures, the Commission has been
able to maintain much closer control and equipment and supply
purchase.
Program: FISCAL AND ACCOUNTING *
Accountability for revenue receipts and expend I ps. is a
major task of any organization. The Fiscal and Accounting oper-
ation is responsible for all financial transactions, licensing and
administration of both State and Federal funds.
Progress:
A new Departmental Accounting System has been im-
plemented to provide complete and detailed records of how each
dollar of the Commission's funds was utilized. Included is a cross
check system which allows both the operating divisions and the
auditors to balance operations with the Comptroller's records on
a monthly basis. Tighter controls of revenue and expenditures
provide better management of resources and has allowed the
Commission to keep current the funding of the Land Acquisition
Trust Fund and set aside several hundred thousand dollars as
operational reserve. Both the operational reserve and the trust
fund are invested and the Commission was able to generate
$64,000 profit from such investments during the past year.
Program: PRINTING AND PUBLICATIONS
The responsibility of the printing and publication operation
includes publishing the only state agency magazine, FLORIDA
(continued on next page)


MARCH-APRIL 1977







(continued from preceding page)
WILDLIFE, as well as the production of duplication of reports and
printed educational materials.
Progress:
In-house duplication has become a reality with the acquisition
of a typeset composer, platemaker and offset duplicator, allow-
ing for considerable savings to this agency. The printing and
publication operation is now fully equipped to provide quick,
quality duplication for the various divisions within this Com-
mission. The agency magazine, FLORIDA WILDLIFE, received a
new look featuring a restyled front page plus all-new typog-
raphy. The highlight of this magazine was a special 52-page
Bicentennial environmental issue with the first full-color illust-
rations in 29 years of publishing a monthly magazine. The
magazine will be converted from monthly to bi-monthly with
full color and additional pages. Magazine subscription revenue
totaled a record $72,700, a 37% increase over the previous year's
income.
Program: PERSONNEL
Quality employees result in high quality operations and a
high quality agency. The personnel operation has the monumen-
tal task of seeking the best qualified employees for the Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission as well as maintaining all
records for both permanent personnel and seasonal employees.
Progress:
In addition to maintaining records for the 633 established pos-
itions and seasonal and part-time employees, the Personnel
Office responded to an estimated 4,000 inquiries regarding
Commission employment opportunities. During the year, selec-
tive screening procedures were conducted for the purpose of
identifying the best qualified applicants from registers of the
Division of Personnel.
Program: COMMUNICATIONS
The key to the success of any people oriented group is effective
communication and more so with the Commission and its law
enforcement responsibilities. Maintaining an effective com-
munication system between operations and personnel, and bet-
ween the Commission and the public is the major objective of
this activity.
Progress:
The Communication operation was merged into the Adminis-
trative Division allowing for improved practice in the areas of
budget, system improvement and work priority planning. A
significant improvement was made in the radio system and
many areas which had virtually no radio communication are
now reliably encompassed in the system. The 24-hour radio
coverage and the installation of toll-free telephones at the five
regional offices has provided round-the-clock communication be-
tween the Commission and the public.
Program: SUPPORT SERVICES
The foundation of the Commission's operation is through
licensing and permitting. Over the years, the volume has in-
creased as has the number of people utilizing Florida's re-
sources. This operation serves as a valuable link between the
Commission and the Tax Collectors and their agents who issue
licenses and permits.
Progress:
One major accomplishment of the Support Service operation
was eight regional workshops to afford Tax Collectors and their
personnel to participate in discussions involving license alloca-
tions, reporting procedures, year-end balancing requirements,
hunt quota permit applications and other areas of mutual con-
cern. All counties are now reporting license sales by the 10th of
each month as compared to less than 45 per cent in the past. The
Support Service continues to provide the liaison between the
Commission and the retail outlets for licenses and permits.


GETTING





t both statewide and grassroots level, this function is dedi-
cated to creating a better understanding, appreciation and
acceptance of concepts for wildlife and natural resource conser-
vation. As Florida grows, so do the problems faced by wildlife re-
sources and conservation agencies. Utilizing every available
means of communication from personal appearances, infor-
mational brochures, radio, television, newspapers, magazines
and exhibits, the I & E Division strives to have the wildlife
conservation theme echo across the state.
Activities include general operations, news and information
services, audio-visual operations, conservation education, hunter
and firearm safety training, regional operations, and the wildlife
reserve program. The only measure of program success is in the
acceptance or rejection of conservation programs by sportsmen
and citizens alike. The programs are developed and adminis-
tered at headquarters level and implemented at local levels by
regional personnel.
Program: NEWS AND INFORMATION
A well informed sportsman and citizen is an individual that is
not only knowledgeable of existing rules and regulations but
understands the total concept of conservation and wise use of
renewable natural resources. The basic task of the news and
information service is to make available such information relat-
ing to wildlife and fresh water aquatic life that will help create
an aura of conservation concern.
Progress:
As in the years past, the news and information release re-
mains the most effective means for distribution of information.
News and information releases are mailed on a regular basis at
both statewide and regional levels. A new internal house organ
was created and is distributed to Commission personnel and or-
ganized conservation groups on a regular basis. Production and
distribution of information brochures continues as an ongoing
activity as well as regular correspondence in response to in-
quiries.
Program: AUDIO-VISUAL
Audio-visual, as the name implies, is the sight and sound of
wildlife and is utilized to create an additional dimension to pro-
grams of conservation. The audio-visual operation maintains a
current file of photographs, both black and white and color, and
is responsible for the creation of visuals including graphics, lay-
out and design.
Progress:
Major emphasis has been placed on the creation of color slide
lecture series with taped narration for distribution and group
presentation. It has been found that such slide shows can serve
as an effective means for communication at far less expense
than movies and can always be updated by the addition of one or
more slides.
Program: CONSERVATION EDUCATION
The major conservation education thrust has been directed to
the future citizens of Florida with major emphasis placed at
school levels and summer conservation camping experiences.


FLORIDA WILDLIFE












HOOKED


on fishing-

hunting-

conservation-

through


INFORMATION

and

EDUCATION

"PUBLIC SENTIMENT IS
EVERYTHING. WITH PUBLIC
SENTIMENT NOTHING CAN
FAIL. WITHOUT IT,
NOTHING CAN SUCCEED."
Abraham Lincoln


Progress:
This year witnessed 23 consecutive summers of Youth Con-
servation Camps. Thousands of boys and girls have received a
basic introduction to the outdoors, and many conservation lead-
ers acknowledge the foundation of their conservation concern
was established at a Youth Conservation Camp. Two youth
camps are operated by the Commission. To further conservation
education for young people, the division was heavily involved
with production of a series of 36 conservation education class-
room television programs in cooperation with WEDU of Tampa.
Program: HUNTER AND FIREARM SAFETY TRAINING
This program has a two-fold objective: (1) To teach safety in
the handling of all firearms, both in the hunting field and in the
home; and (2) To combat the slob-type hunter, with the ultimate
goal of eliminating this image from the Florida sporting scene.
The training program is coordinated by a small cadre of Com-
mission employees. Actual classroom and field training is pro-
vided by certified instructors who volunteer their time, know-
ledge and teaching skills.
Progress:
A slight but noticeable decline in hunting accidents during
this year is evidence that the program is paying dividends. Since
initiation, more than 24,000 citizens have been trained and
certified as safe hunters. This year, 653 volunteer instructors
conducted 281 training classes for a total of 10,859 instructional


hours teaching the fundamentals of firearm safety and
sportsmanship to over five thousand students.
Program: WILDLIFE RESERVE
The Wildlife Reserve program involves uniformed citizens in-
terested in wildlife conservation and has extended the conserva-
tion arm of the Commission by freeing regular personnel for
more demanding duties. Reservists provide their own uniforms,
transportation and, most important, time for wildlife conserva-
tion.
Progress:
This year, 67 Reservists contributed almost 23,500 hours of
volunteer conservation effort with a net value in excess of
$105,000. Reservists, at their own expense, may attend Police
Standards Training and become certified as auxiliary or part-
time officers and empowered to enforce wildlife laws when under
the supervision of a wildlife officer. A survey of Reserve activity
indicates 41% of effort directed to assisting wildlife law en-
forcement, 32% to aiding fish and wildlife management, 10% in
wildlife training, 8.6% in conservation education effort, and
8.4% involved with miscellaneous activities. This valuable pro-
gram continues to be limited to the counties of central Florida.
(continued on next page)


MARCH-APRIL 1977






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.LAW

i ENFORCEMENT




"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN
LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS,
AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
Aldo Leopold


The Law Enforcement Division is responsible for protecting
wildlife and fresh water aquatic life by preventing violations
as well as the apprehension and arrest of violators of hunting
and fishing laws and environmental and pollution regulations.
Additional duties require enforcement of regulations relating to
the importation, sale, use and possession of wild animals and
fresh water aquatic life; enforcement of boating safety laws; as-
sistance to other law enforcement agencies; maintenance of pub-
lic order during natural disasters and civil emergencies; under-
cover investigations; and training of personnel.
Program: UNIFORMED WILDLIFE LAW ENFORCEMENT
This arm of the Law Enforcement Division is comprised of 233
employees who are charged with the responsibility to patrol
37,478,400 acres of land and water 24 hours a day. Wildlife
Officers have full police authority and, in addition to regular
wildlife patrol, may become involved in other crime prevention.
Progress:
This small but select force effected approximately 9,000 ar-
rests with a 92% conviction rate. The majority of these arrests
related to the protection of wildlife and the environment. How-
ever, arrests involving narcotics, larceny, littering, boating
safety, traffic, auto theft, cattle theft and arson are included in
the total.
Wilderness patrol requires the use of special equipment in-


cluding airboats, outboard boats and motors, full-track and
half-track swamp vehicles, three-wheel ATV motorcycles as well
as conventional four-wheel drive vehicles and patrol sedans.
Program: AVIATION SURVEILLANCE AND PATROL
The Aviation operation utilizes two single engine fixed wing
aircraft, one twin engine aircraft and one helicopter with the
responsibility of providing day and night patrol in support of
uniformed law enforcement officers.
Progress:
The current compliment of pilots fly a combined total of al-
most 15,000 hours annually. In addition to support of uniformed
law enforcement, the aircraft participate in wildlife and en-
vironmental surveys as well as being utilized for search and
rescue missions. The psychological effects of aerial patrol at
night is a proven deterrent to night hunting activity.
Program: WILDLIFE INSPECTIONS
The Wildlife Inspectors provide a "specialized line of defense"
against the illegal importation and release of potentially
dangerous foreign wildlife and fish plus monitoring of the vast
wildlife trade including wild animal attractions. These
specialized enforcement officers are charged with insuring com-
pliance with the myriad of technical state and Federal laws gov-
erning the commercialization and possession of wild animals
and fish.


FLORIDA WILDLIFE


.--.i .. .- .
' 7

Y ---
ii r* ^ ^ -





(continued from preceding page)
verse effects. This Bureau places the welfare of the fish and wild-
life as the utmost priority.

Program: HABITAT ASSESSMENT PRIVATE
DEVELOPMENT
This program is designed to reduce the impact private de-
velopment activities may have on fish and wildlife habitat by
habitat assessment of environmental regulation and U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers permit application.
Progress:
Field biologists examined 605 applications requiring 1,330
man-days of effort. Comments pertaining to habitat evaluations
were submitted to the appropriate agencies with each applica-
tion. This is a major effort to introduce consideration for fish and
wildlife into the permitting process for private developments.
Program: HABITAT ASSESSMENT PUBLIC WORKS
PROJECTS
This is an effective program and a high priority item in
operating plans. Each public works project is reviewed for possi-
ble effects on fish and wildlife resources.
Progress:
This major effort resulted in the review of 96 projects requir-


ing 650 man-days of effort. Projects included river alteration
proposals such as the Apalachicola, Oklawaha and St. Johns as
well as port developments, highway projects and many others.
Many projects were altered to be less destructive of fish and
wildlife resources and a number have been suspended because of
their adverse effects on wildlife resources.

Program: A-95 CLEARINGHOUSE
This program requires the review of projects requiring Federal
review and financing and involves many diverse proposals which
may impact wildlife. Energy plants, subdivision developments
and public land management policies are but a few of the
categories.
Progress:
A total of 237 projects were reviewed for possible impacts on
fish and wildlife. Many alterations were made due to input and
field surveys within this program.
Program: HABITAT SURVEYS
This program is designed to provide a statewide survey of
reliable habitat information that would reduce the need to con-
duct field inspections on each proposal. The survey information
can be utilized to review major programs with emphasis on en-
dangered habitats or can be relayed to regional or local planning
agencies.


Progress:
* Major progress on this program has not been made due to
priorities in other areas and staff limitations.

*Program: FISH AND WILDLIFE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
AND ENVIRONMENTALLY ENDANGERED LANDS
The Environmental Protection Bureau represents the Com-
mission on the Interagency Planning Committee which screens
all proposals and assigns general priorities on the value of the
proposal for fish and wildlife.
Progress:
Much of the 200 million dollars for purchase of environmen-
tally endangered lands has been obligated. Only about 50 pro-
posals were considered and the review of most of these were
cursory. Additional time was spent in determining manage-
ment goals and resolving problems with lands previously pur-
chased or being purchased.

Program: FISH AND WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE AND
STATE WILDLIFE LAND PLANNING
This area of concern is of increasing importance because of the
value of major land use decisions to fish and wildlife. The
Bureau supplies fish and wildlife input and serves as watchdog


to prevent land use plans or decisions which will have adverse
effects on existing populations.

Progress:
Major activities include the "Eutrophication of Lake
Okeechobee" study, the Kissimmee Restoration Council legis-
lated this year, the Coastal Zone Management Plan, one major
DRI appeal, and initial coordination on the Florida Land Use
Plan now being reviewed.
Program: FISH AND WILDLIFE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
TO LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
This program is designed to incorporate fish and wildlife
criteria at the local level of planning or development. Regional
planning councils, water management districts, county commis-
sions, zoning boards, consultants and developers can often in-
clude a much higher level of fish and wildlife in their develop-
ment when properly advised before their plans become final.
Progress:
Bureau biologists attended a number of County Commission
meetings, commented or worked with several Developments of
Regional Impact, particularly in the phosphate counties of west
central Florida, participated in ad-hoc committee meetings on
the Choctawhatchee River and coordinated extensively with the
Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District.


pr


H U N T IN G -an annual sustained yield of wildlife through WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT


This Division is responsible for the management of wildlife
habitat, wildlife research, wildlife surveys and inventories
and is responsible for providing public hunting for the citizens
of the State. The Division administers and directs the activi-
ties of research and management as well as the acquisition, de-
velopment, operation and maintenance of wildlife-related rec-
reational areas and facilities. Additional activities include
research on endangered species and other non-game species
and support of those wildlife species which are of interest to the
non-hunter.
Program: PUBLIC HUNTING
To provide public hunting, the Division instituted a land lease
program to provide protection and habitat improvement for
landowners in exchange for public hunting rights. To supple-
ment the program, the legislature appropriated funds to be dis-
tributed to landowners on a pro rata basis according to the
number of hunters utilizing the designated areas.
Progress:
During 1975-76, a total of 86,000 hunters spent 1,800,000
man-days hunting on 4,800,000 acres included in the 43 wildlife
management areas. A total of $200,000 was distributed to pri-
vate landowners participating in the program. Of the lands in-
cluded in the program, more than one-third is in private owner-
ship with the balance being State and Federal lands.
Program: WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA
MAINTENANCE AND DEVELOPMENT
The Division currently has responsibility for nearly five mill-


ion acres of land in 43 wildlife management areas, providing
technical assistance to landowners and conducting management
studies to improve wildlife management techniques.
Progress:
To carry out these responsibilities, a total of 11 biologists, five
supervisors and 24 wildlife management specialists provided the
expertise and manpower with the majority of time and effort
directed to the maintenance, development and operation of wild-
life management areas.
Negotiations were completed and public hunting began on the
Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area (5,500 acres) in Gadsden
County, the Cypress Creek Wildlife Management Area (25,972
acres) in Hamilton County and the Rotenberger-Holeyland
Wildlife Management Area (62,720 acres) in Palm Beach
County.
Habitat management work was limited but personnel did con-
trol burn 158,800 acres, plant 31,100 oak seedlings, 300,000
bicolor lespedeza seedlings, and 712 acres of annual food plots.
In addition, a total of 1,564 acres were planted for dove fields to
provide public hunting.
Other functions included maintenance of campsites on 17
acres, maintenance and improvement of 83 miles of access roads,
operation of checking stations and the erection and repair of
boundary and entrance signs. Three waterfowl impoundments
located on the Aucilla, Guana River, and Avon Park Wildlife
Management Areas were maintained and managed. Quail feed-
ers were operated on the Webb Wildlife Management Area to
improve the quail population.
(continued on next page)


FLORIDA WILDLIFE MARCH-APRIL 1977










(continued from preceding page)
In the technical guidance program, biologists responded to
over 300 requests from landowners for assistance in developing
wildlife management plans, wildlife food plantings, plans for
census and harvest of wildlife and control of nuisance wildlife.
Among the management investigations conducted was an
abomasal parasite sampling project in which stomach samples
were collected from 134 hunter harvested deer on 19 wildlife
management areas and a scientific count of parasites made.
Samples were grouped with average parasite counts calculated
for each area. In addition, the relationship of the deer herd to
the carrying capacity of its habitat was established for each
area. The study has developed a correlation between the average
parasite count for an area and the deer population status for
that area.
The Division initiated an investigation of the benefits of rota-
tional cattle grazing systems on range for wildlife. According to
research in other regions of the country, improvement in habitat
has been accomplished by rotating cattle from pasture to pas-
ture, allowing one or more pastures to rest at all times. This
range management concept has, in addition to increasing wild-
life values, resulted in increased productivity for cattle on a
per-acre basis. Biologists have made plans to introduce the rota-
tional grazing system on the Green Swamp and Cecil M. Webb
Wildlife Management Areas and on several private ranches and
hope to enhance habitat for wildlife.
Program: WILD TURKEY RESEARCH
During the 1950's, Florida's 100,000 turkeys was the second
largest wild turkey population in the United States and pro-
vided an annual legal harvest of 40,000 birds. Without warning,
the annual harvest fell to less than half in the mid-1960's, cause
unknown. Florida was also experiencing a rapid destruction of
turkey habitat and management programs of the past were no
longer effective. Intensified research was initiated.
Progress:
The turkey population crash was caused by a lethal infectious
disease, probably one that was found in the population two years
after research began. Surveys show that the population recov-
ered from the disease by 1972 but has continued to be undercut
by habitat losses. More conservative regulations on hunting
have helped avoid the need to curtail turkey hunting and ex-
perimental hunting regulations designed for minimum adverse
impact are under study.
Program: HUNTER SURVEY
The hunter survey is a statistically developed mail-out survey
to provide facts and figures as to the number of hunters and
their success on public hunting areas.
Progress:
For each wildlife management area, the number of hunters,
man-days of hunting pressure, and harvest for 10 different
species is determined. During 1975-76, the 86,000 sportsmen
hunting on wildlife management areas harvested 34,000 deer,
17,200 hogs, 2,000 hogs, 2,000 turkeys and 538,000 squirrels.
Program: LAND ACQUISITION
Three dollars of each ten dollar wildlife management area
stamp is set aside for purchase of lands for public hunting,
fishing and other outdoor recreational uses.
Progress:
At the present time, a total of $920,000 is available for land
purchases. During 1975-76, a total of 478 acres of land located in


the Cecil M. Webb, Joe Budd and Three Lakes Wildlife Man-
agement Areas was obtained. State wildlife management area
lands owned wholly by the Commission total 62,500 acres on the
Cecil M. Webb, 56,000 acres on the J. W. Corbett, 800 acres on
the Joe Budd and 40 acres on the Three Lakes. The Commission
will continue to acquire lands for public hunting.
Program: ALLIGATOR MANAGEMENT
The alligator, once endangered, has made a remarkable recov-
ery since it was placed under full protection. While there is no
positive method of determining alligator populations, state
biologists have estimated that 500,000 alligators may inhabit
the state today. The steady increase in human populations cou-
pled with expanded developments have encroached into the
alligator's habitat resulting in an increase in conflicts between
gators and people.
Progress:
In 1976, the Commission received between 8,000 and 10,000
gator complaints. The program of capturing and transplanting
alligators has become ineffective as all suitable areas are now
approaching full capacity and the number of gators in need of
being moved has increased to near impossible proportions.
With continual urging from the Commission, the Department
of the Interior is removing the alligator from the endangered
species list in Florida to make possible a program of effective
alligator population control. An alligator management plan was
instituted in 1976 and will be implemented in 1977.
Program: QUOTA HUNT SYSTEM
Due to the popularity of the wildlife management area sys-
tem, many areas experienced extremely heavy hunting pressure
during the first two weekends of the hunting season. The quota
hunt system was designed to improve the quality of public hunt-
ing and to spread out the wildlife harvest over a longer period of
time.
Progress:
Quotas were set on 41 wildlife management areas to regulate
the number of hunters during the first nine days of the season.
Sportsmen were required to obtain a free permit on a first-come,
first-serve basis for the area of their choice. Quotas were deter-
mined by a formula derived from the size of the area, the habitat
type and estimated game animal populations. During the first
year, a total of 59,000 permits were issued. Response from the
public was overwhelmingly in favor of continuing the program.
Program: ENDANGERED SPECIES
Florida has more endangered species than any other continen-
tal U.S. state. Research and surveys are required to discover and
monitor endangered populations before effective management is
possible. Immediate emphasis on some species is required (for
example, the Florida panther which numbers fewer than 30).
Progress:
Recovery team operations are under way for the panther,
brown pelican, Everglades kite, crocodile, alligator, dusky sea-
side sparrow, and manatee. Close monitoring of the brown peli-
can has indicated a stable population in Florida. Florida peli-
cans are now being used to restore the Louisiana population.
Recovery plans have been written for the dusky seaside sparrow
and brown pelican and recovery plans for three other en-
dangered species are to be finished by next year. A complete
listing of all endangered wildlife has been compiled. Plans are
being accelerated for protective measures for the other en-
dangered species under a new Federal Aid project to be initiated
before the end of 1976.


Progress:
* Wildlife Inspectors work with over 1,000 major wildlife attrac-
tions and private animal keepers in a cooperative effort to con-
tinually upgrade the quality of life for captive wildlife. Special
emphasis is placed on the curtailment of commercialization of
endangered and threatened species, as attested by the arrest of
five black-market Indigo snake dealers this year. The arrests
resulted in the seizure of 40 Indigo snakes and 214 eggs destined
for the pet trade in northern markets.
With over 35 million specimens of wildlife and fish imported
annually through Miami and Tampa ports of entry, coupled with
the additional 60 million ornamental fish produced in Florida,
the potential dangers in maintaining an environmental integ-
rity are great.
This specialized operation will continue to play a vital role in
the enforcement of wildlife laws, providing a substantial degree
of protection to our native fish and wildlife resources.
Program: UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATIONS,
The Undercover Investigations operation was developed to aid
uniformed officers in coping with organized market hunting and
large scale commercialization by wildlife profiteers.
Progress:


Although small in size, this unit has "broken the back" of
several groups of profit motivated wildlife violators. Undercover
investigations this year disclosed a market hunting, cattle rustl-
ing and stolen farm equipment operation in central Florida


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where deer and rustled beef were slaughtered for sale and farm
equipment stolen and sold.
Local courts and prosecutors have lauded the professional en-
forcement tactics of this operation that currently maintains a
jury trial conviction record of 100%.
Since 1971, 38 defendants arrested as a result of undercover
investigations have been convicted and received the following
sentences:
Total fines ................. .................. $27,126.00
Assessment to replace illegally taken deer ......$ 8,675.00
Jail time (suspended) ................. 13 years, 2 months
Jail time (served) ...............9 years, 2 months, 10 days
Supervised probation ................. 42 years, 6 months
Program: WILDLIFE TRAINING
The Training operation provides the Law Enforcement Divi-
sion with program evaluation, curriculum development, re-
search, seminars, workshops, and publications. It is an integral
part of an efficient and effective organization, especially in a law
enforcement agency where officers must be kept abreast of a
constantly changing society and its laws.
Progress:
During this fiscal year, 13,960 hours were utilized in semi-
nars, workshops, and recruit training of 345 Commission emp-
loyees. In addition, a precision driving course was devised fol-
lowing a comprehensive study of vehicle accidents.


E KEY to quality wildlife


is quality habitat


through



ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION



"INDEED, IF WE DON'T SAVE OUR
ENVIRONMENT NOW, NOTHING WE
HAVE ACCOMPLISHED IN HUMAN
ENDEAVOR CAN BE LONG
SUSTAINED."
Charles A. Lindbergh


operating under the premise that there can be no wildlife
without adequate habitat, the Environmental Protection
Bureau works to provide all the finned, furred and feathered resi-
dents of Florida with habitat protection. This Bureau works
with Federal, State and local governments as well as private
industry in an attempt to limit damage to fish and wildlife re-
sources. Proposed development projects are reviewed and
recommendations made on how to alter the project to be less de-
structive to the fish and wildlife resources or recommend the
project plans should be rejected or amended because of the ad-
(continued on next page)


FLORIDA WILDLIFE MARCH-APRIL 1977


4











FISHING



to shorten

the time

between

bites

through


FISHERIES

MANAGEMENT


This Division is responsible for the restocking of lakes and
ponds, the management of rivers and streams, treatment and
renovation operations, identification, documentation and man-
agement of exotic species, creel census, sampling and studies of
fish populations and other aquatic life, life history studies, en-
vironmental surveillance and applied research on fish manage-
ment techniques. This Division is also responsible for those ad-
ministrative functions directly related to fresh water fisheries
and aquatic weed control programs.
Program: UTILIZATION OF TILAPIA AS
A COMMERCIAL FOOD FISH
Imported as a possible control of aquatic vegetation and a new
sports fish, the tilapia has failed at both and has become the
predominant fish in many degraded lakes. Efforts have been


"THE ONLY TRUE DEMOCRACY IN
THE WORLD IS EXPERIENCED WHEN
A MAN IS FISHING-ALL MEN ARE
EQUAL BEFORE FISHES."
Herbert Hoover


made to establish a market for this food fish as well as provide
for a commercial harvest. An effort is being made to deter-
mine the areas now occupied by this fish.
Progress:
The taking of tilapia by nets resulted in a harvest of over
500,000 pounds of tilapia from several Polk County lakes. Fish
are currently sold at retail markets and the commercial harvest
of tilapia must be viewed as a wise use of the resource as well as
an estimated $445,000 boost to the economy of the retail fish
market.
Program: NORTHWEST FLORIDA STREAMS PROJECT
This program, begun in March of 1976, was developed to study
the fisheries habitat and provide a means for improving recrea-
tional fishing opportunities in northwestern Florida rivers.
Progress:
Preliminary habitat surveys have been completed on portions
of the Blackwater, Yellow and Escambia Rivers. Studies of the
Blackwater River have indicated suitable habitat to support
redbreast sunfish (river bream). An experimental stocking of
redbreast has been scheduled for 1977.
Program: LAKE TALOUIN STUDY
Objective of this study of Lake Talquin, Florida's largest
manmade impoundment, located just west of Tallahassee is to
(continued on next page)


MARCH-APRIL 1977






(continued from preceding page)
monitor the fish population and maintain sport fishing for both
freshwater game fish and striped bass.
Progress:
The continuing study indicates the bass population is in excel-
lent condition with adequate reproduction. Stocking of striped
bass continued with 120,000 fingerlings. A total of 632,000
striped bass have been stocked in Lake Talquin since 1968 and
anglers regularly report striped bass in excess of ten pounds.
Lake Talquin also provides a source of striped bass brood stock
for hatchery production of both striped and sunshine bass.
Program: LAKE JACKSON STUDY
To conduct creel census and study, both the aquatic habitat
and impact of urbanization of the fishery of the popular Big Bass
Lake located near Florida's capital city.
Progress:
Fish population samples indicate an average of 88 pounds of
fish per acre with abundant bass reproduction. Many young bass
of the 1975 season have attained eight to 13 inches in length.
The creel census indicates both angling effort and success was
extremely high and, when compared to other waters, Lake Jack-
son continues to rank high as a trophy bass lake. Urban de-
velopment within the drainage basin has had a damaging effect
on the southern portion of the lake.
Program: ST. JOHN'S RIVER FISHERY STUDY
A continuing research program designed to document factors
affecting the fish and fishing in the St. Johns River.
Progress:
Food habits of game fish were established showing trends in
food chain relationships. Vegetation work was completed with
information obtained on plant-soil-water relationships. Sedi-
ment studies showed distinct filling of unconsolidated mucks in
the upper lakes of the river system. Limnological and water
quality studies are continuing. A total of 1,372,893 striped bass
were stocked in the river and other Putnam County waters.
Program: WATER LEVEL MANIPULATION
A program designed to improve fish and fishing by creating
water level fluctuation as a result of mechanical drawdown.
Progress:
A six-year fisherman creel survey of Lake Tohopekaliga was
completed and documented a highly favorable response of fish
and fishermen to the drawdown. The average angler's success
increased by 50 per cent as a result of the Lake Tohopekaliga
project. Other lakes scheduled for drawdown include Lake
lamonia near Tallahassee, Newnans Lake near Gainesville and
Lake Kissimmee in south Florida.
Program: EXOTIC FISH RESEARCH
In 1971, a research station was constructed on the campus of
Florida Atlantic University, complete with indoor and outdoor
ponds for study of exotic fish that have invaded or are likely to
invade Florida. Twenty-three species of exotic fishes are now
documented as becoming permanently established in the state.
A program has been designed to evaluate the effects of non-
native fish on native game fish and to establish temperature
tolerances of exotic fish. The program is based at the Boca Raton
Research Center and also involved with the artificial spawning
of snook.
Progress:
Studies continued in an effort to evaluate the impact of fish
such as the walking catfish on bass and bluegill and to deter-
mine the lethal temperature of exotic fish as a factor that may
limit the spread to other areas and states. New systems were
used to rear a limited number of snook and resulted in the first


successful attempt to hatch and rear snook under laboratory
conditions.
Program: GRASS CARP RESEARCH
The grass carp or white amur was imported into Florida as a
control agent for aquatic vegetation. No one can dispute the
ability of the fish to devour large quantities of vegetation; how-
ever, little is known of the effects to other aquatic life.
Progress:
A study of four ponds was completed and a noted reduction in
aquatic life at all levels occurred in all ponds after introduction
of the grass carp. Additional research on this fish is under way
at Lake Wales, Deer Point Lake, and Lake Conway to docu-
ment the effects of grass carp on the aquatic community.
Program: OKLAWAHA BASIN FISHERIES RESEARCH
A research program designed to investigate and document en-
vironmental changes affecting the waters and fisheries of the
Oklawaha River Basin.
Progress:
Creel surveys indicate the harvest of black crappie in Lake
Griffin set a new record with over 298,000 fish being caught
during the past year. Work continued on the proposed Lake
Apopka restoration plan. Lakes Harris, Dora, Eustis and Griffin
were stocked with 336,850 sunshine bass. Aerial photos of Lake
Griffin from 1947 and 1964 were analyzed to determine the area
covered by water lilies. These results and mapping reviews show
a decline from 4,560 acres in 1947 to 66 acres in 1976 or a loss of
4,494 acres of productive fish cover.
Program: ARTIFICIAL FISH ATTRACTORS
A program designed to create effective artificial cover and food
accumulator to attract game fish and to encourage individuals
and organizations to establish similar attractors in local water.
Progress:
Personnel constructed 28 attractors in 11 lakes covering
14,962 acres during the year. An attractive "how to" bulletin
was made available and distributed to numerous groups and
individuals. This program has proved so successful that, in the
coming year, a statewide program will be undertaken to con-
struct additional attractors in many more lakes.
Program: LARGEMOUTH BASS RESEARCH
A research program designed to document facts leading to
progressive management programs for largemouth bass.
Progress:
This program has provided valuable information to the angler
as biological secrets are uncovered. Biologists have found that
large numbers of forage fish (shad, tilapia, etc.) before, during,
and after spawning caused male bass to leave the nest and nest-
ing areas. This resulted in elimination or reduction in spawning
success. To study bass stocking success, tiny wire tags were used
on 11,900 fingerlings stocked in Trout Lake and 25,000 in the
St. Johns River. Some of the stocked fingerlings have survived
for over a one year period. Further study will use sonic or radio
tags on adult fish to check balance and movements.
Program: STRIPED AND SUNSHINE BASS RESEARCH
A program designed to produce, stock and study striped and
sunshine bass, evaluate sports fishermen's catch and establish
criteria for lakes and future stocking needs.
Progress:
During the past year, a total of 980,609 of these fish were
produced and stocked into 52 lakes comprising 94,087 acres.
Evaluation of the stocking program indicated fish in the one
year class were most abundant in the anglers catch and aver-
aged about one fish per acre. The best fishing was noted to be
during the winter months and the record sunshine bass weighed


FLORIDA WILDLIFE'






5.35 pounds at three years of age. Striped bass stocking has been
limited to areas where stripers were historically found.
Program: LAKE OKEECHOBEE FISHERY UTILIZATION
Population monitoring was continued along with the de-
velopment of a new program designed to assist in curing the ills
and better utilizing the resources of this great lake.
Progress:
It has been determined that the sports fisherman has been
unable to adequately harvest the available game fish in Lake
Okeechobee. Last year, fishermen were able to remove only
about 1/12 of the number of fish necessary to maintain a
dynamic fish population. It is proposed that a seining program
be instituted to harvest the overpopulated fishes, both rough and
game, with the exception of bass and pickerel. With the removal
of these fishes, a certain amount of nutrients present in the lake
and now causing problems with algal bloom will be removed.
This program was approved by the 1976 legislature and has
received widespread public attention and approval. The program
is scheduled to be under way by October 1976.


Program: FISH HATCHERIES
The stocking of fish in selected waters has long been an impor-
tant tool of the fisheries biologist. The Commission operates two
hatcheries, one in south Florida and one in northwest Florida.
Fingerlings from these two facilities are stocked statewide.
Progress:
The two fish hatcheries stocked 460 bodies of water consisting
of 224,419 acres with 2,309,500 fishes in Florida and shipped
1,140,000 fry and 18,000 fingerlings out of the state. Production
was integrated with research projects which, along with regional
fish management personnel, provided assistance and the total
hatchery related cost amounted to approximately $117,000.
Major achievements were the elimination of striped bass
handling mortality at the Blackwater Hatchery and both hatch-
eries undertook expansion projects. Blackwater is in the con-
struction phase and Richloam is in the planning phase. The goal
of both hatcheries continues to be to produce fine quality
fingerlings to fill all stocking applications without having
significant overproduction.


SEEKING to manage an


unsolved, complex problem through


AQUATIC WEED CONTROL


~I r

-" -~CA


"THESE ARE THE TIMES
THAT TRY MEN'S SOULS."
Thomas Paine



"OF TWO EVILS, THE
LESS IS ALWAYS TO BE
CHOSEN."
Thomas a Kempis


The multi-million dollar headache of aquatic weeds is becoming
increasingly more obvious each year, and trying to deal with
these -preading plants is shared by many.Aquatic Weed Control
per-sonnel are concerned with controlling the spread of water
hacinth. hvdrilla and other aquatic weeds as well as research
into alternative methods of control.
The aquatic teed control problem is not something that can
be taken lightly. It is estimated that between seven and eight
million dollars is spent each year in Florida for control methods,
and more and more infested bodies of water are being discov-
ered. Massive growth of aquatic weeds can destroy fish and
(continued on next page)


MARCH-APRIL 1977






(continued from preceding page)
wildlife habitat, end recreational use of a lake, present health
hazards and lower property value.
Program: WATER HYACINTH CONTROL
Water hyacinths are perhaps Florida's biggest aquatic weed
headache. One single plant can produce 60 thousand new plants
each year. Much of the effort is devoted to chemical spraying in
an attempt to clear out problem spots. The free-floating plants
can be spread by the wind to jam up navigable waters. In addi-
tion, the wind and weather conditions must be perfect before any
chemicals are used to minimize possible adverse effects.
Progress:
A force of 19 airboat spray crews has been stationed around
the state, close of known water hyacinth problem areas. This
cuts down the time needed to respond to a problem. A spray
plane is located in Lakeland which can be used for aerial
spraying of extensive water hyacinth jams.
Program: HYDRILLA CONTROL
A relative newcomer to the aquatic weed picture is hydrilla


which is catching up to water hyacinth in its rapid spread
throughout central and south Florida. Polk County infestations
alone number between 10 and 12 new lakes a year. Orange Lake
in Marion and Alachua Counties has more than 12,000 acres of
hydrilla, making it the largest body of water completely invaded
by hydrilla. Efforts to control hydrilla have been complicated
by the plants tremendous reproductive capability.
Progress:
Pilot studies were conducted to provide relief to the fish camp
owners and sport fishermen by chemically cutting boat trails and
opening fishing holes in Orange Lake and Lake Trafford in Col-
lier County.

Program: AQUATIC VEGETATION SURVEY
Keeping up with the spread of noxious weeds is not easy. Each
year, an inter-county survey is made by aquatic botanists and
other personnel to determine where and how extensive the
weeds are in water which embraces more than one county.
Progress:
Information is gathered by water, air and ground equipment


Pr -) ;~







-:I .1..



-i' 'r "- 1



I, '


FLORIDA WILDLIFE




~" /


to determine the number of acres or problem vegetation, primar-
ily focusing on waterhyacinths, hydrilla and Eurasion watermil-
foil. Last year, almost 90,000 acres were discovered in these
waters alone.
Program: AQUATIC WEED EXTENSION SERVICE
Private landowners faced with nuisance weeds turn to the
aquatic botanist for assistance. He can dispense information on
how to treat the problem.
Progress:
Aquatic botanists stationed in five field offices provide the pub-
lic with information on the latest and safest methods to control
undesirable vegetation and keep environmental damage to a
minimum. Based on the nature and extent of the problem, the
botanist can recommend biological, chemical, mechanical treat-
ments or drawdowns as options.
Program: LAKE WALES GRASS CARP PROJECT
Alternative methods are always being sought for control of
aquatic weeds. One of the possibilities is the use of a foreign fish,
the grass carp, in the battle against hydrilla.


Progress:
A project is under way on Lake Wales to determine the effect
of grass carp on native sport fish. This project is funded through
the Aquatic Weed Control budget.
Program: AQUATIC WEED CONTROL RESEARCH
Aquatic weed control is more than just dumping chemicals or
pulling up the offensive vegetation. It involves research into
new methods of control along with continuing evaluation of past
and present methods.
Progress:
Three biologists stationed at the Eustis Fisheries Research
facility conduct research on topics such as the use of sulfuric
acid for hydrilla control, the effect of approved herbicides on
nontarget species and bottom organisms, changes in aquatic
weed composition and vegetation changes in certain bodies of
water.


a unique wilderness with planned use


"WHEN ONE TUGS AT A SINGLE
THING IN NATURE, HE FINDS IT
ATTACHED TO THE REST OF THE
WORLD."
John Muir


Florida's Everglades never cease to attract people to enjoy this
disappearing wilderness. But, without a plan for develop-
ment, the rich habitat and wildlife resource could be lost forever.
It is to this task the Everglades Recreation staff concentrates its
efforts. Their job is to develop, operate and maintain the area for
the use, enjoyment, appreciation and learning by the general
public. This can range from providing the law enforcement
power to protect the resource to planning and construction of
recreational facilities in keeping with the heritage of the area.
Program: UPGRADING AND EXPANDING EX1- NG
FACILITIES
Taking what is now available to the public ar making it
even better is an ongoing project. This growth is alw. coupled
with a concern for the habitat and wildlife resources.
Progress:
Two major facilities, the Loxahatchee F creation Area and the
Everglades Holiday Park, came under 'utiny this year for
ways to improve their appeal to the public. Improvements rang-
ing from a new septic system to a multi-lane boat ramp were
constructed. More camping opportunities were added for the
ever-increasing number of visitors to the area.
Program: DAY USE FACILITIES
Excursions to the Everglades don't necessarily mean camping
for a week or weekend. Much of the wilderness area is within a
few hours drive from major urban areas, making it perfect for an
afternoon of fishing or picnicking.


through EVERGLADES RECREATION




Progress:
Two access facilities and one day-use facility were completed
this year. Construction of these three areas added more picnic
shelters, grills, boat ramps and bank fishing areas to the list of
spots visitors could enjoy.

Program: EXOTIC PLANT CONTROL
The Everglades unique exosystem has been threatened by the
unchecked growth of plants which are not native to the area.
Research on how to check the spread of such plants without
harming the habitat and resources of the Everglades is con-
stantly under way.
Progress:
The Melaleuca tree has been the subject of much of the re-
search this year. The trees have been spreading at an alarming
rate and have proven resistant to 20 herbicides. Two, however,
have shown limited success and experiments on these chemicals
will continue.
Program: PRESCRIBED BURNING
During periods of drought, massive fires sweep through the
Everglades, destroying millions of acres of vegetation as well as
animal life. One way to reduce the number of fires each year has
been through carefully controlled burning of sawgrass during
certain times of the year.
Progress:
Everglades project staff, wildlife management personnel and
State Division of Forestry personnel burned approximately
50,000 acres in Conservation Area 3-A.
(continued on next page)


MARCH-APRIL 1977


GUARDING






FINANCIAL STATEMENT

July 1, 1975 through June 30, 1976

Unencumbered Cash ................. .$ 134,777


REVENUE:
General Revenue Funds $
Licenses and Permits Funds
Aquatic Weed Funds
Federal Aid

TOTAL REVENUE $1



EXPENDITURES:
Fisheries Management $
Wildlife Management
Law Enforcement
Communications
Information and Education
Administrative Services
Environmental Protection
Everglades Recreation
Aquatic Weed Control
Fixed Capital Outlay
Environmental Impact Study


TOTAL EXPENDITURES $



Unencumbered Cash .................$


3,534,200
6,039,819
1,503,278
1,311,803

12,389,100




1,447,620
1,642,073
3,690,302
668,557
754,552
1,501,687
173,327
234,634
1,141,134
825,124
258,614


12,337,624



185,653


__a


ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF 1975-76

DR. 0. E. FRYE, JR.
Director
H. E. WALLACE
Deputy Director
ROBERT BRANTLY
Deputy Director
JAMES E. HEATH, Director
Administrative Services Division
JOHN W. WOODS, Director
Fish Management Division
FRED W. STANBERRY, Director
Wildlife Management Division
BRANTLEY GOODSON, Director
Law Enforcement Division
JAMES T. FLOYD, Director
Information-Education Division
R. DANIEL DUNFORD, Chief
Environmental Protection Bureau



COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP 1975-76

HOWARD ODOM, Marianna Appointed January 10, 1972
OGDEN M. PHIPPS, Miami Appointed January 18, 1973
Resigned January 5, 1975
E. P. BURNETT, Tampa Appointed January 17, 1973
RANDOLPH R. THOMAS, Jacksonville
Appointed January 22, 1974
DONALD G. RHODES, West Eau Gallie
Appointed December 12, 1974
GEORGE G. MATTHEWS, Palm Beach
Appointed September 9, 1975


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