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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: 1976
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: UF00075971:00005
 Related Items
Preceded by: Report - Florida, Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

Full Text

ANNUAL REPORT


JULY 1, 1976


- JUNE 30, 1977


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his public ocuent was romulgated at an annual cost of $350.00 or $0.35 per copy
to inform the public on commission activities

Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission


47










Administration






"LEADERSHIP INVOLVES
REMEMBERING PAST
MISTAKES, AN ANALYSIS
SOF TODAY'S PROBLEMS,
AND A WELL-GROUNDED
IMAGINATION IN
VISUALIZING THE
PROBLEMS OF THE
FUTURE."
Stanley C. Allyn


DIRECTING THE WILDLIFE DOLLAR


"TELLING YOUR MONEY
WHERE TO GO
INSTEAD OF WONDERING
WHERE IT WENT."
C.E.Hoover


FLORIDA WILDLIFE


pfsI












CHARTING A COURSE FOR CONSERVATION


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 pro-
grams of the agency were primarily directed to benefit hunters
and fishermen. However, over the years, particularly during the
past decade, the Commission has become increasingly involved
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 control,
and ecological systems; and development of a recreational pro-
gram 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.) The 1975 Legislature appropriated


$3,534,200 for the same purpose. Finally, the 1976 Legislature
appropriated $4,620,279 for statewide application of progressive
conservation projects. 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.
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 inspection
of wildlife exhibitors; control of aquatic vegetation; biological
inspection and reporting of construction and development proj-
ects 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.


Administrative Services


The Administrative Services Division, literally, has a hand in
everything the Commission does. Starting with the formula-
tion of the annual budget to collecting revenue and paying for
supplies and personnel, continuing with accounting for all phys-
ical property, maintenance of facilities, to providing 24-hour
communication throughout the state, this Division is involved.
Activities of this Division include fiscal and accounting, property
maintenance and inventory, publications and printing, purchas-
ing of equipment, personnel management, communications,
budget programming and planning, and general support ser-
vices.

Program: PLANNING AND BUDGETING
In order for a state agency to operate from year to year it must
project both revenues and expenditures a year in advance. This
is accomplished through the Legislative budget process, both
Operating and Fixed Capital Outlay. The budget documents
submitted in October of each year outline the fiscal year which
starts the following July.


Progress:
Fiscal 1978-79 will see the State of Florida return to a bien-
nial budget, which is submitted every other year and outlines
operations for two years instead of one. This will put greater
emphasis on the planning aspect from the Commission side of
the fence. It will require greater insight and foresight to plan
activities extending almost three years from the time plans are
first worked up. Accurate financial records are the basis for good
planning. The use of online terminals connected directly to the
computer at the Data Center will provide up-to-the-minute data
for the historical expenditure records. The first biennial budget
will be a test of the Commission staffs ability to accurately
forecast long range needs, goals and objectives. The basis of this
system was initiated during this year.

Program: FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING
The major function of Finance and Accounting is the account-
ability of state and federal funds available to the Commission.
(continued on next page)


MARCH-APRIL 1978






(continued from preceding page)
This function includes maintenance and control of the account-
ing system reflecting all receipts, expenditures and commit-
ments of our agency. The Finance and Accounting office also is
responsible for the license and permit activities of the Commis-
sion.
Progress:
The Departmental Accounting System, developed by the Au-
ditor General's Office, has continued to be a useful tool in con-
trolling the expenditures of the Commission's operating divi-
sions. With the use of the computer printouts and a cash control
ledger, we have continued to fund the Land Acquisition Trust
Fund, replace equipment as needed, absorb normal expenses and
still maintain a budget reserve.
Several key positions in the Fiscal office have been upgraded
and an additional accountant was added to the staff. These
changes have enabled us to develop new systems which provide
even better accountability and internal control.
New procedures have been developed for the assignment and
balancing of licenses sold by the tax collectors. These changes
should result in a more efficient administration of the license
and permit system. Members of our staff continue to conduct
training sessions for the counties to assist them in improving
their reports and to answer any questions relating to the sale of
licenses.
We invested all surplus cash with the State Board of Ad-
ministration and earned $59,638.37 on these investments.

Program: PROPERTY MAINTENANCE AND INVENTORY
Accountability is the primary task of the property office.

Progress:
A continuing update of files is providing a more accurate ac-
counting and location of mobile and portable equipment.


yr-
/C>- '


Surplus and confiscated property sales for the year resulted in
the disposition of 55 vehicles, 134 guns, 27 miscellaneous boats,
motors and trailers for a combined total of $29,842.46 receipts.


Program: PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
Striving to achieve the greatest return for each dollar spent is
the primary goal of purchasing.

Progress:
Controls on expenditures and prompt attention to financial
obligations are vital to the overall operations.
A total of 9,040 purchase orders, 216 formal and legal bids
along with 236 mobile equipment requests were processed.

Program: PERSONNEL
This operation involves the employment and the processing of
all pay, insurance and leave records for all Commission em-
ployees in accordance with rules of the state, and with the
screening and processing of applicants seeking Commission em-
ployment.

Progress:
As a result of the Commission reorganization as a department,
new organizational charts and job descriptions for each of the
671 positions were prepared and submitted to the Department of
Administration. In addition to routine pay and other personnel
functions, approximately 150 announcements of job openings
were published and distributed, and more than 800 job applica-
tions were reviewed and evaluated. In addition, the drafting,
certification and filing of all Commission rules and regulations
as required by the Administrative Procedures Act were per-
formed by this office.


THE CORNERSTONE OF CONSERVATION


The Law Enforcement Division is charged with the responsi-
bility of protecting Florida's wildlife, fresh water aquatic life
and the environment. This is accomplished by preventive patrol
of lands and woods and the apprehension and arrest of persons
violating laws relating to hunting, fishing, littering; the sale,
use, possession and importation of wild animals and fish; en-
forcement of environmental and boating safety laws; assistance
to other public agencies; maintenance of public order during
natural disasters and civil disorders; undercover investigations
and training of personnel. The Division also has statewide re-
sponsibility for all search and rescue operations under Florida's
natural disaster plan. Certain landowners are afforded addi-
tional preventive patrol in order to maintain over five million
acres of lands open to public hunting and recreation.

Program: UNIFORM WILDLIFE LAW ENFORCEMENT
Florida Wildlife Officers are responsible for uniformed patrol
of our vast water and land areas 24-hours a day, seven days a
week in order to enforce wildlife and environmental laws. Due to
their "peace officer" status, Wildlife Officers provide a unique
degree of general law enforcement protection to wilderness and
rural areas while on wildlife patrol.

Progress:
This highly trained select force has effected approximately
9000 arrests during the past fiscal year covering a broad spec-


"NEVER HAS THE WORLD OWED
SO MUCH TO SO FEW."
Winston Churchill

trum of violations. Although the majority of cases were wildlife
and environmentally related, also included were arrests for
traffic, drugs, boating safety, arson, burglary, grand larceny,
cattle rustling, auto theft and rape. Wildlife Officers also devote
a great deal of their enforcement efforts toward "non-game"
areas such as "endangered" and "threatened" species protection
and bird rookery patrol.
Specialized equipment is necessitated for patrol of otherwise
inaccessible wilderness areas, therefore, airboats, halftrack, and
four-wheel drive vehicles are utilized, as well as conventional
patrol sedans.
In order to achieve maximum effectiveness, experience has
shown that a ratio of "one officer, per county, per shift" is neces-
sitated. Through legislative funding this year we have attained
61% of this goal, thus approximately 20 hours of a 24-hour
period can be covered. However, in order to properly respond to
the public around the clock, three eight hour shifts are neces-
sary. This goal cannot be realized without the "one officer, per
county, per shift" complement.


Program: AVIATION
The aviation program of the Commission is responsible for


FLORIDA WILDLIFE







providing aerial surveillance and patrol support for uniformed
law enforcement officers utilizing both fixed-wing aircraft and a
helicopter.

Progress:
The aviation program is composed of five pilots utilizing one
helicopter, one twin-engine aircraft and three single-engine air-
craft which is approaching the goal of one fixed-wing patrol air-
craft for each of the five regions plus the helicopter for special
use in remote areas of the Everglades. In addition to providing
aerial support and patrol for the uniform force, the aircraft also
participate in search and rescue services and wildlife and en-
vironmental surveys.

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 the fiscal year, 21,600 manhours were spent in semi-
nars, workshops, and recruit training. A criminal law seminar,
defensive tactics training and precision and pursuit driving
course was instructed to all law enforcement personnel on a
statewide in-service basis. An extensive 160-hour supervisory
management seminar was held for all law enforcement super-



.-
~..


visors. Additional workshops, training bulletins and in-service
training packages were utilized for training of Commission em-
ployees.

Program: WILDLIFE INSPECTIONS
The Wildlife Inspectors are Florida's "first line of defense"
against the illegal importation, possession and the release of
potentially dangerous foreign wildlife and fish. These specialized
enforcement officers are charged with insuring compliance with
the myriad of technical state and federal laws governing the
vast wildlife trade and wild animal attractions.

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, with nearly 1,000 man
hours being devoted to this enforcement effort during 1977. Pro-
tection of rookery areas is also of prime concern as attested by
the apprehension and arrests of five Panamanian crewmen who
had illegally gathered 155 Laughing Gull and Black Skimmer
eggs. The crewmen were subsequently fined a total of $1,000 in
federal court.
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 Florida's environmental in-
tegrity are great. During 1977, Wildlife Inspectors seized nearly
1,000 exotic tropical fishes and over 4,000 specimens of wildlife
that were illegally imported, taken or possessed.
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.


Law Enforcement



Program: UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATIONS
This specialized team of plainclothes officers is designed to
assist uniformed wildlife officers in coping with organized mar-
ket hunting and large scale commercialization by wildlife
profiteers. Being free from a shift schedule, investigators provide
the wildlife enforcement program with capabilities for conduct-
ing lengthy and difficult investigations. As the first state to in-
itiate a plain clothes enforcement program, Florida has served
as a model for the southeast.

S Progress:

This small group of plain clothes investigators has been re-
sponsible for "busting" groups of profit motivated wildlife vio-
lators in every Region of the state. This fiscal year, undercover

S alligator hides in a single investigation which began in Hardee
S County and spanned three Regions. Another case in St. Johns
and Duval Counties resulted in the arrest of five suspects on
charges relating to market hunting of deer and illegally posses-
sing black bear. Several defendants in both cases were sentenced
to serve 30 days in jail in addition to fines of up to $1,000 and
lengthy probations. Local courts, prosecutors and sportsmen
have lauded the professional enforcement tactics of this opera-
tions that currently maintains a jury trial conviction record of
100%.









Fisheries Management


A broad spectrum of applied and basic research is the founda-
tion for sound management of Florida's freshwater fishery
resources. It is a never-ending challenge, with our wealth of
lakes and streams and the changes brought on by urbanization.
Thus, the Division of Fisheries continually searches for ways of
improving fishing and enhancing our aquatic environments.
Sport fishing is improved in many ways: the renovation and
restocking of lakes and ponds; the management of rivers and
streams; identification, documentation, management and control
of exotic species; creel census; and studies of fish and fish food
organisms; life history studies; environmental surveillance and
developmental research for better fish management techniques.
This Division is also responsible for those administrative func-
tions related to freshwater fisheries and aquatic weed control
programs.





"AN EMPLOYMENT FOR
MY IDLE TIME, WHICH IS //
THEN NOT IDLY SPENT."

Sir Henry Wotton



"THERE IS CERTAINLY SOMETHING
IN FISHING THAT TENDS TO PRODUCE
A GENTLENESS OF SPIRIT, A PURE
SERENITY OF MIND."

Washington Irving


Program: REGIONAL FISH MANAGEMENT
Regional fish management projects involve the application of
research findings. They are the programs readily identified by
the general public, and include management of public waters for
better fishing, commercial harvest programs on under-utilized
fishery resources, construction of fish attractors, lake drawdowns
and stocking sport fish such as the striped bass or sunshine bass.
Additionally, considerable effort is devoted to consultation with
fishing groups, clubs, and owners of private lakes.

Progress:
Requests for restocking lakes and ponds were evaluated, reno-
vations were coordinated, fish kills were investigated, and,
where feasible, action implemented to correct the problem.
Numerous fish populations were sampled and action initiated to
improve fishing. Creel surveys were conducted and fishing maps
were produced on popular fishing lakes.
Since many environmental matters have a direct impact on
fishery resources, a surveillance was maintained on aquatic sys-
tems. Assistance was extended to pollution abatement programs
as well as development and planning projects.
A statistical survey of fishermen was conducted with some
interesting results. For example, (1) bass club members do not


represent the opinion of the average fisherman, (2) 53% of
Florida's fishermen prefer to fish for bass, (3) fishermen pre-
ferred resource management to be guided by scientific research
rather than public opinion and the majority felt that emphasis
should be placed on intensive fish management rather than just
stocking programs alone.
Commission facilities such as boat ramps, fishing piers and
dams were inspected and repaired where needed. Fishing pro-
grams were presented to various clubs and groups.

Program: LAKE OKEECHOBEE
Fish population monitoring was continued along with the
development of the Lake Okeechobee Fisheries Utilization Plan
designed to better utilize and manage the fishery resources of
this great lake.

Progress:
Early program success is evidenced by the increased average
size of black crappie. This accelerated growth may be accredited
to the removal of 4,616,840 pounds of panfish; 1,620,092 pounds
of catfish and 1,999,089 pounds of rough fish. Considerable
numbers of largemouth bass that are captured in the commer-
cial nets are being tagged and released in an attempt to define


FLORIDA WILDLIFE






movements and locate open water bass habitat. Data on growth,
migration and survival can also be determined from the tagging
program.

Program: FISH HATCHERIES
The stocking of fish in new lakes or corrective stocking have
long been important tools of the fisheries biologist. The Commis-
sion operates two hatcheries. Fingerlings from these two fa-
cilities are used for stocking selected waters throughout the
state.

Progress:
Fish from the Commission's hatcheries were distributed to 455
locations and stocked 110,928 acres of water. Fish were also
shipped to ten research stations or other hatcheries during the
past year. Total fish production consisted of 3,925,000 fry;
2,051,037 fingerlings; 19,345 sub-adults and 757 adults.
Improvement is under way at Richloam hatchery. This in-
volves resloping banks and establishing a low maintenance
grass cover. The new hatchery building at Blackwater Hatchery
was completed.


Program: NORTHWEST FLORIDA STREAM PROJECT
This program was developed to study the fisheries habitat and
provide a means of improving fishing in northwestern Florida
rivers.

Progress:
Studies on the Blackwater River indicated that a suitable
habitat was available for the introduction of redbreast sunfish.
To begin the research, 594,000 redbreast were stocked, including
500 adults of the species, in the Blackwater River. Fingerling
stockings have been successful and the stocked adults have
spawned. An ecological survey of the Escambia River is being
made and the feasibility of stocking striped bass or sunshine
bass is being investigated. Preliminary fish samples were taken
from the Yellow River system.





APPLYING SOUND RESEARCH

THROUGH PROGRESSIVE

MANAGEMENT FOR

THE FUTURE OF FISHING



Program: LAKE JACKSON STUDY
Lake Jackson, the popular big bass lake located near Florida's
capital city, has suffered from the effects of urbanization and
highway construction in recent years. This program is designed
to document the changes that have occurred and determine cor-
rective measures or improvement programs for resource en-
hancement.

Progress:
The Lake Jackson studies have three major areas of concern.
These are: bass populations, hydrilla growth and spread, and the
impact of urbanization. The bass population is currently charac-
terized by a high percentage of 9-15 inch bass and relatively low


numbers of larger fish. Hydrilla is being chemically controlled so
that it does not interfere with fishing.
Turbid water entering Lake Jackson from the urban
watershed has decreased significantly due mainly to regulations
directed toward erosion control and a decrease in construction
activities in the area of the lake. Plans for construction of a
settling pond and marsh ecosystem on Megginnis Arm have
been completed. This should further reduce the impact of ur-
banization.

Program: LAKE TALQUIN STUDY
Lake Talquin, Florida's largest manmade impoundment, lo-
cated west of Tallahassee, continues to be a popular fishing lake.
The objective of this study is to monitor the fish population and
maintain sport fishing for both freshwater game fish and striped
bass.

Progress:

Lake Talquin was stocked again this year with approximately
100,000 striped bass fingerlings. The adult striped bass popula-
tion in the lake has proven to be the major source of brood fish
for the striper/sunshine bass program. A successful fishery for
striped bass has been created below the Jackson Bluff Dam at
Lake Talquin State Park with stripers up to 24 pounds being
taken. Fish population samples indicate an excellent sport fish
population.

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 on other aquatic life. Lakes
Deer Point, Conway, Wales, and Baldwin were stocked with
grass carp and are being used as research sites to determine the
effects on aquatic life.

Progress:
No significant change in water quality, invertebrates or sport
fish were detected during a year's study of Deer Point Lake.
However aquatic plants increased from 36% in 1976 to 42% in
1977, indicating the fish may be unable to control the lake's
vegetation. Lake Conway was stocked with 7,900 monosex grass
carp following more than a year's collection of baseline data.
Monitoring will continue to determine any significant changes
due to the stocking.
At Lake Baldwin a stocking rate of 25 grass carp/acre failed to
control hydrilla over a two year period. Development of a poten-
tial capture and removal technique for grass carp was one of the
highlights of the Lake Baldwin project. Impact on waterfowl due
to changes in habitat associated with grass carp stocking was
determined at Lake Wales.

Program: OKLAWAHA BASIN FISHERIES RESEARCH
A research program designed to investigate and document en-
vironmental changes affecting habitat quality and fisheries of
the Oklawaha River Basin.

Progress:
An extreme drawdown of Lake Carlton was accomplished this
year. Beginning March 1, 1977, 1.2 billion gallons of water were
pumped out of Carlton which exposed 85% of the bottom. Refill
was slowed by drought; however, the habitat improvement has
resulted in an increase in the number of forage fish. The move-
ment and distribution of non-utilized panfish in Lake Griffin
was investigated.
(continued on next page)


MARCH-APRIL 1978






(continued from preceding page)


Program: ARTIFICIAL FISH ATTRACTORS

A program designed to create effective artificial cover and food
accumulator to attract and concentrate fish for better fishing.

Progress:

Utilizing tree tops, brush and old tires, fish attractors were
installed in lakes throughout the state. The catch rate of fish
increased dramatically at the attractor locations and the Divi-
sion of Fisheries established a 5-year program designed to con-
struct 150 attractors in selected public lakes.
Attractors will be clearly marked with buoys bearing the
Commission decal. The installations are particularly effective in
concentrating numbers of bass, black crappie, and bream.

Program: LARGEMOUTH BASS RESEARCH
A research program designed to document facts leading to
progressive management programs for largemouth bass.

Progress:

The role that vegetative cover plays in bass spawning success
in crowded sunfish populations was documented in research
ponds at the Richloam hatchery. In two ponds stocked with iden-
tical numbers of bass and sunfish, spawning occurred in the
pond with vegetation cover. Spawning did not occur in the pond
without vegetative cover. The Trout Lake bass stocking study
continued. Fingerlings tagged with a magnetic wire tag inserted
in cartilage in the head have survived in the lake population for
over two years. Radio tagging and tracking equipment is now
being used in our bass research. This equipment allows
biologists to track the movements and behavior of bass up to a
distance of one mile. Life expectancy of the transmitter is ap-
proximately three months. From this information a better un-
derstanding of bass habits can be determined.

Program: SPORT FISH INTRODUCTIONS

This program is designed to improve fishing through the in-
troduction of new game fish species. Additionally, fishing poten-
tial in certain lakes may be enhanced by some degree of biologi-
cal control on forage fish such as shad. The fishes now being
researched are snook and sunshine bass.

Progress:
Artificial propagation of snook produced 400 fingerlings this
year. Although a small beginning, this accomplishment was a
major breakthrough in scientific technology. Pioneer Park Lake
was stocked with 20 fingerlings. Lake Bonny in Polk County
received 200 fingerlings. This was the first time snook had bn
artjrinlly cultured and renrcl0 anywhere in tne wou J-
The sunshine bass phase of the program produced 1 million
fingerlings for stocking in 1977. Over 100,000 acres of public
lakes were stocked to maintain the recently popular fisheries for
sunshine bass.

Program: ST. JOHNS RIVER FISHERY PROJECT

A continuing research program designed to document factors
affecting the fish and habitat of the St. Johns River.

Progress:

River water quality was monitored at 31 stations from Green
Cove Springs to Lake Helen Blazes. No significant changes were
detected when compared with the previous year's data. Quan-
titative zooplankton samples were collected and analyzed
throughout the river. Fish population surveys were conducted
and both native freshwater and saltwater fishes were taken in
the samples. A survey was conducted to determine if a


Black crappie and a brush bundle fish attractor


significant number of game fish were captured in hoop nets and
wire traps. The results showed the game fish catch to be
insignificant.

Program: EXOTIC FISH RESEARCH

In 1971, an exotic fish research station was established at
Florida Atlantic University to evaluate the ecological
significance of non-native fish. Some 25 foreign species are now
well established in Florida. This research program has been de-
signed to (1) evaluate the effects of non-native fish, (2) identify
specific environmental limiting factors, e.g. temperature, and (3)
to develop and coordinate management practices aimed at limit-
ing the biological effects of exotic fishes in Florida.

Progress:
A 1,000 gallon research system was designed, constructed and
put into operation for identifying lethal temperatures for
selected non-native fishes. Evaluations of walking catfish and
blue tilapia on bass and bluegill were initiated. A thorough re-
view of the known status of the blue tilapia in Florida was
completed and new field studies planned. Preliminary investiga-
tions into the laboratory rearing of snook were completed. Snook
reared in these studies have been stocked into a tilapia infested
lake to determine how well they can utilize and control the
tilapia. Plans for permanent facility improvements at the Re-
search Center were finalized and the construction begun.
A year's work was devoted to tilapia research. The boundaries
of the exotic's infestation were defined. However, the tilapia is
still expanding its range. It has been found in both the St. Johns
and Kissimmee River drainages. There was some commercial
usage of the tilapia as 850,000 pounds were harvested and mar-
keted.

Program: WATER LEVEL MANIPULATION

Natural fluctuation of water levels is a major force in main-
taining water quality and sport fish populations. Florida's lakes
and streams were once subject to drastic water changes, however
periods of flood or drought brought hardships to the human
populations and water levels were stabilized. This program was
designed to return designated bodies of water to periodic con-
trolled water level fluctuation.

Progress:
Lake Carlton in the Oklawaha chain of lakes and Lake Kis-
simmee located south of Orlando have both been drawn down
during the past year. Information gathered on both lakes indi-


FLORIDA WILDLIFE







cates that significant progress was made in tying up nutrients
and producing desirable emergent vegetation. Plans for the com-
ing year include feasibility studies on a number of stabilized
bodies of water and the placing of Lake lamonia, located near
Tallahassee, in the active drawdown phase.

Program: ENDANGERED SPECIES PROGRAM
This program will identify threatened or endangered species
of fish and determine life histories and distribution of these
species. Future aims of the program will be to manage these
species, hopefully preventing extinction.

Program: STATEWIDE LAKE IMPROVEMENT
This new program will provide coordination between the
Commission and other interests for the improvement of fishing
in the waters of the state. Such projects as habitat improvement
and water level manipulation will come under the purview of
this program.

Program: WATER HYACINTH CONTROL
The majority of operational control effort is devoted to chemi-
cal spraying in an attempt to clear out and maintain control in
problem areas. A spray plane is used for aerial spraying of ex-
tensive infestations. New polymer metering units are presently
being fitted to various airboats in highly populated areas to
minimize spray drift damage. Other new types of application
equipment have also been installed to update present equip-
ment.

Progress:
The program has continued to maintain hyacinth populations
at acceptable levels under an approach of surveillance and con-
trol of small, potentially explosive growths that would expand
into major problems if left unchecked. Over 36,000 acres of
hyacinths were treated in 579 bodies of water. This was carried
out by an operational force of 19 airboat crews and the spray
plane strategically stationed around the state in known problem
areas.
Hyacinth jams typically form in some rivers during the rainy
season. These jams are broken up and sprayed to assure as little
inconvenience and damage as possible in the blockage of navig-
able waters. The program also includes removal of obstructions
that hold the free floating mats and ultimately result in the
formation of larger jams.
The release of hyacinth weevils has been continued in hopes of
achieving some degree of control through the use of this biologi-
cal means.

Program: HYDRILLA CONTROL

Since its introduction in 1960, hydrilla has spread throughout
Florida. In a few regions of the state, hydrilla has surpassed
water hyacinth in total number of areas infested. The inter-
county vegetation survey indicated that approximately 85,000
acres of hydrilla were present in these public bodies of water.
Efforts to control hydrilla have been complicated by relatively
high herbicide costs and the tremendous reproductive and
growth capabilities of the plant.

Progress:

To aid the fisherman in the more heavily infested lakes, a
program was implemented to improve fishing access. Boat trails
and fishing holes were provided in Orange Lake through her-
bicide treatment. A special mechanical harvesting program was
also conducted by the U.S. Corps of Engineers that com-
plemented the chemical treatment in the lake.
Spot treatment programs were developed to curb the spread of
hydrilla when new infestations were first encountered. These
programs proved to be highly successful in some lakes.


MARCH-APRIL 1978


Program: AQUATIC PLANT CONTROL PERMIT

In 1972, an aquatic plant control permit was developed to
govern increased weed control activities throughout the state.
The permit is designed to monitor all activities in the realm of
aquatic plant management.

Progress:

After five years technique advancement and increased her-
bicide spraying warranted a permitting system to govern use of
these toxic materials. The new rule is in effect and has given
firm direction to the entire permitting program. During this re-
port period, 530 permits were issued statewide for weed control.
The new permitting program was developed to allow inspec-
tors to monitor the ever increasing work load. Land devel-
opments, increased demand for open water, coupled with the
growing public awareness of aquatic weed problems will in-
crease the permitting and monitoring program in the coming
years.

Program: AQUATIC VEGETATIONS SURVEY

An inter-county survey is conducted annually by the aquatic
botanists and other personnel to determine the extent of prob-
lem aquatic plant species statewide. This information serves as
the basis for program development in weed control.

Progress:

Statewide information was gathered by aerial, water and
ground surveillance and consultation with other agencies and
individuals involved in aquatic plant management and other
closely related fields. From these data it was determined that
water hyacinths were generally under maintenance control and
additional areas requiring chemical spraying. Eurasian water-
milfoil was found to be a localized problem in a few near-coastal
regions. These areas were specifically defined and acreage esti-
mates obtained. Hydrilla, however, showed a steady increase in
its coverage, in spite of all efforts at control and containment.

Program: AQUATIC WEED EXTENSION SERVICE

Private lake owners with problem aquatic vegetation look to
the Commission for assistance in managing their lakes for rec-
reational use.

Progress:
Aquatic botanists stationed in five field offices provide lake
owners with information on methods of controlling aquatic vege-
tation. Individual recommendations, based on the nature and
extent of the problem, consist of chemical, dewatering or
mechanical removal information.

Program: AQUATIC WEED CONTROL RESEARCH

The aquatic weed control research is designed to complement
the operations section. It involves evaluation of past and present
control methods, development of new technology and ecological
studies of aquatic plants.

Progress:

Three biologists stationed at the fisheries research laboratory
are conducting research on the following topics: the evaluation
of spray additives for operational feasibility in hyacinth control;
evaluation of new compounds for possible hydrilla control;
evaluation of time applications with currently registered her-
bicides to determine if better control is given at certain periods
of the year; determine the effectiveness of the registered com-
pounds for hydrilla control; monitoring the effects of water level
fluctuations on aquatic vegetation; and developing techniques of
harvesting and planting of various desirable aquatic plants to
enhance the fishery of lakes.

25










A FOUNDATION


FOR PERPETUATION


OF ALL WILDLIFE

















HUNTING: "A PASSION ...
DEEPLY IMPLANTED IN THE
HUMAN BREAST."
Charles Dickens


This Division is responsible for the management of wildlife
habitat, the conducting of wildlife research, wildlife surveys
and inventories and providing public hunting for citizens as well
as support for and preservation of all non-game species in
Florida. The Division administers and directs the activities of
research and management as well as the acquisition, develop-
ment, operation and maintenance of wildlife-related recreational
areas and facilities. Additional activities include research on
endangered wildlife species and other non-game species and
support of those wildlife species which are of interest to both the
hunter and the non-hunter.

Program: PUBLIC HUNTING
As an on-going program to provide public hunting, the Divi-
sion carries out a land lease program to provide protection and
habitat improvement in cooperation with landowners in ex-
change for public hunting rights. To supplement the program,
the legislature appropriates funds to be distributed to the land-
owners on a pro rata basis according to the number of hunters
utilizing the designated management areas.

Progress:
During 1976-77, a total of 282,291 hunters spent 1,674,298


'\ "FOR SOME, THE OPPORTUNITY
TO SEE GEESE IS MORE
IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION."

Aldo Leopold


man-days hunting on 4,914,120 acres included in the 45 wildlife
management areas. A total of $300,000 was distributed to pri-
vate landowners participating in the program. Of the lands in-
cluded in the program more than one-third are 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 mil-
lion acres of land in 45 wildlife management areas, providing
technical assistance to landowners and conducting management
studies to improve wildlife.

Progress:
To carry out these responsibilities, a total of 11 biologists, 5
supervisors and 24 wildlife management specialists provide the
expertise and manpower with the majority of time and effort
being directed to the maintenance, development and operation of
the wildlife management areas.
With the cooperation of the U.S. National Park Service,
110,000 acres of land in the Big Cypress National Preserve were
open to public hunting. Field trials and one fox hunt were con-
ducted on the Blackwater Field Trial Area in northwest Florida.
Two hundred Canada geese were released in the continuing pro-
gram to establish a non-migratory goose population. A sharp
rise in beaver complaints was evident throughout the year in
northwest Florida, placing an additional workload on technical
personnel.


FLORIDA WILDLIFE












Wildlife Management


The annual deer trapping and relocation program resulted in
the relocation of 107 deer from Cape Kennedy and 58 deer from
the Joe Budd WMA. A hog trapping program on Merritt Island
Refuge produced 157 hogs, 78 of which were released on Rich-
loam and 79 on Guana River WMA. Hog trapping from Myakka
State Park produced 68 hogs for the J. W. Corbett WMA, 39 for
Three Lakes and 17 for Bull Creek.
Habitat management work accomplished during the year in-
volved control burning of 175,350 acres, the planting of 24,800
oak seedlings, and 1,133 acres of annual forage food plots. In
addition, a total of 205 acres were planted for dove fields to
provide public hunting. Other activities included the mainte-
nance and improvement of 30 miles of access roads, operation of
check stations, maintenance of camp sites on 17 areas and the
continuing repairs and erection of signs on management areas.
Waterfowl impoundments located on the Aucilla, Guana River,
and Avon Park areas were maintained and managed. On the
Webb WMA quail feeders were maintained to improve the resi-
dent quail population.
Technical guidance and assistance was provided to landown-
ers from approximately 375 requests received for assistance in
developing wildlife management plans, wildlife food plantings,
plans for the censusing of populations and for the harvest and
control of nuisance wildlife.
The abomasal parasite sampling project continued throughout
the year. Stomach samples were collected from 107 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 rela-
tionship of the deer herd to the carrying capacity of its habitat
was established for each area. The study has developed a corre-
lation between the average parasite count for an area and the
deer population's status for that area.
During the year, 13 wildlife management specialists were sent
to junior colleges in the vicinity of their residences to obtain
Police Standards training. These specialists will augment the
Law Enforcement Division's activities on wildlife management
areas during the regular hunting season.

Program: WILDLIFE RESEARCH

Progress:
On February 17, 1977 the Wildlife Research Laboratory at
Gainesville was officially dedicated. This modern facility was
constructed in cooperation with funding from the Pittman-
Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, in coop-
eration with the Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of
the Interior. The lab is located on the northern edge of the
Paynes Prairie State Preserve.

Program: HUNTER SURVEY
The hunter surveys are statistically developed mail-out sur-
veys sent to hunters in the state to provide facts and figures as
to the number of hunters and their success on public hunting
areas.

Progress:
Information derived from the return of the questionnaires
provides the basis for determining the hunter harvest success of
all species during the year.


The management area survey provides facts and figures as to
the number of hunters utilizing wildlife management areas and
their success on those areas. For each wildlife management area
the number of hunters, man-days of hunting pressure, and har-
vest for ten different species is determined.
Information received from these hunter surveys provides us
with the information of hunter success throughout the state. The
following is a chart showing the past few years comparison of
hunter harvests.


HUNTER HARVEST


DEER
TURKEY
BEAR
WILD HOG
QUAIL
SQUIRREL
DUCKS
DOVE
SNIPE


1974-75

54,200
23,400
9
36,200
1,433,700
1,201,900
380,800
2,368,300
183,500


1975-76

54,400
17,300
12
39,600
1,783,500
1,012,500
434,700
2,740,600
213,000


1976-77

60,800
12,300
15
77,530
1,135,700
918,200
427,170
3,387,700
186,900


Program: LAND ACQUISITION
From each ten dollar wildlife management area stamp sold,
the sum of three dollars is set aside for the purchase of lands for
public hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational uses.

Progress:
During this year, funds set aside for land acquisition were
utilized to acquire the Punta Gorda Isles (118.8 acres), the Vix-
ler (80 acres), and the Spahn (15 acres) tracts on the Cecil M.
Webb Wildlife Management Area. An additional segment of the
Joe Budd WMA (160 acres) was also acquired. The Commission
will continue to acquire lands for public hunting as they become
available, meet the requirements for wildlife purposes and are
offered to the Commission at the appraised market value.

Program: ALLIGATOR MANAGEMENT
The alligator, once endangered, has made a remarkable re-
covery since it was placed under full federal protection. Last
year's report estimated that 500,000 alligators may inhabit the
state today. Also in that year, the Commission received between
8,000 and 10,000 alligator complaints. The established program
of capturing and transplanting 'gators has become ineffective as
all suitable areas for transplanting are now approaching full
capacity and the number of 'gators in need of being moved has
increased to near impossible proportions.

Progress:
Early in the year a pilot program for harvest of problem al-
ligators was implemented by the Commission. The program in-
volved contracting with six professional trappers to operate
under specific direction of research biologists in the northeast
portion of the state. Problem alligators were investigated and if
(continued on next page)


MARCH-APRIL 1978






(continued from preceding page)
action was determined to be necessary the contractor was as-
signed the task of removing the specific 'gator. A strict control
program was established for disposition of both the carcass and
the hide. All hides were stored at the wildlife laboratory. The
trapper was instructed in the procedures and requested to pro-
vide biological information from the dead animal. By the end of
the fiscal year the program has proceeded on schedule. S e r

Program: QUOTA HUNT SYSTEM
The quota hunt system was designed two years ago to improve
the quality of public hunting and to spread out the wildlife har-
vest over a longer period of time. Earlier evidence had shown
that most areas were experiencing extremely heavy hunting
pressure during the first two weekends of the hunting season.

Progress:
Quotas were continued on the forty-five wildlife management
areas to regulate the number of hunters during the first nine
days of the season. Again, sportsmen were required to obtain a
free permit on a first-come, first-served basis for the area of their
choice. Quotas during this second year of the program were con-
tinued as derived for last year's hunt. Again, the response from
the public was overwhelmingly in favor of continuing the pro-
gram. This year a separate permit application form was printed
for use in obtaining permits for the special hunts, that is, primi-
tive weapon hunts (archery and muzzleloader). AtotaLfL1.123
permits were issued during thP 17fi-77 season A special post-
season spring gobbler hunt was conducted on the Lykes Brothers
Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Program: ENDANGERED SPECIES
Eighty-six species which occur in Florida are listed by the
State of Florida as being either endangered or threatened.
Twenty-six of those species are also included on the Federal
Endangered and Threatened Species List, giving Florida the
dubious distinction of harboring more endangered and
threatened species than any state outside Hawaii. While conser-
vation measures regarding a few of those species were taken
many years ago, intensive endangered species conser-
vation/research/management has only very recently begun.


Progress:
An endangered species cooperative agreement between the
State and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was entered into on
October 1, 1976. Florida thus became one of the first states to
take advantage of earmarked federal funds provided for by pro-
visions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Research projects
undertaken and ongoing include those on alligator, bald eagle,'
brown pelican, Florida panther, and red-cockaded woodpecker.
Also funded under the agreement was the publication of a
seven-volume report by the Florida Committee on Rare and En-
dangered Plants and Animals, entitled "Rare and Endangered
Biota of Florida." Four of those volumes are nearing completion.
An act entitled the "Florida Endangered and Threatened Spe-
cies Act of 1977" was passed by the Florida Legislature and a '
became effective 27 June 1977. The Act created a Florida En-
dangered and Threatened Species Advisory Council and pro-
vided for means of monitoring the progress of endangered spe-
cies management and conservation in Florida. f
Federal Recovery Team operations are ongoing for ten en-" 4
dangered species which occur in Florida. Commission personnel
are on seven of the teams, including those for the eastern brown
pelican, Everglade kite, dusky seaside sparrow, Florida panther, "THE WISE USE OF THE EARTH AND
Caribbean manatee, American crocodile, and American al-
ligator. Draft recovery plans have been completed for the east- ITS RESOURCES FOR THE LASTING
ern brown pelican, red-cockaded woodpecker, and Indiana bat. GOOD OF MEN."
Gifford Pinchot


FLORIDA WILDLIFE






A s Florida continues to experience a high growth rate, devel-
opmental pressures also continue, creating additional
strain on stressed natural ecosystems and native fish and wildlife
habitat. Since there cannot be self-sustained fish and wildlife
populations without quality habitat, it is important that the
state's development be well planned including full knowledge of
potential impacts to habitat. Environmental Services reviews
proposed development related proposals and provides recom-
mendations on how the project may be constructed to minimize
destruction of fish and wildlife resources. By providing wildlife
considerations for incorporation into development related deci-
sions, Environmental Services serves the Commission and the
people of Florida by helping to conserve our wildlife heritage.

Program: HABITAT ASSESSMENT-PUBLIC WORKS PROJ-
ECTS
This program is designed to provide input into proposed
developments in wetlands of the state by providing wildlife
habitat assessments for permits under consideration by the De-
partment of Environmental Regulation and U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers.

Progress:
Field biologists examined 1,002 permit applications requiring
approximately 1,300 man days of effort. Recommendations and
habitat evaluations were submitted to the appropriate permit-
ting agencies with each application. Considerable priority is
placed on our efforts to provide good biological information for
decision-makers in the permitting process. In so doing we are
able to help conserve many acres of wetlands, our most impor-
tant wildlife and fisheries habitat.

Program: HABITAT ASSESSMENT-PUBLIC WORKS PRO-
JECTS
Federal public works projects such as dams and levees for
flood control, port developments, and Federal highway projects
are reviewed for possible effects on fish and wildlife resources.
Suggestions are made encouraging the least damaging methods
of construction. This is an important program because input into
major Federal projects can have longlasting effects on significant
numbers of fish and wildlife.

Progress:
Our efforts resulted in the review of 78 projects requiring over
300 man days of work. Public works proposals showed a decline
from last year although there was a proliferation of new beach
erosion control, beach restoration, and highway projects. The
reduction in the number of new proposals may be related to the
reluctance of environmentally knowledgeable local sponsors to
submit unsound proposals.

Program: A-95 CLEARINGHOUSE
All projects requiring federal funding are circulated for review
to interested state agencies through the Department of Ad-
ministration, Clearinghouse. A diversity of projects which could
affect wildlife habitat such as energy plants, housing subdivi-
sions, and land management proposals are reviewed for possible
ramifications to wildlife and fisheries resources.

Progress:
Approximately 125 man days were required to review 229
projects for potential impacts. Recommendations from this
agency were often incorporated into the project plans
significantly reducing damaging impacts to fish and wildlife re-
sources.


Program: FISH AND WILDLIFE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO
ENVIRONMENTALLY ENDANGERED LANDS

Environmental Services represents the Commission on the In-
teragency Planning Committee, established by the Land Con-
servation Act of 1972, which screens all proposals for the pur-
chase of lands determined to be endangered. Our staff assigns
general priorities on the value of the proposals for fish and wild-
life.

Progress:
Major projects which have been considered for a number of
years finally were approved during this year. Valuable wildlife
areas as the Tosohatchee Game Preserve and Little St. George
Island were purchased. This year the focus of our endangered
lands activities began to shift somewhat from an acquisition
phase to the management phase as land acquisition money has
now been fully allocated.

Program: FISH AND WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE TO STATE
WILDLIFE LAND PLANNING
This area of concern is of increasing importance because of the
significant long range impacts of major land use planning on fish
and wildlife habitat. The Office of Environmental Services pro-
vides technical guidance to land planners and serves as a
watchdog in an attempt to prevent land use plans or decisions
which will adversely affect wildlife populations in future years.

Progress:
This program has been recently expanded with the addition of
new positions for two new, intensive river basin oriented proj-
ects. A new position was developed to work on management
plans and develop research needs for the newly established
Apalachicola Wildlife and Environmental Area which will be
partially managed by the Commission. A proposal for a team of
biologists was also developed to study the Kissimmee River
Basin to ensure that fish and wildlife considerations are incorpo-
rated into restoration plans. Also, considerable efforts were ex-
pended in providing data for the development of the Statewide
Land Plan presently under development by the Department of
Administration. Input into this important state plan can and
will have impacts for years to come. Our efforts should help
maintain quality habitat for wildlife through implementation of
policies outlined in the state plan.


Program: FISH AND WILDLIFE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT

Regional planning councils, water management districts,
county commissions, zoning boards, consultants, and developers
can often include a much higher level of fish and wildlife consid-
eration in development when properly advised before their plans
become final. This program is designed to provide this advice to
local planning and development entities.

Progress:
Considerable effort in this program was directed this year to-
ward providing fish and wildlife input to Florida's developing
phosphate industry. Through evaluation of potential mining
sites and working directly with the companies, the adverse ef-
fects of stripmining on wildlife can be minimized by avoiding
particularly valuable areas. Since the companies are required by
law to reclaim lands disturbed by mining, we provided specific
reclamation recommendations to ensure that lands will be re-
claimed so as to benefit fish and wildlife resources.


DEDICATED TO TODAY AND FOR TOMORROW


MARCH-APRIL 1978







CREATING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF CONSERVATION
















"PUBLIC
OPINION IS A
MYSTERIOUS
INVISIBLE
ScPOWER, WHICH
NOTHING CAN
i~s~-~l~ .RESIST."
.Napoleon I


Information & Education


The Information and Education Division is charged with the
responsibility of spreading the conservation message across
the state with a goal of creating a better understanding and ap-
preciation for wildlife and the natural environment. The task
can take many forms with all media utilized from personal ap-
pearances to magazine stories.
From the headquarters in Tallahassee to the regional offices
throughout the state, the message is sent out. Areas of opera-
tions include the audio-visual section, youth conservation
camps, news and information services, hunter and firearm safety
training and wildlife reserve. All forces band together to bring
the topics home.


Program: NEWS AND INFORMATION SERVICES
Keeping the sportsman and citizen up to date on hunting and
fishing regulations as well as the principles and concepts behind
management techniques has always been a challenging but re-
warding responsibility. Efforts flow from headquarters as well as
regional offices and run the gamut from newspaper stories to
fair exhibits.

Progress:
The most effective tool still is the printed medium with news
releases a valuable resource. An extensive revamping of the
regulation booklets was completed with the hunting handbook
simplified and expanded. A separate fishing regulation summary


was extracted from the previous combined handbook and pro-
duced. Additionally, that ever important liaison with the
backbone of the conservation movement-sportsmen and con-
servation clubs-was strengthened through increased communi-
cation.

Program: AUDIO-VISUAL
Believing that a picture can effectively tell the story, the
Audio-Visual section is the eyes and ears of the office, providing
the sight and sound of the conservation message. Be it still
photography or graphic arts, the color and spectacle of our price-
less natural heritage comes alive in their hands.

Progress:
The production of color slide lecture series has accelerated. The
series, which feature taped narration, have received tremendous
response from the varied audiences which have reviewed them
and can be produced at considerable savings over films. Among
the topics completed and now available for use include an in-
depth look at the whys and hows of the Lake Okeechobee
Fisheries Utilization Program, a documentary on the Commis-
sion and its activities and a look at the future of the Apa-
lachicola River. In addition, a wide range of audio-visual ser-
vices were provided to Commission personnel, newspapers,
magazines, radio and television. As the need to communicate
conservation information has grown, new opportunities in the
area of electronic media have been explored.


FLORIDA WILDLIFE






Program: YOUTH CONSERVATION CAMPS
Since its humble beginnings under canvas tents in 1945, the
youth conservation camps have grown in size and popularity.
This marked the 24th year for the facility in the Ocala National
Forest and the seventh for the newcomer in the J.W. Corbett
Wildlife Management Area.

Progress:
The two camps enjoyed another successful year as more than a
thousand boys and girls passed through the gates for a summer
of experiencing Florida's woods and waters. The return rate of
repeat campers again was high with some of this year's coun-
selors rising from the ranks of previous campers. The camps did
not stay idle after summer was gone. Youth groups from scouts
to science clubs utilized the facilities for activities during the
other months and environmental instructors found them a per-
fect outdoor workshop.
Program: HUNTER AND FIREARM SAFETY TRAINING
Although coordinated by five regional Hunter Safety
Specialist, the backbone of the Hunter and Firearm Safety
Training Program are the volunteer instructors. Coming from
every walk of life, these dedicated volunteers contribute time
and effort to instruct all ages in the safe and proper means of
handling firearms. The program is not designed to turn out
sharpshooters, but to instill the respect and responsibility
firearms command.

Progress:
This program received national recognition when more than
25,000 persons were certified as Florida Safe Hunters. An aver-
age month will see more than 400 men and women from 10


years of age up take the minimum 12-hour course. The course
includes not only firearm handling and terminology but basic
wildlife identification, survival and first aid tips and hunter
ethics. The importance of such training has become more evi-
dent across the state and many secondary schools are planning
to include it in their curriculum. The program proudly points to
the decrease in the number ot hunting accidents during the
years the instruction has been available.

Program: WILDLIFE RESERVE
In Central Florida, some 60 men and women have been
quietly giving up their free time to assist the Commission. They
are members of the Wildlife Reserve, a dedicated group of citizen
conservationists who let their concern for Florida's wildlife and
freshwater aquatic resources take the shape of positive actions.
These volunteers provide their own uniforms and transportation
to a variety of tasks and, in turn, free Commission employes for
other responsibilities.

Progress:
During any 12-month period, it is not unusual to see more
than 20,000 hours logged by these Reservists, at a savings to the
Commission of more than $90,000. Efforts this year included
active participation in the pilot alligator management program
to the extent they were responsible for relocation of all nuisance
alligators in the Orange County area. Answering complaints
has always been one of the services they render, along with
manning check stations, posting boundaries, assisting in
fishermen creel surveys and helping search and rescue opera-
tions. Some of the Reservists have spent their own time and
money to become qualified through Police Standards in order to
assist the law enforcement division in patrols. If there is a task
to be done, whether large or small, a Reservist is there.


PLANNED USE OF A UNIQUE WILDERNESS




Everglades Recreation


"IF EYES WERE MADE FOR SEEING,
THEN BEAUTY IS ITS OWN EXCUSE
FOR BEING..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson



Florida's Everglades never ceases to attract people to enjoy
this disappearing wilderness. But, without a plan for de-
velopment, the rich habitat and wildlife resource could be lost
forever. It is to this task the Everglades Recreation staff concen-
trates 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 en-
forcement power to protect the resource to planning and con-
struction of recreational facilities in keeping with the heritage
of the area.

Program: UPGRADING AND EXPANDING EXISTING
FACILITIES
Taking what is now available to the public and making it


even better is an ongoing project. This growth is always coupled
with a concern for the habitat and wildlife resources.

Progress:
Substantial improvements were completed at Everglades
Holiday Park during this year. As a result of these improve-
ments the park now has modern facilities for overnight camping
and improved parking and access areas. As a result of these
improvements the capacity of this facility was increased by 50%.

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.

Progress:
Co-ordination with the South Florida Water Management Dis-
trict led to the construction of two new boat ramps located at the
S-8 pump station. Along Tamiami Trail temporary facilities
(continued on next page)


MARCH-APRIL 1978






(continued from preceding page)
were constructed at 30-Mile Bend and at the junction of levee 30
to provide access during the widening of the canal. Permanent
access facilities will be constructed on a cooperative basis follow-
ing the canal widening.

Program: EXOTIC PLANT CONTROL
The unique Everglades ecosystem has been threatened by the
unchecked growth of non-native plants. Research continues on
how to check the spread of such plants without harming the
habitat and resources of the Everglades.

Progress:
The Melaleuca has been the subject of much of the research
this year. The trees have been spreading at an alarming rate
and have proven resistant to 20 herbicides. Three, however,
have shown limited success and additional testing was con-
ducted on these three chemicals. In addition, these chemicals
were used to control Melaleuca at critical locations within the
Conservation Areas.

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.

Program: HABITAT IMPROVEMENT
The Everglades offers a variety of habitats for wildlife, but
due to the nature of the area upland habitats are restricted to a
small portion of the area. Fires have further reduced these ele-
vated islands in recent years and efforts have been made to
create artificial wildlife islands and to enhance spoil banks
created during canal construction projects.

Progress:
A total of 45 islands were created in Conservation Area 3B.
These islands were seeded with Pensacola Bahia grass and
planted with native trees obtained from local nurseries.




COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP 1976-77

RANDOLPH R. THOMAS, Jacksonville
Appointed January 22, 197/
DONALD G. RHODES, West Eau Gallie
Appointed December 12, 1974
E. P. BURNETT, Tampa Appointed January 17, 1973
GEORGE G. MATTHEWS, Palm Beach
Appointed September 9, 1975
HOWARD ODOM, Marianna Appointed January 10, 1972
Expired January 6, 1977
R. BERNARD PARRISH JR., Tallahassee
Appointed January 6, 1977


REVENUE:
General Revenue Funds
Licenses and Permits Funds
Aquatic Weed Funds
Recreation & Parks Funds
Federal Aid

TOTAL FUNDS AVAILABLE


EXPENDITURES:
Fisheries Management
Wildlife Management
Law Enforcement
Communications
Administrative Services
Information and Education
Environmental Protection
Everglades Recreation
Aquatic Weed Control
Fixed Capital Outlay
Land Purchase
Investments

TOTAL EXPENDITURES


CASH ON HAND AT 6-30-77


Unencumbered ...........................$ 187,052
Unencumbered for Land Purchase ............... 52,584



ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF 1976-77

DR. O. 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. DANIAL DUNFORD, Chief
Environmental Protection Bureau


Compiled and edited by James T. Floyd


FLORIDA WILDLIFE


FINANCIAL STATEMENT

July 1, 1976 through June 30, 1977

Unencumbered Cash at 7-1-76 ....................$ 185,653


4,620,279
6,061,675
1,501,427
450,000
877,167

$13,696,201



$ 1,680,841
1,718,780
4,205,950
750,303
1,528,951
751,532
188,541
100,108
1,174,369
730,510
339,715
286,965

$(13,456,565)


$ 239,636