Annual report - Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075971/00007
 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: 1978
Frequency: annual
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: UF00075971:00007
 Related Items
Preceded by: Report - Florida, Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

Full Text


JULY 1, 1978 JUNE 30, 1979

Floridai Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
Chairman, Tallahassee Vice Chairman, Palm Beach West Eau Gallle Jacksonville Tampa
Executive Director Assistant Executive Director

W ISE USE of our natural resources

The Commission is governed by a board consisting of
five members appointed by the Governor and con-
firmed by the Senate and who serve five-year terms on a
staggered basis. The Executive Director is selected by the
Commission and serves at its pleasure.
The organizational structure of the Commission in-
cludes the Office of the Executive Director, the Division of
Law Enforcement, the Division of Wildlife, the Division
of Fisheries, the Division of Administrative Services, the
Office of Environmental Services, and the Office of Infor-
mational Services. The Executive Director is aided in ad-
ministration through the existence of five regional offices
located at Panama City, Lake City, Ocala, Lakeland and
West Palm Beach. Each regional office is staffed in such a
manner as to resemble the central office in Tallahassee but
on a smaller scale. The purpose of the regional offices is to
serve the grassroots needs of the public as well as
provide the capability to administer and follow through
with the programs and policies of the Commission. Other
field stations are scattered around the state, such as the
Wildlife Research Laboratory in Gainesville and the Fish-
eries Research Laboratory in Eustis.
As of June 30, 1979, there were 635 individuals em-
ployed by the Commission.
The Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
was created as a constitutional agency on January 1, 1943,
and for three decades carried out its programs and rev-
enue derived from the sale of hunting and fishing li-
censes. During the early years, this was appropriate, as
the programs of the agency were primarily directed to
benefit hunters and fishermen. However, the Commis-
sion has become increasingly involved in matters affect-
ing and benefiting not only the hunter and fisherman but
also the general citizenry; protection, research and man-
agement of nongame species of wildlife; boating safety,
civil emergencies and other general police actions; pollu-
tion control and ecological systems; and development of
outdoor recreational programs.


As the area of involvement in the outdoor world ex-
panded to benefit the general public rather than exclu-
sively hunters and fishermen, the Legislature appro-
priated general revenue funds to assist in the Commis-
sion's overall program. The first general revenue funds
were appropriated in 1973 and have been followed by
other appropriations to carry out the expanded responsi-
bilities of the Commission. The 1978 Legislature appro-
priated $7,233,736 for the purpose of continuation and ex-
pansion of outdoor programs that would benefit all citi-
zens for the present and future years. The funds have
been put to good use, as can be ascertained by a review of
various programs and accomplishments set forth in this
In general, the Commission accelerated its management
of the state's wildlife and freshwater fisheries resources to
ensure optimum wildlife and fish populations for the rec-
reational and aesthetic benefit of the public. Such man-
agement 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; the development
of an endangered species program; research directed to-
ward solving resource problems; regulation and inspec-
tion of wildlife importation; regulation and inspection of
wildlife exhibitors; control of aquatic vegetation; bio-
logical inspection and reporting of construction and
development projects which could affect fish and wildlife
resources and their habitat; acquisition and development
of public recreation areas; and a conservation information
and education program.
The Commission appreciates the support of the Legis-
lature and sportsmen, and other outdoor-oriented citizens
of the state, and intends to justify that support.

Audubon Magazine


for the wildlife dollar through ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

Without the Division of Administrative Services, the
Commission would be unable to function, for this
division is directly responsible for the support services
necessary to keep the agency afloat. Beginning with for-
mulation and preparation of the budget to hiring person-
nel, from paying for supplies to maintaining the physical
structures, Administrative Services is involved in sus-
taining the heartline of the Commission's activities.
The Finance and Accounting office must maintain
accountability of all state and federal funds available to
the Commission. Accounting personnel are responsible
for recording, summarizing, evaluating and interpreting
the agency's financial activities and position, and com-
municating the results for use in management decisions.
The Finance and Accounting office also administers the
license and permit activities of the Commission.
Revenues consisted of trust fund collections, general
revenue appropriations, funds from aquatic weed opera-
tions and participation in federal programs. These funds
were used for financing general operating expenditures,
replacement and purchase of operating capital items, and
funding the Land Acquisition and Endangered Species
The Statewide Automated Management Accounting
System (SAMAS) continued to be the primary tool for
controlling expenditures and commitments.
Significant progress was made during the year in the
formulation of written procedures and systems devel-
In order for a state agency to operate from year to year it
must be able to project both revenues and expenditures.
These projections are consolidated into the legislative
budget process for both operations and fixed capital out-

Philip James Bailey

lay. During fiscal 1978-79 the Commission went to divi-
sional budgets and the budget cycle went from an annual
to a biennial projection.
The Word Processing Center absorbed all the typing of
exhibits and schedules for the four divisional budgets and
the fixed capital outlay budget. Having all the information
in permanent storage facilitated the multitude of revisions
that are a part of any budget preparation, and made pos-
sible timely submission of these documents.
The function of the Personnel Office is to assist man-
agement to provide for the needs of the employees as they
relate to morale, career development, working conditions
and related matters. In addition, the office provides the
basis services of classification and salary administration,
payroll deductions, employee grievances, leave adminis-
tration and recruitment assistance.
Plans are being developed to review the personnel
practices in the Commission as they relate to the above
areas. The major emphasis of this review is to permit
employees to input their ideas, thoughts and suggestions
to an impartial study team who will then develop these
recommendations into a workable format and present them
to management for their consideration.
Accountability is the primary function of the Property
Fiscal year 1978-79 has seen the property system re-
fined. The inventory of buildings was conducted and all
records were updated. All current and future credit card
assignments will be. processed through EDP to provide
immediate needs. A property manual was created as a
guideline to personnel.
Striving to achieve the greatest return for our dollar and
providing the best of equipment and timely delivery is
the primary goal of Purchasing.

With the transfer of the preaudit section to Fiscal more
time is now allowed for concentration on purchasing
problems. The Purchasing Section issued 5,624 purchase
orders, 105 legal and formal bids and processed 331
mobile equipment requests during the period of 1979.
Accommodation of the Commission's increasing paper
workload resulted in the creation of the Word Processing
Center in October of 1977. Improved quantity and quality
of the agency's correspondence was expected through use
of highly sophisticated typing machinery and utilization
of specially trained personnel.
The goal of increased productivity and improved qual-
ity was reached in the first year of operation of the Center
and, during the second year with the same manpower
complement of five personnel, over 169.57% more work
was produced than expected. Special projects sent to the
Center increased by 155.42% in 1978-79. Average lines
per typist per day were 1,617.4 and average pages, 38.63,
as compared to the 1977-78 average of 1,054 lines (28.56
pages) per person each day. The Center was open 252
days and 1,179.5 mandays were worked.
Office Operations includes the supervision of the Pur-
chasing and Property Management program, Word Pro-
cessing Center, the storeroom, central files, mailroom,
maintenance and security of the Farris Bryant Building.
The recent order of new and updated equipment in the
Word Processing Center will further enhance the effec-
tiveness of that program.
The implementation of the stockroom operations man-
ual places emphasis on controls and assists in securing the
needs of Commission personnel. Building maintenance
has made tremendous strides in placing the Bryant
Building in the best mechanical condition that it has been
in many years. This year has seen major repair work to
the roof section of the building. The installation of solar
film to windows of the building has resulted in notable
savings, especially in the heating department. Re-
organization of the custodial and security operations has
resulted in thousands of dollars in savings to the Com-
July 1, 1978 June 30, 1979

Cash Available at July 1, 1978
After Certification
General Revenue Funds
Trust Funds
Aquatic Weed Operations
Federal Funds
Total Funds Available
Fisheries Management
Wildlife Management
Law Enforcement
Aquatic Weed
Informational Services
Environmental Services
Administrative Services
Fixed Capital Outlay
Investment Purchase

Funds Available After Expenditures
Less: Reserve for Certification
Unencumbered Cash, June 30, 1979

$ -0-

$ 7,233,736

$ 1,960,511
$ 1,496,041
$ 24,540


t is the purpose and goal of the Division of Fisheries to
maintain dynamic sport fisheries and a compatible
commercial fishery in Florida's three million acres of lakes
and 10,000 miles of streams. Dedicated to a management
philosophy of optimum sustained-yield to maximize
recreational benefits, the scope of division operations
spans a freshwater fishing industry worth in excess of
one-half billion dollars that supports annually 62 million
man-days of recreation involving 3.8 million participants.
Specific programs include the restoration and restocking
of lakes and ponds; management and improvement of riv-
ers and streams; aquatic weed treatment and renovation
projects; investigations and management of exotic
species; creel census and sampling projects; basic life
history studies; habitat manipulation and developmental
research for new fish management technology. The fol-
lowing synopsis briefly highlights division activities over
the past year.
The five regional fisheries teams located throughout the
state serve as the backbone of the Bureau of Fish
Management. Restoration and management of public
lakes and streams is the major task of this operation.
Other responsibilities include: (1) stocking public waters
and providing technical assistance to private pond own-
ers; (2) investigating and reporting fish kills; (3) environ-
mental impact reports; (4) maintaining GFC boat ramps
and piers; and (5) providing scientific programs to
sportsmen clubs and citizen groups.
Additionally, there are applied research projects with
specific objectives: (1) urban lakes management program;
(2) effects of hydrilla encroachment of sportfish popu-
lations; (3) construction and management of state-owned
lakes; (4) transplanting desirable aquatic plants for habitat
enhancement; (5) assessment of the successful sunshine
bass stocking through creel surveys and population
sampling; and (6) conducting feasibility studies on the
candidate lakes for habitat restoration.
Two ponds were added to the urban lake project in
metropolitan Jacksonville totaling 105 acres of ponds now
under management. Liming, fertilization and stocking
were done in most ponds. Two ponds were opened to
fishing this past year with additional ponds scheduled for
opening in 1979 and 1980.
Findings on the beneficial effects of hydrilla in two
study lakes indicate increased sportfish populations, im-
proved fishing success and fish food production and
higher numbers of fingerling bass. However, fishing ef-
fort is greatly reduced if hydrilla completely covers the
entire body of water.
Maintenance fertilization and seeding of dikes of
state-owned lakes was completed. The experimentation
with summertime drawdowns for aquatic weed control
proved successful. Also, investigative sampling was com-
pleted and recommendations were prepared for habitat
improvement in several northwest Florida lakes.
Experimental planting of native aquatic plants resulted
in the successful propagation of southern bullrush. Based
on these findings, further work will be done to provide
habitat enhancement.
Lakes stocked with sunshine bass were surveyed to
determine annual growth rates. The Apalachicola River is

)97/7 9

to shorten

the time






Herbert Hoover

providing the best sunshine bass fishing in the state and
the state record was broken several times this year.
Feasibility studies were finalized for drawdowns of
Lakes Fox and Rousseau.
Additional program accomplishments included: (1)
technical assistance to 800 private pond owners; (2) bass
and bream stocking for 232 pounds (1,090 acres); (3) 185
fish kill investigations; (4) gathering basic effort, harvest,
and success statistics through four short-term creel sur-
veys on Lakes Orange, Lochloosa and Parker and the
Apalachicola River; (5) investigating illegal dredge and fill
operations; and (6) environmental impact assessments.
Maintenance of Commission-owned docks, boat ramps
and other public facilities was provided as needed. Also,
fish management programs were presented to 50 sports-
man and civic clubs during the year.
A liberalized commercial fishery on Lake Okeechobee
entitled the Okeechobee Fisheries Utilization and
Management Program (OFUMP) was developed by the
Commission and implemented on October 15, 1976. This
program has provided for the commercial removal and
sale of all species of freshwater fish with the exception of
largemouth bass, chain and redfin pickerel. In addition to
trotlines and wire traps which were the traditionally used
commercial gear on the lake, this program has permitted
the use of 50-foot otter trawls and haul seines up to 1,600
yards in length. The goal of the program is wise utili-
zation of a renewable fishery resource with spin-off
benefits of nutrient removal and improved growth rates of
some game fish populations.
During the first three years of implementation, OFUMP
has been responsible for the harvest of more than 20 mil-
lion pounds of fish. The average annual harvest of
approximately seven million pounds represents a dock-
side value of more than $2 million and a cash flow to

south Florida regional economy of $4.5 million annually.
By mid-1979, OFUMP had made a transition from pre-
dominantly a net fishery to one dominated by the wire
trap. This transition had been brought about by several
factors including the rising cost of fuel used by netters,
the readily available market for game fish, the rising value
of game fish and the fact that no upper limit to the
number of legal trappers had been established by the
The result of this shifting trend in gear use was that
80% of the game fish harvested by this program during
the winter of 1978-79 were black crappie. More than 60%
of the reported harvest of game fish during this period
was by wire trap.
The Commission determined that revisions were neces-
sary in the rules governing the program in order to protect
the resource from excessive exploitation. Rules were
adopted which provided for a two-month closed season
on the commercial harvest of game fish, and for more
restricted use of wire traps in the marsh of the lake.
Commission personnel maintain a constant biological
monitoring of fish populations, and continuing evaluation
of law enforcement and public relations aspects of
OFUMP. These efforts are ensuring the adequate pro-
tection of Lake Okeechobee fisheries resources while no
undue hardship is being placed on any individual user
This program is designed to expand our knowledge of
lake management and extend the productive recreational
and aesthetic life span of selected lakes. The water level
manipulation process has been implemented on Lakes
Tohopekaliga and Kissimmee. This technique is most

effective in combating eutrophication brought about by
stabilized water levels and increased watershed
An extreme drawdown of Lake Tohopekaliga was com-
pleted in the spring of 1979. Positive responses in con-
solidation of bottom substrates, revegetation of desirable
aquatic plants and the fish population points toward an
exciting future for Lake Tohopekaliga. Unusually high
water levels as a result of abnormal rainfall should add an
extra impetus to the sportfish productivity of the system.
A largemouth bass tagging program was initiated on
Lake Tohopekaliga. Approximately 1,800 largemouth bass
were tagged in the spring of 1979. Fish are to be tagged
for at least three consecutive years to help determine age
and growth rates.
Lake Kissimmee has begun to fulfill the expectations
which were generated by habitat responses due to the
1977 drawdown. The largemouth bass catch for summer of
1979 was 80% higher than any period since the creel cen-
sus began in 1974. By the spring of 1980, Lake Kissimmee
should be the hottest bass fishing lake in the southeast.
The purpose of this program is to provide coordination
between the Commission and other agencies for lake im-
provement and improved fishing in the waters of the
state. Habitat improvement and water level manipulation
projects come under the purview of this program.
Planning and coordination of lake improvement pro-
grams with fisheries biologists and other agencies this
year included, but was not limited to, establishing desir-
able vegetation, control of noxious aquatic plants, fish
stocking, water fluctuation and lake drawdowns.
Major lake restoration projects were initiated on Lake
Tohopekaliga in Osceola County and Fox Lake in Brevard
County. Successful completion of scheduled objectives
has been attained as improved habitat and sport fish-
eries are anticipated.
This program is designed to provide man-made struc-
tures in public lakes that concentrate fish and make fish-
ing more pleasurable and successful. This report covers
the second year of a five-year plan to construct 150 fish
attractors throughout Florida.
A total of 33 attractors were placed in thirteen lakes in
1978-79. These were placed in bodies of water throughout
all sections of the state. Old tires and hardwood brush
were used and produced immediate fishing success in
these lakes. Response to the project has continued to be
very positive since it represents a tangible improvement
that gives direct benefit to the anglers.
The role of the two state fish hatcheries is to maintain
Division game fish restocking programs on a statewide
basis. Solving culture problems and developing rearing
techniques for new species are also important functions of
hatchery personnel.
The two hatcheries, Richloam and Blackwater, stocked
1,864,535 young game fishes into 331 water bodies
comprising 148,281 acres in 53 counties. Sunshine bass
made up 1,073,135 of these and were stocked into 54
major lakes and four rivers. The hatcheries performed a
public service for owners of small ponds by stocking 229
of them with 366,078 largemouth bass and bream. A new
fish, the hybrid grass carp, was obtained from Arkansas
and 8,000 are being reared at Richloam so they can be

evaluated for use as possible aquatic weed control agents.
Other fishes that were stocked in public waters were
striped bass, channel catfish, black crappie, and redbreast
The Richloam fish hatchery property was expanded to
include another thirty acres. A $90,000 appropriation
permitted expansions to begin. An additional eight-inch
well was drilled and the size of the storage reservoir was
doubled. Two one-acre production ponds were also con-
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 corrective measures or im-
provement programs for resource enhancement.
Total estimated harvest of sportfish from Jackson in the
past year was 108,538 fish, more than double that of
1976-77. Approximately 33,788 bass were harvested, in-
cluding nearly 400 trophy fish weighing eight pounds or
more. The fragile, native threadfin shad was successfully
reintroduced to the lake as forage for bass.
Lake Talquin, Florida's largest manmade impound-
ment, located 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.
A budding striped bass fishery is gaining interest on
the lake, with confirmed catches of fish ranging up to 21
pounds. A radio-tracking program was initiated this fall
to learn more of the striped bass' life history, which will
lead to higher fishermen success for this exciting game-
ster. A springtime creel is planned, to document the al-
ready considerable harvest of striped bass occurring at the
dam tailrace during March, April and May.
A research program designed to document facts re-
quired for progressive management of largemouth bass.
Studies to assess the feasibility of stocking hatchery-
reared bass fingerlings into lakes with established but low
native bass populations are continuing. Radio tracking of
adult largemouths to learn more about seasonal move-
ments, spawning and home range characteristics are
progressing on Lake Yale. Controlled experiments con-
ducted on transmitter-outfitted bass have concluded that
the presence of the transmitter within the fish produces
no significant difference in their behavior, movement or
catchability, compared to fish not containing transmitters.
The grass carp or white amur was imported into Florida
as a control agent for aquatic vegetation. No one can dis-
pute the ability of the fish to devour large quantities of
vegetation; however, little is known of the effects on other
aquatic life. Lakes Deer Point, Conway and Wales were
stocked with grass carp and are being used as research
sites to determine the carp's impact on aquatic life.
Impact studies on Deer Point indicate a net reduction in
the exotic plant, Eurasion watermilfoil in the southern
end of the lake, but an increase in the northern end.
Studies on Lake Conway carp indicate that native plants
continue to be preferred food items compared to the
problem exotic hydrilla. Studies completed on Lake Wales
have revealed that a standing crop of greater than 114

pounds of carp per surface acre was unsuccessful in
achieving adequate control of hydrilla at the end of a
four-year experimental period. New studies are in pro-
gress utilizing a hybrid of bighead carp crossed with grass
carp. Initial results are encouraging, but the big plus is
the fact that, so far, the hybrid appears to be sterile.
This program is designed to improve fishing through
the introduction of new game fish species. Additionally,
fishing potential in certain lakes may be enhanced by
some degree of biological control of forage fish such as
shad. The fishes now being researched are snook and
sunshine bass.
A breakthrough in the artificial propagation of snook
this past season produced more fingerlings from confined
cage culture than had three quarter-acre ponds in pre-
vious years. Stocking evaluations of snook at rates of
25-50 per acre are now in progress in south Florida ponds.
The sunshine bass phase of the program also went well
this year, with greater than 1,000,000 fingerlings stocked
into approximately 100,000 acres of public waters. State
records for the sunshine bass continue to tumble, with
the latest confirmed record jumping to 14 pounds 1 ounce;
a four-year-old fish taken from the Apalachicola River.

A research program designed to investigate and docu-
ment environmental changes affecting habitat quality and
fisheries of the Oklawaha River Basin.
Work continues on documenting response by fish,
fish-food organisms, and aquatic vegetation to the 1977
pumpdown of Lake Carlton. Fishermen creel studies on
Lake Griffin indicate near record harvests of black crap-
pie. Trawl studies are providing new information on
movement, distribution and abundance of bluegill, redear
and black crappie in Lake Griffin.
A continuing research program designed to document
factors affecting the fish and habitat of the St. Johns River.
Research continues on water chemistry, invertebrates,
various life history aspects of the native fishes and general
changes in the habitat of the river basin. Higher water
levels the past two years have resulted in improvements
to most aspects of the aquatic community and improved
sport fishing.
This program will identify threatened or endangered
species of fish and determine life histories and distribu-
tion of these species. Future aims of the program will be
to manage these species, hopefully preventing extinction.
Work continues on formulation of a comprehensive re-
covery plan for the endangered Okaloosa darter. Comple-
tion of studies initiated in 1977 on the threatened Lake
Eustis pupfish confirmed that the species, although limL
ited to eight lakes in the Oklawaha Chain, faced no
immediate threat of extinction. The recommendation was
made to remove the pupfish from the state "threatened"
species category and instead designate it as a "species of
special concern."
In 1971, the Commission's exotic fish research station
was established at Florida Atlantic University to evaluate
the ecological significance of non-native fish. Some 22

foreign species are now reproducing in Florida. This re-
search program has been designed to (1) evaluate the ef-
fects of non-native fish; (2) identify specific environ-
mental limiting factors, e.g., temperature; and (3) to de-
velop and coordinate management practices aimed at
limiting the negative biological effects of exotic fishes in
Research indicates that Tilapia aurea has a detrimental
impact on the production of young bass as density of
tilapia increases in a fish population. Other data reveal
that tilapia displace shad species which are desirable for-
age for bass, but tilapia are not preferred as forage by
bass. Significant improvement of research facilities and
expansion of research ponds is planned for fiscal year
The Commission initiated, a water hyacinth control pro-
gram on April 3, 1952, when it became obvious that these
plants had to be controlled on inland waters. A main-
tenance operation for the control of nonindigenous aqua-
tic plants using control techniques on a continuous basis
to maintain plant populations at the lowest possible level
continues to be a major program of the Commission.
The program has successfully controlled water hyacinth
populations at acceptable levels in 482 bodies of water.
Over 23,420 acres of hyacinths were treated during
1978-79. This was accomplished by an operational force of
19 airboat crews and the spray plane strategically located
around the state in known problem areas.
Since hydrilla's introduction in 1960, it has spread
throughout Florida. The bureau's vegetation survey indi-
cated that approximately 53,633 acres of hydrilla were
present in intercounty waters.

A program was implemented to improve fishing access
for fishermen in the more heavily infested lakes. Boat
trails were provided in Lake Lochloosa through herbicide
treatment. An experimental mechanical harvesting pro-
gram was conducted at Lake Trafford by the Aztec De-
velopment Company that complemented the chemical
treatment in the lake. Nine miles of trails were
mechanically cut to provide navigation and fisherman ac-
cess during the summer and fall of 1978. During the same
period, the Commission treated over 300 acres of hydrilla
with EPA approved herbicides to open additional boat
trails and fishing areas. A total of 364 additional acres of
hydrilla were treated in 25 bodies of water by Com-
mission crews during the year.
In 1972, an aquatic plant control permitting system was
designed to provide the Commission a method of re-
viewing the increasing number of aquatic weed control
programs being implemented.
During this reporting period, 618 permits were issued
statewide for weed control operations. The permitting
program was developed to allow inspectors to monitor an
ever-increasing workload in the area of aquatic plant
management. Land developments with increased demand
for open water, coupled with the growing public aware-
ness of aquatic weed problems will increase the permit-
ting and monitoring programs in the coming years.
An introductory survey is conducted annually by the

bureau staff to determine the extent of problem aquatic
plant species statewide. This information serves as the
basis for program development in aquatic weed control.
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 this
data, it was determined that there were approximately
16,714 acres of water hyacinth, 53,633 acres of hydrilla and
469 acres of other noxious aquatic plants present in the
public intercounty waters surveyed this reporting period.

Private lake owners with problem aquatic vegetation
look to the Commission for assistance in managing their
lakes for recreational use.
Staff biologists stationed at five field offices provided
lake owners with information on methods of controlling
aquatic vegetation. Individual recommendations, based

on the nature and extent of the problem, consist of chem-
ical, water manipulation or mechanical removal informa-
tion. More than 2,500 requests for assistance were hand-
led during the year.
The aquatic plant management quality control activities
are designed to complement the operations section. It in-
volves evaluation of past and present control methods,
development of new technology and ecological studies of
aquatic plants.
Staff biologists stationed at the Eustis Fisheries Re-
search Laboratory conducted investigations in the fol-
lowing areas: (1) using fixed-wing aircraft during hydrilla
control; (2) monitoring the effects of water level fluctua-
tions on aquatic vegetation; (3) developing techniques of
harvesting and planting various desirable aquatic plants
to enhance the fishery of lakes and (4) evaluating of the
effectiveness of polymers used with labeled hydrilla her-

FALL." Edgar Guest

HUNTING -an annual sustained yield of wildlife

T he Division of Wildlife is charged with the develop-
ment and implementation of wildlife management
practices and policies to ensure the perpetuation of
Florida's diverse wildlife. Degradation and outright loss
of wildlife habitat combined with growing demands for
access to wildlife resources dictates that the Division
undertake its responsibilities with a firm base of scientific
facts. Inventories of wildlife populations on public and
private lands, basic and applied wildlife research on spe-
cific problems and monitoring of wildlife harvests are
some of the means employed. The Division administers
and manages the largest system of public hunting areas in
the United States. It also devoted increased attention to
endangered and other nongame wildlife species during
the 1978-79 year.
In a continuing effort to provide public hunting, the
Division administers both Type I and Type II wildlife
management area programs. The Type I wildlife manage-
ment area program comprises 4,972,361 acres in 46 sepa-
rate areas. These are the areas on which a permit is re-
quired to hunt and, with the funds from the sale of the
permits, the Commission carries out habitat management
practices and other maintenance activities. In addition to
the traditional Type I wildlife management area program,
the Division cooperates with three major landowners in
administration of the Type II wildlife management area
system. There are currently 728,414 acres in the Type II
system belonging to Buckeye Cellulose Corporation,
Southwest Forest Industries, Inc., and the Gillman Paper
Company. The hunter must purchase a company permit
to hunt on these areas and the Commission offers law
enforcement and technical assistance with the program.
The Type II program is designed to encourage landowners
to open their land to public hunting.
During the 1978-79 season, 108,645 hunters spent
760,515 mandays hunting on 4,972,361 acres within the
Type I wildlife management area system. A total of
$300,000 was distributed to private landowners partici-
pating in the program. Of the land included in the pro-
gram, more than one-third is in private ownership, with
the balance state and federal lands. Over 30,000 hunters
also purchased permits from private landowners to hunt
on Type II wildlife management areas.
The Division currently has responsibility for the
management of nearly five million acres of land in 46
wildlife management areas, providing technical guidance
to landowners with wildlife-oriented management prob-
lems, and conducting studies to improve habitat and
management techniques.
To accomplish these responsibilities, 13 biologists, five
wildlife management specialist supervisors and 24
wildlife management specialists provide the expertise and
manpower, with the majority of their time and effort di-
rected to the maintenance, development and operation of
wildlife management areas.
Approximately 270,000 acres are included in the Big


Cypress Wildlife Management Area at the present time.
The remainder of the Big Cypress National Preserve ac-
quisition, totaling over 500,000 acres, should be included
in the wildlife management area program within the next
Bird dog field trials were conducted on the Cecil M.
Webb, Citrus and Blackwater wildlife management areas
as part of a continuing program to provide field trial loca-
Habitat management work completed during the year
on wildlife management areas included the controlled
burning of 85,750 acres, the planting of 50,200 mast-pro-
ducing tree seedlings, and 608 acres of wildlife food plots.
Waterfowl impoundments located at Guana River, Aucilla
and Avon Park wildlife management areas were main-
tained and managed for public hunting and fishing. A
total of 342 quail feeders and 35 turkey feeders were
maintained. Four hundred sixty wood duck nesting boxes
were maintained and checked for productivity, and 60
new nesting boxes were constructed and erected in suit-
able habitat.
The abomasal parasite sampling project continued on
the white-tailed deer this year. A total of 189 abomasal
samples were collected from deer harvested on wildlife
management areas and selected private tracts. The
abomasal count is utilized as a cool to determine the
population status of a deer herd in relation to the carrying
capacity for deer on an area. It has proved a very
successful management tool and played a large part in the
setting of antlerless hunts on several private tracts of land
and the Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area during
the year. It is hoped that during the next five years a
sound program of deer management, utilizing either-sex
hunts to control population levels and herd productivity,
can be initiated on both private and public hunting lands.
Work continued on the preparation of comprehensive
management plans for the Three Lakes, Corbett and Webb
wildlife management areas during the year. When com-
pleted, these long-range plans will provide guidance to
the Commission on overall management practices to be
conducted on the areas, including wildlife, timber
management, water management, and management of
recreational activities. The plans are expected to result in
more effective management of the areas and to clearly
point the way for future needs and priorities for the entire
wildlife management area system.
White-tailed deer are by far the most popular big game
animals in Florida. With Florida's deer population now
standing at roughly one-half million animals, there is an
increasing number of complaints from property owners
with respect to deer depredations on crops. Others have
expressed concern that deer are becoming too numerous
and are requesting assistance in management.
The Division of Wildlife has responded with a program
designed to investigate complaints regarding deer damage
before taking remedial action since it is usually necessary

to remove some portion of the female population if, in
fact, a problem exists. Under Commission sanction, an
investigation by wildlife biologists includes conducting
an inventory of the deer herd on the affected area after
receiving a written request from the landowner (of not
less than 640 acres) for such action. The letter must show
proof of ownership of the land in question. The
biologist's recommendations are sent to the Executive Di-
rector via the Division of Wildlife. With the Executive
Director's approval, the Division of Wildlife furnishes the
landowner the authorized number of identifying tags for
antlerless deer to be taken. Commission personnel are
granted access to collect biological specimens and data on
antlerless deer taken under this program.
Where feasible and practical, biologists will obtain ex-
tensive data that can be used to evaluate the condition of
specific deer herds throughout the state. Where deer
numbers exceed habitat carrying capacity, deer generally
have high parasite burdens, apparently because low food
quality and quantity make the animals less resistant to
infection. By making a sample count of material collected
from a deer abomasum, biologists gain an indication of
the status of the population at large, particularly when
this information is combined with density estimates and
inspections of habitat quality.We are pursuing these in-
vestigations on public hunting areas as well as on private
lands to gain a greater knowledge of the optimum man-
agement practices for white-tailed deer in Florida.

The increasing population of alligators in Florida has
resulted in problems to human safety, loss of domestic
animals and reduction of recreational use of areas where
large alligators are present. The Commission conducted
an experimental alligator control program during 1977 and
1978 in the Northeast Region to test a control method
using contracted trappers to capture nuisance alligators.
The Statewide Nuisance Alligator Control Program was
initiated May 10, 1978. The salient feature of this program
was the enlisting of private individuals into agreements
with the Commission to be responsible for removal of
problem alligators under direction and supervision of Di-
vision biologists. The contracted agents are compensated
by a percentage share of the proceeds generated by the
sale of skins of the alligators they have taken. The Com-
mission retains a small portion to help defray adminis-
trative expenses. The program has been effective in re-
moving potentially dangerous alligators and to date it has
run smoothly and according to plan.

Florida ranks among the leading states in cattle produc-
tion with nearly five million acres devoted to rangeland
and pastures. The effect of grazing on wildlife and wild-
life habitat has been studied very little in Florida, but the
importance of such lands to wildlife can be expected to
increase in the future as Florida's human population ex-
pands. Division of Wildlife personnel hope to develop
recommendations on appropriate grazing practices to
benefit wildlife and maximize, as far as possible, the pro-
ductivity of rangeland for a particular species.
Currently, the Division is concentrating its efforts on
the Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area in cooper-
ation with the Florida Division of Corrections and the
U.S. Soil Conservation Service. The joint effort is an at-
tempt to determine the cattle grazing pressure on grass-
lands that is most compatible with bobwhite quail popu-

Florida, with its vast wetland acreage, has the potential
to become a much more prominent waterfowl state. A
reduction in the number of wintering dabbling ducks and
geese over the past few years is probably the result of
short-stopping in states further north. Efforts could be
made to develop potential waterfowl areas through im-
poundment construction, control burning, water quality
manipulation, water level fluctuations, protection and
possibly supplemental planning where appropriate.
Funds generated from the sale of the new Florida water-
fowl stamp will provide additional revenue which will be
used to improve and enhance waterfowl management in
the state. The proposed hiring of a statewide waterfowl
management biologist to implement and coordinate all
waterfowl management activities is a necessary first step
toward program improvement. The newly formed Water-
fowl Advisory Committee should also give much assis-
tance to the overall management program.

Wildlife research seeks factual information to address
management problems of Florida Wildlife with emphasis
on game, furbearers, endangered species, and pests. The
staff of biologists, located at the Wildlife Research
Laboratory in Gainesville and at outlying field stations,
works throughout the state primarily in field-oriented
studies on wild turkey, deer, black bear, feral hogs, bald
eagle, and 40 other important wildlife species.
Highlights of recent research progress include de-
velopment of the now widely accepted oral tranquilizer
technique to capture wild turkeys for restocking and re-
search. More than 2,000 turkeys have been captured in
Florida since the method was invented in Florida and a
growing number of other states are using this improved
method. Wild turkeys can be captured with these drugs
for about 1/10 the cost of previous methods.
Three wild dusky seaside sparrows are now in captive
propagation facilities at the Gainesville lab. This repre-
sents 23% of the known population of this most en-
dangered species of bird in the United States. Its only
hope for survival lies in captive propagation because of
declines in the natural population during the past 4 years.
Within 6 months, the remaining population of this small
marsh bird will have to be taken into captivity for safe-
keeping and possible propagation. If captive propagation
is successful, a few sparrows will be returned to the wild
by 1982 after their natural habitat has been restored to
satisfactory condition.
Till now it has not been possible to distinguish be-
tween wood ducks from northern and from southern
populations. They are identical in appearance and too
difficult and expensive to leg-band for satisfactory studies
of migration. A study at the research lab, now in final
stages of completion, has discovered that wood ducks
from northern populations, (New Jersey northward), have
certain blood parasites that southern wood ducks do not
have. The infection rate of northern ducks is high thereby
permitting a determination of origin to be made during
migration on the basis of a blood sample. From this tech-
nique, biologists expect to study migration of various
wood duck populations without conducting the expensive
banding studies that would otherwise be required.
A recent field investigation has revealed 96 separate
population centers of the pine barrens tree frog in the
Florida panhandle. This species was formerly thought to
be so rare that it was listed on the U.S. and Florida en-
dangered species lists. It will now be removed from the
lists based on this study.
In other research, special emphasis is being given to

furbearer ecology-especially bobcats and otters. Florida
bobcat pelts are selling at the highest prices ever and
some biologists are concerned about possible over-
harvest. The main focus is on learning how to measure
bobcat populations and detect signs of over-harvest
should it occur. Florida has the best otter populations in
the United States but the rate of harvest is not adequately
monitored. Like the bobcat, the otter's pelt is in great
Other research is designed to develop controlled hunt-
ing strategies for optimum yield feral hog hunting; a
clearinghouse and documentation procedure of Florida
panther reports; and alligator census methodology.

A quota hunt system was employed to establish a limit
on the number of hunters in Florida wildlife management
areas during the first nine days of the hunting season and
during special hunt periods.
During the 1978-79 hunting season, 68,650 quota hunt
permits were made available. Of this number, 56,661 were
issued. Quota hunt applications postmarked June 1
through October 30 were accepted and processed by the
Tallahassee quota hunt office. Beginning November 1,
11,989 permits were issued to persons who made applica-
tion through telephone calls or personal visits to the re-
gional offices.
The quota hunt system was redesigned during the
winter of 1978-79 in preparation for the following hunting
season. The format of the applications was simplified in
order to minimize misunderstandings on the part of the
applicant. New equipment was incorporated into a new
system of application processing to maximize efficiency in
the coming year. Correspondence and information dis-
bursement regarding future hunting on management
areas was handled in a systematic way so as to improve
hunter understanding.
Scrutiny of the 1978-79 comprehensive computer print-
out (listing the names and management area stamp num-
bers of those who received permits) led to the conclusion
that only 4% of the hunting public are senior citizens.
Senior citizens are not required to purchase hunting li-
censes or management permit stamps. Therefore, a policy
was adopted which discontinued the need for them to
apply for quota permits. This privilege was pleasantly re-
ceived by senior citizens who called to verify this newly
initiated practice.
Another policy change was made in the 1978-79 fiscal
year regarding the quota hunt. The Everglades manage-
ment area was omitted from the quota system (except for
those persons wishing to hunt with vehicles in Con-
servation Area 3). The previous year, a quota of 5,000 was
set for this area; however, pressure to hunt in this area
was proportionally low. These changes will be im-
plemented in the 1979-80 fiscal year. Suggestions from the
hunting public regarding improvement of the quota sys-
tem were received via mail, telephone and personal inter-
A publication entitled "Planning and Development of
Quota Systems to Manage Pressure on Hunt Areas" was
presented to present to the Southeastern Association of
Game and Fish Commissioners. A review by all 50 states
revealed a variety of methods of application, acceptance,
processing and permitting. Of the fifty states, 44 (88%)
indicated they had some type of quota or controlled hunt.
Fifty-seven percent had some problems with its execu-
Several surveys were conducted to determine hunter
pressure and success and sportsmen's attitudes. A joint

survey by the U.S. Forest Service and the Division of
Wildlife yielded interesting information on sportsmen's
attitudes concerning the still hunt portion of the Ocala
National Forest. Most were in favor of having an area set
aside for still hunting.
Another joint survey between Florida International
University and the Commission was designed to compare
attitudes of environmentalists and hunters. Mechanics of
mailing and questionnaire construction have been com-
pleted and the first mailing should go out early in the
1979-80 fiscal year.
Hunting licenses and permit sales were examined by
county for 1978-79. Hillsborough County was the highest
in both categories; Duval had the second highest sales.

Florida's Everglades never cease to attract people to
enjoy this disappearing wilderness. But, without a plan
for development, the rich habitat and wildlife resource
could be lost forever. It is to this task that the Everglades
Recreation staff concentrates its efforts. Their job is to
develop, operate and maintain the area for the use, en-
joyment, appreciation and learning by the public. This
can range from providing the law enforcement power to
protect the resource to planning and constructing of recre-
ational facilities in keeping with the heritage of the area.
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 re-
There was no progress this year on upgrading or ex-
panding of facilities because of a lack of appropriated
legislative funds for fixed capital outlay projects. An ex-
tensive and successful effort was made to secure fixed
capital outlay funds for the next fiscal year.

The unique Everglades ecosystem has been threatened
by the unchecked growth of nonnative plants. Research
continues on how to check the spread of such plants
without harming the habitat and resources of the Ever-
After nearly a decade of disappointing results in the
control of the exotic melaleuca tree which is rapidly dis-
placing native vegetation in the Everglades, there appears
to be significant progress in determining an effective
control method. Two chemicals, out of dozens tested,
were found to have positive results in controlling
melaleuca this year. Banzel 720, manufactured by the Vel-
sicol Corporation and Spike, Manufactured by the Ulanco
Corporation, show promising evidence of effectiveness.
During periods of drought, massive fires sweep
through the Everglades, destroying thousands of acres of
vegetation as well as animal life. One way to reduce the
number of wildfires each year has been through carefully
controlled burning of sawgrass during periods of ade-
quate moisture.
Everglades Recreation staff, working with the Florida
Division of Forestry, burned approximately 40,000 acres
in the Everglades area this year.
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 elevated islands in recent years and efforts
have been made to create artificial wildlife islands and to
enhance spoil banks created during canal construction
Due to a shortage of fixed capital funds, no construction
of additional deer islands was accomplished this year.
The Everglades Recreation staff is monitoring wading
bird populations relating to water conditions, primarily
fluctuations in water levels.
Work continued on monitoring wading bird popula-
tions in Conservation Area 3. Emphasis was placed this
year on gathering data concerning nesting success of the
great egret. Data gathered included egg clutch size, num-
bers hatched, mortality of chicks, growth rate of chicks,

and food habits. The study site, Andytown East Rookery,
contains great egrets by the thousands. Large populations
of herons and anhingas bring the total population of this
rookery to in excess of 10,000 birds.
A feral hog dispersal and habitat utilization study was
initiated to determine the feasibility of maintaining and
harvesting hogs on a sustained yield basis in the Ever-
Six feral hogs with radio telemetry transmitters were
released in Conservation Area 3 north of Alligator Alley.
These hogs were radio tracked using receivers and di-
rectional antennas to determine movement patterns, home
ranges and dispersal patterns. Dispersal of hogs as deter-
mined thus far is less than expected, generally less than
two miles from their release site. It is hoped that the study
will yield movement information and data on habitat
preference of the feral hog in the Everglades.


of a


I 1.. I.

Florida's unique and abundant heritage of wildlife and
freshwater aquatic life can be compared to a "birth-
right" that is held in trust for the people. It is the re-
sponsibility of the Division of Law Enforcement to safe-
guard this heritage so it may be wisely conserved in the
best interest of all Floridians. Resource protection is
accomplished through preventive patrol of woodlands,

rich heritage




Winston Churchill

lakes and rivers, and by apprehension and arrest of per-
sons violating conservation and environmental laws. Di-
vision personnel enforce laws dealing with hunting,
fishing and littering, as well as violations involving the
illegal sale, exhibition, possession and importation of
wild animals and freshwater fish. Other activities include
enforcement of endangered species laws, boating safety
regulations, maintenance of public order during natural
disasters and civil disorders and assisting other public
agencies. Certain landowners are afforded additional
preventive patrol in order to maintain over five million

acres of land open to public hunting and recreation. The
Division also has statewide responsibility as Search and
Rescue Coordinator under Florida's Disaster Preparedness
In order to enhance the professionalism of our law
enforcement personnel, several new enforcement "tools"
have been added this year. Wildlife "field guides" have
been distributed to aid officers in the detection and iden-
tification of endangered, threatened and nongame spe-
cies. In addition, a "warning ticket" was initiated to allow
officers greater latitude when dealing with certain minor
violations. A citizen Wildlife Complaint Form was de-
veloped to more closely monitor public input at Com-
mission's 24-hour manned radio dispatch centers. It is
noteworthy that of the 9,000 complaints received during
the 1978-79 fiscal year, one complaint out of every nine
resulted in arrests of wildlife violators. Realizing that in-
creased public cooperation is essential to effective wildlife
conservation, a new citizen reporting project called
"Wildlife Alert" will be initiated in October 1979. This
program is designed to offer anonymity as well as cash
rewards to individuals reporting wildlife crimes to the
Division. This program will offer the unique opportunity
for conservation-minded citizens to do something posi-
tive about wildlife violations.
To most Floridians, wildlife officers are the most visi-
ble symbol of conservation in action. From the mangrove
swamos of the Keys to the hardwood hammocks of the
Panhandle, Florida wildlife officers are there, patrolling
with watercraft, swamp buggies and "6-12" to protect our
fish and wildlife resources. This highly trained select
force is responsible for uniform patrol of our vast land and
water areas 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Although
primarily charged with the enforcement of wildlife and
environmental laws, Wildlife Officers on patrol offer a
substantial degree of general law enforcement protection
to citizens and landowners of rural and wilderness areas.
Although arrest statistics are not in themselves indica-
tive of the effectiveness of the Division, they do serve as a
guide to the amount of illegal activity encountered during
patrol. During the 1978-79 fiscal year, approximately 9,000
arrests were effected covering a diverse spectrum of vio-
lations. Although the majority of the cases were wildlife,
endangered species and environmentally related, also in-
cluded were arrests for cattle rustling, grand larceny, auto
theft, traffic, boating safety, trespass, arson, drugs and
attempted murder. Wildlife officers must devote an in-
creasing percentage of their time to the enforcement of
drug offenses which are encountered during wilderness
patrol activities. Large amounts of marijuana and nar-
cotics are frequently encountered on wildlife management
areas, especially in extreme south Florida. Wildlife offi-
cers also play the primary role in the enforcement of "non-
game" regulations protecting endangered and threatened
species. This includes special patrols for the protection of
sea bird rookeries and the manatee. Over twenty investi-
gations of manatee mortality were conducted by Wildlife
officers this year. The majority of manatee deaths were
due to collision with watercraft, however, several inci-
dents of deliberate shooting and butchering were en-
countered. Numerous freshwater river systems have
concentrations of sea cows and have recently been set
aside by the Florida Legislature as "manatee protection
areas." Boating traffic will be closely regulated during the
winter months in these areas and it is hoped that, through
strict enforcement of boating speeds, a significant reduc-
tion in manatee mortality will be realized.
Wildlife officers must be specially equipped in order to
penetrate millions of acres of nearly inaccessible wilder-

ness. Air boats, half-tracks, full-tracks, motorcycles,
fixed-winged aircraft, helicopters and four-wheel drive
vehicles must be used in routine patrol efforts.
Due to the passage of the much needed hunting and
fishing license increase by this year's Legislature,
conservation efforts will be markedly enhanced. The Divi-
sion obtained 34 additional Wildlife officer positions this
past year as well as several other specialized enforcement
personnel. Based on the standard of "one officer, per
county, per shift," the Division is now operating at
approximately 72% effectiveness. Wildlife enforcement
patrols in each county can now cover 17 hours and 28
minutes of every 24-hour period. The Division has a
four-year plan for implementing the goal of "one officer,
per county, per shift" which should provide funding for
the additional positions as needed. If funding is pro-
vided, citizens in each county will be afforded increased
response to their needs and our wildlife resources will
have the full measure of protection it deserves.
Wildlife Inspectors are specialized enforcement officers
charged with ensuring compliance with the myriad of
technical state and federal laws covering tht vast wildlife
trade and wild animal attractions. The Inspector's "beat"
includes airports, zoos, game farms, tropical fish farms
and other establishments where they represent the state's
"primary sentinels" against the illegal importation,
possession and release of potentially dangerous foreign
wildlife and fish.
Over 35 million specimens of wildlife and fish are im-
ported annually through the Miami and Tampa ports of
entry. Coupled with the additional 60 million ornamental
fish produced in Florida, the potential dangers in main-
taining Florida's environmental integrity are great. Each
year Wildlife Inspectors must seize thousands of illegally
imported tropical fishes and hundreds of wildlife spe-
cimens that are illegally taken or possessed.
The Wildlife Inspection Section issues permits and
works with over 1,000 major wildlife attractions and pri-
vate animal keepers in a cooperative effort to continually
upgrade the quality of life for captive wildlife. This year
Inspectors participated in the capture of numerous es-
caped zoo animals which threatened public safety. Also,
the section "inherited" temporary custody of 55 zoo ani-
mals confined under inhumane conditions at a wildlife
attraction in northeast Florida. The menagerie consisted of
lions, leopards, tigers, monkeys and assorted birds. In-
spectors, with the help of a local humane society, fed and
watered the animals for an extended period. The owner of
the animals allegedly abandoned them when the zoo was
closed due to a lack of funds. Most of the animals have
now been placed in suitable facilities.
Special emphasis is placed on the enforcement of en-
dangered and threatened species laws with over 1,000
man-hours being devoted to this effort during 1978-79.
The process called ouchterlony analysis, which was intro-
duced by an Inspector last year for identifying minute
samples of wildlife blood and tissue, has been used ex-
tensively this fiscal year. In over 60 cases where the test
has been used to positively identify meat of deer and
alligators, thus far a 100% conviction rate has been main-
The Wildlife Inspections program continues to play a
unique and vital role in the enforcement of wildlife laws
providing a substantial degree of protection to our native
fish and wildlife resources.
Although uniformed officers constitute the Division's
primary patrol force, two special units of plainclothes of-
ficers are also used to achieve greater effectiveness in deal-
ing with certain types of violations. These specialized

teams of officers make up the Regional Investigations Unit
and the Undercover Investigations Section. Investigators
play a vital role in modem wildlife law enforcement as they
provide capabilities for conducting lengthy and difficult
investigations. Florida was the first state in the Southeast
to implement a plainclothes enforcement program. Since
our first efforts several years ago, many of the South-
eastern states have now realized the benefits and flex-
ibility a program of this type offers.
Regional Investigators provide a valuable support func-
tion to Florida Wildlife Officers. By utilizing unmarked
vehicles and modem investigation techniques, they oper-
ate in much the same fashion as detectives in other law
enforcement agencies. Through specialized training and
the use of scientific methods and sophisticated equip-
ment, Investigators now have the capability of solving a
wide array of wildlife violations through the use of
fingerprints, plaster casting, electronic and photographic
surveillance, and ouchterlony analysis.
During the 1978-79 fiscal year, Regional Investigators
seized over five tons of illegal scale fish and hundreds of
feet of alligator hides. This specialized unit will continue
to play a major role in short-term investigations which
can best be handled by nonuniformed personnel.
Coping with organized market hunting and large-scale
commercialization by wildlife profiteers is a job for the
Statewide Undercover Program. This small group of
undercover officers has been responsible for "busting"
groups of profit-motivated wildlife violators in every re-
gion of the state. Local courts, prosecutors and sportsmen
have applauded the professional enforcement tactics of
this operation that continues to maintain an impressive
record of jury trial convictions.
Last year the Division of Law Enforcement was desig-
nated Statewide Coordinator of Search and Rescue Oper-
ations. Although local governments are generally able to
handle search and rescue operations of a limited nature,
emergency situations frequently require additional re-
sources. Because of the Division's unique capabilities in
regard to specialized land, water and air patrol equip-
ment, and personnel who are knowledgeable of wilder-
ness areas, it is especially suited to handle search and
rescue operations. The Division's role is to coordinate as-
sistance through other state agencies, local governments
and volunteer groups in order to provide the necessary
manpower and equipment appropriate to the search and
rescue situation.
During fiscal year 1978-79, the Division conducted over
50 missions in attempts to locate and rescue 82 persons.
These search and rescue missions were extremely diverse
and included such actions as searching for missing law-
men, overdue sports and commercial fisherman, lost
hunters, campers, hikers and canoeists, downed aircraft
and stranded sportsmen. The Division also coordinated
and assisted in the evacuations of hundreds of citizens in
the wake of gas explosions, train derailments, tornadoes
and flood waters. These operations involved thousands of
Wildlife Officer man-hours as well as coordination of
hundreds of local law enforcement personnel and volun-
teer groups. Future plans call for continued specialized
training in search and rescue techniques for Divison per-
sonnel and a designation of regional Coordinators to help
provide instantaneous response to emergency requests for
In order to provide aerial surveillance and patrol sup-
port for Wildlife Officers, the Division's Aviation Section
utilizes both fixed-winged aircraft and a helicopter.

Aircraft contributes significantly to efficiency of opera-
tions by supplementing officer patrol time and reducing
vehicle mileage. In addition to providing aerial support
and patrol for the uniformed force, aircraft are also vital to
search and rescue operations as well as wildlife and en-
vironmental surveys. Presently, the Aviation Section is
composed of five pilots utilizing one helicopter, one twin
engine aircraft and three single engine aircraft. Optimum
coverage requires at least one fixed-winged patrol aircraft
for each of the five regions, therefore, we will be working
toward this complement as funds become available. This
fiscal year, there were 223 aircraft flights conducted in
support of field law enforcement personnel.
Training is the foundation upon which professionalism
is built. The Division's Training Section provides the en-
tire Commission with program evaluation, curriculum
development, research seminars, workshops and publica-
tions. It is an integral part of an efficient and effective
organization, especially in the law enforcement field
where officers must be kept abreast of a constantly
changing society and its laws.
A total 32,400 man-hours were spent in seminars, work-
shops and recruit training this fiscal year. In-service
seminars were conducted for staff and central office per-
sonnel. Law enforcement bulletins and radio-dispatcher
training manuals were completed. A rigorous physical
conditioning and evaluation program was held for the
first time this year. Also, an extensive firearms training
program, which included night-fire techniques, was con-
ducted in each region of the state. Specialized training for
the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources Ranger
Corps was also developed and administered this year.
This is the second occasion the Division has been chosen
by Puerto Rico to train their wildlife law enforcement
personnel. The Division feels privileged to be selected for
administration of this training as it attests to the
effectiveness and desirability of programs delivered by
the Training Section.
Communications provide the "life line" for wildlife
officers patrolling Florida's vast wilderness areas. The
Division's Communications Section provides the entire
Commission with telephone, teletype and two-way radio
communications vital to efficiency and safety. The system
operates around the clock with dispatchers available to
handle incoming toll-free WATS lines as citizens report
wildlife-related problems and violations. Complaints and
other information are promptly relayed by radio to wild-
life officers in the field.
A $1,025,000 appropriation from the 1978 Legislature
enabled the Division to replace and update its radio
equipment which was 20-25 years old. The new system
included over 500 mobile radio units, 27 mobile relay sta-
tions and nine dispatch centers. Additional radio chan-
nels and an advanced tone system was added in order to
afford instant communication to wildlife officers patrol-
ling Florida's isolated woods and waters. Also installed
was a channel at each dispatch center on the police fre-
quency in order for dispatchers to communicate directly
with other law enforcement agencies. This new communi-
cations system, second to none in the State of Florida,
offers wildlife officers as well as all Commission person-
nel a much greater margin of safety and efficiency than
was possible under the old system.
The Communications Section is presently staffed by 56
dispatchers, eight technicians and a Communication

THE KEY to quality wildlife is quality habitat

As the energy crisis continues, causing more and more
people to migrate to the "Sun Belt," Florida is ex-
periencing a continued high growth rate and increasing
pressure on its natural systems. Inherent in this inevitable
growth is the challenge of protecting our valuable fish and
wildlife resources while accommodating new develop-
ment, for there can not be self-sustaining fish and wildlife
populations without quality habitat. The Commission's
Office of Environmental Services faces this challenge by
reviewing development proposals with a view toward re-
ducing unnecessary impacts to habitat, participates in
state and federal environmental regulatory and planning
processes, and conducts research on specific problem
areas. Only by incorporating habitat considerations into
development planning can impacts to fish and wildlife
resources be avoided or mitigated and our fish and wild-
life heritage be preserved.
The Office of Environmental Services reviews projects
requiring dredge and fill permits from the Florida De-
partment of Environmental Regulation and the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, Federally funded projects through the
A-95 Clearinghouse, and development approval through
the Development of Regional Impact review process.
These reviews, which often require field inspections of
project sites, are intended to assess the impacts of pro-
posed projects on fish and wildlife habitat so we can
recommend that projects destructive to fish and wildlife
resources be redesigned to be less so.
Under this program approximately 1,400 dredge and fill
applications, 302 A-95 Clearinghouse projects, and 45
Public Works projects were reviewed this year. The num-
ber of dredge and fill applications and A-95 projects was
not significantly different from last year. This year there
was a one-fourth reduction in Public Works projects re-
ceived. Habitat assessments were conducted on several
Development of Regional Impact Applications for new
phosphate mines in central Florida and recommendations
were provided aimed at mitigating wildlife habitat losses.
The Office of Environmental Services increased its in-
volvement in assessing the impacts of 201 Wastewater
Facility Plans and submitted reports on the expected im-
pacts to fisheries resources. Two in particular, the Green
Cove Springs 201 Plan and the Indian River County 201
Plan, required extensive work and coordination with
other agencies and individuals in order to document our
concerns. Both of these projects required the contribution
of technical assistance in addition to the habitat assess-
ments, illustrating the overlap that exists between our
habitat assessment and technical assistance programs.
Personnel attended seminars on the Habitat Evaluation
Procedures (HEP) that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
is developing to compare fish and wildlife habitat values
of sites of proposed development with those values
following completion of the project. Planning was in-
itiated to utilize HEP in the evaluation of alternatives for
the restoration of the Kissimmee River.
This program was initiated in the belief that tomorrow's
problems can best be avoided through proper planning
today. The Office of Environmental Services works with
developers and land planners to incorporate fish and

wildlife considerations into development or land
management plans before they become finalized so that
impacts to wildlife populations in the future are pre-
vented. Technical assistance is provided to other state
agencies, developers, consultants, regional planning
councils, county commissions, water management dis-
tricts, zoning boards, and others concerning such topics
as the impact of certain land uses on wildlife, techniques
to mitigate habitat losses, or project designs which would
avoid or minimize adverse effects on fish and wildlife
resources. Environmental Services also represents the
Commission on or participates in a number of decision-
making or land use advisory bodies such as the Phosphate
Land Use Advisory Committee which helps decide how
lands mined for phosphate prior to 1975 will be reclaimed.
Activities in this program were expanded in several
areas this year such as power plant siting, phosphate
reclamation, and 201 Wastewater Facilities planning.
Technical assistance for reducing the impacts of power
plant siting and operation was provided to the Seminole
Electric Cooperative, Orlando Utilities Commission,
Tampa Electric Company, Florida Power Corporation, and
Florida Power and Light Company. In the area of phos-
phate reclamation, Environmental Services represented
the Commission on the Reclamation Advisory Committee
and worked directly with individual phosphate com-
panies to provide fish and wildlife input to reclamation
plans. Several consultants and local governments received
fish and wildlife related assistance in formulating their
201 Wastewater Facilities Plans including Indian River
County, where Environmental Services personnel de-
veloped a disposal plan in which wastewaters would be
discharged to a system of previously impounded man-
grove wetlands rather than directly into the Indian River.
Other activities included providing input to the Regula-
tory Task Force, Indian River County Technical Advisory
Committee, 208 Technical Advisory Committee for Min-
ing, Power Plant Siting Task Force, Apalachicola Com-
mittee, Kissimmee Coordinating Council Technical Ad-
visory Committee, ITT Palm Coast Comprehensive Land
Use Plan, and the Florida Forest Resources Plan.
As the Commission has become more active in pro-
viding technical assistance, there has arisen a need for
up-to-date research information in several areas. This
program answers this need by providing for research on
particular environmental problems where adequate
information is lacking, and applying this information in
restoring, protecting and managing lands for increased
fish and wildlife habitat value.
All three research projects that were initiated last year
were continued and expanded this year. A cooperative
agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was

SUSTAINED." Charles A. Lindbergh

signed for a three-year study to determine methods of
creating wetland habitat in conjunction with the restora-
tion of lands mined for phosphate. We are also studying
plant succession and wildlife utilization of phosphate
waste clay settling ponds. Using existing literature
sources, the vegetative profiles, successional stages, and
the relative wildlife habitat value of central Florida wet-
land types were determined. Working with the Inter-
national Minerals and Chemical Corporation, we de-
signed and supervised the reclamation of an old 55-acre
mine site to a wetland test site where over 13,000 tree
seedlings and freshwater marsh plants were planted in
test plots. Monitoring activities include documentation of
surface and subsurface hydrology, survival and growth of
plantings, natural plant succession, water quality, soil
chemistry and wildlife utilization.
The Kissimmee Basin Wetlands Investigation Section
continued with its study of the fish and wildlife aspects
of restoring the Kissimmee River. Surveys were con-
ducted on alligator populations and nesting; fish popula-
tions in the Kissimmee River; fishing pressure, success,


Providing the public with the means to better under-
stand and appreciate our wildlife and natural resource
heritage is the main emphasis of the information arm of
the Commission. And the personnel of the Office of In-
formational Services are up to the challenges presented by
the changing world. Avenues to achieve this goal are as
diverse as the needs of the public. Specific programs of
this office include Florida Wildlife magazine, hunter edu-
cation, the Wildlife Reserve, endangered species educa-
tion and the traditional means of dissemination of in-
formation, to the print and electronic media and public
speaking appearances. New and exciting things are
happening in the communications field and the Office of
Informational Services is growing and adapting for the
future. Added to the list of activities of this area of the
Commission during the past year was the role of legis-
lative coordination.
Keeping the citizens informed as to the myriad of
hunting and fishing regulations and information is a task
for which there never seems to be enough hours in the
day. Utilizing all available media in an effective, or-
ganized manner is one of the primary goals at both the
regional and statewide level. And honing and refining
skills to utilize the media is an ongoing project.
Providing good, accurate information to all publics
takes a combined effort. Establishing viable contacts with
representatives of the media has remained an important
part of this program, both for the print and electronic
Use of the recording studio in the Tallahassee office to
produce public service announcements facilitated the job
of the regional education officers who provided local radio
stations with information to be distributed to the listen-
ing audience. In two regions, regular, short radio pro-

and harvest; selected birds of the Kissimmee Basin; and
duck and coot usage of the Kissimmee River Basin and
northwest Lake Okeechobee. Other work included studies
of marsh vegetation, water level fluctuation on the Kis-
simmee River floodplain, and fish and wildlife popula-
tions and habitat parameters on upland detention/re-
tention sites.
The Office of Environmental Services completed a fish
and wildlife management plan for the Lower Apalachicola
Environmentally Endangered Lands tract and submitted it
to the Department of Natural Resources, the agency re-
sponsible for the overall management of this land.
Restoration of a portion of this area that was impacted by
an unauthorized drainage project was initiated by plug-
ging canals and breaching dikes in this marsh area. A
study of vegetative communities and fish and wildlife
values of selected Corps of Engineers spoil sites along the
Apalachicola River was conducted, through a contract
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to gather in-
formation on the impacts of ongoing navigation main-
tenance activities.


grams hosted by regional education officers were estab-
lished and in one region, the education officer had a brief
spot on the local television news program each week. Ex-
ploratory work was also begun on production of public
service announcements for television, to be done in con-
junction with local stations.
The print media continued to be one of the most effec-
tive tools of the trade with more than 300 releases dis-
tributed to an ever-increasing audience. Educational.
brochures were also produced for distribution and the
methods of producing same were streamlined. In-
formation requests from the state as well as across the
nation ran upwards of 29,000.
Grassroot contacts were not forgotten as the regional
education officers and other OIS employees maintained
contact with sportsmen and conservation clubs through
public speaking engagements and attendance at meetings.
It is not unusual to see between 16 and 20 speaking
engagements presented each month. But the general pub-
lic is not neglected as the education officers speak to
school, civic and church organizations at every oppor-
tunity. Additionally, a great number of resource users and
potential users are reached through the fair exhibits, such
as the Florida State Fair in Tampa where hundreds of
thousands of persons passed through the Commission ex-
Refining of the skills needed to keep up with the
changing communications field is a continuing project.
This year several working seminars were conducted for
education officers, bringing in respected members of the
print and electronic media to assist in development of
new skills and refinement of old.

The intent and purpose of publication of Florida Wildlife
is to bring a new understanding and appreciation of all

outdoors to its readers and keep them appraised of news-
worthy events and activities pertaining to the resource.
Additionally, this section is responsible for the publica-
tion of the majority of informational material from the
Three major subscription promotions were conducted
this year, one utilizing a signed print as a premium and
the other two involving Mastercharge. The first offered a
print by Okeechobee artist Robert Butler as a premium for
any new three-year subscription. The other involved
sending selected credit card holders information on the
publication and enabled them to charge a subscription to
their account. The efforts helped the magazine gain some
ground in its circulation figures at a time when most
major publications were having problems even main-
taining theirs.
The amount of printing done by this section has
dramatically increased above any anticipated level, re-
sulting in a logjam of printing orders. A new printing
priority system was developed and a centralized time
schedule put into operation which greatly facilitated
printing orders. In addition, the services of an OPS
printer were obtained for critical periods with the print
shop operation now generally running smoothly.

on fishing-






Abraham Lincoln

Circulation cash receipts for July 1978 through June 1979
were $109,015.34 based on approximately 25,000 sub-
scriptions. Not included in these revenue figures is $2,394
from the Hunter Education program for subscriptions for
the volunteer instructors. The revenues are up slightly
from 1977-78, despite the downturn in the economy.
One picture is worth only a thousand words, but if you
explain what the picture means, it tells a story-the Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission story. One of the main
goals of the Audio Visual section is to put forth the Com-
mission's activities and goals to the public in an under-
standable format.
A major milestone was achieved this fiscal year with the
installation of a recording studio for use in slide pre-
sentations and production of tapes for radio, television
and special exhibits. The addition of the studio was a
major step towards achieving a large amount of broadcast
time this year.
Between July 1, 1978 and June 30, 1979 the Tallahassee
OIS office was able to write, produce and distribute 30
different 30-second radio announcements. The current
mailing list for distribution is cose to 100 stations across

the state. Subjects included hunting regulations, fishing
opportunities, hunter education, Florida Wildlife
magazine, wildlife reserve, National Wildlife Week and
the youth conservation camps. Additionally, six local tele-
vision interviews were coordinated by the Tallahassee of-
On a regional basis, the education officers have made
great progress utilizing public service announcements
made by the Tallahassee OIS staff. PSAs have been cut
for such localized events as the North Florida Fair, the
Florida State Fair and the Choctawhatchee Gar Rodeo.
To assist the regional staff in the increasing use of the
electronic media, this section was involved in training
seminars for education officers, hunter education officers
and reserve coordinators. Additionally, local repre-
sentatives of the broadcast industry were brought in to
assist the field personnel in understanding how to deal
with this new and growing media.
Utilizing volunteers from across the state, the Hunter
Education program is dedicated to making hunting a safer
sport. The 14-hour course taught free of charge teaches the
responsibilities of gun ownership for the nonhunter as
well as the hunter.
Certification from the course is accepted by all 28 states
which require some form of hunter education certification
prior to the purchase of a hunting license.
Increase in student participation over that in 1977-78 far
exceeded anticipation. During 1977-78, 5,050 students
participated. The goal for 1978-79 was to top that by some
50%. This was exceeded by more than 85% with 9,430
students taking part in the program.
School participation also more than doubled with 35
now offering the course to students. Reaching the state's
young people is one of the program's top priorities and
will continue to be a major item for the upcoming year.
Volunteer instructors now total more than 530 from all
walks of life. The program is actively supported in each
region by such groups as the Future Farmers of America,
4-H, scouts and civic and sportsmen clubs.
An active program of instructor relations was initiated
this year resulting in the addition of accident insurance,
mileage reimbursement, Florida Wildlife subscriptions,
statewide meetings and new instructor patches and de-
cals. More teaching aids were purchased for volunteer use
including 70 movies, 100 slide series and 25 demonstra-
tion guns. All these activities helped to solidify instructor
ties to the Commission.
Regular promotion of the program continues utilizing
all available media from posters to news releases to radio
announcements. Other means of getting the message out
are the displays at local malls, sport shows and national
hunting and fishing day promotions. A free BB gun
range, as part of the hunter education booth at the Florida
State Fair in Tampa, attracted thousands.
In a world where children often grow up isolated from
the natural world, the two youth conservation camps have
been dedicated to changing that situation. Each summer
youngsters 8 to 14 years of age flock to the camps to take
part in exploring Florida's woods and waters and dis-
covering man's role in the natural order of things.
Both camps experienced major jumps in attendance this
year. There were 1,049 campers registered at Ocala and
880 at Everglades. This can be attributed primarily to a
major promotional campaign conducted statewide.

The Young Adult Conservation Corps programs carried
out at both facilities benefited the physical facilities tre-
mendously as badly needed repairs were performed at
federal expense. The YACC program conducted at the
Ocala camp has been rated by the federal government as
the best program in the state. Some of the improvements
included new sidewalks, renovated cabins, a new archery
range and animal compound. The Ocala project will carry
on in the next fiscal year.
Recognizing the need to involve more citizens in con-
servation activities, the Commission organized the Wild-
life Reserve more than 11 years ago. These men and
women donate their time and talents to assist in a wide
range of Commission activities.
This year has seen some long-awaited expansions in the
Wildlife Reserve with the program now in the Central,
Everglades and Northwest regions, and the passage of a
bill which would provide funding for expansion next year
into the two remaining regions.
Reserve forces now total close to 125 statewide as the
two newest regions begin the task of building up the vol-
unteer cadre. The past year has been one of real growth
with 14,209 man-hours logged, an increase of some 490
hours over the previous year. Activities include such
duties as check station operation, radio operation, law
enforcement assistance, creel surveys and OIS duties. The
reservists also assist fisheries and wildlife in many bio-
logical gathering efforts. Due to the planning efforts in the
two newest regions, not as many hours were logged there
as the programs gear up to operate in the tradition estab-
lished by the Central Region.
Concern for endangered and threatened species has re-
sulted in a need for more information on the plight of
these animals in a format which can reach all ages.
Utilizing songs, slides and narration, this one-man sec-
tion has carried the tale not only across the state, but
throughout the Southeast as well.
Appearances on nationally syndicated television
through the wildlife series "Sports Afield," have provided
broad public insight in Florida's endangered species
problems. Anticipated viewing audience of two segments,
on the dusky seaside sparrow and the other on the south-
ern bald eagle, is expected to reach the 20 million mark.
Work also began on an endangered species educational
extension program funded by a federal grant for use by
Florida's 4-H clubs. The project, which includes a cassette
tape and slide program, will be distributed to each county
by the agricultural extension office.
A 30-minute video-taped program has received the en-
dorsement of the Department of Education and is now
available to all public schools. Additionally, the program
has been presented live and on tape through numerous
television stations, stage performances and radio to
thousands of young people, conservation groups and the
general public. National Wildlife Week saw performances
conducted around the Great Seal in the Capitol with the
Governor and various Cabinet members in attendance.

Compiled and Edited
By Trisha Spillan





Panama City
Lake City
West Palm Beach




o. Q0o S,


This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of $617, or $0.617
per copy, to provide the public with information on Commission activities.