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Annual report - Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075971/00016
 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: 1988
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: UF00075971:00016
 Related Items
Preceded by: Report - Florida, Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

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This donated boat, a specially modified 24-foot Aronow catamaran, has been on display and active patrol statewide.



1988-89 ANNUAL REPORT

Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission


Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION ..................................... 2
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR................ ............... 3
DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ....... 4
DIVISION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT............... 7
DIVISION OF WILDLIFE ............................ 'I
DIVISION OF FISHERIES .............................22
OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES ........ 28
OFFICE OF INFORMATIONAL SERVICES.........32







This publication was produced at an annual cost of $5,855.42, or $2.93 per copy,
to provide annual report information to the public about the Florida Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission



This agency and the Department of Interior prohibit discrimination by race, color,
nationality, age, sex or handicap. If you believe you have been discriminated against in
any program, activity or facility of this agency, write to: Florida Game and Fresh Water
Fish Commission, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee FL 32399-z600 or to:
Office for Human Relations, USFWS, Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.
20240

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Progress:


Data Processing
System Support The Office of Information Resource
Management (OIRM) was created to support all
Commission personnel in the use of technology and
information management systems. The Commission's
reliance on and sophistication with, all computer and
records technology has continued to grow, increasing the
need for continued support and training.
This year the OIRM continued an aggressive
microcomputer training schedule. More than 150
Commission personnel attended 21 classes. In addition to
the microcomputer classes, the Commission's records
analyst held 14 classes throughout the state. The records
training is now complete, and all offices in the agency are
using the same record filing and retention systems.
Major computer programming efforts were aimed at
converting older mainframe-based computer systems to less
expensive microcomputer-based systems. Systems for the
Property Office, Office of Informational Services,
Personnel Office, Accounting and Budgeting Office and
others were converted. These conversion tasks were
undertaken to help improve administrative support
capabilities, while keeping costs constant. In most cases,
costs were lowered and the same or better service provided.
The OIRM also installed a local area computer network
which now links all divisions within the Tallahassee office.
During the next fiscal year, the network will be used to
expedite administrative support tasks.

Personnel The Personnel Office provides support
services for employment, recruitment, equal employment
opportunity/affirmative action, pay administration,
classification, training, insurance, leave maintenance,
recruitment processing, disciplinary and promotional
coordination, counseling, union contract administration
and serves as a conduit between employees and managers.
A report on employees' performance, reflecting
employee trends, has been developed and produced.
Optional and mandatory training programs for supervisory
personnel are being developed. The personal computer
Employee Information System has been expanded to assist
divisions in their personnel management.

Office Operations The functions of the Bureau of
Office Operations include running the Property Office,
Office Services (mail room, supply room, print shop and
building maintenance) and the Purchasing Office. This
bureau also administers the motor pool, security and
custodial contracts for the Tallahassee office. The bureau
chief acts as coordinator for interagency programs such as
energy and safety.
The Purchasing Office completed the conversion of the
Commission's state-wide automated purchasing system by
networking with all regional offices.
The Property Office held an experimental public auction
for its surplus firearms. This method resulted in fewer
man/hours expended for approximately the same amount
of revenue generated in prior sealed-bid sales. The Property
Office also converted its entire property records from a
host mainframe computer to its own in-house
microcomputer system.

Accounting The Accounting Section has the
responsibility of recording and maintaining documentation


of all revenue and disbursement activities of the
Commission. General revenue funding is the largest single
revenue source and is used primarily for law enforcement
operations. Funds from hunting and fishing licenses, permit
and stamp sales, federal program cost reimbursements and
miscellaneous revenue sources also are used to finance
Commission operations. Salaries are the largest single item
in the expenditure budget, followed by expenses of
operations and costs of purchasing equipment.

GENERAL OPERATING FUNDS*
FINANCIAL STATEMENT
(preliminary totals)
July 1, 1988 -June 30, 1989
Available Fund BalanceJuly 1, 1988 $ 3,404,896
Revenue Received
General Revenue Fund (Operations) 19,038,886
Licenses and Stamps 12,654,694
Intergovernmental Revenue 7,374,176
Other Revenue 1,748,783
Reversions 97,825
Total Funds Available $44,319,260


Expenditures and Commitments
Law Enforcement $17,451,872
Wildlife Management 7,170,433
Fisheries Management 7,143,655
Administration 3,938,766
Informational Services 1,994,496
Environmental Services 749,888
Fixed Capital Outlay Appropriations 159,151
Non-operating Transfers 899,429
Total Expenditures and Commitments $39,507,690


Available Fund Balance
June 30, 1989


$ 4,811,570


* General Revenue Fund and State Game Trust
Fund

NONGAME WILDLIFE TRUST FUND
FINANCIAL STATEMENT
(preliminary totals)
July 1, 1988 -June 30, 1989
Available Fund BalanceJuly 1, 1988 $ 2,470,938
Revenue Received
Fees and Contributions 2,821,948
Interest 246,735
Other Revenue 178,584
Reversions 197,787
Total Funds Available $ 5,915,992


Expenditures and Commitments
Wildlife Management
Informational Services
Environmental Services
Administrative
Fixed Capital Outlay Appropriations
Non-operating Transfers
Total Expenditures and Commitments
Available Fund Balance
June 30, 1989


$ 2,244,553
268,538
599,373
54,659
24,800
144,998
$3,336,921

$2,579,071


Accounting information is produced to assist
Commission management personnel in monitoring financial
activity and controlling the operating budget, while
financial records are maintained on a fund-accounting
basis. In a separate fund, the Nongame Wildlife Program is
financed by new residents' auto tag fees and by donations.
This agency also maintains restricted trust funds to pay
rewards for the arrests and convictions of endangered and
threatened species law violators and to finance the
acquisition of land for wildlife habitat.
















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The Division of Law Enforcement is charged with
protecting fish and wildlife resources on the state's 37
million acres of land and fresh water. Protection is
accomplished through preventive patrols of urban, rwux;
and wildemeu lands and freshwater areas and by
arrests of persons violating conserwarion and
environmental laws. The division's responsibilities
include enforcement of fishing, hunting and littering
lawr regulation of the commercial wildlife trade;
enforcement of boating safety regulations, endanger.
species laws, and environmental laws -including
pollution, chemical dumping and dredge and fill
Maintenance of public order during natural
disturbances and civil emergencies; and assisting loo.
and state law enforcement agencies.
i The division's uniformed patrol of type I and ypmai ,
m'gemnentKawe- and.fishmnagemet.


ia^ ( lug,.bird watching, hiking and pliniidng ra
some of the activities enjoyed on these lands by
SFtoridiansand tourists. Environmentally endangered
Snare patrolled to protect the state's mast dli
Silnerable flora and fauna. The division -also ausisii
.oathepublic agencies concerned with conseruationipu B
Ste enforcement of Florida's environmental las.
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Progress:


Wildlife Inspections Wildlife inspectors are responsible
for the regulation of Florida's wildlife trade. Inspectors
monitor zoos, game farms, tropical fish farms, wildlife
importers, alligator farms, venomous reptile dealers,
personal pet owners, pet shops, private hunting preserves
and falconers to ensure compliance with state and federal
laws.
This fiscal year, 4,654 inspections of commercial and
private establishments were conducted (a 25-percent
increase over last year). Inspections included 382 wildlife
exhibits, 481 pet shops and 548 personal pet owners.
More than 5,200 illegally possessed and/or imported
freshwater fish and wildlife were seized. Approximately
4,500 of these were illegally imported restricted fish.
Cougars accounted for 29 of the seizures.
In order to help protect the wild alligator population
from illegal capture and sale, commercial alligator exhibits
and farms are inventoried annually. This year inspectors
submitted a total inventory of 75,000 alligators in captivity
(a 36-percent increase over last year).
Inspectors investigated 510 wildlife-related complaints
and issued 519 arrests and warnings. This represents a 25-
percent increase in illegal activity encountered over the last
fiscal year.
As a result of an airport inspection of fish exporters,
more than a ton of live protected coral was seized by
wildlife inspectors. Subsequent investigation suggested that
numerous tons of protected live coral attached to
unprotected live rocks were being exported illegally each
year. Because of the information obtained as a result of the
initial inspection, the Department of Natural Resources was
instrumental this year in getting legislation passed that
makes it illegal to possess live rocks within the boundaries
of state waters.

Communications This section provides the lifeline for
wildlife officers patrolling Florida's wilderness areas and
provides Commission personnel with teletype and two-way
radio communications. The system operates 24 hours a day
with duty officers available to handle incoming toll-free
telephone calls as citizens report violations and wildlife-
related problems.
Further improvement of the communications system
resulted when permission was granted this fiscal year to use
a 600-foot tower in Collier County. Wildlife officers now
have a more reliable radio message link in southwest
Florida.
This section is actively participating in the planning of a
multi-agency 800 MHz trunked radio system. This
statewide system, which will ultimately serve all state law
enforcement agencies, is a complicated and sophisticated
endeavor. Work associated with the first phase of this
project is slated for Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.
Along with new system planning and special projects,
present communications equipment must be kept in top
operating condition. To accomplish this, 11 technicians
maintain 3,600 items of equipment. This responsibility
required more than 3,000 repair services and 379 new
equipment installations this year.

Aviation Aviation support is vital to the protection of
fish and wildlife resources. Airborne law enforcement
coverage of rural and wilderness areas provides patrol,
surveillance, and search and rescue capabilities.


The ability of aircraft to cover a vast area in a short time,
maintain constant contact with ground law enforcement.
units, and direct officers to problem areas via the most
expedient route, greatly increases the effectiveness of
conservation patrol. This year pilots participated in
checking 20,138 wildlife resource users and assisted in 517
arrests and 463 warnings and logged 3,580 hours of total
flight time.
This section also assisted the wildlife and fisheries
divisions and the Office of Environmental Services in
conducting studies and surveys. Data collection on
endangered and threatened species was enhanced through
aerial tracking of Florida panthers and black bears.
Population studies of bald eagles, sandhill cranes, and
colonial nesting birds were conducted. The Aviation
Section assisted the Office of Environmental Services in the
LANDSAT Satellite Mapping Project.
Commission aircraft were also used to support domestic
marijuana eradication and search-and-rescue missions for
lost or overdue outdoor users.
Other special details in which the aircraft were used this
fiscal year included Operation SWAMP, Operation
GATOR and Operation SAFEHUNT.
The Aviation Section is composed of eight full-time
pilots operating a total of eight aircraft, including four
Cessna 172s, one Cessna 182, two Bell JetRanger III
helicopters and a Piper twin-engine Aerostar. Pilots are
available during any 24-hour period, scheduled according
to seasonal needs.

Training and Records This bureau is responsible for
basic recruit, in-service law enforcement, and in-service
support training for the Division of Law Enforcement. It
also is charged with the recruitment and final selection of
wildlife officer candidates, as well as the storage, retrieval
and analysis of all of the division's records, correspondence
and files.
Two additional "First Responder" instructors were
added to the emergency medical response instructing team
and 20 new First Responders completed the 50-hour First
Responder to Medical Emergencies course. This agency
now has a total of 81 First Responders. In FY 88-89
Commission responders reacted to 65 emergencies and
rendered emergency trauma care to 89 victims. One-third
of the responses involved individuals who were enjoying
the outdoors or were in a recreational setting when they
required emergency care. If it were not for the immediate
response and emergency trauma care administered by these
First Responders, five of the victims could have died from
their injuries.
A thorough revamping of the firearms policies and
procedures, as well as new use of deadly force techniques,
was developed for the wildlife officers. Training took place
in the regions using the regional training officers.
The end of this fiscal year marked the first four-year
period during which each full-time officer and part-time
and auxiliary reservist had to complete 40 hours of
mandatory training. The division's annual firearms and PR-
24 training was approved by the Criminal Justice Standards
and Training Commission as mandatory retraining, as were
other very specialized courses such as the Officer's Bill of
Rights course.
Two Boating Fatality Investigator Schools were
conducted. This agency now has 51 specially trained and
equipped officers who can be dispatched to the scene of an
accident to investigate thoroughly all boating accidents and











First Responders,
like these
participating in a
training exercise,
reacted to 65
emergencies and
rendered
emergency trauma
care to 89 victims.


possibly pursue criminal charges against contributing
parties.
With the establishment of a Boating Safety Section this
year, a program to combine safety enforcement, public
awareness and education was begun.
The 1988-89 boating safety program began with the
unveiling of the high-tech, safety powerboat at the Miami
Boat Show. This vessel, which was donated to the
Commission, is a 24-foot Aronow catamaran with two
specially modified, 300-horsepower, Johnson V-8 engines.
The craft is equipped with programmable radios,
navigational radar, LORAN, hand-held radar speed gun,
two blue strobe lights, two remote control dual-element
spotlights and a 200-watt electronic siren and public
address system. The boat has been on display and active
patrol statewide and has attracted thousands of people who
are rarely exposed to boating safety information.
Topics emphasized in the boating safety program were:
the instability of small boats, the hazards of certain weather
conditions, the value of float plans, the dangers of
hypothermia and alcohol, and the importance of wearing
life jackets.
Four television and two radio public service
announcements about boating safety were released. A float
plan was developed and distributed which, when properly
completed, will speed up rescues and save time and lives.
With the cooperation of the Office of Informational
Services, a high-impact safety poster was produced and
distributed statewide.
Wildlife officers and reservists were strategically
stationed throughout the state to conduct boating
inspections. All boats that meet all safety inspection
requirements are issued a safety check decal that can be
affixed to the boat.
The Officer Computerized Activity Reporting System
became operational this year. This system allows the
tracking of human resource utilization as it relates to
region, area of concern, mode of operation, type of activity,
and date of activity.


The division's computerized internal budget tracking
system was implemented. For the first time in the division's
history, "Expense" and "Operations/Maintenance"
budgets were allocated to region/section levels in the
division.
The Operational Cost System Conversion from the
AMIC Data Center was made. This conversion was made
to streamline the system and comply with the Department
of General Services' reporting requirements.
Preliminary testing began using high-speed modems to
allow the regional offices to communicate with
headquarters. Concurrent with the modem installations in
the regional offices, the computers are being upgraded to a
larger memory capacity.

Wildlife Reserve Members of the Wildlife Reserve
Program donated a total of 51,439 hours -the equivalent
of 24.7 full-time employees to all divisions of the
Commission in FY 88-89. Reserve activities increased this
year with the new boating safety inspections program.
Reservists continued to donate their time to help with
various management area activities, as well as wildlife and
fisheries research projects.

Uniformed Wildlife Officer
Law Enforcement Patrol The role of the wildlife officer
is changing more law enforcement efforts are being
directed toward environmental crimes, boat-related theft
and boating safety.
The Sportfish, Watersports and Alcohol Monitoring
Program (SWAMP) proved to be a valuable tool in
spreading the boating safety message to the public. Due to
its success last year, SWAMP II was instituted and boating
safety efforts were intensified.
The number of water resource users grew this year as
registered boats increased from 650,000 to 700,000. The
presence of more outdoor enthusiasts using the state's
waterways had a significant impact on the number of
boating accidents, injuries and deaths. In 1988 there were











In 1988 there were
I,23o boating
acddents, most
involving boats
smaller than 16
feet in length.


1,230 boating accidents in Florida, resulting in 584 injuries
and 94 deaths a boating fatality rate of 13.9 per 100,000
boats. Most boating deaths were due to boats capsizing or
the victims falling overboard. Most accidents occurred in
small boats, less than 16 feet in length. More than 50
percent of the fatal accident victims were impaired by
alcohol and 90 percent were not wearing life vests. While
conducting boating safety patrol and protecting the
fisheries resources, wildlife officers issued 6,644 citations
and 7,838 warnings for boating-related offenses.
Another primary area of enforcement effort was for
environmental crimes. While on routine patrol, wildlife
officers encountered pollution, misuse of pesticides, illicit
dumping of car batteries, motor oil, tires, and building
materials, illegal disposal of hazardous waste, and other
serious environmental crimes.
During the first six months of 1989, officers devoted
8,136 hours to environmental law enforcement activities.
Specifically, officers made 764 environmental arrests
during this fiscal year 492 of those arrests were made
from January to June. Twenty-three of the environmental
cases made since January were felonies.
From January through June 1989, the division devoted
nearly 5,000 hours to protection of endangered or
threatened species. The division has numerous proactive
programs that target endangered species activities. One
such program is protecting the Florida panther by enforcing
speed laws in "panther speed zones" on Alligator Alley.
Wildlife officers have made more than 2,000 arrests since
the program began in 1985. Officers work the panther
speed zones during nighttime and early morning hours
when panthers are most likely to be crossing this remote
but heavily traveled highway. The division also aggressively
protects the manatee throughout Florida.
Another program includes protection of the endangered
Key deer in Monroe County in coordination with the
Monroe County Sheriffs Office and animal control. The
Key deer suffer losses through highway fatalities, killing by
stray dogs, and unlawful hunting.
The division made 270 other arrests concerning
endangered and threatened species this fiscal year. These
cases involved the illegal taking of bear, alligators,
endangered and threatened fish, reptiles and other species.
Several different types of equipment were tested and
evaluated. After an extensive evaluation process, the
Smith and Wesson, Model 5906, 9mm semi-automatic
pistol was selected and issued as the duty weapon. Wildlife


officers were given the option of staying with the Smith and
Wesson, Model 686, .357 magnum revolver or converting
to the semi-automatic. Light bars and diesel-powered
vehicles were tested also. More sedans were added to the
patrol fleet. The search continues for the ultimate patrol
boat to replace the myriad of vessels now in service.
In total, wildlife officers responded to 7,943 complaints,
issued 12,627 warnings and made 22,553 arrests, for a
total of 35,180 violations. Wildlife officers worked more
than 500,000 hours this year and checked 535,475
outdoor users.

Investigations This section has 15 full-time investigators
located throughout the state. Additionally, wildlife officers
are assigned on a temporary basis to assist in overt and
covert operations when needed.
Investigators target illegal wildlife commercialization and
work in a plainclothes capacity to infiltrate and apprehend
violators. Investigators also work closely with uniformed
officers in overt investigations of a time-consuming nature.
Investigations were conducted this year concerning the
illegal taking of alligators, deer, gamefish and furbearing
animals. Other investigations concerned endangered,
threatened or species of special concern; boat theft;
narcotics; and fraud primarily dealing with
misrepresentation of resident requirements for out-of-state
hunting licenses.
In addition, investigators assisted uniformed patrol
officers in performing blood analyses, witness interviews
and physical evidence processing.
Covert investigations this year have led to the arrest of a
Floridian, with dual citizenship in Canada, for the illegal
sale of black bear gall bladders. Thirty-seven galls were
purchased by undercover investigators for $3,000. If the
galls had reached their intended destination in the Orient,
their value would have increased to $25,000.
Arrests for airborne hunting were made in south Florida
where low vegetation and makeshift airstrips are prevalent.
These arrests are particularly hard to make because of
sporadic operations from clandestine locations.
Investigators are becoming increasingly involved with
environmental crimes such as felony garbage dumping
violations, illegal dredge and fill, and water pollution.
The job of protecting Florida's wildlife has diversified
from simply protecting the resource to a much more
complex job of protection of Florida's environment.


















































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Progress:


WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT In a continuing effort to
provide public hunting, the Bureau of Wildlife
Management administers type I and type II wildlife
management areas (WMAs). In FY 88-89, the type I
program comprised 4,292,285 acres in 60 areas. A $10
permit was required for use of these areas. Funds from the
sale of these permits are used for habitat development,
management and maintenance activities and for lease of
privately owned lands included in the management area
system.
The bureau cooperates with seven landowners in the 1.7-
million-acre type II system. The type II program is designed
to encourage landowners to open their lands to public
hunting with minor involvement by the Commission.
These lands belong to a variety of private corporations and
public agencies with industrial forest land comprising a
significant portion of the system's total acreage. These
landowners require sportsmen to purchase permits to hunt,
with the Commission offering law enforcement and
technical assistance to the landowners.
An additional 94,664 acres of land were made available
for public hunting in the wildlife and environmental area
program. Wildlife and environmental areas included were
the Santa Fe Swamp, L. Kirk Edwards, Apalachicola,
Dupuis and East Everglades tracts.
During the 1988-89 season, hunters spent 427,780 man-
days hunting on the type I system. A total of $500,000 in
lease payments ranging from less than one cent per acre to
$2.01 per acre was distributed to 15 private landowners
who made 1,187,450 acres available under this program.
Approximately one-third of the type I lands is in private
ownership, with the balance being state and federal
property.
Habitat management programs completed this year on
wildlife management areas included control burning
200,950 acres, planting 3,065 mast-producing tree
seedlings, and 150,000 bicolor lespedeza seedlings and
1,366 acres of wildlife food plots. A total of 393 acres was
roller-chopped and 347 acres were mowed to provide
improved habitat conditions for early successional wildlife
species. The Hickory Mound Impoundment at the Aucilla
WMA was maintained and managed for public hunting and
fishing. The Occidental and IMC WMAs (comprising
3,320 acres in Hamilton and Polk counties) were managed
for public waterfowl hunting. A total of 350 quail feeders
was maintained. Some 144 wood duck nesting boxes were
erected and 187 were maintained and checked for hatchling
production.
Work continued this year on a major capital outlay
project to replace the decayed water control structures in
the Lake Ponte Vedra Dam on the Guana River WMA.
Replacement of these structures will enable the
Commission once again to control water levels in Lake
Ponte Vedra in order to encourage favorable habitat
conditions for waterfowl and wading birds.
Capital outlay projects begun this year were an
interpretive nature trail/boardwalk for the J.W. Corbett
WMA, an interpretive drive for the Bull Creek WMA and
an interpretive nature trail with boardwalks and
observation towers on the Guana River WMA.
Bird dog field trials were conducted on Cecil M. Webb,
Citrus and Blackwater WMAs as part of a continuing
program to provide field trial facilities and opportunities
around the state.


This year, the 3,495-acre Big Shoals state land purchase
was added to the Type I Wildlife Management Area
Program. This area and the Dupuis Wildlife and
Environmental Area acquired in FY 87-88 and
consisting of 21,935 acres will be open for public
hunting during the 1989-90 fiscal year.
The issuance of antlerless deer permits and the
establishment of harvest quotas for antlerless or antlered
deer are population management tools used on type I
wildlife management areas.

Hunt Management During FY 88-89, there were
50,975 nine-day and 12,465 special hunt quota permits
available to the public. All special hunt quota permits and
50,938 (99+ percent) of the nine-day quota permits were
issued. Antlerless deer permits were issued as part of the
quota hunt program this year. There were 1,285 antlerless
deer permits issued for eight type I wildlife management
areas by random drawing.
Quota hunt permits again were issued through a random
drawing during the June 1-10 period and on a first-come,
first-served basis thereafter. In addition to the regular nine-
day and special quota hunt programs, quota hunt permits
were issued for track vehicles, airboats, Rotenberger walk
and muzzleloading gun hunts, spring turkey hunts,
mobility-impaired person hunts and youth hunts.

Hunter Surveys Two mail surveys were conducted this
year. The statewide mail survey used a 10-percent random
sample of the hunting public and provided estimates on
hunting pressure and wildlife harvest on a statewide basis.
The management area mail survey used a 25-percent
random sample of those individuals purchasing
management area stamps and provided hunting pressure
and harvest information unique to wildlife management
areas.
The total deer harvest for Florida in FY 88-89, on both
private property and public hunting areas, was estimated at
107,240.

Everglades
Recreation Project Everglades Recreation Project
personnel assisted with the operation of managed hunts on
the Everglades WMA by manning check stations to collect
biological data from harvested deer. A prescribed burning
plan for saw grass marsh in the Everglades WMA was
developed during FY 88-89. Aerial surveys were conducted
to determine deer population levels and antlered-to-
antlerless deer ratios.
Personnel assisted with the construction of seven check
stations to be used during hunting season. In addition,
wildlife habitat conditions were surveyed on tree islands in
the Everglades area and water levels were monitored each
month during the year. Two day-use recreation sites were
maintained. Surveys were conducted of wading bird
rookery sites.

Wildlife
Extension Services White-tailed deer are the most
popular big game animals in Florida the state's deer
population is estimated to be in excess of 700,000. The
division assists private landowners and lease holders by
providing guidelines on sound deer management.
Approximately 496 private landowners controlling
2,656,209 acres were issued 11,897 tags for antlerless deer
harvest. Reported antlerless deer harvest was 6,353







ESTIMATED DEER HARVEST ON PUBLIC
AND PRIVATE LANDS


'84-'85 '85-'86 '86-'87 '87-'88


'88-'89


animals. Proper management of a growing deer population
requires reduction of female deer to maintain herds within
habitat carrying capacity limits.

Florida
Buck Registry The Florida Buck Registry provides
meaningful and understandable records of the number and
quality of white-tailed deer taken in Florida. The scoring
procedure is based on the system developed by the Boone
and Crockett Club. To date, 1,253 bucks have been scored.
Of those, 1,145 have scored 100 or more inches, which
qualified them for the registry. The largest typical deer
scored thus far was 1681/ inches and was taken in Gadsden
County in 1977. The largest non-typical scored 201 Y8
inches and was taken in Wakulla County in the 1940s.

Nuisance
Wildlife Control Bureau of Wildlife Management
biologists investigated and made corrective management
recommendations regarding numerous incidents of farm
and citrus grove damage inflicted by white-tailed deer.
Most problems were resolved by recommending a harvest
of part of the doe population in the immediate area during
the regular hunting season. However, 107 permits were
issued outside the established deer hunting season to
remove 895 deer causing significant crop depredation.
Division staff also handled a constant flow of requests and
complaints from the public concerning blackbirds, tree frog
choruses, woodpeckers on houses, snakes, raccoons, foxes
and others. The majority of complaints originated in the
Everglades and South regions.

WILDLIFE RESEARCH The Bureau of Wildlife
Research addressed problems associated with management
of Florida's wildlife, with special emphasis on life history
studies of nongame and endangered species. The research
provided knowledge that is essential for the development of
effective management programs. Bureau staff are based at
the Wildlife Research Laboratory in Gainesville and the Big
Cypress Wildlife Field Office in Naples.

Florida Panther South Florida Panther Studies A
total of 4,687 radio locations was used to determine home


range sizes and daily movements of 18 Florida panthers
from December 1985 through June 1989 in Collier,
Hendry, Glades, Highlands, Lee and Hardee counties.
Adult male ranges averaged 275 square miles, adult females
averaged 96 square miles, and subadult males averaged 228
square miles. Mean daily movements for adult males, adult
females and subadult males were 3.5 miles, 1.5 miles, and
1.8 miles, respectively. Five adult females raised kittens
during FY 88-89. Day rest sites are primarily dense saw
palmetto thickets and other cool, shady and remote
locations.
A subadult male (#28) has used an area ranging from
S.R. 84 to the Caloosahatchee River near Ft. Myers and
LaBelle. A young adult male (#33) has shifted his activities
from southeastern Big Cypress National Preserve to private
lands northeast of Bear Island in Hendry County.
Forty-five white-tailed deer have been captured in the
Bear Island Unit of the Big Cypress National Preserve, 39
of which have been radio-instrumented. White-tailed deer
track counts, hunter-returned biological samples and a fall
collection of doe deer were utilized to compare deer herds
inhabiting Florida panther habitat in the Bear Island and
Corn Dance Units of Big Cypress National Preserve,
Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, Florida Panther
National Wildlife Refuge and a private ranch. Deer from
Bear Island and the ranch were larger, fatter, contained
fewer parasites, more fetuses, and were in better physical
condition. Deer herds in these two areas are denser and
benefit from comparatively more fertile soil, more
favorable water conditions and a greater degree of habitat
management.
Florida Panther Biomedical Investigation -Eighteen
individual Florida panthers were captured 26 times and 15
were immobilized for radio-collaring and collection of
biomedical information and/or for removal from the wild
for rehabilitation. One hundred twenty-eight field days
resulted in radio-collaring six new panthers. Two panthers
were hit by cars and survived, one of which has been
rehabilitated and released to the wild, the other is still
receiving treatment in captivity. One additional panther
was successfully released back into the Everglades National
Park after 11 months in captivity. Five panthers have died
since July 1, 1988. Human activity continues to be


'81-'82





responsible for the majority of all documented panther
deaths (road killed 54 percent, illegally killed 14
percent).
It was found that Florida panthers had been exposed to
feline panleukopenia virus and feline calicivirus. Antibodies
to two new potentially pathogenic viral agents were
identified this year: feline immunodeficiency virus and
corona virus. The significance of these viruses in free-
ranging panthers is yet to be determined.
Preliminary data from the panther/cougar population
genetics study reveal that the species as a whole has
abundant genetic diversity, but the Florida panther has less
diversity than other wild subspecies examined. The results
of the genetic study coupled with an increase in abnormal
male reproductive traits raise serious concern for the
reproductive potential and genetic health of this subspecies.
North Florida Panther Studies Field searches for
panther sign were conducted this year in selected sites in
Glades, Highlands and Polk counties where surveys were
done systematically and along the St. Johns River drainage
where surveys were conducted less frequently. No panther
sign was found in the areas in Glades, Highlands and Polk
counties, and only scattered sign was found along the St.
Johns. The Florida Panther Record Clearinghouse received
290 panther reports, of which 25 were investigated. Two



The Florida Panther Record Clear-

inghouse received 290 panther

reports, of which 25 were investi-

gated. Two reports from Osceola

County were verified as panthers.



reports from Osceola County were verified as panthers.
The seven mountain lions captured in west Texas and
brought to Florida for use as surrogates in evaluating the
feasibility of translocating panthers were monitored on a
daily basis through April of this year. These lions
established overlapping home ranges, made kills of large
prey at a predicted frequency, and generally adapted well to
their new environment prior to the opening of hunting
season. Once hunting season began, however, the lions
were either killed or disturbed to the extent that they left
their established home ranges. Subsequent wanderings
resulted in their encountering urban areas and livestock
operations that probably would not have otherwise been
encountered.
The introduction of Florida panthers into north Florida
cannot be recommended at this time. However, it is
recommended that further study be made to develop
techniques for successful establishment of viable
populations that are compatible with the ever-expanding
human environment.
A Florida panther male, two captive-born male cougars,
and three female Texas mountain lions were maintained at
the captive breeding facilities at White Oak Plantation. No
kittens have been produced.

Black Bear Two black bear projects were begun this
year: monitoring the status of black bear populations
through the collection and necropsy of bear carcasses, and


analyzing black bear harvest data in order to recommend
appropriate management decisions.
During this reporting period four bear carcasses, all road
kills, were collected and necropsied. One of the bears had
been tagged during a radio-telemetry study in the Ocala
National Forest. In the 2.5 years between his capture and
death, his weight increased from 190 to 385 pounds.
Work has been concentrated on organizing and
compiling all available harvest data. These data will be
analyzed using the sex and age structure of the kill
combined with annual estimates of hunting pressure.

Fox Squirrel A study was begun this year to determine
the status of fox squirrels in Florida. As a preliminary step,
surveys were sent to 437 selected Commission personnel to
obtain information on the distribution of fox squirrels.
Based on the information obtained, fox squirrels appear to
be widely distributed in the Florida panhandle, but the
distribution becomes more fragmented in the peninsula.

Coyote In the 1960s, coyotes began expanding their
range into the Southeast. The range expansion has been
natural in part, but coyotes also have been imported and
stocked for sport hunting by houndsmen.
A 1981 Commission survey of coyote distribution
indicated they were present in 16 counties, primarily in
northwest Florida, although there were a few reports of
coyotes along the Central Highland Ridge to as far south as
Orange County.
A second survey, conducted in 1988, documented the
presence of coyotes in 48 of Florida's 67 counties. Coyotes
appear to be well established across the panhandle and into
north central Florida. There were scattered reports of
coyotes throughout the central peninsula as far south as
Broward and Collier counties.
There has been an increasing number of complaints of
coyote depredation on livestock and watermelon crops. As
coyote populations increase and expand even further,
depredations are expected to increase.

Fox Enclosures The sport of fox hunting with dogs is
enjoyed by many people in the Southeast, especially in the
coastal plain. In recent years, fox enclosures (areas enclosed
by fox-proof fencing where hounds are released to chase
foxes) have become popular alternatives for fox hunters in
Florida. Due to the relatively recent popularity of fox
enclosures and the lack of information on their
characteristics, a study was begun this year to describe the
enclosures and to evaluate current regulation of these
operations.
Preliminary results of the study indicate there are 41 fox
enclosures in Florida, including four that are under
construction. Operators of 26 of these enclosures were
interviewed and asked about the operation. Results of the
interviews are being compiled in preparation of a final
report.

Bald Eagle During the 1989 bald eagle nesting season,
439 active territories were located. Of these, 310
successfully fledged 474 young at a rate of 1.08 young per
active territory and 1.53 young per successful nest. These
rates are representative of a healthy population that in
some areas still appears to be increasing. Based on the
results from the 1988-89 nesting season, the state-wide
bald eagle population is estimated to have ranged between
1,175 (adults and subadults prior to nesting) and 1,650





(adults and subadults and juveniles after all young have left
the nest). Nests were found for the first time in Leon (Lake
Jackson) and Gadsden counties (Lake Talquin).
This spring a project was initiated to assess the
effectiveness of the bald eagle management guidelines as
they have been applied in Florida. The results will be
stratified according to pre-treatment development
conditions, region of the state and history (duration) of
territory activity.

Brown Pelican This year brown pelicans nested at 34
sites which contained 15 to 1,600 nests with a total of
12,300 nests estimated for the state. No signs of reduced
productivity were apparent. An average of 1.99 young per
successful nest was identified at the sites inspected. The
1983 and 1985 freezes are still evident in the nesting
substrate of mangrove in colonies north of Tampa on the
west coast and Cape Canaveral on the east coast. This
year's survey estimated the largest nesting population since
the survey began in 1968. The number of nests and average
productivity estimates indicate a statewide population of
32,750 to 57,250 individuals.

Sandhill/
Whooping Cranes During the past year this project -
which was begun in 1980 to evaluate the possibility of
introducing whooping cranes as a non-migratory species in
Florida ended favorably. The Commission has
determined that, though of migratory origin, whooping
cranes reared and released under specific circumstances
could be expected to remain non-migratory (similar to
those that occurred in Louisiana until the late 1940s). The
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Canadian
Wildlife Service have approved the establishment of a non-
migratory flock of whooping cranes in Florida. A project to
pursue this goal is set to begin in early 1990. The first
whooping cranes will be released sometime after 1992.

Florida
Grasshopper Sparrow A study was initiated to
determine Florida grasshopper sparrow distribution and
abundance. The bird was added to the federal list of
endangered species in 1986 based on a status survey
conducted by the research bureau. Habitat loss due to
intensive pasture management for cattle is the greatest
threat to the subspecies. A literature review of records of
the Florida grasshopper sparrow was conducted to identify
search areas based on historical distribution. LANDSAT
color photographs of central peninsular Florida were
obtained.
Thirty-seven Florida grasshopper sparrows were captured
and color-marked on the Avon Park Air Force Range as
part of a study to determine habitat use and movements.
U.S. Air Force personnel provided valuable field assistance.
Territory size ranged from three to eight acres, much larger
than reported for other grasshopper sparrows.
Observations of marked individuals will provide
information on yearly shifts in habitat use and dispersal of
fledglings.
Features of the vegetation were measured at occupied
sites. Florida grasshopper sparrows used large, treeless
cattle pastures dominated by wiregrass, forbs, dwarf oak
and saw palmetto. Study results will be examined in light of
pasture management history and will provide a basis for
management activities to benefit the Florida grasshopper
sparrow.


American Alligator Experimental harvests of 4-foot and
larger alligators continued for the eighth year on Orange,
Lochloosa and Newnans lakes. In 1988, only 7.9 percent of
the harvestable population was cropped down from an
average harvest of 12.6 percent over the previous seven
years due to a combination of bad weather and
inexperienced hunters. Hunts yielded 250 alligators, 1,547
feet of skins and 4,892 pounds of meat for a value at the
producer level of $94,075. Individual hunters earned an
estimated mean income of $4,276. Annual night-light
counts indicated that populations of 4-foot and larger
alligators on harvest lakes and the control area (Lake
Woodruff) have remained stable since the hunts began in
1981. Likewise, nest production has remained stable on all
areas despite the unrestricted harvest of adult female
alligators. These findings indicate that the total harvest
from 1981-88 has not adversely affected the harvestable
population nor nest production on hunted areas.
Night-light surveys were conducted on 22 areas
throughout Florida to monitor population trends. Since
1980, densities of non-hatchling and 4-foot and larger
alligators have increased on several areas. Non-hatchling
alligators decreased on only one area Lake Apopka.
Surveys on 17 areas counted each year from 1983 to 1988
indicated a 99.1-percent increase of non-hatchlings and a



The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
and the Canadian Wildlife Service

have approved the establishment of

a non-migratory flock of whooping

cranes in Florida.



75.9-percent increase in 4-foot and larger alligators.
Increases were partly due to gradually decreasing water
levels over that period, which make alligators more
observable. However, much of the increase was in the 0-6-
foot size class which suggests increased nest production and
juvenile survival.
Commission alligator research staff joined the Florida
Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in its ongoing
egg viability study. Three new studies were begun including
a population estimation study, investigations into the
reproductive biology of adult female alligators, and
refinements of techniques to determine the age of alligators
from leg bone sections.

Gopher Tortoise During FY 88-89, considerable time
was spent reviewing tortoise-relocation requests and
answering questions from developers, consultants, planners
and concerned citizens regarding tortoise mitigation. The
number of requests to relocate gopher tortoises from
proposed development sites has increased dramatically. It
has become difficult to locate suitable and secure recipient
sites particularly in south Florida. Moreover, off-site
relocation of tortoises is a last-resort mitigation alternative
and does nothing to preserve upland habitat. Accordingly,
current guidelines are being re-evaluated and
recommendations are being drafted to de-emphasize
relocation and better coordinate habitat preservation
efforts with county and regional planners.











For the fourth
consecutive year,
unfavorable
weather conditions
resulted in
mediocre crocodile
reproductive
success on Key
Largo.


American Crocodile For the fourth consecutive year,
unfavorable weather conditions resulted in mediocre
crocodile reproductive success on Key Largo. Although six
crocodiles are known to have nested on Key Largo in 1989,
and some young were produced from four of these nests,
only 15 crocodile hatchlings were found. Average clutch
size is 35 eggs, and the potential hatchling production from
six nests would be about 210 hatchlings. The spring and
summer in south Florida were very dry, and it is believed
that egg desiccation was responsible for the low success.
Dry conditions in 1986 and 1987 resulted in similarly low
production, whereas unusually wet conditions in 1988 also
resulted in low reproductive success.

STATEWIDE PROGRAMS

Alligator Management Subsequent to the enactment of
legislation in 1987 which established authority for
development of an alligator management program, the
Commission promulgated and revised rules to provide a
framework for such a program. Rules were developed to
provide for permitting and operation of alligator farms
eligible to collect alligator hatchlings from the wild,
establishment of alligator management programs on private
wetlands, statewide harvesting of adult alligators and
hatchlings, validation and sale of alligator hides, harvest
and sale of alligators and alligator products, and processing
of alligator meat for sale.
Fifty alligator farms were permitted, 30 of which were
granted authority to receive alligator hatchlings taken from
the wild. Harvest quotas totaling 10,200 hatchlings were
established, based on the acreage of wetland habitat types
in each county. In September and October 1988, 3,761
hatchlings were collected by 17 of the 22 participating
eligible farms.
A pilot egg collection on lakes Okeechobee, Hicpochee
and Monroe took place as part of a program to determine
the feasibility of collecting alligator eggs from public
wetlands. Some 4,176 eggs from 145 nests were collected
and incubated by alligator farms, producing 3,410 alligator
hatchlings from the pilot egg collection. Regulations were
revised to incorporate egg collections as an alligator
management program element. Five alligator egg collection
areas were established, aerial surveys were conducted, and
nest collection quotas were established for collections to be
conducted next fiscal year.


An application and procedures for permitting the harvest
of alligator eggs, hatchlings and adults on private wetlands
were revised. In response, 21 applications for private
wetlands management programs were submitted. Twenty-
one permits encompassing more than 145,000 acres of
wetlands were issued. Permittees were issued 344 adult
alligator harvest tags based on wetland inventories.
Two hundred thirty alligator trappers, permitted to
harvest alligators on 28 established management units,
filled 87 percent of the tags issued by harvesting 2,988
alligators averaging 7.6 feet in length, and yielding an
estimated 89,640 pounds of meat. The overall male-to-
female sex ratio of the alligators harvested was 70:30.
Thirty-two alligator management units and
corresponding adult harvest quotas were established by
Commission order for public wetlands throughout the state
for next fiscal year. An estimated 40,000 applications for
participation in alligator hunts on these areas were
distributed to the public, resulting in the receipt of 20,163
completed applications. Through random drawings, 229
individuals were selected to participate in harvesting a
maximum quota of 3,405 adult alligators. An alligator
harvest training and orientation program, designed to
familiarize participants with program regulations and
effective harvest techniques, was developed and offered at
10 locations throughout the state.
Alligator hides were validated with Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) tags
and tag fees collected at five sites provided by the
Commission and three private validation sites. A total of
8,231 hides of alligators taken from the wild (including
nuisance alligators, statewide harvest and private lands
harvests) was validated.
Permitting procedures and requirements were defined for
processing, packaging and labeling alligator meat, skulls,
and other parts for import and sale. Approximately 60
alligator processing facilities were permitted to process
alligators for the sale of their meat.

Waterfowl Management House Bill 898, passed by the
Florida Legislature in FY 78-79, requires persons hunting
wild waterfowl in Florida to possess a $3 Florida waterfowl
stamp. A contest open to the public provides the artwork
for the stamp. Seventy percent of the revenue generated is
allocated to the management of Florida's resident and
migratory waterfowl resources. The remaining revenue is





allocated to waterfowl research (25 percent) and stamp
program administration (5 percent).
During FY 88-89, 16,948 stamps were sold, generating
$50,844 in revenue. Expenditures during the reporting
period totaled approximately $319,529. The difference
between revenues and expenditures was derived from
Commission operating funds ($241,558) and Ducks
Unlimited (DU) matching aid ($27,127).
Most activities of the Waterfowl Management Program
(WMP) can be described as either population monitoring
and harvest management or habitat protection and
enhancement. Improved management of resident waterfowl
species wood duck, mottled duck, fulvous whistling-
duck continues to be the highest priority in the
program.
SEfforts to monitor the status of Florida's mottled duck
population continued this fiscal year. In March, WMP staff
conducted the annual helicopter survey to estimate
numbers of breeding mottled ducks. Ongoing banding
studies provide estimates of harvest rates and annual
mortality. The WMP and the Florida Cooperative Fish and
Wildlife Research Unit are cooperating in a study to
determine reproductive success of the mottled duck
population.
Band recovery information is essential to efforts to
evaluate and continue the experimental September duck
season. With cooperation from Division of Wildlife and
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel, more than 1,000
wood ducks were banded throughout the state for the
second consecutive year.
Program staff continued improvements on new mid-
winter waterfowl inventory procedures that, when fully
refined, will provide more accurate estimates of Florida's
winter duck numbers and distribution. This aerial survey is
conducted throughout the Atlantic Flyway each year in
early January. The WMP also participated in a ring-necked
duck banding program designed to assess movements and
mortality of Florida's most heavily hunted waterfowl
species. Responses by duck hunters to a questionnaire were
analyzed and summarized.
Protecting the quality of waterfowl habitat remains a high
priority. Review and comment on aquatic plant control
programs for public waters is a critical component of this
effort. To better evaluate potential effects of proposed
aquatic plant management on Lake Istokpoga in Highlands
County, periodic aerial surveys were flown to determine
canvasback use and distribution during winter. The WMP
continued development of a comprehensive policy for the
stocking of grass carp because of their potential threat to
wildlife habitat.
Development began on a policy concerning semi-
domestic and nuisance ducks to help standardize responses
to complaints, summarize pertinent state and federal laws,
and address potential biological threats to wild waterfowl.
Implementation of the Ducks Unlimited MARSH
(Matching Aid to Restore States' Habitat) program
continued during FY 88-89. The MARSH program
provides money to state fish and wildlife agencies for
wetland acquisition and enhancement based on funds raised
by DU within that state. The legislature provides dollar-
for-dollar matching funds to acquire MARSH money.
Through this program, water management capabilities were
enhanced at Hickory Mound Impoundment in Taylor
County and at Guana River WMA in St. Johns County.
MARSH funds also were used to repair a dike and control
cattails at Guana WMA. The statewide wood duck nest


box program on public waters increased by 125 boxes,
which were purchased with MARSH money. A second
MARSH agreement was reached to improve management
capabilities at Lake Harbor Public Waterfowl Area in Palm
Beach County.

Endangered
Species Coordination All studies and other aspects of
Florida's Endangered Wildlife Project (funded through the
federal Endangered Species Act at a federal/state ratio of
3:1) were monitored and overseen, and various activities
pertaining to the project were participated in, facilitated
and/or supervised.
A number of presentations on endangered species were
made for schools, conservation groups and other state
agencies. Pursuant to USFWS requests, draft recovery
plans for nine federally listed Florida species were reviewed
and comments prepared and submitted. In cooperation
with the USFWS, preparation of three early drafts of red-
cockaded woodpecker habitat management guidelines was
coordinated.
Commission representation and participation on the
Governor's Save the Manatee Committee, Dusky Seaside
Sparrow Advisory Committee, Red Wolf Recovery Team,
Endangered Species Committee of the Southeastern Section
of The Wildlife Society, and Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services' Endangered Species Task Force
were maintained.
The annual progress report and update for the
"Endangered and Threatened Species Management and
Conservation Plan," required by provisions of the Florida
Endangered and Threatened Species Act of 1977, was
prepared and submitted to the governor, cabinet and
appropriate members of the Florida Legislature, and
distributed to interested persons. An updated list of
endangered species, threatened species and species of
special concern was prepared and distributed, as was a 20-
page booklet titled Legal Protection for Florida's Endangered
Species, Threatened Species and Species of Special Concern.
One hundred seventy-five scientific collecting permit
applications involving listed species were received and
processed. Coordination continued on an interstate and
intergovernmental cooperative bald eagle re-establishment
project designed to use Florida's eagle population as a
donor source to re-establish the species throughout the
Southeast.
Nineteen applications for grants through the
Commission's Nongame Wildlife Program involving listed
species were reviewed. Consultation and technical
assistance in endangered species matters was provided to a
number of state and federal agencies, consulting firms and
local regulatory entities.

Wild
Turkey Management The Florida Wild Turkey Stamp
Act, which requires persons hunting wild turkeys to
purchase a wild turkey stamp, became effective June 1986.
Revenues generated by stamp sales are to be expended for
research and management of wild turkeys. The act specified
that research concentrate on incidences of declining
populations and improved management of wild turkeys in
northwestern Florida.
Revenues generated during FY 88-89 by the sale of
22,876 turkey stamps, 21,119 Florida sportsman's licenses
and turkey art print stamps of current and earlier years
totaled $173,245.20. Expenditures totaled $43,085.73 and





included $4,401.65 for administration and $38,684.08 for
management and research.
Program planning emphasizes the coordination of turkey
management practices on Florida's wildlife management
areas and public hunting areas. A management plan for the
wild turkey in Florida was submitted for review to wildlife
professionals and interested persons outside the agency.
Habitat evaluation and turkey management is emphasized
on wildlife management areas where this agency has
primary land management authority. Program staff
conducted site visits on 12 wildlife management areas to
evaluate turkey habitat and hunt management. Operational
plans on 43 areas were reviewed for content regarding
turkey management practices.
Habitat management and improvement projects are
continuing on two Florida national forests. In the
Apalachicola National Forest, 1,500 acres were closed to
vehicles during the brood rearing season and turkey food
plots were planted within the area and along roadways
closed to vehicles. The Commission's turkey program staff
is working with the U.S. Forest Service to expand the
project to include additional acreage. A similar project to
convert secondary forest roads to turkey habitat was
initiated on the Osceola National Forest. Approximately
244 miles of roads are scheduled to be removed and



To improve wild turkey habitat in

the Apalachicola National Forest,

1,500 acres were closed to vehicles

during the brood-rearing season

and food plots were planted.



improved as turkey habitat during the next 10-15 years.
Informational signs will be placed at each road entrance to
explain the purpose of road closure. Both national forest
projects are joint efforts of the Commission, the National
Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the U.S. Forest
Service.
Improvements were made on Green Swamp, Upper
Hillsborough, Joe Budd, Blackwater State Forest and
Champion International WMAs to enhance turkey habitat.
Controlled burning by helicopter using the turkey
program's aerial ignition device was done on several areas:
Bull Creek (2,400 acres), Three Lakes (14,000 acres),
Green Swamp (5,800 acres), J. W. Corbett (3,400 acres).
Twenty miles of fire line were plowed for 5,200 acres of
prescribed burning on Green Swamp WMA.
Hunter quotas and management guidelines for special
spring turkey hunts were established. Wild turkey
population evaluations were conducted on six selected
wildlife management areas to assist in establishing harvest
and hunter quota objectives. Field site visits were
conducted on several wildlife management areas to
determine future turkey management and hunting
opportunities.
A turkey hunter exit survey was completed on the Green
Swamp WMA during the 1989 spring turkey hunt. Data
were collected on attitudes, opinions and demographics.
A research project on wild turkey populations in
northwest Florida was completed. The study, conducted


under contract by the Tall Timbers Research Station, was
titled "An Investigation into Declining Wild Turkey
Populations in Northwest Florida." The study findings
cited increased human population, intensive forestry
practices, uncontrolled public access, poor natural habitat,
widespread dog-chase hunting and inadequate protection
from overhunting as limiting factors on wild turkeys in
northwest Florida.
A statewide hunter survey, which was designed to collect
information on turkey hunter attitudes, satisfaction and
demographics, was completed. A pilot study to improve
turkey population estimation techniques is continuing on
selected wildlife management areas.
The turkey management program coordinator
represented this agency and the state on the NWTF
Technical Committee and on the Southeast Wild Turkey
Committee. Presentations and program updates were given
at the Florida Chapter's annual convention and board
meeting, and at fund raising banquets of the South Florida
Chapter, Central Florida Chapter and Blountstown Chapter
of the NWTF.
Review and comments were provided on the NWTF's
new wild turkey book. Several popular articles on wild
turkeys were reviewed prior to publication in FLORIDA
WILDLIFE magazine. Two popular articles were drafted
and will be submitted for publication during the upcoming
year.
Technical assistance, educational materials and turkey
management rules and regulations were provided to
interested citizens on a daily basis by the turkey program
coordinator. A workshop on aging and sexing wild turkeys
in the field was given to Commission field staff. Field
inspections and habitat improvement recommendations
were provided to private hunt clubs and private landowners
interested in benefitting turkeys on local areas.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between
the Commission and the NWTF to provide a foundation
for cooperative development of Commission-administered
turkey projects and to maintain and increase wild turkey
populations. Supplemental funding for wild turkey projects
and grant-in-aid money for research are available through
the NWTF.

Surface Water Improvement
and Management Program In 1987, the Florida
Legislature enacted the Surface Water Improvement and
Management (SWIM) Act. This legislation identified the
need to improve and manage surface waters and natural
systems associated with water bodies throughout the state.
It requires the water management districts, in cooperation
with the Commission and other state agencies and local
governments, to develop management plans to protect
and/or restore each of these water bodies and established
the SWIM Trust Fund to provide financial support for
these planning and management activities.
Implicit in this legislation is the need to restore and/or
enhance habitats for wildlife. Coordination of this
component of the SWIM Act is required to facilitate the
transfer of technical information and management
recommendations among Commission personnel, the water
management districts, and other agencies; to provide a
single contact and representative for wildlife-related SWIM
matters; to ensure that requests for data related to SWIM
programs are addressed efficiently and effectively; and to be
responsive to requests for consultation or information
about the SWIM program from local, state, private





organizations and firms, and the public.
The division's SWIM program coordinator was hired in
November 1988. All aspects of division activities on
SWIM Act mandated responsibilities were monitored,
overseen and accomplished by the SWIM program
coordinator.
Consultation and technical assistance in wildlife related
matters was provided to all water management districts and
SWIM technical advisory committees to help with the
development of SWIM plans. Participation by Division of
Wildlife personnel in SWIM Technical Advisory
Committees was monitored and coordinated.
SWIM plans for 13 priority water bodies were reviewed.
Specific recommendations and comments regarding the
effect of these plans on wildlife and their habitats were
provided to the water management districts for all plans.
As a result of this input, the plans were modified or refined
as necessary to provide additional wildlife habitat
protection or enhancement. Public hearings held on all
SWIM plans were attended.
Several presentations on wildlife habitats, populations
and distribution relating to the SWIM priority water
bodies were made for technical advisory committees, state
agencies and the public. Requests for specific information
from the public, water management districts, state and local
agencies were processed and provided as necessary.


NONGAME WILDLIFE


The Nongame Wildlife Program (NGWP) was initiated
in 1984 by the Florida Legislature to ensure the
conservation and management of all Florida wildlife and
their habitats. Nongame wildlife includes those animals
neither classified as game nor as threatened or endangered
- an estimated 570 species of wild mammals, birds,
reptiles, amphibians and fishes, plus many times that
number of invertebrates and plants. These animals
comprise 85 percent of the wildlife found in the state.
During FY 88-89, nongame wildlife conservation efforts
were focused in nine areas: research and education grants,
survey and population monitoring, urban wildlife
management, conservation education, technical assistance,
habitat protection, habitat management, data management,
and planning and evaluation.

Research and
Education Grants The Commission depends on the
expertise of scientists, educators and resource managers
outside the agency to help it achieve its research, education
and conservation goals. Nongame Wildlife Section
(NGWS) grants provide an avenue by which outside
experts can seek support for significant projects that
involve nongame wildlife. Since its inception, the NGWS
has sponsored 59 grant projects in the largest program of
its kind in the country.
Fifty grant proposals were submitted in January 1988 for
funding consideration by the Nongame Wildlife Grants
Program in the FY 88-89. Proposal subjects ranged from
nongame wildlife education to the conservation and
management of wildlife habitats. They included studies on
nongame plants, invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles,
birds and mammals. That diversity is well represented by
the 11 proposals that were selected for funding.
Two projects were solicited through a request-for-
proposals (RFP) process to address specific needs identified
by NGWP staff. The first is a review and summary of


available literature and unpublished data relating to the
importance of isolated wetlands to fish and wildlife. This
project will synthesize the information to identify those
species that depend on isolated wetlands and the important
characteristics of the wetlands they use. It will also identify
gaps in the information that should be bridged by further
research. The results will help the Commission provide
planning agencies, land managers and developers with
biological justification for preserving isolated wetlands.
The second project is a synthesis of the information
available on the effects of pesticides on Florida wildlife.
This project will synthesize information on types of
pesticides used, the circumstances of their use, and the
known or suspected effects on wildlife. The resulting
handbook will help biologists better evaluate proposed and
ongoing pesticide use and better respond to wildlife
emergencies involving pesticides.
Funding for the 11 new projects for FY 88-89 totalled
$160,778. An additional $359,677 was spent to support
ongoing grants. Total support for research for FY 88-89
amounted to $520,455.
In addition to coordinating the selection of the new
projects, NGWS staff reviewed progress reports and
conducted site inspections for ongoing research, and
initiated the development of RFPs to be funded in FY
89-90.



Much progress has been made
toward the NGWS goal of imple-
menting a survey program for poorly
known nongame species in Florida.



Survey and Monitoring Much progress has been made
toward the NGWS goal of implementing a survey program
for poorly known nongame species in Florida. NGWS
biologists are now directing more effort towards reptiles,
amphibians and mammals.
A pilot survey aimed at developing an efficient, thorough
and standardized method for inventorying ground-dwelling
reptiles, amphibians and small mammals on localized areas
was initiated. Several trap designs are being tested on six
wildlife management areas. Data from these pilot surveys
have provided valuable occurrence records for several rare
reptiles.
A host of small mammal subspecies occur exclusively on
Florida's coastal barrier islands. These rodents were
identified by NGWP prioritization efforts as candidates for
survey attention, and NGWS regional nongame wildlife
biologists conducted surveys for several of these mice. In
the South Region, a Chadwick Beach cotton mouse survey
conducted on Manasota Key in Sarasota County indicated
that the mouse is probably extinct. Results of a survey for
the southeastern beach mouse were somewhat more
encouraging as a small but fragmented population was
found on North Hutchinson Island. This beach mouse has
apparently disappeared south of St. Lucie County. Recent
surveys for the St. Andrew's beach mouse demonstrated
that it has recovered from population lows in the
mid-1980s.
NGWS staff coordinated survey needs identified in the





species prioritization project with the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service information needs. Surveys were
conducted for the cryptic black rail and the rare snowy
plover. NGWS staff also initiated cooperative surveys for
the poorly known Wagner's mastiff-bat.
In cooperation with Archbold Biological Station, a
systematic resurvey of crested caracara breeding territories
throughout Florida was conducted. Surveys for other rare
raptors included a winter survey for short-tailed hawks
over Everglades National Park, and counts of American
swallow-tailed kites at communal summer roosts. A third
year of data were collected on development impacts on
burrowing owl populations in Cape Coral (Lee County),
and a second year of population trend data were collected
on burrowing owls near Marathon in the Florida Keys.
Field work was completed on the statewide resurvey of
wading bird colonies and publication of an atlas showing
locations of nearly 500 breeding sites is planned for next
year. These projects will greatly enhance the ability to
monitor trends in avian populations at a statewide level.

Urban Wildlife Management The Cooperative Urban
Wildlife Management Program (CUWP) is jointly funded
by the Commission and the Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida:
The program is intended to increase the appreciation of
urban wildlife and enhance these resources through
management, education and applied research. At present,
three full-time wildlife extension specialists (urban wildlife
specialists) have offices in Gainesville, Largo and Miami.
CUWP staff have completed a first draft of a wildlife
resources directory. The first volume of the Wildlife
Resources Handbook is designed to provide a compilation of
wildlife-related information to help county extension office
and Commission personnel effectively answer the wide
range of wildlife questions they receive from the public.
Two 30-minute video tapes on endangered species and
scrub habitat were produced. These videos were played by
the government access channel in Pinellas County four
times a day for one week and by a local network station
that transmits to 11 counties. Estimated potential audience
was 6.5 million people. Videos also were placed in several
libraries.
Other networking capabilities of IFAS information
services were used on a regular basis. The urban specialists
interviewed for seven IFAS radio news spots available to all
stations in the state through a free WATS line service. An
average of 20 broadcasting stations recorded each spot.
Eight articles were written for distribution to more than
300 media sources on topics such as nuisance birds, critters
in swimming pools, owls and landscaping for wildlife.
Based on the IFAS news clipping service, more than 85
newspapers have printed at least one of these stories, and
each story has had a circulation range of 57,000 to
234,000. Many of these stories also were printed in various
organizational newsletters. The IFAS-produced television
program Florida File featured urban wildlife topics on four
shows. This program currently is fed to the satellite market
and also aired on 12 stations in major metropolitan areas
such as Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa, St. Petersburg,
Orlando and Miami.
CUWP staff were interviewed for more than 50 news
stories; responded to approximately 2,500 public and
county agent requests for wildlife information; wrote
monthly articles in extension service newsletters; and
presented more than 50 programs to various groups on


wildlife-related topics.
An in-service training program aimed at teaching county
extension agents how to handle requests for information on
urban wildlife nuisance problems was developed and
presented to two groups of agents. The next in-service
training session will focus on how to enhance urban
wildlife habitat.
Many growth management decisions affecting wildlife
habitat made during the past year were influenced by the
CUWP. It provided specific recommendations for eight
county and city comprehensive plans and regulations, and
15 development and landscaping projects. Advice was
provided on various special issues such as the Wekiva
River Buffer Rule.

Technical Assistance NGWS staff provided
considerable technical assistance to regional and local
governments on a variety of nongame wildlife protection
issues, such as the effects of development on nongame
wildlife, and nongame wildlife habitat needs.
Staff provided more than 240 man-days of technical
assistance to the public on a wide variety of topics,
including legal questions regarding wildlife, endangered
species permit requests, gopher tortoise relocations, bald
eagle and burrowing owl nest disturbance, and nuisance
animal complaints about snakes, bats, squirrels, armadillos
and others.

Habitat Management NGWS biologists contributed to
management of several wildlife management areas,
including recommendations concerning water and timber
management practices, prescribed burning, vehicle access
and other activities that affect nongame wildlife habitat on
the areas.
The Commission has designated as critical wildlife areas
(CWAs) 14 important wildlife nesting, feeding or roosting
sites that are susceptible to disturbance by humans. The
regional nongame wildlife biologists helped post each
CWA against trespass and monitored wildlife use of the
areas. A summary of activities during the previous year was
prepared for each CWA. The regional nongame biologists
also worked with wildlife officers, reservists and volunteers
to post nesting sites that have not been designated as
CWAs.
Several management projects were conducted locally to
improve habitat for certain species. For example, in the
Central Region, the regional nongame wildlife biologist
continued an inspection of gopher tortoise responses to
summer versus winter burning. In the Northeast Region,
the regional biologist cooperated in an investigation of the
response of gopher tortoises to traditional wildlife food
plots on the Andrews WMA. In the Northwest Region, the
regional biologist worked with the Department of Natural
Resources and the Department of Transportation to create
nesting habitat for shorebirds along the causeway leading to
St. George Island.

Data Management A major project this fiscal year was
the legally mandated biennial purge of the mailing list used
to distribute The Skimmer and the Coryi newsletters. The
1989 purge dropped the list from about 17,800 to 13,000,
but it is growing steadily.
Last fiscal year NGWS staff initiated a species
information data base project designed to bring together
information on each of Florida's 670 vertebrate species in
one computer data base. A biologist was hired to











Commission
personnel worked
with the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife
Service to draft
red-cockaded
woodpecker
habitat
management
guidelines.


coordinate this project. Much of the year was spent
developing a species booklet for use by data compilers to
record the information about each species prior to data
entry. In addition, two working copies of species
information data bases were installed on the NGWS central
computer.
Information continues to be added to existing NGWS
data bases the Library and Wildlife Observation data
bases. Data collected from the three-year resurvey of the
state's wading bird colonies will be compiled in a computer
data base for distribution to interested groups.

Planning and Evaluation The species prioritization
project, a powerful planning tool for Florida's nongame
wildlife, was completed in FY 88-89. The project produced
a comprehensive ranking of Florida's wildlife that takes
into account each species' or subspecies' vulnerability and
the relative state of knowledge about its requirements and
status. The information generated will allow the NGWS
staff to identify the species most in need of research, survey
and monitoring, management and public education efforts.
An oil spill off the coast of Jacksonville in 1987
destroyed dozens of seabirds and shorebirds and prompted
the Commission to seek monetary compensation for the
lost wildlife. "How much is a pelican worth?" was the
question that confronted nongame biologists. After
reviewing a number of wildlife valuation methods, NGWS
biologists chose the replacement value methodology
because it was conservative in comparison to other
methodologies and was based on the actual cost to obtain
bird specimens according to several Florida zoological
parks.
The Commission filed a claim for $176,000 with Coastal
Resources Protection Trust Fund, which is administered by
the Florida Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR
approved the claim and forwarded reimbursement to the
Nongame Wildlife Trust Fund. DNR is litigating


reimbursement of this money from the company that
caused the spill.
The NGWS planning staff have been involved
extensively with Responsive Management, a marketing
project initiated by the Western Association of Fish and
Wildlife Agencies. The goal of the project is to provide
state fish and wildlife agencies with the tools and training to
monitor and anticipate change among various groups. The
project is an innovative combination of public attitude
survey techniques and training courses to enable managers
to meet fish and wildlife management challenges.
The FY 87-88 study on the Nongame Wildlife Trust
Fund was updated with current information. The update
analyzed trust fund revenue receipts and expenditures,
predicted future revenue receipts and expenditures and
forecasted future trust fund balances.
An annual awards program for Florida tax collectors was
initiated to recognize tax collectors who make special
efforts to publicize the NGWP and the dollar donation.
Tax collectors who collect the most per-capita dollar
donations or who go above and beyond the call of duty to
publicize the NGWP were singled-out for special
recognition.
In 1987 the Florida Legislature appropriated $534,000
for projects for nonconsumptive wildlife-related activities
on wildlife management areas, such as bird watching,
wildlife photography and nature study. FY 88-89 was spent
planning and developing these projects. An interpretive
facility consisting of boardwalks and informational kiosks
was planned for the Corbett WMA in Palm Beach County.
Nature trails, informational kiosks and a wildlife viewing
platform were planned for the Guana River WMA in St.
Johns County. An interpretive drive was planned for the
Bull Creek WMA in Osceola County. This project consists
mostly of resurfacing the road and building informational
kiosks.
























































An objective of the Division of Fisheries is to provide
imw sustained use of freshwater fsh for Florida's
izens asd visitors. Although Florida's 3 million acres
of eshuwter lakes and 12,000 miles of streams and
provide some of the finest warmwater fishing and
Recreation in the world, those resources ha to
shard y a rapidly expanding human popuat of Of
oiethan 12 million individuals. To fisheries resources
means more fishing pressure and more degraded
series habitats. Finding cost-effective ways, within the
oje of our responsibility, to manage those problems is
Change facing the Division of Fisheries.





Progress:


During FY 88-89, the Division of Fisheries provided the
water management districts with nearly 28 man-days of
cooperative effort to ensure Surface Water Improvement
and Management (SWIM) plans were developed which
adequately addressed the needs of aquatic animal life and
their habitats. This effort was facilitated by the addition of
an engineer and a limnologist to Fisheries' staff, as a result
of the 1988 Legislature's actions. Unfortunately, additional
positions needed to complete the Commission's SWIM
team were not approved by the 1989 Legislature.
The 1989 legislative session was highlighted by
development of a saltwater license and the concomitant
increase in freshwater license fees. Proposals to use the
additional revenues centered around this agency's ongoing
commitment to habitat. Starting in FY 89-90 the Division
of Fisheries will have a major new Lake Restoration
Section, with adequate funds to develop and implement
some restoration projects independent of outside funding
and to match local funds in other cases.

FISHERIES RESEARCH The primary purpose of this
bureau is to conduct innovative research on methods to
enhance size and structure of freshwater fish populations
and to investigate the biology of Florida's important
aquatic resource systems for management applications. A
secondary purpose is to maintain an up-to-date data base
on existing fish populations and structures, water quality
indices, user-group attitudes and desires and angler success.
The North Florida Streams Research Project has
monitored intensively the largemouth bass population in
the Escambia River for several years. Based on solid data
that demonstrate the brackish delta marsh contains an
abundant, but slow-growing population of bass, which are
heavily fished by anglers, a 13-inch minimum size limit was
implemented for the Escambia River. The size limit should
increase the average size of bass over the next several years
and improve fishing quality in this popular area.
In addition, project biologists have discovered stocking
reciprocal sunshine bass (female white bass bred with male
striped bass) in the Escambia River produces an angler
harvest twice that of the original sunshine bass (female
striped bass bred with male white bass). They have also
found stocking larger (6-8 inch) sunshine bass rather than
fingerlings (1-2 inch) produces a much better sport fishery.
Striped bass were stocked in the Blackwater River in 1987
and 1989 to re-establish this species in Gulf Coast rivers.
The St. Johns River Fishery Resource Project has in
the past two years successfully established a sunshine bass
fishery in Lake Poinsett. The angler catch rate of 0.60 fish
per hour on the lake is considered excellent. Largemouth
bass catch rates in the Lake Washington to Lake Hellen
Blazes portion of the river have doubled this year. Efforts
to stock Farm 13 reservoir with red drum are continuing,
with 1,500 juveniles stocked this year. Due to its high
chloride levels, this is one of very few freshwater reservoirs
where red drum can be stocked successfully in Florida.
In the lower reaches of the St. Johns River, tagging
studies have demonstrated anglers are capturing 18 percent
of the adult population of striped and sunshine bass
annually. Since this fishery is entirely dependent on
Commission stocking programs, and since these fish do not
survive hooking stress well, such a high harvest rate is
desirable. Recent creel results indicate catch rates for all
sportfish on South Lake George are comparable to those


reported 30 years ago.
The Ochlockonee River Watershed Project
documented an increase in desirable submerged aquatic
vegetation in Lake Talquin in 1988 and 1989 that
produced strong year classes of largemouth bass and black
crappie. Apparently clear water is the major reason for
increased vegetation. Subsequent survival and recruitment
of these fish allowed an indefinite postponement of the
drawdown planned for 1989. Production of weak year
classes of bass in 1985, 1986 and 1987 led to a change in
the largemouth bass regulation from an 11-14-inch slot
limit to a 14-inch minimum length limit. The regulation
will provide additional protection for young bass and
generate a higher quality fishery.
A 13-17-inch slot limit has been proposed for Lake
Jackson to begin on July 1, 1990. This regulation should
help revitalize the lake's historic trophy-bass fishery. Both
bass and bream fishing were excellent on Lake Jackson in
FY 88-89 with large numbers of fish caught.
The Lower Oklawaha River Basin Project, based at
the University of Florida, has established good working
relations with the university's Fisheries Department. The
project has developed a fisheries management plan for
Rodman Reservoir which includes an extreme drawdown
for fisheries revitalization and seasonal water fluctuations
for fisheries and habitat maintenance. Both Orange and
Lochloosa lakes have produced strong year classes of
largemouth bass during recent years when there has been
significant submersed plant coverage.
The Upper Oklawaha River Basin Project
documented a tremendous increase in the black crappie
population following the 1984 Commission drawdown of
Lake Griffin. In FY 88-89, 216,000 black crappie were
caught the most in 10 years -with an angler success rate
of 1.25 black crappie per hour. The project is working
cooperatively with the St. Johns River Water Management
District on studies in lakes Denham and Apopka to
determine if harvesting gizzard shad by haul seine will result
in increased zooplankton populations and subsequently
reduced algal communities. If so, this technique could be
used as part of the SWIM project for restoring Lake
Apopka. Other research on Lake Apopka has shown
anglers are catching 0.89 sunshine bass per hour an
excellent harvest.
The Apalachicola River Project continued monitoring
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' dredging operations
and evaluating a rock-relocation technique to make
dredging activities less destructive to fisheries communities.
Preliminary stocking results indicate sunshine bass grow
faster and survive better during the first two years than do
striped bass. Total harvest of sunshine bass in 1989 was the
second highest recorded for the last 10-year period, and,
for the first time ever, sunshine bass were the most sought-
after fish in the tailrace fishery. Angler recovery of 7,000
stocked sunshine bass was tenfold higher than for stocked
striped bass.
Removal of Dead Lakes Dam, at the urging of the
Commission and other interested parties, has restored
natural flow of the Chipola River allowing seasonal
migration of striped bass to historic summer thermal
refuges. A few large, 20-pound, striped bass have been
observed in cool, natural springs and tributaries of the
Chipola River, which are critical to striped bass survival
during summer months. Additional stocking efforts for the
Apalachicola River will continue in attempts to prevent
genetic degradation of the Gulf stock of striped bass. This
23






year two 45-pound striped bass were collected and sent to
the hatchery for spawning. Either of these fish would have
been a state record for an angler. Age analyses indicated
they were from the 1980 year class, corresponding to the
first year Gulf striped bass were successfully stocked into
the Apalachicola River to begin restoration of this historic
fishery.
The Largemouth Bass Investigation Project found
that harvestable largemouth bass declined significantly in
Lake Rowell from 21 bass per acre in 1988 to 11 bass per
acre in 1989. This was correlated with high angler harvest
and variable recruitment following loss of submerged plants
after herbicide treatment.
Age analyses of trophy bass from taxidermy shops
statewide revealed bass from 10 to 15.2 pounds were 4 to
15 years old. The fastest growing bass (ages 4 to 5 years,
average of 10.4 pounds) came predominantly from borrow
or phosphate pits.
The Sport Fish Introduction Project concluded
preliminary evaluations on use of restrictive regulations to
manage largemouth bass. Slot limits, reduced bag limits and
"no kill" regulations all helped to maintain desirable angler
success rates under relatively high-pressure fishing
conditions. The "Tenoroc Management Concept"
continues to be very popular with local anglers and the
outdoor media. Based on this and other studies, the
Commission will continue to advocate restrictive harvest
regulations for bass on a case-by-case basis where data on
the fish population, habitat, food base and angler use
indicate such management methods will be beneficial.
The first issue of a series of educational bulletins was
printed and very favorably received by the angling public.
The project serves as liaison with the bass tournament
industry and in an advisory capacity. Besides helping
tournament sponsors minimize public conflicts and
criticism, the project is compiling voluntary tournament
fishing results for analysis.
The Non-Native Fish Research Project determined
butterfly peacock bass populations were stable enough to
allow harvest. The fishery opened on July 1, 1988 when a
bag limit of two fish, only one of which may be more than
17 inches long, was established. Butterfly peacock bass in
the 10- to 15-inch range are becoming common in
southeast Florida canals and several as large as 514 pounds
have been caught. This exciting urban fishery is expected to
continue to prosper in the years ahead, but will not expand
outside of the southeast Florida canals due to the fish's
intolerance of cool water. Speckled peacock bass still must
be released unharmed, as this trophy fishery will take
longer to become established.
A four-year study of largemouth bass in Florida canals
indicated typical lengths of 13 to 15 inches and 1.3 to 1.9
pounds. More than 10 percent of these fish exceeded 18
inches in length, but angler harvest continues to be low due
to difficulty in finding fish in box-cut canals.
The impacts of blue tilapia on a central Florida lake were
monitored in a continuing study, and a publication was
written to document their effects, especially on bluegill.
This year only 4 percent of the bluegill population was of
harvestable size (greater than 6 inches), apparently as a
result of competition with blue tilapia.
The Herbivorous Fish Project tracked radio-tagged
triploid grass carp stocked in Lake Harris and found they
did not move into other connected lakes. They did move
into dead-end and obstructed waterways occasionally. A
readily available food source, good water quality and slight


water flow may account for triploid grass carp being
attracted to these areas.
In Lake Yale, radio-tagged triploid grass carp were
associated with hydrilla 70 percent of the time. Stomach
analyses showed that 75 percent of what the fish ate was
hydrilla.
The Eustis Chemistry Laboratory focused its
operation on mercury in aquatic fauna. Concentrations
from 0.5 to 4.0 ppm wet weight in fillets from fish and
alligator tissue from a number of aquatic systems led to the
first health advisories ever released by the Department of
Health and Rehabilitative Services pertaining to freshwater
fish. The problem appears to be more or less state-wide
and, although man has undoubtedly contributed to the
problem, much of the mercury seems to be from natural
sources.
More than 18,000 water quality tests were conducted to
assist other fisheries projects this year. These tests focused
on nutrient loading, oxygen, pH and other factors that
directly affect the health of a fishery.
The Fisheries Statistics Team has continued to expand
its state-wide data bases and now has a well-developed creel
data base as far back as 1973 for some sites. Other
efforts are in progress to standardize sampling
methodologies where appropriate and combine the
information into central data bases. An electronic bulletin
board was set up to facilitate communication within the
division and with the public. The bulletin board, known as
Fishline, can be accessed by anyone with a modem by
dialing (904) 488-3773.
This year's angler attitude survey from the back of the
free publication Florida Freshwater Sport Fishing Guide &
Regulations Summary was responded to by more than 3,000
anglers. Of the respondents, 31 percent indicated they were
very satisfied with recent freshwater fishing in Florida, 46
percent were somewhat satisfied, 15 percent were
somewhat dissatisfied and only 9 percent were very
dissatisfied. Similarly, 31 percent indicated they were very
satisfied with the Division of Fisheries' efforts to provide
quality fishing, 45 percent were somewhat satisfied, 16
percent were somewhat dissatisfied and 8 percent reported
being very dissatisfied.
The Fisheries Genetics Project contracted work to
determine if DNA fingerprinting can identify differences
between historic Gulf Coast stocks of striped bass and
Atlantic Coast stocks. If successful, this technique could be
used to evaluate survival and growth of different striped
bass stocks under various environmental conditions and
help to restore a naturally fit population of striped bass to
the Gulf Coast.
Tissue samples from 363 trophy (greater than 10
pounds) largemouth bass, from statewide taxidermy shops,
were genetically analyzed using protein electrophoresis.
Genetic variation for these fish was somewhat less than for
random samples of bass, as expected, since most were
caught from areas that contain only pure native Florida
bass.
The Blackwater Fisheries Research Center produced
sunshine bass fry this year for the first time, paving the way
to expansion of the sunshine bass stocking program. In
addition, monies were appropriated by the 1989
Legislature to allow the upgrading of this 50-year-old
facility.

FISHERIES MANAGEMENT This bureau is
responsible for implementing sound fisheries management











Biologists use an
electric current to
temporarily stun
and gather fish for
study.


programs using current scientific techniques to conserve
and enhance the state's freshwater fisheries and habitat.
The bureau comprises regional management, commercial
fisheries and aquatic plant management sections, as well as
a development group and several independent projects.
The South Region Fisheries Management Project
continued to document benefits from the slot limit
regulation for largemouth bass at Saddle Creek Fish
Management Area. Angler compliance is high, and average
largemouth bass length has increased from 11 to 15 inches.
Management efforts to improve angling success for bluegill
and catfish have been effective.
Fish population and creel survey data for Lake Tarpon in
Pinellas County show this SWIM priority lake supports an
excellent sport fishery. Angler pressure is very high;
however, fishing quality is maintained because bass anglers
voluntarily release 83 percent of their catch. It is hoped
that implementation of the SWIM plan will abate
degradation of this urban lake and preserve the quality
fishery Lake Tarpon provides.
The Northeast Region Fisheries Management
Project expanded the Jacksonville Urban Pond Program to
nine sites totalling 116 acres. Supplemental stocking and
feeding have resulted in tremendous angler effort and
success. Intensive management in these waters provided
more than 25,000 man-days of recreational fishing.
Montgomery Lake in Lake City became a new fish
management area. A 15-inch minimum size regulation for
largemouth bass was implemented to help maintain a
balanced sport fishery. A great deal of project time was
dedicated to the Suwannee River SWIM program to
enhance preservation and restoration activities.
The Northwest Region Fisheries Management
Project determined that fertilizing five Commission-
managed lakes caused dramatic increases in fish
production. For example, numbers of harvestable-sized
sport fish in Lake Victor Fish Management Area in Holmes
County increased from 20 to 629 fish per acre.
Evaluation of Lake Miccosukee near Tallahassee showed
the sport fishery to be in poor condition. A major
drawdown was enacted by the Department of Natural


Resources for safety reasons associated with eminent failure
of the spillway. The drawdown should benefit the fishery.
Future management of this shallow 6,000-acre system will
be directed by a newly developed comprehensive
management plan that addresses fish, waterfowl, alligators
and nongame animals.
The Everglades Region Fisheries Management
Project documented high success rates for anglers fishing
in canals bordering Water Conservation Area 2. Dry
conditions in the marsh concentrated fish in canals where
bass fishermen enjoyed an excellent catch rate of 1.1 fish
per hour. Ecological impacts of the drought will be
investigated during future sampling.
Contacts with Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties
provided many potential sites for expansion of the Urban
Fishing Program. A selection process was developed to
evaluate candidate lakes. The program will be initiated in
FY 89-90.
The Central Region Fisheries Management Project
completed the first year of a study to compare fish
attractors constructed of various materials. Natural
attractors made from tree cuttings concentrated higher
numbers of sportfish than commercially available plastic
trees. Angling success for panfish was higher near brush
piles; however, more largemouth bass were caught near
artificial structures. Brush piles provide dense habitat
preferred by panfish and can be successfully angled by
"still-fishing" techniques. Black bass orient to low-density
plastic attractors, which are more suited for angling with
conventional bass fishing techniques.
A fish population study was completed for Lake Tsala
Apopka. These findings will be used by the Southwest
Florida Water Management District in developing a
restoration and management plan for the 22,000-acre lake.
The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Project documented
positive responses in production of sportfish, forage fish
and large invertebrates on muck removal sites at Lake
Tohopekaliga near Kissimmee. More diverse vegetation
communities with less overall plant density were found on
scraped sites where muck was removed.
An extreme drawdown of East Lake Tohopekaliga has
25





been approved and is scheduled to begin in December
1989. Funding for the muck removal project, which is
planned to scrape and haul approximately 400,000 cubic
yards of organic material from the lake bottom, has not
been finalized; however, $800,000 is being sought to do
this restoration work in March 1990.
Florida legislators recently allocated $8 million of a $20
million proposal to restore a more natural flow to the
Kissimmee River. This money will be used to purchase
either flowage easements or land covering as much as
20,000 acres of historic lake-bottom marshes surrounding
lakes Cypress, Hatchineha and Kissimmee. If this plan is
implemented, wider ranges in water level fluctuation and
higher lake levels should increase fisheries and wildlife
values. Also, increased volumes of water will be stored
upstream to allow year-round flow in the restored
Kissimmee River.
The Lake Okeechobee Project verified that bands on
otoliths (ear bones) of bluegill and redear sunfish are
annular marks. This is the first step in developing
dependable age, growth and mortality statistics for bluegill
and redear sunfish in Lake Okeechobee.
Otter trawl sampling demonstrated a continued high
abundance of black crappie in Lake Okeechobee.
Successively strong year classes have resulted in high


Commercial fishermen harvested

4,252,000 pounds offish from Lake
Okeechobee. White catfish were
the dominant species caught.


numbers of this popular game fish. However, these high
numbers are negatively impacting black crappie growth
rates. The 1988-89 winter-spring creel survey indicated 11
percent of black crappie caught were released due to their
small size.
The creel survey also documented the continuing high
quality of the sport fisheries of Lake Okeechobee. The
survey showed anglers expended 307,000 hours of effort
during the survey period and caught 119,000 largemouth
bass for a success rate of 0.39 fish/hour. Anglers harvested
799,000 black crappie and 112,000 bream.
Commercial fishermen harvested 4,252,000 pounds of
fish from Lake Okeechobee during 1988-89. Trotlines
accounted for 55 percent of the harvest. Haul seines and
wire traps were responsible for 42 percent and 2 percent of
the commercial harvest, respectively. White catfish
dominated the commercial catch, representing 60 percent
(2,557,000 pounds) of the harvest.
In March 1989, with the assistance of U. S. Army Corps
of Engineers, Division of Wildlife and Division of Forestry
personnel, Okeechobee Project personnel coordinated a
prescribed burn of 7,500 acres of cattails and torpedo grass
on the northwest shore of the lake to enhance marsh
communities. The diversity of Lake Okeechobee's 95,000-
acre marsh is being lost to dense stands of cattails and
torpedo grass. These areas provide little habitat for fish and


wildlife due to poor water quality and inaccessibility.
Cattails now cover 41 percent of the marsh area.
Revegetation characteristics and impacts are being
monitored by USFWS Co-op Unit personnel at the
University of Florida.
The Fish Hatchery Project produced and stocked 3.4
million fish of nine species into 378 different water bodies.
Of those fish, 82 percent were striped bass and sunshine
bass. Public lakes and rivers received 83 percent of all fish
produced. Fifteen percent were stocked into private ponds
as a public service this was the final year of that
program. Two percent were provided to cooperating
scientists for research purposes.
The hatchery provided on-site logistical and technical
support services for seven research investigations about
aquaculture technology, stocking methods and fisheries
habitat management.
Hatcherymen also conducted two other studies: one on
waterfowl depredation of hatchery crops, and the other on
production of triploid blue tilapia.
The Kissimmee River/Lake Okeechobee/
Everglades Resource Project continued to monitor
effects of the Kissimmee River Restoration Demonstration
Project on fish communities in Pool B. A large fish kill
which occurred in Pool B in September 1988 was
responsible for a decline in total electrofishing catch rates
in 1989. However, reproductive success of most fish
species in 1989 was excellent and catch rates are beginning
to improve to pre-kill levels. Project personnel sampled fish
populations in Pools C, D and E to obtain baseline
information to evaluate impacts of Phase 11 Restoration
efforts. These studies also documented the importance of
flow to Kissimmee River fishes. Largemouth bass studies
on the river revealed populations in all pools grow rapidly
and exhibit low mortality rates. Because of highly variable
recruitment, however, overall densities are considered to be
low to intermediate as compared to other natural rivers in
Florida.
Otter trawl studies conducted on Lake Okeechobee
revealed black crappie and threadfin shad were again the
most abundant species in open water areas of the lake.
Black crappie constituted more than 50 percent of the total
weight of fish collected, while threadfin shad constituted
between 60 and 70 percent of the total number.
Distribution comparisons of catch revealed black crappie,
shad and bream were significantly more abundant in near-
shore than in open-water areas of the lake while the
opposite was true for white catfish. Long-term analyses of
trawl data will be useful for assessing impacts of
eutrophication on fish communities within the lake.
Results from the second year of the Lake Okeechobee
aquatic invertebrate study continue to document the
presence of several invertebrate community types in the
lake. The off-shore, open-water community is dominated
by species considered extremely tolerant of organic
pollution. Near-shore and aquatic plant habitats support
greater numbers of species and are more densely populated.
Despite indications of rapidly advancing eutrophication,
when all habitat types sampled are taken into
consideration, Lake Okeechobee invertebrate communities
are reasonably healthy and reflect the wide habitat diversity
present within the lake basin.
This was the first year the Boat Ramp Project had two
teams fully manned and equipped. During this period 22
ramps were repaired and two new ramps were built. New
construction techniques have been employed which make it





easier to launch and retrieve boats.
The Fish Attractor Crew worked on 40 quarter-acre
structures throughout the state. Most of these attractors
were made of brush. In one region a combination of brush
and tires was installed because brush breaks down after a
few years. This approach provides desirable characteristics
from both materials, such as longevity from the tires and
surface area from the brush.
Ninety percent of a pilot project in Lake Monroe has
been completed by the Lake Restoration Project to
improve fisheries habitat by planting native vegetation in
800 acres of this 9,506-acre lake. Giant bulrush and
eelgrass transplants have established and are expanding
rapidly in areas where they were eliminated and have been
absent for 20 years.
Development of a long-term management program for
Lake Istokpoga has progressed well. The Commission
recommended that the South Florida Water Management
District adopt a new water-regulation schedule to improve
fisheries and wildlife habitat on this 27,700-acre lake. The
district has agreed that raising the high pool stage is the key
to effectively addressing habitat problems and improving
aquatic resources in this lake. The district has directed its
staff to work with this agency in achieving this important
goal.
The Commercial Fisheries Project documented a
sharp decline in catfish harvest from Lake Apopka in FY
88-89 (933,000 pounds) from the 1987-88 harvest
(2,247,000 pounds). A corresponding reduction in
commercial effort was also observed. The St. Johns River
catfish harvest was almost the same (2.3 million pounds) as
the previous year. Combining catfish with blue crab and
American eel harvest from the St. Johns River, 4.6 million
pounds of resource was harvested with an exvessel value of
$2.5 million.
An estimated 3 million pounds of blue tilapia worth
$734,000 in exvessel value were harvested from waters
near Lakeland in this fiscal year. Approximately 87 percent
of these fish were harvested with cast nets and the
remaining 13 percent by haul seine. Almost 294,000
pounds of catfish were harvested from lakes in the
Lakeland area.
Catfish (88 percent) and blue tilapia (4 percent)
comprised the majority of fish captured in 229 observed
catfish traps in Lake Apopka. Of the game fish bycatch,
black crappie (54 percent) and bluegill (44 percent) were
the two dominant species. Only 10 percent of all game fish
caught in traps were of harvestable size desired by sport
fishermen. By law all game fish must be released and cannot
be harvested.
The Commercial Aquaculture Project completed the
second year of investigating intensive spawning and cage
culture of bream and bream hybrids as part of an
assessment of aquaculture potential for native Florida
fishes. Factors studied included feed conversion ratios of
fingerling and adult fish in intensive cage culture, feed and
production costs, stocking density evaluations, and
management implications. Upon completion of the study, a
manual on culture guidelines for aquaculturists will be
developed. During FY 88-89, more than 3,500 requests for
aquaculture information were processed and 16 on-site
inspections were made for culture of restricted fishes.
Cultured native game species sold as food under the
Aquaculture Game Fish License program included bream
and striped bass. Eight licensed aquaculturists purchased
36,000 tags to sell game fish as food in this program.


The 1989 Legislature appropriated $365,904 to build
additional ponds at Richloam Fish Hatchery. Thirty-eight
ponds totaling approximately 20 acres of water will be
constructed to carry out studies designed to guide
freshwater aquacultural development in a manner which
does not significantly impact public fishery resources or
habitat. This includes meeting Commission commitments
to increase research in solving aquaculture problems as
outlined in the Florida Aquaculture Plan and the
memorandum of understanding between the Commission
and The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services. The Florida Aquaculture Plan lists approximately
35 subject areas where the Commission can assist in solving
aquaculture problems for various species. Drawing from
these areas, and with input from the aquaculture industry,
new ponds will be used to conduct research which will
meet these objectives. These ponds also will be used to
develop new production and culture techniques benefitting
public waters. However, there remains an essential need to
develop a secure, recirculating water system for the
hatchery to allow experimentation with non-native fishes,
and the program remains severely under-staffed.
The Aquatic Plant Management Section issued an
increased number of permits to stock triploid grass carp for
management of aquatic plants in small ponds. Public


Lake Restoration Project personnel
improved the habitat of 9,506-acre

Lake Monroe by planting 800 acres
of native vegetation.


confidence in the ability of this fish to manage undesirable
aquatic vegetation continues to grow. A total of 871
triploid grass carp permits were issued by the Commission
and 422 Department of Natural Resources herbicide work
plans and permits were reviewed during FY 88-89. Section
personnel continued to experiment using low numbers of
triploid grass carp for preventative maintenance of hydrilla.
Stocking rates ranged from one to five fish per surface acre.
Reduction of hydrilla biomass allows desirable native
plants, low on the grass carp's preference list, to increase in
volume.
Triploid grass carp removal by hook and line was
attempted on Clear Lake in downtown Orlando. The
objective was to reduce the number of carp after they
remove the target plant hydrilla. Letter permits were
issued to participants in return for voluntary creel
information. Without such a permit it is illegal to harvest
or possess grass carp.
Promising preliminary work was conducted to develop a
method of removing triploid grass carp following control of
target plant species. This technique includes incorporating a
fish toxicant into edible formulations of fish pellets and
aquatic plants. The toxicant is not released into the water
and is used in such low concentrations that it is safe from a
human perspective, and should not significantly affect
other fish or wildlife resources.











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Progress:


Habitat Impact Assessment OES provides comments
to various agencies such as the Department of
Environmental Regulation (DER), the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (Corps), the Department of Community Affairs,
water management districts and regional planning councils
on the potential impacts of developmental projects on fish
and wildlife. Habitat surveys are often conducted and
assessments are prepared for consideration by these
agencies in their decisions affecting the issuance of permits
or development approvals. By providing these assessments
to the regulatory agencies, OES can recommend that
projects destructive to fish and wildlife resources not be
permitted, or that they be redesigned to avoid or mitigate
habitat losses.
OES biologists continued to emphasize the protection of
upland habitats important to listed species through reviews
of Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs), and
contributed to the establishment of a number of on-site
habitat preserves. A case in point is the International
Corporate Park in Orange County a large 2,921-acre
proposed industrial park which contained two identified
colonies of red-cockaded woodpeckers in addition to many
other species of wildlife. As a result of OES
recommendations, the development order for this project
required the applicant to develop a wildlife management
plan for the site as well as a management plan for red-
cockaded woodpeckers. The final management plan
incorporated a series of upland buffers to protect
woodpecker colonies and wildlife corridors along and
between the major wetland strands occurring on site,
including a 25-acre xeric oak preserve.
Other projects in which OES recommendations
influenced the disposition of the development order or
permit included the Wekiva Falls DRI in Lake County
which was denied development approval based on its
potential impact on the adjacent Rock Springs Run State
Preserve and a major north-south travel corridor for the
threatened black bear; the Sun-N-Lakes project in
Highlands County in which 224 acres of Lake Wales Ridge
scrub community was set aside as partial mitigation for
wetland impacts; and the Monterey DRI in Lake County
where 100-foot buffers along the Palatlakaha River and 50-
foot buffers around all on-site wetlands were preserved.
This year, OES increased its coordination with water
management districts on the review of projects requiring
permits for management and storage of surface waters. An
agreement was reached with the St. Johns River Water
Management District permitting staff whereby all surface
water management permit applications affecting more than
10 acres of wetlands, any wetlands with endangered or
threatened species use, and all permits relating to
agricultural conversion are now sent to OES for review.
Coordination with the South Florida Water Management
District (SFWMD) also continued with more than 20
reviews of surface water management permit applications
involving agricultural projects of more than 320 acres.
Additional work was conducted this year on Collier
Enterprises' Wildlife Assessment of Citrus Conversion on
77,000 acres, which resulted from a special condition of a
SFWMD permit. Considerable effort this fiscal year was
devoted to wood stork, panther and deer data analysis,
review of Collier's draft and final wildlife assessments, and
coordination with the Division of Wildlife and Collier
Enterprises' staff and consultant. In order to allow for the


perpetual protection of essential panther habitat and
habitat for other listed species, it was recommended that no
land-use changes should be allowed within panther high-use
areas, and that only vegetable fields within the panther
distribution linkage areas should be converted to citrus.
This year OES was successful in reducing impacts to
surface waters from sewage treatment plant discharges
through habitat assessment work with several projects. The
City of Ocala signed a consent agreement with the Florida
Wildlife Federation to abandon its plans to discharge to
Marshall Swamp and, ultimately, the Oklawaha River, and,
as an alternative, develop a 1,000-acre spray irrigation site
near Bellinger. The Commission was the only permitting or
resource agency to oppose this project and provided
comments to DER, the Corps, the St. Johns River Water
Management District, and the Withlacoochee Regional
Planning Council. Not only did these comments express
this agency's views to the permit decision-makers, but they
also formed the nucleus of expert opinion for local
conservationists who opposed the project.
Another example of success in protecting surface waters
occurred when the City of Ft. Pierce announced plans to
discontinue its 12-million-gallon-per-day discharge to the
Indian River and implement deep-well injection. OES had
opposed the expansion of this plant several years ago, and
had lobbied against this and other sewage treatment plant
discharges to the Indian River. Additionally, OES
recommendations to limit nutrient discharges from the
spray irrigation system of the Niceville Wastewater
Treatment Facilities were incorporated to reduce the
potential for impact to the Okaloosa darter, an endangered
species.
Other significant habitat assessment work this year
included reviews of the Southwood Plantation DRI in Leon
County, the Rock Crusher Road DRI in Citrus County, the
Citygate DRI in Collier County, the Willoughby Club DRI
in St. Lucie County, the Magnetic Levitation
Demonstration Project in Orange County, Florida Power
and Light Company's proposed Levee-Midway 500kV
power transmission line in southeast Florida, and the
Turnpike Extension from Wildwood to Lebanon Station.

Nongame
Habitat Protection The Nongame Habitat Protection
Section of OES, which is supported solely by the Nongame
Wildlife Trust Fund, was established to strengthen OES
efforts in combatting the continuing erosion of Florida's
wildlife habitat base. The section's responsibility is to plan
and implement programs designed to protect the habitats of
declining species of wildlife and to provide sufficient
habitat to prevent additional species from being threatened
by continued habitat loss. The Nongame Habitat Protection
Section is currently active in four major program areas:
1) Habitat protection in the Florida Keys,
2) Development of habitat protection guidelines for
declining species,
3) Designing a statewide wildlife habitat protection
plan,
4) Providing technical assistance to the public,
consultants, other state and federal agencies, and Nongame
Wildlife Program staff concerning wildlife habitat
protection needs.
This section employs a full-time biologist dedicated to
protecting wildlife habitat in the rapidly growing Florida
Keys. Major aspects of this job include reviewing state and
federal dredge-and-fill permit applications for impacts on






fish and wildlife resources and providing comments to
Monroe County on specific land development proposals.
The Keys biologist played an important role in drafting and
publishing a document describing actions that should be
taken to ensure the viability of the endangered Key deer on
Big Pine Key. With the assistance of the Department of
Natural Resources (DNR) and Florida Audubon Society,
"No Trespassing" signs were posted on Pelican Shoals, a 2-
acre island off Boca Chica Key that is a major nesting site
of the threatened roseate tern. Several public talks were
given to dispel concerns that Key deer and the ticks
associated with them are vectors of Lyme disease. Finally,
an application was received and processed for the
destruction of Key Largo woodrat nests incidental to land-
clearing and construction activities associated with a new
residential subdivision on North Key Largo.
In order to provide better habitat protection
recommendations to regulatory agencies and local
governments charged with the review of large-scale
developments, particularly DRIs, the Nongame Habitat
Protection section has one full-time biologist devoted to
writing habitat protection guidelines for species sensitive to
development impacts. During FY 88-89, Nongame Wildlife
Program Technical Report No. 6, titled "Coastal Xeric
Scrub Communities of the Treasure Coast Region, Florida:
A Summary of Their Distribution and Ecology, with
Guidelines for Their Preservation and Management," was
finished and sent to the printer. In addition, new guidelines
for the protection of the habitats of Florida scrub jays and
Southeastern kestrels, both of which are state-listed
threatened species, were initiated.
Beginning in FY 87-88, this section embarked on a five-
year project with the goal of developing a habitat
protection plan for meeting the long-term conservation
needs of all species of Florida wildlife. The project involves
the use of LANDSAT satellite imagery to map wildlife
habitats statewide during the first three years. The final two
years of the project will be devoted to using the habitat
maps and computer models of wildlife habitat requirements
to identify specific tracts of land that should remain
undeveloped.
During FY 88-89, LANDSAT-based habitat maps were
completed for the East Central Florida, Withlacoochee,
Tampa Bay, Central Florida, and Southwest Florida
regional planning councils, an area covering approximately
40 percent of the land area of the state.
A full-time biologist was hired to be the Geographic
Information System (GIS) manager of the project, and a
computer system running image processing and GIS
software was purchased and installed. Staff received
training in the use of the system, and habitat maps were
supplied to several regional planning councils, counties,
and Commission biologists. In addition, the section
contracted for a computer program designed to search
LANDSAT-generated habitat maps for significant wildlife
habitats, and, upon receipt of the software, efforts were
begun to use it to identify important wildlife habitats in
areas of the state already mapped.
The Nongame Habitat Protection staff also coordinated
section operations with other Nongame Wildlife Program
staff and provided technical assistance to Commission
biologists, other agency staff, and the public on the habitat
protection needs of Florida wildlife. Major
accomplishments in this program area during FY 88-89
included participation in the review and selection of
research proposals submitted for funding by the Nongame


Wildlife Program, attending Nongame Wildlife Advisory
Council meetings and keeping the Council abreast of
section activities, giving talks designed to educate the public
on the habitat protection needs of Florida wildlife, and
providing technical assistance to the public on a variety of
nongame wildlife issues.

Technical Assistance OES works with developers and
land planners to incorporate fish and wildlife
considerations into development or land management plans
before they become finalized, so impacts to wildlife
populations are prevented or minimized. Technical
assistance is provided to other state agencies, developers,
consultants, regional planning councils, county
commissions, 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.
Local and regional comprehensive plan reviews and
providing additional technical assistance to county
governments and regional planning councils consumed
considerable time again this year. Comprehensive plan
reviews for Indian River, Broward, Dade, Lee, Sarasota,
Hernando, Citrus, Collier, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and
Palm Beach counties were conducted, and comprehensive
regional policy plans were reviewed for the Withlacoochee
and Apalachee regions. In addition, technical assistance was
provided directly to several counties through participation
on several committees such as the Habitat Subcommittee of
the Citrus County Wildlife Preservation Committee. In
Franklin County, a number of specific ordinances were
reviewed for consistency with environmental standards
established by the Legislature when the Apalachicola Bay
area was designated as an Area of Critical State Concern.
Work continued on establishing wildlife mitigation park
programs in various regions. In the Northeast Region, more
than $500,000 was anticipated to be available for
acquisition of lands to mitigate impacts from DRI projects,
and a 1,700-acre site in southwest Duval County and
northwest Clay County was identified for the mitigation
park. Negotiations were initiated with Hernando County
for a cooperative agreement whereby funds that are
collected as part of DRI mitigation activities would be
matched from the county's environmental land acquisition
fund, and an acquisition site was identified. OES personnel
also assisted in the development of preliminary criteria for
the location of a regional mitigation park in the Southwest
Florida Regional Planning Council in conjunction with the
regional planning council, local governments, the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service (USFWS), The Collier Conservancy,
and The Nature Conservancy.
Technical assistance was provided to several water
management districts for their surface water improvement
and management (SWIM) planning as well as other specific
water management projects affecting fish and wildlife
resources. OES personnel participated in the SWIM
planning for Charlotte Harbor, Tampa Bay, Pensacola Bay,
Bayou Chico, the Suwannee River, and the Indian River
Lagoon in coordination with the Division of Fisheries. OES
represented the Commission on the Lake Okeechobee
Littoral Zone Technical Group, an interagency committee
formed to advise the SFWMD on the impact of lake
regulation schedules on the littoral zone, and also
contributed to the formulation of an operational plan for
the Holey Land Everglades restoration.











OES biologists
work to reduce
impacts to surface
waters from
sewage treatment
plant discharges.


Other technical assistance activities included developing
standardized wildlife survey/sampling methodologies for
Hillsborough County's land acquisition program, assisting
the USFWS and affected local governments in the
development of a regional red-cockaded woodpecker
management plan in South Florida, supporting the
designation of the Withlacoochee River as an Outstanding
Florida Water, and providing testimony to the
Environmental Regulation Commission in its deliberations
concerning a rule governing the discharge of wastewater to
wetlands.
Environmental Services personnel also provided input to
a variety of committees including the Treasure Coast
Regional Scrub Management Committee, the
Environmental and Planning Advisory Committee to the
High Speed Rail Transportation Commission, the
Subcommittee on Managed Marshes of the Governor's
Working Group on Mosquito Control, the Orlando-
Orange County Expressway Authority Environmental
Advisory Group, the Coastal Zone Interagency
Management Committee, the Land Acquisition Advisory
Council, the Myakka River Coordinating Council, the
Loxahatchee Wild and Scenic River Management
Coordinating Council, the Spoil Site Advisory Committee,
the Commission on the Future of Florida's Environment,
and the Suwannee River Task Force.

Habitat Restoration
Technical Assistance This program is intended to
enhance the capability of landscapes altered as a result of
development activities to support self-sustaining
assemblages of native fish and wildlife by providing
technical fish and wildlife input into governmental and
private restoration attempts, compiling existing data from
all possible sources, and occasionally conducting limited
research or surveys where information is lacking.
Reclamation of lands mined for phosphate continued as
an important area of work in this program. OES biologists
reviewed 256 DNR Bureau of Mine Reclamation Program
applications, amendments and revisions over the course of
the year. Assistance was provided in the planning and
review of two approved nonmandatory program


applications that had fish and wildlife habitat as all or a
portion of the landowner's land use goal. One incorporated
132 acres of lake, wetland, and upland forest habitat into a
headwater habitat system to be reclaimed as part of the
overall program for a 287-acre tract just east of Bartow.
The other was for a 531-acre tract of ungraded mine spoil
and pits directly adjacent to Lake Hancock to be reclaimed
as private fishing and wildlife habitat. This agency's
involvement in the program led to DNR's unprecedented
acceptance of a variance to its normal funding limits to
allow for full reforestation of all upland areas not needed
for land use support facilities.
Other OES activities in phosphate reclamation included
assisting University of Florida researchers in an assessment
of wading bird use at Lake Hancock and at phosphate
mining areas in the upper Peace River system, assisting the
Center for Wetlands in an assessment of possible use of
Atlantic white cedar in wetland reclamation, and
completing the second year of data collection for the
phosphate mine land xeric habitat restoration
demonstration project in Polk County.
A study initiated several years ago to evaluate the
possible revegetation of spoil islands in the Indian River
with hammock vegetation began paying dividends this year.
A technical paper titled "Establishment of native hammock
vegetation on spoil islands dominated by Australian pine
(Casuarina equisetifolia) and Brazilian pepper (Schinus
terebinthifolius)" was accepted for publication in the
proceedings of the Exotic Pest Plant Symposium, and was
presented at the symposium at the University of Miami. As
a result of this research, OES biologists have assisted the
DNR in implementing a spoil island revegetation program
for the Indian River Aquatic Preserve. Initially, 1,600
seedlings of 22 species were planted on four spoil islands in
Indian River County, and several thousand more seedlings
will be planted on five additional islands in the aquatic
preserve in late 1989.
The Kissimmee River Restoration Project aerial surveys
for wading birds and waterfowl were completed for another
year. The data collected during 10 aerial surveys were
analyzed and a paper summarizing the results was presented
at the Kissimmee River Restoration Symposium.















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The Office of Informational Services is the central
Source of information from the Commission to the
public. Its mission is to ensure a high level of public
..understanding of this agency's programs and goals.
In addition to its overall public information
responsibilities, OIS coordinates several specific
programs including Aquatic Resources Education,
Hunter Education, Project WILD, Nongame Wildlife
Education, Wildlife Alert, FLORIDA WILDLIFE
Magazine, the Coryi newsletter, numerous
educational and informational brochures, and news
media relations.






Progress:


Audio-Visual This section of OIS provides a necessary
communications link between the Commission and the
residents of Florida through various forms of audio-visual
media. From a black-and-white photograph of a Florida
panther sent to a child for a school project, to a news
program that used raw video footage of an alligator hunt,
the Audio-Visual Section assists in bringing the
Commission's messages to the public.
During the year, audio-visual staff designed and
completed two portable exhibits featuring color
photographs and captions. One described boating safety
information and the other dealt with the Florida panther.
Two posters for statewide distribution were created for the
Division of Law Enforcement. The importance of wearing a
life jacket is the theme of the boating safety poster, and
wildlife officer recruitment is featured on the other.
Television played an important part in media
production. A training tape was produced showing how to
use ammonium nitrate to create duck ponds and remove
beaver dams. Three boating safety public service
announcements (PSAs) were duplicated and distributed to
TV stations statewide. Footage for a lake restoration video
was taken and a new video on bass research was started
during the year. This section provided assistance and
coordinated efforts with film companies, national and local
television stations working on wildlife and conservation
subjects.
Radio continues to be one of the best methods of getting
Commission information to the general public. A
combined total of 21 pre-recorded and live PSAs were
distributed to 235 radio stations during the year. Topics
included: boating safety "Know Before You Go," hunter
education "Gun Safety in the Home," Wildlife Alert -
"Fishing Law Violators" and "Not Playing by the Rules,"
waterfowl hunting regulations "Get the Facts" and a
fishing promotion PSA "Family Outing." Thirty 10-
second live radio PSAs about hunter education and bow
hunting classes were sent to stations in areas in the state
where classes were being conducted.
Slide programs provide an excellent way for the
Commission to bring informative topics before the public.
A library of programs in 30 subject areas was maintained
and made available for Commission staff use throughout
the state. A revision of the popular panther slide program
was completed, as was Commission biologist Paul Moler's
"The Venomous Snakes of Florida." Major work was
completed on two slide programs. "The Triploid Grass
Carp" is designed to encourage the use of the fish in
controlling aquatic vegetation in Florida ponds and lakes.
"Responsible Aquatic Management" deals with the
problems and suggested solutions of lake pollution.
Color slides and materials for staff presentations, and
photographs for Commission news releases and FLORIDA
WILDLIFE magazine stories were provided. OIS produced
more than 150 publications during the year, many
requiring photographs provided by this section. As always,
a great deal of effort was made to assist other state agencies,
schools, book publishers and newspapers with photographs
of fish, wildlife and Commission activities.

News and Information Services This section is
responsible for communicating information about
Commission programs and activities. Writers do so
through news media and through personalized responses to


requests for information.
During FY 88-89, the News and Information Services
Section, from the Tallahassee headquarters and five
regional offices, continued to provide information to the
general public and to news media throughout the world.
Through the use of computers in Tallahassee and
regional offices, this section has the ability to keep pace
with fast-breaking news involving the Commission. News
releases are transmitted electronically to editors and news
directors across Florida within 20 minutes when necessary.
In addition, news releases and other information is
transmitted from regional offices to the Tallahassee
headquarters through computer modems when speed is an
important factor.
On occasions when swiftness is not a requirement, news
releases are mailed to roughly 800 newspapers, magazines,
wire services, television stations, radio stations, free-lance
writers, conservation clubs and certain retailers.
During this fiscal year, the Tallahassee headquarters
prepared 82 written news releases of statewide, national or
international interest. Another 167 news releases of
regional interest were produced and distributed locally by
information specialistsin Panama City, Lake City, Ocala,
Lakeland and West Palm Beach. Also, regional information
personnel continued monthly publication of "Conservation
Notes," a collection of localized conservation news briefs
which are popular filler items among print and electronic
news media.
This section also assisted reporters and editors in
preparing outdoor-related stories on hundreds of occasions
this year.
Special and regular public relations projects concerning
Florida panthers, spring and summer fishing, youth
conservation camps, the Wildlife Alert Program, alligators,
hunting regulations and Commission meetings were
continued.
This section also continued publication of the newsletter
Coryi. This tabloid-newspaper-type publication is produced
by the Commission for the Florida Panther Interagency
Committee, and is devoted to information concerning
efforts to save the Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi) from
the threat of extinction.
All six offices responded to thousands of telephone
inquiries, many of which required follow-up activities or
resulted in mailing information.
In response to written requests for information, the
Tallahassee office sent out 346 written responses and
packets containing pamphlets and brochures.
In addition, regional information personnel delivered
202 speeches and presentations concerning a variety of
outdoor topics. Regional personnel prepared and manned
28 exhibits at fairs and similar events. Some of these
exhibits were viewed by nearly 1 million individuals.
OIS logged more than 392 television appearances and
radio interviews and programs during this fiscal year.
This section provides editing services for Commission
personnel who plan to have their works published in
popular or technical magazines.
The News and Information Services Section produces the
agency's annual report.

FLORIDA
WILDLIFE magazine FLORIDA WILDLIFE magazine,
the pride of OIS, has published important information
concerning regulations, updates on the status of threatened
and endangered species, and timely articles about






conservation of natural resources for more than 43 years.
Factual articles about game animals help inform hunters
of regulatory changes and the Commission's wildlife
management plans. Articles on nongame and endangered
species help make Floridians aware of the complex
conservation issues facing our state. Through educational
articles about habitat restoration, land management
practices, changing wildlife population/distribution, and
ongoing biological research and planning, the magazine
informs the public about the "delicate balance" of human
and wildlife interaction and the Commission's role and
mission.
FLORIDA WILDLIFE helps to educate the public about
numerous endangered species and the status of animals
listed as species of special concern or those threatened with
extinction. Over the past fiscal year the magazine has
featured numerous articles about these animals and other
timely conservation issues. This award-winning publication
has maintained an accurate production delivery schedule
for over a year now. At $7 a year, the bimonthly magazine
continues to be a cost-effective and appropriate vehicle to
educate Floridians about the ethical use of our natural
resources.




Wildlife Alert paid $12,700 in
rewards to 86 individuals who pro-
vided information resulting in 207
arrests. Officers made 903 addi-
tional arrests for which no reward
was requested.



Publications Each year the Publications Section
produces fishing and hunting handbooks, fish and wildlife
management area maps, and other regulatory information
that thousands of Florida sportsmen rely on to guide them
in the legal and ethical use of Florida's wildlife resources.
This section also produces scores of pamphlets, brochures,
booklets and posters that bring the wonders of native
wildlife to the general public. This year's new publications
included an educational bulletin on Florida striped bass, a
poster about the protection of gopher tortoises, and a
brochure about the Endangered Species List.
This section also produces many in-house documents,
providing art and layout for such things as the Commission
newsletter, training materials and policy manuals. The
Publications Section assists all divisions and offices at every
stage in the creation and production of printed materials.

Wildlife Alert The Commission created the Wildlife
Alert Reward Program in 1979 as a safe way for concerned
conservationists to assist the Commission in its law
enforcement efforts. The program encourages citizens to
report wildlife law violations by paying cash rewards for
information resulting in arrests. Callers do not have to give
their names or appear in court.
During the fiscal year, the association purchased 40,000
Wildlife Alert bumper stickers, raising the total number
printed since the program began to 350,000.


For radio, the Audio-Visual Section produced and
distributed five public service announcements about the
program.
To the print media, OIS distributed 15 news releases
from Tallahassee and regional offices. In addition, regional
personnel promoted Wildlife Alert through 96 speeches;
37 newspaper interviews; 21 exhibits at shopping centers,
fairs, etc.; 16 television appearances; and 14 radio
interviews.
A feature article about Wildlife Alert appeared in the
January/February issue of FLORIDA WILDLIFE. In
addition, the magazine aided promotion of the program by
printing a public service message in each issue.
The Division of Law Enforcement and OIS worked
together to keep an accurate accounting of arrest and
reward figures. During this fiscal year Wildlife Alert paid
$12,700 in rewards to 86 individuals who provided
information resulting in 207 arrests. Wildlife officers made
903 additional arrests for which no reward was requested.
The Wildlife Alert Reward Association, a 13-member
panel of private citizens appointed by the executive
director, met twice during the fiscal year to provide overall
guidance to the program. OIS organized the meetings and
provided minutes to association members and Commission
staff.
Through court-ordered donations and voluntary
contributions, the Wildlife Alert Reward Fund received
$24,661.55 during the fiscal year.

Education The Commission's education efforts include
operation of two youth conservation camps, the Hunter
Education Program, the Nongame Wildlife Education
Program, the Aquatic Resources Education Program and
Project WILD.
The Commission's youth conservation camps at Ocala
and West Palm Beach operate for eight, one-week sessions
each summer for boys and girls between the ages of eight
and 14. The camps and their instructional programs are
structured to promote increased awareness and
appreciation of wildlife, its management and conservation,
and to teach responsible use of natural resources.
During this year, the two camps drew a total attendance
of 1,662 youngsters. Hundreds more were on the waiting
list when the last vacancies were reserved. The eighth week
of camp at the Everglades site is reserved for children
sponsored through the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida Inc.
A survey of parents of campers attending the first, third
and seventh weeks of camp indicated that, on a scale of 1
to 10, parents rated the overall effectiveness of the program
at 8.7 and the quality of the camp activities at 8.8. Of the
parents who responded to the survey, 93 percent said they
would send their children again. Respondents totaled
slightly more than half the parents who received the
surveys.
During the off-season, youth camp facilities are available
for use by a number of conservation organizations for
meetings, conferences and workshops. Project
WILD/Outdoor Adventure workshops, offered by the
Commission, take place at the camps.
The Hunter Education Program continues to mature
beyond its original goal of teaching safe firearm handling
and hunting skills. Today, the program places strong
emphasis on responsible, ethical and safe use of the
outdoors by non-hunters as well as hunters. Topics
addressed include: traditional firearm safety with primitive
and modern equipment, wildlife identification,











Three Project
WILD/Outdoor
Adventure
weekend
workshops at
Commission youth
camps trained 154
schoolteachers.


conservation and management, wilderness survival, first aid
and recreational ethics.
During this fiscal year, 9,890 individuals (a 23 percent
increase over last year), including residents and visitors,
men and women, children and senior citizens, participated
in 343 hunter education classes statewide. Although some
classes are taught by the Commission's regional hunter
education officers, an active corps of more than 456
certified volunteers is responsible for the bulk of the
instruction. In fact, volunteer instructors logged 22,946
hours during this year. This time had a value to the State of
Florida of $263,122 in federal reimbursement.
The 15-hour course is free to all participants and meets
the requirements of all states and Canadian provinces
which require completion of hunter education courses
before issuing hunting licenses.
Project WILD is an activity-centered education program
which emphasizes wildlife and habitat themes. The goal of
Project WILD is to assist individuals in developing
awareness, knowledge, skills and commitment for the
appreciation and preservation of nature. Florida is one of
47 states offering this award-winning program to educators.
A total of 79 Project WILD workshops were conducted
in Florida this year. Approximately 2,115 educators were
trained to use Project WILD Activity Guides (elementary,
secondary and aquatic), which consist of approximately
120 learning activities incorporating wildlife and habitat
themes into subjects such as math, English and science.
Although most participants are teachers, the workshops
also attract scout and 4-H leaders, nature center staff and
other interested adults. These workshops involve six hours
of training and skill development.
In addition to the one-day Project WILD workshops,
154 teachers were trained in three weekend workshops at
the Commission's youth conservation camps. These
weekend programs combine training in Project WILD with
another segment, Outdoor Adventure, which emphasizes
outdoor skills and lifetime sports. These include canoeing,
orienteering, fishing, camping and shooting sports. In
Outdoor Adventure workshops, instructors emphasize


safety and responsible use of the natural environment. In
the shooting sports program, safe use of firearms is
emphasized above all else.
The Project WILD/Outdoor Adventure Workshops
have become so popular that an advanced program was
established for those teachers who attended a previous
weekend workshop. About 49 teachers participated in one
of three advanced programs offered this year.
The annual leadership (facilitators) workshop took place
in December. Forty-four educators were trained to lead
Project WILD workshops for their colleagues. Educators
and others who are interested in Project WILD are kept up
to date through "Florida's Wild Side," a regular column in
The Skimmer newsletter.
Since 1984, a total of 274 workshops have trained 7,548
educators in Project WILD. These educators in turn have
reached more than 500,000 Florida children.

Nongame Wildlife
Education Program The Nongame Wildlife Education
Program is one part of the total Nongame Wildlife Program
and is housed in OIS. The program was funded in 1984 to
ensure conservation of Florida wildlife that is not classified
as game, threatened or endangered. Nongame animals
represent 85 percent of all Florida wildlife.
The purpose of the Nongame Education Program is to
create programs and campaigns that prepare or involve
various segments of the public in accomplishing the
nongame program goal to maintain and restore the
natural diversity of Florida's native nongame wildlife.
Nongame education staff made 279 presentations to a
total of 10,465 people on subjects ranging from bats and
snakes to public opinion about wildlife. Twenty-six
exhibits and booths were installed at conferences, fairs, and
festivals reaching a record 1,232,460 people. A special
nongame exhibit was installed at the Florida State Fair
featuring the nongame program theme, "What Have You
Done For Wildlife Lately?" An estimated 611,000 people
viewed this exhibit. Nongame education staff conducted 29
Project WILD and Aquatic Project WILD workshops and





assisted the Education Coordinator with leadership training
for new Project WILD facilitators. Three of these Project
WILD workshops were weekend programs and included
advanced sections.
Nongame education staff were directly involved in nine
TV and radio interviews and appearances and frequently
were called upon for technical information. OIS introduced
the "Conservation Notes" series and eight nongame
wildlife segments were produced and sent to local
newspapers, radio, and television news programs. Seven
nongame news releases were written and distributed on
subjects ranging from bats to snakes. Four issues of The
Skimmer, a newsletter about Florida's nongame and
endangered wildlife, were produced. Each issue of The
Skimmer contains a popular children's feature called the
"Emerging Naturalist." Going into this fiscal year, The
Skimmer's circulation had reached 17,800. After a state-
required purge of the mailing list, a subscription form was
produced and distributed. At the end of this fiscal year the
list was rapidly increasing and approaching 13,000.
Other new informational and educational materials
produced this fiscal year included a four-color nongame
program brochure called, "What's Wild and Wonderful?"
A total of 10,780 Animated Alphabet posters, 79,000


Approximately i,ooo 8- to S3-year-
old children participated in a four-
hour clinic as part of an urban
fishing program at Oceanway Fish

Management Area.


Planting a Refuge for Wildlife booklets and 15,000 each of
the bird, mammal, and the reptile and amphibian checklists
also were distributed. Florida's Animated Alphabet coloring
book was direct mailed to the target audience of
kindergarten and first grade teachers and students. The
positive response in Florida schools was overwhelming,
resulting in more than 95,000 coloring books being
distributed to young students. Requests also flood in from
private schools, individuals, parks and nature centers as
well as others involved with youth groups such as scouts
and 4-H.
Two articles were published in FLORIDA WILDLIFE
magazine concerning the burrowing owl management and
education project and exotic wildlife.
One new education grant was awarded to Dr. Linda
Cronin of the University of Florida. Dr. Cronin's project is
to develop a nongame-oriented elementary level activity
guide to accompany the Handbook to Common Schoolyard
Plants and Animals of North Central Florida. Activity
development, field testing and pilot testing occurred this
fiscal year. Art work, final editing, printing and distribution
will occur in FY 89-90. Dr. Peter Feinsinger (also of UF)
was awarded the original grant in FY 87-88 to develop the
36 Handbook to Common Schoolyard Plants and Animals of North
-TO


Central Florida. The final handbook manuscript, editing and
art work was completed this fiscal year and printing and
distribution will occur during FY 89-90. Tropical Audubon
Society was awarded a nongame grant in FY 87-88 to bring
a wildlife education program into the culturally deprived
inner city schools of Miami. This program was extended
through this fiscal year and is now complete.
This year two new exhibits were produced. Both are
based on the new theme "What Have You Done For
Wildlife Lately?" One smaller, less expensive version is
used as a travelling exhibit and is shipped around the state
for use at local events, festivals and conferences. The other
exhibit was created especially for the Florida State Fair.
As a result of the marketing and educational strategies
study done last year, a basic lack of understanding of the
critical relationship between wild animals and their habitats
was identified. After much debate and discussion, the
nongame program selected scrub, tropical hardwood
hammock and pine rocklands as the habitats most in need
of immediate conservation efforts. Therefore scrub and
tropical hardwood hammock/pine rocklands educational
projects were created. Project scoping and action plans
were completed. These efforts resulted in the creation of a
new publication series called "Wild Florida" using the
theme "Wildlife Needs Wild Lands." Wild Florida
publications for scrub and tropical hardwood hammocks
will be completed and distributed in FY 89-90. A slide
presentation is also being developed on the importance of
scrub habitat to native wildlife and a speakers bureau is
being organized.
The marketing and educational strategies study also
indicated people are much more concerned about wildlife
than previously thought. A new project emerged in this
fiscal year to provide those concerned Floridians with
positive avenues for active involvement. A booklet is
tentatively titled What Have You Done For Wildlife Lately?
- A Handbook of Ways You Can Help Florida's Wildlife.
In August 1988, the Northeast Region nongame
education specialist position was filled and the Gainesville
nongame office was established and opened. The nongame
education staff is now fully staffed and operational.

Aquatic Resources
Education Program The Commission's aquatic
education objective is to improve the quality of aquatic
resources by changing people's behavior in ways that will
positively affect Florida's aquatic environment.
During this fiscal year, the aquatic education project
conducted an urban fishing program at the Oceanway Fish
Management Area in Jacksonville. Approximately 1,000
children, ages 8-13, participated in a four-hour clinic
during the seven-week period beginning June 26. Children
were introduced to outdoor ethics, safety and
environmental issues as well as a fishing experience to
generate appreciation, awareness and wise use of Florida's
aquatic resources. The clinics were a cooperative effort
between the Commission and the Jacksonville Parks and
Recreation Department.
The project recently received an international award
from the Association for Conservation Information. The
Kids Fishing: It's Catching On booklet and the urban fishing
program took first place in the education category.
The Aquatic Resources Education Program addresses
four major components which include urban fishing clinics,
aquatic resource manager education, school classroom
education and materials development.