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Florida Fish and Wildlife

abandoned boats
Carrie Pinkard / WUSF Public Media

Drivers heading north into Tampa on the Howard Frankland Bridge may have noticed the Moonraker II, an abandoned fishing boat sinking by the Westshore Boulevard exit.

This is just one of many abandoned boats in the Tampa Bay area. 

It’s been a tough year for Florida manatees. Red tide and cold snaps have led to their highest death rate since 2013, and that death rate could still go up. 

State Says It Is Ready To Address Red Tide In Atlantic

Oct 3, 2018

Florida has money and resources ready as red tide that has lingered along the Gulf Coast has been detected in Palm Beach County’s coastal waters, Gov. Rick Scott’s office said Tuesday. 

An airborne irritant has closed at least six beaches in one county along Florida's Atlantic coast.

Shrimp harvested in Florida waters and shipped out for human consumption literally won’t have to be put on ice any longer.

Florida wildlife officials have decided to change fishing rules for snook and redfish through 2019 due to widespread toxic red tide algae in the Gulf of Mexico.

Governor Rick Scott says Florida is putting an additional $2.2 million  toward combating red tide. The funding will go to Mote Marine Laboratory to develop new technology.

Scott Seeks Red Tide Research, Draws Criticism

Sep 24, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott wants state wildlife commissioners to seek funding for a red-tide research center and to restart a long-dormant task force, as waters along Florida’s Gulf Coast continue to face an expanding red-tide outbreak that began last year.

Florida wildlife officials have changed fishing rules for snook and redfish in areas hit hard by a devastating red tide just ahead of the opening of the popular snook season.

A Florida family is terrified of a huge Monitor lizard that has taken up residence in their back yard.

Federal documents show a University of Florida research unit killed more than 150 birds in the past 10 years to protect plant science work.

Cleanup rules are being waived for the removal of dead fish from areas of red tide in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. 

Researchers are reporting a spiking number of sea turtle deaths in Florida waters plagued by a red tide algae bloom.

State Seeks Input On Shore-based Shark Fishing

Jul 12, 2018

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the future of shore-based shark fishing at a series of public meetings that kick off next week in Bradenton and Fort Myers. 

Florida’s wildlife agency will be holding a lionfish summit in the Fall. The goal is to find more ways to get rid of the spiny invasive species plaguing state waters.

Alberto May Have Affected Some Turtle Nests

May 31, 2018

As sea-turtle nesting season reaches its peak, the number of reptiles laying eggs on Florida beaches continues to trend upward.

But officials say Subtropical Storm Alberto washed away some nests and flooded others across the state this week, which makes it unlikely any of those eggs will survive.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Robbin Trindell said natural occurrences like Alberto make it even more important for residents and guests to help protect turtles.

Florida’s 1.3 million alligators inhabit all of the state’s 67 counties, and wildlife officials are urging the public to be careful around the reptiles. The warning comes as some gators are turning up in unlikely places.

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

Florida homeowners beware: one big gator has been found splashing in a backyard swimming pool and it took a trapper to drag it away.

Measure Targeting Invasive Species Signed

Mar 27, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill aimed at reducing the number of pythons and other invasive species that cause damage in parts of the state, including the Everglades.

The bill (SB 168), which Scott signed Friday after it was unanimously approved this month by the Legislature, sets up a pilot program targeting pythons and species such as tegu lizards and lionfish.

Under the program, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be able to enter contracts with people to capture or destroy the species on public lands and in state waters.

A watchdog groups say Florida is on pace for another record year for manatee deaths.

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Florida wildlife officials have voted against holding a black bear hunt this year at their quarterly meeting.

Florida wildlife authorities want federal involvement in managing the state's growing panther population.

Florida Fish and Wildlife describes the Florida panther as a conservation success story as its population has rebounded to about 180 from fewer than 30 when it first was listed in 1967.