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Outdoors

  • Bay scallop season extended by 2 weeks

    After determining that two years of season extensions did not significantly impact the bay scallop population, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) decided June 28 to permanently extend the recreational season by adding two weeks to the end.
    The decision was made at the Commission meeting in Palm Beach Gardens. Commissioners also directed staff to look into the possibility of a future commercial harvest of bay scallops. The commercial harvest of bay scallops has been closed in Florida state waters since 1994.

  • Flood waters can displace wildlife

    The rising water levels caused by Tropical Storm Debby are forcing many critters to find higher ground. Snakes, alligators and fire ants top the list of displaced wildlife.
    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) cautions the public that snakes can be on the move as they flee flooded areas.
    “When you are out in your yard, especially if you have standing water, be focused on your surroundings and be on the lookout for snakes,” said Eric Dennis, FWC biologist.

  • Boat ramps open, high water coming

    From the Levy County Sheriff's Office:
    NWS Tallahassee has advised that local flood warnings are still in effect for the Suwannee River basin. Sheriff Johnny Smith has decided to re-open all launch sites in the county. Should that prediction of rising water begin to cause problems on the Suwannee River, it could prompt a second closure. The situation will be closely monitored daily and advance warning of any impending boat ramp closures will be announced.

  • Take an Outdoor Safari

    By Jessica Basham Therriault

  • Group kayak and picnic

       The Friends of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges will hold a Group Paddle and Picnic in Cedar Key. All are welcome. Bring your own kayak or rent one in town. Bring a lunch and we will gather after the paddle at the Cedar Key Park to eat together.

  • FWC supports ‘Operation Dry Water’ for 4th year

    Last year, nine people died from boating accidents related to alcohol and drug use in Florida. That represents 13 percent of the state’s fatalities for 2011.
    “Alcohol- and drug-related boating accidents are preventable,” said Capt. Tom Shipp, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Boating and Waterways Section. “Even one death is too many.”

  • Youth Conservation Corps jobs available at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge

    Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge will be hiring four students for Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) this summer, according to Refuge Manager Andrew Gude.
     The Youth Conservation Corps is a summer employment program for young men and young women, ages 15 through 18, who work and learn together by accomplishing needed conservation projects on public lands.  

  • Boating education may lower your insurance premiums

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers two courses that may qualify for insurance company discounts that are designed to enhance skills and knowledge for the recreational boat operator as well as personal watercraft, canoe and kayakers.  Students can enroll in a one day basic class or an advanced knowledge and seamanship course that covers 12 chapters of instruction.  Regardless of the course, a boater education certification card will be issued after successfully completing the test.

  • Swallow-tail Kite comes out for the latest research

    By PAM DARTY
    Special to the Citizen
    When the crowd gathered at the Cedar Key Library recently, they didn’t expect the great surprise. The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge was hosting a talk on the latest research on Swallow-tailed Kites.  As birders were arriving for Dr Ken Meyer’s presentation, Dr Dawn Miller, Gainesville veterinarian and certified wildlife rehabilitator, came in the door carrying a magnificent swallowtail.

  • Tips for turkey

           Whether you oversee a large tract of land or own a smaller parcel, there are many wildlife management techniques you can use to help attract wild turkeys to your property.