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Jun 29, 2023

Bear sightings heating up this summer

Have you seen a black bear this summer?

In recent weeks, more and more black bears have been spotted in neighborhoods across northwest Florida. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) interactive public bear map, there have been over 40 calls since January concerning bears in Navarre alone.

Jun 15, 2023

First Florida deer found with Chronic Wasting Disease

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has confirmed that a road-killed 4.5-year-old female white-tailed deer in Holmes County sampled during routine surveillance activities has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). It is the first known case of CWD in Florida, a contagious disease of the brain and central nervous system that is fatal to deer. The first case of CWD in North America was described in mule deer in Colorado in 1967. Florida is the most recent of 31 states to detect the disease, which also has been confirmed in four Canadian provinces, Finland, Norway, Sweden and South Korea.

Jun 8, 2023

Reel in some Florida fun on license-free fishing weekends in June

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invites Florida residents and visitors to go fishing during two license-free weekends: June 3-4 for saltwater and June 10-11 for freshwater.

Jun 1, 2023

Emerald Coast Open removes nearly 25,000 lionfish

Divers participating in the fifth annual Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament set a new record with the successful removal of 24,699 lionfish.

Last year’s total was 13,835. Divers from around the country competed for prize money totaling more than $100,000 in an effort to eradicate this invasive species in the Gulf of Mexico. Lionfish have few known local predators due to their venomous spines.

May 25, 2023

The heat is on for summer produce

As the strawberry season wraps up, farmer Kathy Brooks is gearing up for a bumper crop of summer produce such as tomatoes and watermelons.

Along with her older brother, Gerald Brooks, Kathy Brooks owns and operates Brooks Farm Produce and Strawberry Patch. Their produce stand is at 1301 Lee Ave. in Baker and the strawberry patch, which has a U-pick season early each year, is at 5760 Griffith Mill Road in Baker.

Mar 9, 2023

Protect your plants from azalea lace bugs

While the azalea blooms are beautiful, it’s hard to remember what the leaves looked like last summer. But, if you look carefully, you may see some off-colored, bleached out leaves. Those are from a piercing-sucking insect, the azalea lace bug or Stephanitis pyrioides.

Mar 9, 2023

Animal welfare bill drums up conversation around pet safety in vehicles

If you were asking most people about distracted driving, they may tell you about texting while driving, eating while driving, or about the distractions from passengers.

Recently, people have been talking about a different kind of passenger, thanks in part to a proposed Florida Senate bill that caught headlines around Florida and the nation.

Mar 3, 2023

FWC approves rule to help improve survival of released reef fish

At its Feb. 22 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a rule to require the possession of a descending device or venting tool that is rigged and ready for use on board a vessel when harvesting or attempting to harvest, including catch and release, of reef fish in state waters.

Feb 24, 2023

New crab trap regulation goes into effect in March

The more than 25,000 Floridians with recreational crab traps will soon have to make some changes. A new Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission regulation, which went into effect March 1, requires crab traps to have a rigid opening no larger than six-by-two inches. The purpose of this change is to help reduce the bycatch of diamondback terrapins in crab traps.

Nov 10, 2022

Fall plant program at Crestview museum

After attending a Nov. 12 program at the Crestview History Museum, residents who go hiking along area trails will know which plants to nibble on and which to avoid when feeling a bit peckish in the woods.
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