Urban Wildlife

Rabies Alert issued for St. Johns County

Dawn C. Allicock, M.D., M.P.H., Director, St. Johns County Health Department, has issued a rabies alert for St. Johns County. This is in response to a feral cat that tested positive for rabies, reported on December 20, 2010.

All citizens in St. Johns County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in St. Johns County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert.

Atlantic Snook Harvest Closes Dec. 15; Catch and Release Still OK

The recreational harvest of snook will close in all Atlantic coastal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, beginning on Dec. 15.  The annual winter harvest season closure of snook in these areas, which normally ends on Feb. 1, has been extended until Sept. 1, 2011, by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) due to the prolonged cold weather that impacted snook in Florida earlier this year.

Red Snapper Fishing is Prohibited in South Atlantic Federal Waters

NOAA Fisheries Service extended the prohibition of commercial and recreational fishing for red snapper in all federal waters of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the Atlantic coast of Florida.  It is illegal to fish for, possess, or harvest red snapper from these waters.

Cold Weather May Lead to Fish Kills

Cold Weather May Lead to Fish Kills

As temperatures drop in Florida, the number of cold-related fish kills is likely to increase. Chilly winter temperatures can lead to fish die-offs in Florida’s marine habitats, rivers and lakes.

The good news is that these events are natural occurrences and typically do not cause permanent damage to the ecosystem or to fish populations. In some cases they are even beneficial, in that they help limit the spread of invasive, exotic species.

FWC Wants Public's Input About More Daylight Alligator Hunting

FWC Wants Public's Input About More Daylight Alligator Hunting

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants to know what Floridians think about providing more daylight-hunting hours to alligator hunters. The public can comment via an online survey.

Mother, Baby Whales Die after Beaching

SOUTH PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Two whales died this afternoon after beaching themselves despite rescue efforts.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded to the scene near Guana River State Park to try to save the mother and calf, wrapping them in towels and tarps as they worked.

Tracy Hansen said he first noticed the beached whales from his waterfront home. He said he saw the calf first.

"He had wallowed a little hole into the sand and I was trying to get him out of it. And I realized he was just a little too big for me," said Hansen, who believed the animals were lost.

However, authorities on scene believed it was possible the calf was healthy and that the mother was sick.

"Typically a calf will beach itself to follow mom," said Cpl. Keith Oke with St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

FWC Workshop Will Discuss St. Johns Boating Rule

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will hold a public workshop in St. Augustine the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 30, to address possible amendments to the Florida Adminstrative Code (Rule 68D-24.155) to further reduce vessel speed limits on the Intracoastal Waterway within St. Johns County.