Marine Advisory Committee
March 4, 2014
The Marine Advisory Committee met on the above date with the following members
present: Jeff Marker, Scott Mason, Rick Harris and Scott Walker. Also present were the
County Administrator, Hunter Walker; Chris V erlinde, Marine Extension Agent; Roger
Blaylock, County Engineer; and Avis Whitfield, Public Works Director. Chairman Jeff
Marker called the meeting to order at 5:00p.m.
The minutes of the February 4, 2014 meeting were approved.
& Wll..DLIFE COMMISSION GULF OFFSHOREFISHING PERMIT12th at the Escambia CountyMr. Marker stated that a permit or registration process has beenMr. Marker said he believes anything done that would provide more accurate& Wildlife Commission. Mr. Mason said he believesMr. Harris
Harris inquired about those individuals that do not snapper fish and if it just pertained
those that say they are going to reef fish. Mr. Marker said his understanding is in order
they would have to have a mandatory permit or registration system and it would be
separate from a license. He added that their desire is to provide better and more accurate
capture the reef fish data and define the population of the offshore reef fish anglers,
received a survey from Fish
added that he receives a survey every year asking what
and what species had been hunted. He then asked
specific permit similar to what has been done on the hunting side.
Blaylock stated that he purchases a combination license every year and has never& Wildlife Commission relative to fishing surveys. Hehad been harvested in the last yearif this would be considered a speciesMr. Marker said it
would cover a broad species of fish that typically haunt reefs.
Gulf Council and Fish & Wildlife Commission said that this permit would probably be
free for the first couple of years to see what percentage of saltwater licenses were going
offshore to reef fish. This would enable them to have a better understanding of the
numbers. Then surveys would be sent out to those who
the different species they are catching.
everyone's attention in the event that someone might want to attend the upcoming
DISCUSSION OF PROPERTY FOR ORIOLE BEACH RAMP PARKING
Mr. Mason stated that thishad been discussed at the meeting held in Escambia County. Individuals from thehad applied to see how many ofMr. Marker stated that he wanted to bring this toMr. Mason stated that he planned to attend.
certainly adequate during the week but that on the weekends and holidays it may fill up.
He said there could be a need for additional parking when there is heavier use.
Whitfield stated that he has been told that the existing parking area at Oriole beach isMr.
Whitfield added there would be a gain of 70 feet of waterfront but there is not a lot you
could do to change the configuration of the old parking lot to make them work together.
This would allow approximately 30 parking spaces, subtracting a couple for stormwater
additional parking, disadvantages would be the cost.
would have to be cleared and adjacent property owners may not be happy with having a
parking lot next door.
Hunter Walker added that Oriole Beach is a real challenged boat ramp due to the lack of
depth and because of the seagrass it could not be dredged.
not aware of any complaints coming in of not being able to park there and is not sure how
badly this is needed. He added that from his point of view, the price is not in line with
realtor had asked that it be presented to this committee.
more appealing if it was a good ramp where larger boats could put in but most times of
the year that is not the case.
uses it due to the size of his own boat. Mr. Harris added that at low tide it is hard to get
past the sand bar and essentially nothing can be done due to the seagrass.
asked the committee
would not be a wise purchase.
Morrell Boat Ramp derelict vessel -
classified as derelict. The sheriff's code enforcement officers worked this case and
discovered that the owner was indigent so
if purchased. Some of the advantages of purchasing the property would be theMr. Whitfield added that treesMr. Marker stated that he isMr. Banis asked if the county had been contacted and Mr. Walker said theMr. Whitfield said it would beMr. Mason said the water depth is the problem and he neverMr. Markerif anyone was interested in pursuing this and it was agreed that itMr. Whitfield stated that this vessel is not actuallyhe would not be able to offer any help. Mr.
Whitfield added that the owner was asked to sign off on letting the county get the boat
and having it destroyed and the necessary paperwork from the owner has been obtained.
The county also has the license agreement from the property owner adjacent to the ramp
in order to have necessary room to drag the boat up on land, tear it apart and load.
Whitfield said that since the boat is grounded, he is in hopes that next week the tide will
get high enough for a crew to drag it up on land and then carry to the landfill.
Whitfield added that this action had been authorized by the Board of County
Commissioners at their last meeting.
Escambia River Logjam Update - Hunter Walker stated that this was briefly discussed at
. the last Marine Advisory meeting and he had contacted Robert Turpin with the Escambia
County Marine Resources Department and they are pursuing the project. He added that
they have issued a purchase order and expect to be starting rather quickly. The proposal
from the group that is doing the work is to harvest the material and then recycle it.
Walker stated that he had spoken with Com. Salter and he was not aware of it.
Boater Registration Fees as ofFebruary 28, 2014 is $145,267.
Ms. Verlinde informed the committee that on April 14th Escambia County is having a
Regional Lionfish Control Workshop in their county building on Fairfield Drive, from
4:30- 8:00 pm.
to fisherman and divers that wherever lionfish are seen or caught to report them
especially inside the bay waters as some have already been killed there.
NEXT MEETING DATE
The next meeting is scheduled for May 6, 2014 at 5:00p.m.
Mr. Mason said that Mr. Turpin is keeping a record and has mentioned
There being no further . business to come before the Committee the meeting was
adjourned at 5:30p.m.
Hunter Walker stated there would be a workshop on March
Extension Office, which would be the sixth one held around the state to discuss offshore
discussed over the years in order to provide better data on red snapper and other reef fish.
He added that this would involve a fee upon registration and from some of the comments
he has heard, no one wants to pay for it. People would rather see it come out of their
data would be beneficial to the Fish
it is a good thing as it will determine how many people are going offshore who have
licenses and who aren't going offshore. It would also provide a better count of the
number of fish being caught and also people in the different areas and what they are
catching. He added that if the fee is kept to a minimal, offshore fishermen probably
would not complain too much as it would reveal that a lot of people that get saltwater
licenses actually do stay inshore and fish for trout and redfish and there is only a small
portion of those that go far offshore for amberjack, tuna and wahoo.
commented that it should include commercial licenses at some percentage.