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When releasing reef fish, using the right tool with the right technique makes a difference

June 23, 2022How to treat barotrauma educational video: https://youtu.be/8wDsrzlh83IWhen releasing reef fish, using the right…

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When releasing reef fish, using the right tool with the right technique makes a difference

June 23, 2022
How to treat barotrauma educational video: https://youtu.be/8wDsrzlh83I
When releasing reef fish, using the right tool with the right technique makes a difference

If you’re fishing for reef fish this season, be sure to look for signs of barotrauma and be prepared to act. Barotrauma, or injuries caused by pressure changes, occur when fish are rapidly brought to the surface from depths 50 feet or greater. Signs of barotrauma include the stomach coming out of the mouth, bloated belly, distended intestines and bulging eyes. These injuries can be fatal to the fish unless intervention occurs through the use of descending devices or venting tools.

With the right tool and the right technique, all anglers should properly descend or vent a fish and give them a better chance at survival. When a fish survives release, it has another opportunity to reproduce and grow the population, leading to more fishing opportunities in the future.

Descending devices are tools with weights that attach to a fish and help take the fish back to the appropriate depth. There are various types of descending devices but the most common are lip clamps, inverted hooks and fish elevators. It is important to find the device that works best for you.

Before you go fishing, be sure to have your selected descending device ready for use. To properly descend a fish with a lip clamp or inverted hook, attach the descending device and weights to a heavy-duty rod and reel that is designated for descending or use a rope to handline the device and weights down and back up. A good goal is to use 1 pound of weight for every 5 pounds of fish being descended. Use a combination of loop knots, swivels, snaps, clips, etc. to attach the weights and device to your line. Be able to quickly and easily add or remove weights as needed, based on the size of the fish being descended and the water conditions. Unless you use a pressure-sensor device that releases fish automatically, you’ll need to jig your device to release the fish once the weights have brought it back down to depth.

To descend a fish with a fish elevator, simply send down the fish in a weighted container using a rope. This weighted container could be a crate, box or net that is turned upside down with an open top, so the fish can swim out on its own when it is returned to the bottom.

For short video tutorials on different types of descending devices, watch FWC’s Descending Devices playlist on YouTube.

Lip clamp descending device return fish to a depth where gases in the swim bladder can recompress.

Venting tools are sharp, hollow instruments that treat barotrauma by releasing expanded gas from the swim bladder, which enables the fish to swim back down to depth.

Items such as fillet knives, ice picks, screwdrivers and gaffs are not venting tools and should never be used to vent a fish. Venting a fish incorrectly can cause more harm than good.

To properly vent, lay the fish on its side (on a cool, wet surface). Venting tools should be inserted 2-3 inches behind the base of the pectoral fin, under a scale at a 45-degree angle, just deep enough to release trapped gasses. Never insert venting tools into a fish’s belly, back or stomach that may be protruding from the mouth. Learn how to vent properly by visiting Youtube.com/watch?v=jhkzv1_2Bpc.

Venting tools should be inserted 2-3 inches behind the base of the pectoral fin, under a scale at a 45-degree angle, just deep enough to release trapped gases. Photo by Return ‘Em Right.

Descending devices and venting tools should be used when fish show one or more signs of barotrauma. It is essential to work quickly when using these tools and return the fish to the water as soon as possible to give the fish the best chance at long-term survival. Studies have shown that the longer a fish is out of the water, the higher the mortality rate. Therefore, it is important to minimize handling time when descending or venting a fish with barotrauma. Anglers should choose the device and method they are most comfortable with that best fits the situation, and that follows reef fish gear requirements.

Reminder: When fishing for reef fish, descending devices and/or venting tools are required to be rigged and ready for use in Florida Gulf federal waters and descending devices are required to be on board and ready for use in Atlantic federal waters. Stay up to date with what is required in federal and state waters by visiting MyFWC.com/ReefFishGear and downloading the Fish Rules Fishing app for iOS or Android.

Remember to obtain your FREE State Reef Fish Angler designation before heading out! If you plan to fish for or harvest certain reef fish species in Gulf or Atlantic waters from a private recreational vessel (includes anglers over 65 years of age), you must sign up for this free designation and renew it annually. Learn more at MyFWC.com/SRFS and sign up today at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or anywhere you can purchase a Florida fishing license.

Visit our YouTube channel at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterFishing for more saltwater fishing how-to videos. For answers to questions, contact 850-487-0554 or Marine@MyFWC.com.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission · 620 S. Meridian Street · Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600 · (850) 488-4676

Heather Ivy stars in A Night at the Tony's

A Night at the Tony'sJuly 23 | 7:30 PMBarbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall Internationally…

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Heather Ivy stars in A Night at the Tony's

A Night at the Tony’s
July 23 | 7:30 PM
Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall

Internationally acclaimed soprano Heather Ivy has made a career performing Broadway, Opera and Pop favorites with her versatility and genuine warmth. Her professional career began with the International Tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Other Broadway productions include The Producers, The Music Man, Urinetown, Little Women, and Guys and Dolls.

Join Heather and the Gulf Coast Symphony for A Night at the Tony’s. The show celebrates 75 years of award-winning Broadway favorites with music from Tony Award-winning musicals of today and yesterday! The program includes songs from shows Evita, Sound of Music, West Side Story, Cabaret, Phantom of the Opera, Guys & Dolls and much more. Get dressed in your Broadway Best to walk on our Red Carpet, have your picture taken and enjoy a magical night.

Tickets start at just $29 – get yours today!

Iron Ridge Insurance Services named ‘Best Small Business of the Year’

Iron Ridge Insurance Services named ‘Best Small Business of the Year’ SWFL Inc. awards company…

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Iron Ridge Insurance Services named ‘Best Small Business of the Year’

Iron Ridge Insurance Services named ‘Best Small Business of the Year’

SWFL Inc. awards company for its impact on the region

FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 22, 2022)Iron Ridge Insurance Services was recognized as the 2022 Small Business of the Year by SWFL Inc. The Small Business of the Year Award celebrates a Lee, Collier, or Charlotte County for-profit business, with one hundred or fewer employees, which serves the community in an exceptional way. This prestigious award has been presented as part of the INCredible Awards since 2001.

“Supporting the Southwest Florida community is at the heart of everything we do at Iron Ridge,” said Norman Lutz, CEO of Iron Ridge Insurance Services. “Whether we are giving to our clients or supporting various causes, we are investing in the people of this community and their success.”

Iron Ridge collaborates with several organizations to improve education, health, and the natural enviornment of Southwest Florida through event sponsorship, fundraising, mentoring, and more. Most recently, Iron Ridge was a presenting sponsor at the OneDigital Sunrise Rotary ProAm Classic Drive for Education. 

To learn more about Iron Ridge Insurance Services’ charitable initiatives or for an evaluation of your commercial or personal insurance coverage, visit the Iron Ridge website at www.IronRidgeUS.com or call 800-775-8526.

About Iron Ridge Insurance Services

Established in 2011, Iron Ridge Insurance Services is a boutique independent agency headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida that is committed to serving the community by providing innovative commercial insurance solutions. The agency helps clients manage risk through professional liability, management liability, data breach liability, general liability, commercial property, workers’ compensation, and commercial auto insurance programs. Iron Ridge Insurance serves commercial clients in a variety of fields but specializes in managing risk for architects and engineers, physicians and medical practices, condominium and homeowners’ associations, and legal providers. The agency also offers competitive personal insurance solutions for individuals and families. For more information call 800-775-8526 or visit www.IronRidgeUS.com.

Fort Myers CRA Board of Commissioners Meeting Notice

The Fort Myers CRABoard of Commissioners will hold their Regular Meeting on Wednesday, June 22nd…

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Fort Myers CRA Board of Commissioners Meeting Notice

The Fort Myers CRA
Board of Commissioners will hold their Regular Meeting on

Wednesday, June 22nd from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Please contact the CRA Office for assistance if needed.

Phone: (239) 321-7100
Email: cra@cityftmyers.com

We hope to see you there.
Thank you!

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces 2022 Florida Python Challenge®

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces 2022 Florida Python Challenge® MIAMI — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that registration for…

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Governor Ron DeSantis Announces 2022 Florida Python Challenge®

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces 2022 Florida Python Challenge®

MIAMI — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that registration for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge® has opened and the annual 10-day event will be held August 5-14, 2022. Members of the public are now able to take the required online training and register to compete to win thousands of dollars in prizes while removing invasive Burmese pythons from the wild. The competition is open to both professional and novice participants.

“The Everglades is one of the world’s most prized natural resources, and we have invested record funding for Everglades restoration projects, including record funding for removal of invasive Burmese pythons which wreak havoc on the ecosystem,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Because of this focus, we have removed record numbers of invasive pythons from the Everglades. I am proud of the progress we’ve made, and I look forward to seeing the results of this year’s Python Challenge.”

“The Florida Everglades is an iconic habitat in Florida and removing Burmese pythons from this ecosystem is critical to the survival of the species that live in this vast wild area,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “Under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, the FWC and our dedicated partners continue to have great success conserving our native wildlife and managing this invasive predator.”

“The Florida Python Challenge® provides an opportunity for people to actively participate in Everglades conservation by removing the Burmese python, an invasive species that is actively damaging our native wildlife populations,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Executive Director Eric Sutton. “We are grateful for the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, who continually demonstrates his commitment to combating invasive species which is a critical component of conserving our native species.”

“As a South Florida native, I am thankful to Governor Ron DeSantis for his ongoing commitment to Everglades restoration and protecting our natural resources,” said South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Member “Alligator Ron” Bergeron. “The great partnership between the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is critical as we work together to protect the Greater Everglades Ecosystem and combat invasive pythons. Thanks to the Governor’s leadership we now host the Python Challenge annually, and I appreciate the efforts of every python hunter who is participating!”

“In partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the South Florida Water Management District is removing about 60 percent more pythons each year under the leadership of Governor DeSantis,” said South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Drew Bartlett. “The Python Challenge is yet another way to get people directly involved in the protection and stewardship of the Everglades. We continue to expedite Everglades restoration efforts thanks to the support of Governor DeSantis, and we’ll continue doing everything we can to protect this important ecosystem.”

Visit FLPythonChallenge.org to register for the competition, take the online training, register for optional in-person trainings, learn more about Burmese pythons and the unique Everglades ecosystem, and find resources for planning your trip to South Florida to participate in the Florida Python Challenge®.

Participants in the 2021 Florida Python Challenge® removed 223 invasive Burmese pythons from the Everglades, more than double the number that was removed in 2020. Over 600 people from 25 states registered to take part in the 10-day competition in 2021.

The Freedom First budget, recently signed by the Governor, makes a record investment of up to $3 million for python removal efforts, including to support research and development of innovative technologies that detect and remove invasive pythons. This includes the development of near-infrared cameras that better detect pythons.

Since 2019, the state has taken unprecedented action to remove pythons in Florida:

  • Governor DeSantis directed FWC and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to allow for the removal of invasive Burmese pythons from all state parks. The agencies entered into an agreement that resulted in an additional 134,648 acres of land that are now accessible for python removal.
  • Governor DeSantis announced the U.S. Department of the Interior granted Florida’s request to increase access to federal lands for python removal, particularly within the Big Cypress National Preserve.

In addition to python removal efforts on public lands, pythons can be humanely killed on private lands at any time with landowner permission no permit or hunting license required — and the FWC encourages people to remove and kill pythons from private lands whenever possible.

About Invasive Burmese pythons

Burmese pythons are not native to Florida and negatively impact native species. They are found primarily in and around the Everglades ecosystem in south Florida where they prey on birds, mammals, and other reptiles. A female Burmese python may lay 50 to 100 eggs at a time. More than 16,000 Burmese pythons have been removed since 2000. For more information on Burmese pythons, visit MyFWC.com/Python.

Help us better the impact of arts in our community

The arts bring us inspiration and joy, and make our community a beautiful place to…

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Help us better the impact of arts in our community

The arts bring us inspiration and joy, and make our community a beautiful place to live and work. But the arts do so much more! In fact, communities are investing in an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism.

Help us better the impact of arts in our community by getting involved the Arts & Economic Prosperity Study 6 (AEP6). The information you provide will help to measure the economic impact of the arts in Lee County.

Keep reading to learn how you can help change the conversation to show that investment in the arts provides both cultural and economic benefits through Audience & Attendee Surveys.

We are excited to partner with Americans for the Arts to announce the launch of Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), the sixth national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry! Economic impact studies such as these expand the conversation about how many people view the arts. While most appreciate the cultural benefit provided to our community, few realize that our local arts industry supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is a cornerstone of tourism.

We need your help to collect this data. While attending any performance, activity, event or program on our campus, please take a few moments to participate in the Audience & Attendee Survey. All answers are anonymous and help to measure the economic and social impact of arts and culture in our community!

Audience & Attendee Surveys will be available at the front desk in multiple formats, including hard-copy, accessible by QR code or at our laptop station.

While part of a national study, our reports will be based on spending by our own local nonprofit arts and culture organizations as well as the event-related spending by their audiences (at local retail, parking, and restaurant establishments).

We believe this important research tool will demonstrate that when we invest our dollars in the arts, we are not doing so at the expense of economic development. Rather, we are investing in an industry that strengthens our local economy.

At the national level, AEP5 in 2015 showed that the nonprofit arts industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity, supporting 4.6 million jobs and generating $27.5 billion in government revenue. Locally, our arts industry generated $49.7 million in annual economic activity in Fort Myers – supporting 1,389 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $6.7 million in local and state revenues.

Let’s change the conversation. The arts mean business.
Learn more about the AEP6 study: AmericansForTheArts.org/AEP6

We appreciate your participation in this critical research to advance arts and culture in our community! Please give us a call at 239-939-2787 or simply respond to this email if you have any questions or would like to involved with this data collection initiative.

Alliance for the Arts • 239-939-2787 • 10091 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers

FROM THE DESK OF SHERIFF CARMINE MARCENO: “GEEK SQUAD SUBSCRIPTION RENEWAL” SCAM

In a recent meeting with our Economic Crimes Unit, I was informed of yet another…

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FROM THE DESK OF SHERIFF CARMINE MARCENO: “GEEK SQUAD SUBSCRIPTION RENEWAL” SCAM

In a recent meeting with our Economic Crimes Unit, I was informed of yet another scam that appears to be circulating.  As is always the case, I am grateful to have these brought to my attention.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Unit has received calls regarding scammers, once again attempting to obtain personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims.

Be it by email or by text, these criminals are identifying themselves as members of the “Geek Squad,” a subsidiary of the “Best Buy” corporation.  In reality, they have NO connection to the worldwide consumer electronics corporation.

While the real “Geek Squad” offers computer-related services to consumers, these scammers work diligently to steal personal and financial data.

Please note that these scammers reportedly use a Gmail account for their email messages…as opposed to a “Best Buy” email address.

Reportedly, a number of the email messages received contained noticeable grammatical errors.

The messages asked the recipients to phone them to renew their “Geek Squad” subscription.

Should you receive these messages, or similar ones, please report them to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Fraud Line at 239-258-3292.

Second tagged bass caught for TrophyCatch’s 10-Tag Celebration! Eight remain swimming across the state 

Second tagged bass caught for TrophyCatch’s 10-Tag Celebration! Eight remain swimming across the state  The…

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Second tagged bass caught for TrophyCatch’s 10-Tag Celebration! Eight remain swimming across the state 

Second tagged bass caught for TrophyCatch’s 10-Tag Celebration! Eight remain swimming across the state 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch 10-Tag Celebration continues with big fish worth big prizes! 

The second tagged bass was caught on Newnans Lake on June 11 by RJ Crawford, an angler from High Springs. Crawford was taking out his new boat for the first time and got lucky. He said they were coming back from a day of boating and fishing and decided to drop one last line. 

“I have only went fishing a couple times in the last three or four years; I am a bit rusty,” said RJ Crawford, the second angler to catch one of the 10 pink-tagged bass this season. He has had three TrophyCatch approvals already since 2015 so he was already familiar with the program and the required bass-on-scale photo needed to document his catch. 

“The fishing was better there (at Newnans Lake) than it had been in years,” said Crawford. “I would go out and fish there again.”

FWC’s recent work on aquatic habitat restoration and bass stocking efforts on Newnans Lake contributed to the good fishing conditions Crawford noticed. Also, the naturally high water levels due to plentiful rain helps keep fisheries thriving. 

TAG! You’re it! Will you be the next lucky angler to catch a pink-tagged bass? Each pink tag wins a $5,000 gift card to Bass Pro Shops, $1,000 to shop at AFTCO and a chance to win an additional $10,000! 

Two out of ten tags are already caught with the first tagged bass caught in May. Eight more pink-tagged bass are still swimming in: Lake George; Lake Talquin; Lake Walk-in-Water; Tenoroc Fish Management Area; Lake Trafford; Lake Istokpoga; Lake Rousseau; and Johns Lake. The 10-tag Celebration ends on Sept. 30 and must meet the requirements for TrophyCatch submission. 

For the latest news about the TrophyCatch 10-TAG Celebration subscribe to the program’s topic email (select “TrophyCatch” under “Freshwater Fishing”). For more information about the TrophyCatch program or the 10-TAG Celebration, email KP Clements at Kp.Clements@MyFWC.com.

Celebrate 75 Years of Broadway Hits

A Night at the Tony'sJuly 23 | 7:30 PMBarbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall The…

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Celebrate 75 Years of Broadway Hits

A Night at the Tony’s
July 23 | 7:30 PM
Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall

The Gulf Coast Symphony congratulates all the winners of the 75th Tony Awards!

In honor of the return of the Tony Award’s, the Gulf Coast Symphony opens its summer pops season with a tribute to the best of the Tony’s, celebrating award-winning musicals from today and yesterday, with on a program that includes songs from Evita, Sound of Music, West Side Story, Cabaret, Guys & Dolls, Phantom of the Opera and much more. Broadway veterans Mark Sanders and Heather Ivy, who both proudly call Southwest Florida their home, join us on the red carpet to present this award winning music! We want you to join us on the red carpet as we take a magical journey through 75 years of Broadway bests.

Tickets start at just $29 — order now!

HEATSTROKE CAN HAPPEN ANYTIME, ANYWHERE AND TO ANYONE

Children Are Especially Vulnerable to Heatstroke When Left in Vehicles Heatstroke is the leading cause…

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HEATSTROKE CAN HAPPEN ANYTIME, ANYWHERE AND TO ANYONE

Children Are Especially Vulnerable to

Heatstroke When Left in Vehicles

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths, especially for children.  It occurs when the body can’t cool itself quickly enough and the body temperature rises to dangerous levels.  It only takes a few minutes in a locked care for heatstroke to occur.  In 10 minutes the temp inside the car can rise 20 degrees.

Symptoms of heatstroke can quickly progress from flushed, dry sink and vomiting to seizures, organ failure, and death.    Heatstroke can happen at any time, anywhere, and to anyone.  In vehicles, it happens when a person, or animal, is left alone in a car and as the car warms up, so too does the person or animal inside.

Young children are especially vulnerable to heatstroke when left inside cars since their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s body. When a child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.   Cars can heat up 19 degrees in 10 minutes.  Thus, tragedies can happen faster than you think.  It’s easy to become distracted and tragedies can happen instantly.

Safe Kids Worldwide, including Golisano Children’s Hospital, asks everyone to protect kids from the preventable tragedy of heatstroke.  They want everyone to ACT:

  • Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car.
  • Create reminders when a child is in the back seat.  Visual reminders will help you remember that a child is in the back seat.
  • Take action.  If you see a child alone in a car, call 9-1 -1.

The Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition serves as a collaborative effort or partnership whose function is to facilitate partners’ work and act as a catalyst for injury prevention initiatives.  Its mission is to prevent injury, disability, and death through advocacy, education, legislation, and partnerships.

Additional information about the Injury Prevention Coalition or heatstroke, may contact Brian Raimondo at ipcleecounty@gmail.com or 239-330-2240.