Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch

Turtle TracksAnna Maria Island Turtle Watch holds its 2008 nesting season training for volunteers on April 15th.

Anyone who would like to walk the beach and report turtle tracks and nest activity are invited to volunteer and go through the training session, which will be held at the Holmes Beach City Hall.

Beach walkers will learn how to recognize and report turtle tracks of nesting females on an assigned section of the beach. The nests are recorded and staked off by the AMITW permit holders and observed during the incubation period until hatchling tracks are found.


Great Blue Heron Rookery

A couple of Great Blue Herons nesting in Bimini Bay have produced 3 chicks this season. These are the first to appear out of 6 7 active nests. The most popular spot for the rookery is high up in an Australian Pine tree bordering Fiske Bayou. Two nests are in other pine trees across the bayou.

Great Blue Herons

The Australian Pine has been demonized as an exotic, invasive species in Florida, condemned because it crowds out native undergrowth, has shallow roots, and ostensibly is prone to blow over in strong winds. It is the target of systematic removal by the local authorities. In this location it appears to be the tree of choice for these nesting herons, and has been for several years.


Fishermen Checked for Compliance

Some out-of-area commercial fishermen were checked for compliance with fishing regulations while netting for mullet in Bimini Bay (also known as Fiske Bayou) on Anna Maria Island.

Bimini Bay net fishermenResidents alerted the Holmes Beach Police Department to what appeared to be a large netting operation in nearby fishing and protected sea grass beds.

HBPD requested assistance from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Law Enforcement division. HBPD has it’s own marine patrol but it is used for the city’s jurisdiction. The FWC patrol serves a greater Tampa Bay area related to boating and fishing regulation enforcement.