February 15 dawned on a beautiful, sunny morning at Wildflower Preserve for the Lemon Bay Conservancy’s (LBC’s) monthly juvenile Silver King Tarpon sampling, which directly supports solving several great mysteries such as where do fledgling Tarpon go after spawning at sea and how do they avoid predators? How long does it take for them to grow to maturity? What is the perfect habitat for juvenile Tarpon? LBC’s baby tarpon sampling is accomplished by the use of a specially designed 600-foot net paid out by a jon boat around the diameter of two largest Wildflower Preserve tidal ponds. The net is pulled in by volunteers, with many types of fish counted and measured. Since 2017, LBC has shared the data collected with Lemon Bay High School at their state of the art Aqualab. Volunteers, both adults and students, assist in the count. The next LBC Wildflower Preserve Tarpon Net Pull is Saturday, March 21 at 7:45am. All are welcome to help. More details at lemonbayconservancy.org.
Stump Pass State Park has declared that there be a day set aside for the recognition of the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) and that yearly date has been established as April 10. The gopher tortoise has been living on earth for 500,000 to 2 million years and in the state of Florida and other parts of the U.S. is listed as threatened. It is considered a keystone species and its burrow protects more than 350 other commensal species. Having gopher tortoises and other species in the area helps sustain the area’s ecology. Special events are being planned on April 10 at Stump Pass State Park by the Friends of Stump Pass to commemorate the proclamation. Holding the proclamation are (left to right:) Ranger Jane Beaudry, Lori Newton (treasurer,) Carol McCoy (chair,) Mary Lundeberg (secretary) and Karen Blackford (steering committee members of Friends of Stump Pass.)
State Parks & BIPS Program Cancellations All Florida State Parks are closed until future notice. Florida State Parks & Barrier Islands Parks Society (BIPS) have suspended all programs at this time.
CHEC Events Note: All CHEC programs and events have been cancelled until further notice. Stay up to date by visiting www.ChecFlorida.org.
SIERRA CLUB OUTINGS All Greater Charlotte Harbor Sierra Club outings have been cancelled until the end of April.
For more info, contact the Charlotte Sierra Club at 423•2713 or email email@example.com.