Panhandle Outdoors

Southern Copperhead in Florida

  Photo 1. Large Southern Copperhead in Gadsden County – Photo by Shep Eubanks UF/IFAS There are approximately 44 species of snakes found in Florida.  The Southern Copperhead is one of the six venomous snakes that one might encounter while outdoors in the panhandle of Florida.    A uniquely beautiful and secretive snake, they historically have …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/07/22/southern-copperhead-in-florida/

Oil Spill Science Seminar held in Okaloosa County

Dr. Monica Wilson, University of Florida Sea Grant, shares an update on the research that has occurred in the past five years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Presented in the Rodeo Room at the Destin History and Fishing Museum. Photo credit: Laura Tiu The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill occurred about 50 miles offshore …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/07/22/oil-spill-science-seminar-held-in-okaloosa-county/

Transient Birds and Beach House Refuge

Birds, migration, and climate change. Mix them all together and intuitively, we can imagine an ecological train wreck in the making. Many migratory bird species have seen their numbers plummet over the past half-century – due not to climate change, but to habitat loss in the places they frequent as part of their jet-setting life …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/07/22/transient-birds-and-beach-house-refuge/

Bacteria at the Beach

Recent news reports have Panhandle Beaches trending on social media. Beaches are open and ready for the holiday weekend. Here’s information to help make sure you are ready too. Photo by Florida Sea Grant. The threat of bacteria in coastal waters can be scary and a challenge to understand. Here is information that helps clarify …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/07/02/bacteria-at-the-beach/

Scallop Season Postponed – Fishing Fun Available Now

Bay Scallop Argopecten iradianshttp://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/bay-scallops/ If you had plans to go scalloping in St. Joseph Bay over the long holiday weekend I’m afraid you are going to be disappointed. FWC has postponed the opening day of scallop harvesting season in St. Joseph Bay until August 22. The postponement, along with other conservation efforts, is intended to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/07/01/scallop-season-postponed-fishing-fun-available-now/

Shark Week is over… so what do we know about shark attack?

Yep, each year cable TV broadcast their classic summer series SHARK WEEK. Actually there are several shark series running now.  It all began with Jaws in the early ‘70’s and ever since Americans have been enthralled with programs on these animals. Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). Gulf of Mexico. Credit: SEFSC Pascagoula Laboratory; Collection of Brandi …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/07/01/shark-week-is-over-so-what-do-we-know-about-shark-attack/

Nature Tourism in the Panhandle – the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) – 30A in Walton County

The “Prayer of the Woods” is an attitude that many in this part of the panhandle try to live. Photos: Molly O’Connor 30A in south Walton County is a special place. Undiscovered for years, then developed… but developed more sustainably than most coastal panhandle communities – this area has now become a go-to destination for …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/18/nature-tourism-in-the-panhandle-the-intracoastal-waterway-icw-30a-in-walton-county/

Free “Brace for the Storm” Workshops Help Homeowners Prepare for Disasters

Aluminum shutters help protect windows from flying debris during windstorms. Here in the latter half of June, temperatures have heated up and summer thunderstorms have swept through on a regular basis. As we are reminded often,  hurricane season has begun. While we haven’t had a major storm in 11 years, northwest Florida is still a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/17/free-brace-for-the-storm-workshops-help-homeowners-prepare-for-disasters/

They Call it “Sea Lice”

I have played in the waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico all of my life… but I have never heard of this – “sea lice.” It has been in the news recently and I have had a couple inquiries concerning it so I decided to investigate.   A few weeks ago there was a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/10/they-call-it-sea-lice/

Native Plants and Wildlife

According to the Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants, there are more than 4,200 plant species naturally occurring in the state.  Nearly 3,000 are considered native.  The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) defines native plants as “those species occurring within the state boundaries prior to European contact, according to the best available scientific and historical documentation.”  …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/04/native-plants-and-wildlife/

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