Panhandle Outdoors

Panhandle Estuaries – National Estuaries Week

Humans have been settling on, and around, coastal estuaries since they first arrived in the panhandle over 10,000 years ago. These bodies of water have provided food and recreation as long as anyone can remember.  They are a magnet for those looking to build homes or businesses – and we continue to be attracted to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/23/panhandle-estuaries-national-estuaries-week/

Celebrating Choctawhatchee Bay – National Estuaries Week

Rocky Bayou Aquatic Preserve – Choctawhatchee Bay, Niceville, Florida – Photo by Laura Tiu September 17-24, 2016 was the nation’s 28th time to celebrate America’s coasts and estuaries during National Estuaries Week.  This week helps us to remember to appreciate the challenges these coastal ecosystems face, along with their beauty and utility. Estuaries, semi-enclosed bodies …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/23/celebrating-choctawhatchee-bay-national-estuaries-week/

The Autumn Journey of Red Drum

Red Drum are easily identified by their false eyespot located on the tail. Often, the tail and false eyespot break the water surface when red drum feed in shallow water. Shrimp and crabs are favorite food items of hungry red drum. Photo courtesy of NOAA. http://www.photolib.noaa.gov Cool mornings this week reminded everyone fall is just …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/16/the-autumn-journey-of-red-drum/

Let’s Go Camping!

This past week I was camping at a state park near Gainesville. Working on a variety of computer related items while sitting in my chair, you were acutely attuned to the sounds of life around you.  Small “pat-pat-pat” could be heard in the leaf litter around the tent.  Curious to what it was making the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/16/lets-go-camping/

Biking to a Healthier Community

The bridge over the Winooski River was a scenic stop on our bicycle tour. Photo credit: Carrie Stevenson If you told me earlier this summer that I would “accidentally” bike 18 miles one afternoon, I’d have laughed. I’ve always loved biking, but rarely have time for long distance rides. As part of the mobile workshops …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/16/biking-to-a-healthier-community/

The International Coastal Clean Up is Coming in September – how are we doing with marine debris in our area?

People have been trying to do something about marine debris, and solid waste in general, since we saw the commercial of the crying Indian in the early ‘70’s. Have we made any improvement? A variety of plastics ends up in the Gulf. Each is a potential problem for marine life. Photo: Rick O’Connor Yes… but …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/02/the-international-coastal-clean-up-is-coming-in-september-how-are-we-doing-with-marine-debris-in-our-area/

An Early Study Shows the Invasion of the Asian Tiger Shrimp Could Have an Impact on Native Shrimp

The Asian Tiger Shrimp (Penaeus monodon) have been reported across the northern Gulf of Mexico for several years now but unlike Cogon grass, Chinese tallow, and Lionfish they have not really made the press.  We know they are there, but captures in shrimp trawls seem to be infrequent… it just does not look like a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/02/an-early-study-shows-the-invasion-of-the-asian-tiger-shrimp-could-have-an-impact-on-native-shrimp/

September is Microplastics Awareness Month

Going along with the International Coastal Clean Up, UF/IFAS Extension will be promoting September as Microplastics Awareness month. The most common form of microplastic are fibers.Photo: UF IFAS St. johns County If you have not heard, microplastics are small pieces of plastic < 5mm in diameter. Some are fragments from larger pieces of plastic that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/02/september-is-microplastics-awareness-month/

It’s Sea Turtle Hatching Time… what you can do to help them

It is August, we are just off another successful Sea Turtle Baby Shower event in the Pensacola area, and we are in peak season for sea turtle hatching. Those little guys have a tough road to follow trying to emerge from their nest to reach the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  Within the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/08/26/its-sea-turtle-hatching-time-what-you-can-do-to-help-them/

The Return of the Bay Scallop to Pensacola Bay?

MAN do folks in the Florida panhandle like scallops. I recently visited boat ramps at Steinhatchee and Keaton Beach (in the Big Bend) and the parking lots were full of trucks and boat trailers belonging to people combing the grassbeds of the Gulf searching for this popular bivalve.  Scalloping is a fun activity that gets …

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Permanent link to this article: http://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/08/26/the-return-of-the-bay-scallop-to-pensacola-bay/

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