Recent Submissions

  • Panama City Fisheries Resources Office: FY 2002 Annual Report

    Panama City Fisheries Resources Office (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Panama City Field OfficePanama City, Florida, 2003)
    HIGHLIGHTS FOR FY 20021. United States Senator Bob Graham assisted with a Gulf sturgeon survey.2. Completed 3-year Gulf sturgeon population study in the Choctawhatchee Riverdrainage.3. Completed Gulf sturgeon potential spawning habitat survey for Northwest Florida andSoutheast Alabama river systems.4. Initiated Gulf sturgeon marine habitat and food resources study.5. Completed Gulf sturgeon sentinel fish study.6. Coordinated and conducted tagging of over 110,000 Phase II striped bass at Welakaand Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery.7. Completed Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge fishery sampling.8. Developed a manuscript regarding the fishery of Banks Lake NWR.9. Initiated development of a fish Index of Biotic Integrity for Florida panhandle streams.10. Coordinated Okaloosa darter workshop.11. Continued examining insect communities on Eglin AFB.12. Sponsored and coordinated stream restoration workshop.13. Provided technical assistance via Partners for Fish and Wildlife for stream restorationwithin the Northeast Gulf Ecosystem.14. Finalized regional curve development in the Northern Region of Florida and securedsignificant funds for FY03 to expand to other regions in Florida.15. Initiated freshwater mussel conservation in the Northeastern Gulf Ecosystem.
  • Panama City Fisheries Resources Office: FY 2003 Annual Report

    Panama City Fisheries Resources Office (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Panama City Field OfficePanama City, Florida, 2004)
    HIGHLIGHTS FOR FY 20031. Continued a 3-year threatened Gulf sturgeon population estimate in the EscambiaRiver, Florida and conducted presence-absence surveys in 4 other Florida riversystems and 1 bay.2. Five juvenile Gulf sturgeon collected, near the mouth of the ChoctawhatcheeRiver, Florida, were equipped with sonic tags and monitored while over-winteringin Choctawhatchee Bay.3. Continued to examine Gulf sturgeon marine habitat use.4. Implemented Gulf Striped Bass Restoration Plan by coordinating the 20th AnnualMorone Workshop, leading the technical committee, transporting broodfish, and coordinating the stocking on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) riversystem.5. Over 73,000 Phase II Gulf striped bass were marked with sequential coded wiretags and stocked in the Apalachicola River. Post-stocking evaluations wereconducted at 31 sites.6. Three stream fisheries assessment s were completed to evaluate the fishcommunity at sites slated for habitat restoration by the Partners for Fish andWildlife Program (PFW).7. PFW program identified restoration needs and opportunities for 10 areas.8. Developed an Unpaved Road Evaluation Handbook.9. Completed restoration of Chipola River Greenway, Seibenhener StreambankRestoration, Blackwater River State Forest, and Anderson Property.10. Assessments for fluvial geomorphic conditions for design criteria were completedfor 3 projects.11. Geomorphology in Florida streams initiated development of Rosgen regionalcurves for Northwest Florida for use by the Florida Department of Transportation.12. Developed a Memorandum of Understanding between partners for enhancing,protecting, and restoring stream, wetland, and upland habitat in northwest Florida13. Completed aquatic fauna and fish surveys with new emphasis on integration ofdata from reach level into watershed and landscape scale and keeping databasecurrent.14. Compliance based sampling of impaired waterbodies on Eglin Air Force Base inconjunction with Florida Department of Environmental Protection for TotalMaximum Daily Load development support.15. Surveyed 20 sites for the federally endangered Okaloosa darter, provided habitatdescriptions, worked with partners to implement key recovery tasks and setpriorities for restoration.16. Worked with partners to develop a freshwater mussel survey protocol to providestandard operating procedures for establishing the presence/absence of federallylisted mussel species within a Federal project area.17. GIS database was created to identify all known freshwater mussel records fromthe northeast Gulf ecosystem.18. Completed recovery plan for seven freshwater mussels and drafted candidateelevation package for seven additional mussels. Developed proposals toimplement recovery plan.19. Worked with Corps of Engineers and State partners to develop improved reservoiroperating policies to benefit both riverine and reservoir fisheries for the ACF riversystem.20. Multiple outreach projects were completed to detail aquatic resourcesconservation opportunities.21. Multiple stream restoration and watershed management projects initiated orcompleted (see Appendix A).
  • Panama City Fisheries Resources Office: FY 2004 Annual Report

    Panama City Fisheries Resources Office (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Panama City Field OfficePanama City, Florida, 2005)
    HIGHLIGHTS FOR FY 20041. Completed the second of a 3-year Gulf sturgeon population estimate on the EscambiaRiver, Florida.2. Completed the first of a 2-year Gulf sturgeon population estimate on the ApalachicolaRiver, Florida.3. Conducted Gulf sturgeon presence-absence surveys in three other Florida river systems.4. Documented Gulf sturgeon marine habitat use in the near shore waters of the Gulf ofMexico.5. Identified environmental threats to Gulf sturgeon spawning habitat in theChoctawhatchee River, Florida.6. Initiated a study to document Gulf sturgeon spawning with the collection of fertilizedeggs in the Yellow River, Florida.7. Implemented Gulf Striped Bass Restoration Plan by coordinating the 21st Annual MoroneWorkshop, leading the technical committee, transporting broodfish, and coordinating thestocking on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) river system.8. Over 86,000 Phase II Gulf striped bass were marked with sequential coded wire tags andstocked in Lake Seminole and the Apalachicola River. Post-stocking evaluations wereconducted at 31 sites.9. Drafted updates to Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Striped Bass Restoration andEvaluation Five-Year Plan with partners.10. Fishery surveys were conducted on Tyndall Air Force Base and St. Marks and St.Vincent National Wildlife Refuges.11. Habitat evaluations and population surveys were completed at 153 Okaloosa darterstream sites.12. Aquatic insect biomonitoring and identification of over 39,000 individual aquaticmacroinvertebrates was completed and provided to Eglin Air Force Base.13. Ten years of fishery data from Okefenokee and Banks Lake National Wildlife Refugeswas analyzed with recommendations incorporated into the refuge ComprehensiveConservation Plan.14. A draft mussel sampling protocol was tested in wadeable streams in northwest Floridaand southwest Georgia.15. Implemented recovery plan and candidate conservation actions for 14 listed andcandidate freshwater mussels in the Northeast Gulf Watersheds.16. Worked with partners in developing the Spring Creek Watershed Partnership in the FlintRiver basin, Georgia.17. Multiple stream restoration and watershed management projects were initiated orcompleted. A total of 6.8 stream miles were restored for stream fishes, along with 56.4miles of coastline were enhanced for sea turtle lighting. A total of 135 acres of wetlandsand 58 acres of understory habitat were restored.18. Multiple outreach projects were completed to detail aquatic resources conservation needsand opportunities. Participated in National Fishing Week event, BASS ProShops event,several festivals, and school outreach.
  • Panama City Fisheries Resources Office: FY 2005 Annual Report

    Panama City Fisheries Resources Office (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Panama City Field OfficePanama City, Florida, 2006)
    HIGHLIGHTS FOR FY 20051. Assisted with a study to assess hurricane impacts to Gulf sturgeon criticalforaging habitat.2. Documented Gulf sturgeon marine movement and habitat use in the Gulf ofMexico.3. Documented Gulf sturgeon spawning with the collection of fertilized eggs in theApalachicola River, Florida.4. Documented Gulf sturgeon spawning with the collection of fertilized eggs in theYellow River, Florida.5. Assisted with benthic invertebrate survey at Gulf sturgeon marine foraginggrounds.6. Implemented Gulf Striped Bass Restoration Plan by coordinating the 22nd AnnualMorone Workshop, leading the technical committee, transporting broodfish, andcoordinating the stocking on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) riversystem.7. Over 87,000 Phase II Gulf striped bass were marked with sequential coded wiretags and stocked in the Apalachicola River. Post-stocking evaluations wereconducted at 45 sites in the fall and spring and 8 thermal refuges in the summer.8. Completed fishery surveys on 4 ponds on Eglin AFB totaling 53 acres, andcompleted a report with recommendations for future recreational fishery needs.9. Completed final report for aquatic monitoring at Eglin AFB from 1999 to 2004.10. Completed a field collection of the endangered Okaloosa darter to be incorporatedinto a status review to be completed in FY06.11. Provided technical assistance to the Region 4 National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)program on changes to the fishery conservation targets for the region. Alsoprovided technical assistance to four NWRs (i.e., Okefenokee NWR, Banks LakeNWR, St. Vincent NWR, and St. Marks NWR) relative to hurricanes andrecreational fishing.12. A draft mussel sampling protocol was tested in wadeable streams in NorthwestFlorida and southwest Georgia, and an associated field guide, poster, andFreshwater Mussel Survey Protocol and Identification workshop were completedin FY05.13. Implemented recovery plan and candidate conservation actions for 14 listed andcandidate freshwater mussels in the Northeast Gulf Watersheds.14. Initiated or completed multiple stream restoration and watershed managementprojects. A total of 7.5 stream miles were restored for stream fishes, and 11 milesof coastline were enhanced for sea turtle lighting. A total of 630 acres ofwetlands and 2,401 acres of understory habitat were restored.15. Conducted a watershed assessment to develop a threats analysis for prioritizingrestoration, protection, and enhancement to natural resources of Spring Creek,Georgia and Canoe Creek, Florida.16. Continued the formation of an Unpaved Road Interagency Team of Federal, State,and local agencies in Northwest Florida to promote stream protection andrestoration from unpaved road sediment runoff. Began the development of atechnical committee agreement.17. Conducted Alabama Unpaved Road Inventory within the Northeast GulfEcosystem. Data collection will be completed during FY06.18. Finalized the development of two North Florida hydrophysiographic regionalcurves for use by the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) and othersinvolved with stream restoration and protection. Initiated the development of theAlabama Coastal Plain Riparian Reference Reach and Regional Curves for use bythe Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).19. Provided technical assistance in collecting data, analysis, and thesis formulationwith Troy University, Alabama, to identify the influence of large woody debris insoutheastern coastal plain streams.20. Completed pre- and post-restoration fish community monitoring at severalrestoration projects including Big Escambia Creek, Magnolia Creek, and OysterLake, Florida.21. Established a watershed partnership for the Chipola River in Alabama and Floridaand expanded development and participation in the Spring Creek WatershedPartnership, Georgia.22. Continued to identify barriers which inhibit the movement of aquatic specieswithin the Northeast Gulf Ecoregion.23. Completed a report on road crossing structures in Okaloosa darter streams toguide the closure/repair/maintenance of roads to contribute to recovery of theendangered species. In cooperation with Three Rivers RC&D Council, fishpassage sites identified in the report were prioritized for restoration.24. Monitored Aquatic Nuisance Species in the Apalachicola River and tested thesterility of exotic grass carp.25. Multiple outreach projects were completed to detail aquatic resourcesconservation needs and opportunities. Participated in National Fishing Weekevent, several festivals, and school outreach.
  • Panama City Fisheries Resources Office: FY 2006 Annual Report

    Panama City Fisheries Resources Office (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Panama City Field OfficePanama City, Florida, 2007)
    HIGHLIGHTS FOR FY 20061. Captured and tagged 475 Gulf sturgeons in five Florida rivers and one bay.2. Documented Gulf sturgeon marine movement and habitat use in the Gulf of Mexico.3. Assisted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with thecollection of Gulf sturgeon, implantation of acoustic tags, and monitoring of fish in astudy to examine movement patterns and habitat use in Pensacola andChoctawhatchee bays post-Hurricane Ivan.4. Provided technical assistance to Jon “Bo” Sawyer in completing a study – SummerResting Areas of the Gulf Sturgeon in the Conecuh/Escambia River System,Alabama-Florida – for acquiring a Degree of Master of Science at Troy University,Alabama.5. Coordinated tagging and data collection with NOAA observers aboard trawlers whilecollecting Gulf sturgeon during dredging operations in the coastal Gulf of Mexico.6. Hosted the 7th Annual Gulf Sturgeon Workshop.7. Implemented Gulf Striped Bass Restoration Plan by coordinating the 23rd AnnualMorone Workshop, leading the technical committee, transporting broodfish,coordinating the stocking on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) riversystem, and evaluating post-stocking success.8. Continued updating and managing the Freshwater Mussel Survey Database, aGeographic Information System (GIS) database, for over 800 unique sites in theNortheast Gulf (NEG) drainages in Alabama (AL), Georgia (GA), and Florida (FL).9. Formed a recovery implementation team for listed mussels in the ACF river basin andoversaw grant cooperative agreements for 14 listed and candidate freshwater musselsin the NEG watersheds.10. Initiated a project in the Apalachicola River to relocate mussels stranded as a result ofdrought conditions, and calculate river flows at which mussels would be exposed.11. Initiated a project in Sawhatchee Creek, Georgia to determine the status of threatenedand endangered (T&E) freshwater mussels and target restoration projects, populationassessments, and potential population augmentation to lead toward recovery of thelisted species.12. Initiated a study to determine the age and growth of the endangered fat threeridgemussel (Amblema neislerii).13. Provided technical assistance to the Panama City Ecological Services office for abiological opinion on the operations of Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam and its effectson the listed species and designated and proposed critical habitat in the ApalachicolaRiver, Florida.14. Assisted with a multi-State, inter-agency team to develop a management plan torestore the Alabama shad in the ACF river system.15. Conducted fishery surveys on Tyndall AFB, Florida and Ft. Benning, Georgia andcompleted a report with recommendations for future recreational fishery needs.16. Provided fishery technical assistance to four National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) (i.e.,Okefenokee NWR, Banks Lake NWR, St. Vincent NWR, and St. Marks NWR).17. Initiated an Aquatic Resources and Recreation Fishing Survey on Department ofDefense facilities located in Region 4.18. Identified 130 road-stream crossings on Eglin AFB for rehabilitation and eliminationof sediment imputs.19. Continued the Aquatics Monitoring Program at Eglin AFB to assess techniques thatdetermine current status and sustainability of aquatic habitat and develop a measure todetermine quality or degradation of habitat.20. Assisted Eglin AFB Natural Resource managers in revising the installation’sIntegrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) and its associatedcomponent plans.21. Coordinated recovery efforts for the endangered Okaloosa darter includingpopulation/life history surveys, stream restoration, and outreach activities.22. Initiated a comprehensive status review of the Okaloosa darter with analysesperformed to assess available habitat, preferred habitats, rangeexpansions/reductions/fragmentations, population size, and probability of extinction.23. Assisted the Gulf Coastal Plain Ecosystem Partnership and the Florida Fish andWildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under a Memorandum of Agreement todevelop conservation strategies, implement monitoring and assessment programs, andsecure funds for aquatic management programs in six watersheds in northwest Floridaand southeast Alabama.24. Entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Air Force to encourage theconservation and rehabilitation of natural resources at Hurlburt Field, Florida.25. Multiple outreach projects were completed to detail aquatic resources’ conservationneeds and opportunities; including National Fishing Week, Earth Day, severalfestivals, and school outreach.
  • Panama City Fisheries Resources Office: FY 2007 Annual Report

    Panama City Fisheries Resources Office (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Panama City Field OfficePanama City, Florida, 2008)
    HIGHLIGHTS FOR FY 20071. Completed a three-year Gulf sturgeon population study on the Escambia River, Florida. The population was estimated at 451 fish.2. Implemented the Gulf Striped Bass Restoration Plan by coordinating the 24th Annual Morone Workshop, leading the technical committee, transporting broodfish, coordinating stocking on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) river system, and evaluating post-stocking success.3. Completed a survey to document the extent of aquatic resources, recreational fishing opportunities, and fishery management needs on Department of Defense (DoD) facilities located in Region 4.4. Continued a project in the Apalachicola River to describe the effects of exceptional drought conditions on freshwater mussel recovery.5. Initiated a study to locate extant populations of the federally endangered Ochlockonee moccasinshell in the Ochlockonee River Basin. We documented the first live individuals in 14 years.6. Completed a five-year status review for seven threatened and endangered freshwater mussels in the NEG drainages.7. Restored Mill Creek to improve habitat for the endangered Okaloosa darter by removing six fish passage barriers and creating approximately 3,000 linear feet of new and regenerated stream channel with floodplain and native vegetation.8. Completed a fish passage project that connected about 5 miles of habitat in Little Rocky Creek, Eglin Air Force Base, to benefit the Okaloosa darter.9. Completed a threats analysis to aquatic species in the Chipola River watershed using GIS stream data, aerial imagery, and land cover data.10. Multiple outreach projects were completed to detail aquatic resource conservation needs and opportunities, including National Fishing Week, Earth Day, several festivals, and school outreach.
  • Panama City Fisheries Resources Office: FY 2008 Annual Report

    Panama City Fisheries Resources Office (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Panama City Field OfficePanama City, Florida, 2009)
    HIGHLIGHTS FOR FY 20081. Completed the first of a two-year Gulf sturgeon population study on theChoctawhatchee River, Florida. The sub adult and adult Gulf sturgeon populationwas estimated at 2,800 fish.2. Gulf sturgeon eggs were collected at three hard bottom sites in the ApalachicolaRiver, Florida; two sites were previously confirmed spawning areas and one was anewly confirmed spawning area.3. Documented 55 potential environmental threats to Gulf sturgeon spawning habitatin the Pea River, Florida and Alabama.4. Assigned the Eglin AFB Road-Stream Crossing Working Group to guide theclosure, repair and maintenance of roads and road stream crossings that impactthreatened and endangered species.5. Conducted 81 assessments of fish and stream invertebrates on and in watershedssurrounding Eglin AFB.6. Provided technical support for the 5-year status review and reclassificationproposed rule for the Okaloosa darter.7. Initiated an intensive population genetic analysis of the Okaloosa darterthroughout its range. Tissues from over 200 Okaloosa darters were collected andanalyzed.8. Established a GIS database to serve as a host for data from any sites sampled formussels in Northeast Gulf of Mexico drainages.9. Conducted habitat surveys at 115 locations in the Apalachicola River to assess theeffects of drought-related mussel mortality and strandings, evaluate habitatconditions, and assess population demography.10. A land use/aerial imagery threats assessment data analysis was completed for theChipola River. A total of 266 impoundments/borrow pits and 471 unpaved roadcrossings were identified among the threats.11. Okaloosa darters marked with elastomeric dyes were monitored in Mill Creek,Eglin AFB, to determine movement and habitat use following completion of afish passage project.312. Partners for Fish and Wildlife funded a streambank and riparian restorationproject on Econfina Creek consisting of 3,900 feet of streambank fencing toexclude cattle access. One acre of riparian floodplain was planted with nativetrees.13. We provided design and on-the-ground assistance for restoring surface hydrologyat St. Vincent NWR. The project restored approximately 1.5 miles of tidal streamand 100 acres of wetlands.14. A study was completed on 11 coastal streams to document large wood debrisrelationships with fluvial geomorphic characteristics.15. We developed a Population Viability Analysis model for the fat threeridgemussel to determine current and future risk of extinction.17. A Gulf Sturgeon Friends Group, “Gulf Sturgeon Preservation Society” wasorganized in FY 08.18. Multiple outreach projects were completed to detail aquatic resource conservationneeds and opportunities, including National Fishing Week, Earth Day, severalfestivals and school outreach.
  • Panama City Fisheries Resources Office: FY 2009 Annual Report

    Panama City Fisheries Resources Office (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Panama City Field OfficePanama City, Florida, 2010)
    HIGHLIGHTS FOR FY 20091. Completed the second of a two-year Gulf sturgeon population study on the Choctawhatchee River, Florida. The juvenile, sub adult and adult Gulf sturgeon population was estimated at 3,400 fish.2. Three young of year Gulf sturgeon were collected by Corps of Engineers biologists in the upper Brothers Rivers.3. Two YCC enrollees spent eight weeks assisting PCFO biologists and Tyndall AFB with various projects.4. The Gulf Sturgeon 5-Year Summary and Evaluation was completed.5. Karen Herrington co-authored a peer-reviewed journal article for a striped bass symposium at the annual American Fisheries Society meeting, which will be published in the symposium proceedings. The article reviews the past 25 years of striped bass restoration in the ACF and is titled “Restoration of Gulf Striped Bass: Lessons and Management Implications”.6. We documented recent purple bankclimber recruitment in the Ochlockonee River for the first time in several years.7. We provided over 200 genetic samples to Warm Springs Fish Technology Center to compare mussel populations and genetic diversity, rank populations by status, and facilitate recovery actions.8. We established permanent mussel monitoring locations in Sawhatchee Creek and the Flint River to examine trends in population size, survival, and recruitment.9. We provided a prioritized list to the Federal Emergency Management Agency of 197 stream crossings that occur near freshwater mussel populations in order to facilitate habitat restoration following major flooding in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia in the spring of 2009.