An intruder is lurking outside. Thanks to its natural camouflage, it is rarely seen. It stalks its prey silently and strikes swiftly—the consummate hunting machine.
The intruder is the Burmese python, an invasive reptile responsible for decimating animal populations through-out the Everglades.
The python is such a serious problem that Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and South Florida Water Management District have put a target on its back.
The two agencies offer several training and capture programs to confront the growing threat of pythons in the state. They include teams of professional python wranglers, as well as programs geared toward the public.
One such effort is FWC’s Python Pickup Program. It encourages people to humanely kill Burmese pythons and report locations to FWC. As an incentive, hunters will be entered in a grand-prize drawing to be held in October 2020.
The good news is these efforts are paying off. The programs have resulted in the removal of thousands of pythons.
The bad news is there’s still a long way to go. There are tens of thousands of pythons in South Florida, with some estimates exceeding 100,000.
To get involved, consider taking a free training class offered by FWC, and report all python and other nonnative species sightings immediately. The number is 888-483-4681.
For more information, visit www.myfwc.com.
Pythons by the Numbers
- On September 22, 2019, an 18-foot-3-inch, 98-pound Burmese python was caught in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve. It is the second longest on record. The longest python caught in Florida measured 18 feet, 7 inches.
- Nine out of 10 pythons caught in the state are less than 8 feet long. About a third are shorter than 2 feet.
Special Days in November
- November 6, Marooned Without a Compass Day
- November 11, Veterans Day
- November 17, Take a Hike Day
Pamper Your Canoe or Kayak in Storage
People often do more harm than good when storing their kayak or canoe. That’s because prolonged storage on their tops or hanging from their carrying handles or gunwales can cause structural damage.
The proper way to store them is in a hull-fitting cradle or by hanging them hammock style inside a tarp hung from rafters or some other kind of supports. Ensure the weight is distributed evenly across the entire length of the hull.
Catch of the Month
Here are prime fishing opportunities around the state in November.
- The Keys: jack, bluefish, pompano, seatrout, bonefish, drum, bonito, mackerel, permit and snapper.
- Northwest: catfish, bass, drum, bonito, seatrout, triggerfish, sheepshead, snapper, flounder and grouper.
- Central West: flounder, drum, permit, grouper and ladyfish.
- Southwest: jack, mackerel, bass, drum, ladyfish, sheepshead, grouper, pompano and snapper.
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