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Florida Panel OKs Manatee Zones, Snapper Season

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File photo of a manatee. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a manatee. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has approved manatee protection zones in Flagler County and a 40-day red snapper fishing season.

The panel acted while meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Crystal River.

The manatee zones will be in effect from May 1 through Sept. 7 once signs are posted. The slow-speed zones for boats cover 2.7 miles of Flager’s 18.6 miles of Intercoastal Waterway channel.

Manatees are most commonly found in the area during the summer when boating traffic is heaviest.

The recreational snapper season will run from June 1 through July 10 in state waters that extend about 10 miles into of the Gulf of Mexico.

That matches the current federal season. It will remain at 40 days in state waters even if the federal season is shortened.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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