Waterfront Times 12 01 2015 E Edition Page 1

Serving South Florida's Coastal Neighborhoods D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 5 Y E A R 6 I S S U E 6 Admiralty Law 5 Classifieds 14 Eats 8 Events Calendar 10 Tide Table 11 CAROL JERTSON Waterfront Times For South Florida boaters, this may be the brightest season of all. Covered in holiday lights, boaters show off their frippery, finery and sense of fun via bedecked vessels sailing in holiday boat parades from Palm Beach County to Key West. For those who watch from the sidelines, the pa- rades are an opportunity to "oooh!" and "aaah!" at the creativity of boat owners who up the wattage on thou- sands of holiday lights as they bob and weave down the Intracoastal or around the Florida Keys. If you're not watching from your boat or waterfront backyard, you can grab a seat on the bleachers in ap- proved viewing areas or try nabbing a coveted table in a waterfront restaurant. Northerners have their holiday traditions, and we have ours. At least we stay warm as we connect with family and friends outdoors. "It's a beautiful event that everyone enjoys," said Christopher Burdick, special events coordinator for the Boynton Beach CRA, which organizes the Boynton Beach/Delray Holiday Boat Parade. "Unless we have some strong weather occurrence, I can't imagine it won't be a fabulous time," Burdick said. Becky Self, community events coordinator for Boca Raton, said that city's holiday boat parade is a hit for many reasons - one of the main ones being the fire- works barge that leads the parade every year. "If you've never seen fireworks off the water, with their reflection in the water, it's spectacular," she said. "It's very different from Fourth of July fireworks." Self said Boca is expecting about 35 boats to take part in its 39th annual parade. The Boca parade is open to sail and motorboats, al- though sailboats should be under motor power in the ICW during the parade. "It's a nice event," Self said. "We have a free awards banquet for the parade boaters at the Waterstone Resort and Marina, and we have thousands of dollars in prize money for those who win in the var- ious categories." The city of Boca Raton comes up with the prize money to show appreciation to boaters, Self said, "be- Plan to fish in the Gulf? Amberjack are off limits What for? Earlier this year, FWC reduced the daily bag limit from four red grouper to two. That's supposed to reduce the impact on the federal quota. Offshore fishing seasons with consistent dates and limits are old-days history now. Changes come on short notice, making it necessary for fishing-doers to stay in- formed. The latest detailed regulations for amberjack and red grouper are posted online at MyFWC.com/fishing. Click there on the saltwater and "recreational regula- tions" links. Look there again in January, when amberjack can be caught and kept again. Triggerfish too FWC also changed the minimum keeper size for Atlantic gray triggerfish from 14 inches to 12 inches, an amendment to the regulation it adopted in July. The same change was made to the statewide sale and import size limit. The July rule was enacted for consistency with fed- eral regulations, but stakeholders in the southeast ar- gued for the 12-inch size tail-fork limit on grounds that gray triggerfish off the southeast Florida shore have a smaller average size than in other areas of the Atlantic coast. The bag limit is 10 fish. The amended rule is to ex- pire at the end of next October, after a new stock as- sessment of gray triggerfish. Species in peril The long-awaited Florida Imperiled Species Management Plan has been posted for public review and input. You'll be surprised how many you've never ARNOLD MARKOWITZ Waterfront Times Don't keep any more amberjack caught in Gulf wa- ters this year. The Florida Fish & Wildlife (FWC) Commission, to make regulations for state waters con- form to federal regs, closed the recreational fishery in November. The feds closed catch-and-keep fishing for amberjack on Sept. 28. What for? Federal fishing rules, which change year to year, are based on quotas for the aggregate weight of fish caught and kept - an estimate whose accuracy can't be certified, but is the best number available. The quotas are meant to maintain sustainable fisheries by preventing over-fishing. FWC generally tries to keep state rules in sync with federal changes, but not always. For example, the fed- eral-waters season for red grouper is closed but the state season remains open. cause without them, this wouldn't be possible." "Some of them go all out. It's amazing what people can do to their boats when they decorate them. We've always had some real crowd-pleasers." In Key West, the Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley/Absolut Lighted Boat Parade kicks off in typical high spirits at 8 p.m. Dec. 12. Event organizer, and Schooner Wharf co-owner Evalena Worthington, said the boat parade is a "truly magical night. We have vessels of all shapes and sizes, from kayaks to schooners decked out in a dazzling dis- play of lights and amazing creativity. It's a holiday tra- dition with a unique Key West maritime spirit." The entry deadline is Dec. 10, and there is a $25 fee for all boaters who wish to participate. A captains' meeting for all captains and crew taking part in the parade takes place 8 p.m. Dec. 11 at Schooner Wharf. There, the maritime parade route will be reviewed while complimentary drinks and hors d'oeurves will be enjoyed. SEE SPECIES PAGE 6 SEE BOAT PARADE PAGE 12 Decked-out boats join a variety of seasonal parades Scott and Anita McIlvaine pose in front of their 43-foot Post sport fisherman. They live in Pompano Beach and will participate in three boat parades: Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, and Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest. Photo Carol Jertson

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