The state Board of Natural Resources is set to take over regulation of saltwater fishing in Georgia. State lawmakers gave the board the authority to regulate saltwater fish the same way it does with freshwater species starting January 2013. Until now, the General Assembly has directly controlled rules about some saltwater species.
Georgia officials are fining a Tybee Island hotel CEO for moving a sand dune. Harry Spirides of the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort admits to hiring four men to shovel a dune at night starting in mid-February. The executive says, he wanted to make beach access easier for hotel guests. But moving a sand dune violates Georgia's Shore Protection Act.
Wildlife officials in Georgia are now accepting online applications for quota hunts. The redesigned system allows hunters to apply for permission to hunt deer, alligator, waterfowl, dove and other game.
New rules for dogs on St. Simons Island are drawing both cheers and jeers from dog lovers. On the one hand, Glynn County officials are banning dogs on the island's beach this summer when the sand is most popular, during the day. On the other hand, they're giving dog owners the discretion to unleash their dogs and let them roam free in the mornings and evenings.
Experts with the Department of Natural Resources say late spring and early summer vacation seasons overlap with the nesting seasons for protected birds such as American oystercatchers, Wilson's plovers and least terns. DNR is asking beachgoers to keep a lookout for protected birds and their nests.
A recent survey in Georgia suggests that the bald eagle population is continuing to grow. Officials at the Department of Natural Resources say they have documented 158 occupied nesting territories, 116 successful nests and 190 young fledged, which means they have the feathers necessary for flight.
Watson Mill Bridge will return to its status as a state park after volunteers and local governments contributed $30,000 to help run it. The park had been downgraded last year as part of statewide budget cuts.