Georgia lawmakers are limiting the number of commercial crabbing licenses state Department of Natural Resources officials distribute. Under the bill, the DNR will cut the number of licenses from 138 to 100 starting in May of next year. Brunswick State Representative Alex Atwood sponsored the legislation to help a struggling blue crab population.
Georgia wildlife officials want to convince more private landowners to lease their land to the state for hunting, fishing and recreation. The state is expecting nearly $1 million from the federal government to add 15,000 acres of wildlife management areas.
A coastal lawmaker says, Georgia is losing business from boaters who want to take up floating residences in the state. Woodbine Republican Jason Spencer introduced a bill in the state legislature to allow live-aboard boats. Georgia outlawed long-term boat stays 20 years ago out of concern for the human waste that some boaters dump in the water.
A taxpayer-funded program to build 17 jumbo boat ramps and a fishing education center in Georgia is drawing criticism for underperforming. But officials say it’s still too early to condemn the Go Fish Initiative. Fourteen of the 17 ramps are complete. Half have hosted some kind of tournament with more than 2,500 anglers participating.
Residents say hundreds of black turkey vultures have invaded their south Georgia neighborhood. They say the birds have taken over the trees behind their homes, their rooftops, fences and back yards along Pelham Drive in Lee County. Lee County, just north of Albany, is about 150 miles south of Atlanta.
An outgoing member of Georgia's Department of Natural Resources board is taking aim at Governor Nathan Deal. Deal chose not to re-appoint Newnan insurance agent Warren Budd to another term on the board overseeing environmental protection. Budd says, insiders told him it's because he's in synch with environmental groups on some issues.
Georgia biologists are praising the allocation of federal money to study and monitor a disease devastating bats around the country. Congress is directing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to spend $4 million to beef up research on white-nose syndrome. It kills bats that serve an important role in insect control and as food for larger animals.
Officers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources have seized four exotic big cats from a Carroll County woman. Authorities say the two Canada Lynx, a Caracal and a Serval are considered exotic animals and require special licenses.