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Birds of a feather
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Photo by JIM LAYFIELD
A mother limpkin leads her babies along the edge of the pond in the Largo Nature Preserve on Friday, April 22.
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LARGO - The Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation will host a tour of the Florida Botanical Gardens and five private gardens on Sunday, May 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The garden tour will begin at Pinellas County Extension at 10 a.m., where participants will start a guided tour of the Florida Botanical Gardens and receive a map that will guide them to the other five participating gardens in the mid-county area. The private gardens will be open to visitors from noon until 4 p.m.
 ... Read More 
MADEIRA BEACH - The 2016 Old Salt Spring King of the Beach Kingfish Tournament will take place Thursday, April 28 through Saturday, April 30 at 200 Rex Place in Madeira Beach.

Teams from around the Gulf coast will be competing for the guaranteed $50,000 first place payout. The tournament is wrapped up in a fun-filled, three-day waterfront festival offering traveling anglers, local families and residents three days of activities, music, food and events.

“The King of the Beach Tournament has offered a competitive angling experience and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity and programs the past 24 years,” said Tom Verdensky, president of the Old Salt Fishing Foundation. “The increased prize packages will draw even more competitive anglers from across the southeast U.S. More anglers means more money for our charities and programs. It’s a win all the way around.”
 ... Read More 
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Wow, what a beautiful weekend. Hopefully, you were able to get out. Kingfish, Spanish mackerel, redfish, snook, cobia and tripletail are just a handful of the many species that are available to anglers right now.

It’s starting to feel like summer and it looks like we’ll have another front-free weekend. It truly has been a strange spring, but I’ll take it. Tarpon are beginning to be a real possibility, and I can’t wait to get my first fish hooked up for the season. Kingfish are still around and actually the cool down we had last week will help to keep them around a little longer.
 ... Read More 
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has set the 2016 recreational red snapper season in Gulf of Mexico state waters.

The season will open Saturdays and Sundays in May starting May 7.
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a two-part lionfish plan April 13 to further encourage removal of the invasive species in 2016.

Lionfish have a potential negative impact on native wildlife and habitat and the FWC encourages divers and anglers to remove them from Florida waters whenever they can.

The two-part initiative will include a statewide reward program that will expand upon 2015 efforts and a Panhandle Pilot Program.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a marine life rescue center, will kick off turtle nesting season by hosting Sea Turtle Awareness Day, set for Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. to noon, on Clearwater Beach at Pier 60.

The public is invited to help clear the beach for the turtle hatchlings and nesting females beginning at 9 a.m. A free beach yoga class as well as fun, educational activities with Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s sea turtle team will follow this. Prizes and giveaway items will be distributed to participants while supplies last. CMA also will provide trolley service from Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure to Pier 60 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., providing free parking and ease of access to the event for participants.

CMA staff monitor loggerhead sea turtle nesting season each year from May to October. Sea turtles nest at night and can be impeded by artificial lights, chairs, sandcastles, toys and trash - all of which can prevent adults from nesting successfully and avert hatchlings from reaching the sea. This year’s theme to Keep the Beach Dark promotes turtle-safe lighting practices.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETERSBURG - George and Lucy have been empty nesters in recent years at Sunken Gardens, a historic botanical attraction at 1825 Fourth St. N.

The two flamingos were once part of 17 flamingos that made their home at the gardens, one of Florida’s original roadside attractions. The two now anxiously await some new feathered friends.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETERSBURG - As sailing enthusiasts prepared to cast off in St. Petersburg’s annual Regata del Sol al Sol International yachting race to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, on April 22, city officials were getting ready to welcome the island location as St. Petersburg’s newest Sister City.

Spearheaded by members of St. Petersburg’s International Relations Committee, the city council approved the first step toward strengthening the relationship to further develop cross-cultural and economic ties between the two cities. Previously, they were under a Friendship City agreement.

Like St. Petersburg’s nearly 60-year relationship with Takamatsu, Japan, Isla Mujeres will share a similar world bond following a formal Sister City signing reception between Mayor Rick Kriseman and Isla Mujeres Mayor Agapita Magana on April 28 in Isla Mujeres. Areas of mutual benefit include economic development, the environment and preservation of natural resources, urban planning, arts and culture, tourism, education, public health and transportation. St. Petersburg currently shares Twin, or Friendship, City agreements with its namesake, St. Petersburg, Russia (since 2003), and Figueres, Spain (since 2011).
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, April 20
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LARGO - Each year, the Pinellas County chapter of Special Olympics Florida holds several fundraisers in an effort to provide year-round sports training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost.

That includes coming up with new and original ideas on how to raise the money, including a FootGolf tournament Saturday, April 23, at Largo Municipal Golf Course, 12500 131st St. N.

“It’s fun. It’s a different twist on golf and the only thing people need to have is a soccer ball and it’s not like lugging clubs around,” said David R. Haines, director of Special Olympics Florida - Pinellas County.
 ... Read More 
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This weekend’s full moon and likely better weather should offer anglers better fishing than the last few weekends.

Bad timing or luck depending on how you look at it is to blame for what has been a really tough spring, weather wise. With cold fronts still strong enough to make it this far south we have had numerous weekend blow outs. Mid-week fishing on the other hand has been excellent at times. Typically three days after a cold front passes through the winds lighten up and water temperatures are back up into the sweet zone somewhere around 72 degrees.
 ... Read More 
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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