The 20th Annual UF Fisheries/FWC Fishing Tournament at Cedar Key is in the books! We had a great event this year.
Early week predictions of rainy weather missed the mark, and clear skies and relatively calm winds greeted anglers as the day began Saturday morning. The winds picked up a bit in the afternoon but conditions remained favorable all day. We had a total of 19 boats and 42 anglers this year, and the group did not disappoint on fish catches. The full range of species was caught this year, for a total of 5 prize categories (each prize was $145). And the winners were…………
Largest Spanish Mackerel – 21.5 inches, Captain George Tanner and his brother. This boat had 16 Spanish, three spotted seatrout, and one redfish. It was one of only two boats with three qualifying species in this tournament. George usually catches fish, and he did well again this year capturing this category.
Largest Cobia – 37 inches, Captain Steve Larsen and coworkers Ryan LaMar and Cristian Villata. An excellent catch on this boat (see below).
On Tuesday, May 17, students, coaches, and family gathered together in the Cedar Key School Auditorium for the Athletic Awards Banquet. Over 100 people were in attendance at the banquet. Seventy-six students were recognized for playing on one or more sports teams during the 2015-2016 school year.
The opening introduction and award giver was Mrs. Cheryl Allen. She gave special thanks to the many helpful contributors of the function. All athletes received sports letters and pins. Below is the list of people who received awards.
University of Florida President Kent Fuchs spent his Sunday riding around Cedar Key in an airboat for the first time, visiting a Native American burial ground, climbing a lighthouse and exploring the area’s clam farms.
The president’s daylong visit was another testament to his interest in the university’s ventures across all disciplines, said Jack Payne, the senior vice president of agriculture and science at UF.
“I was thrilled that the president came down today,” said Payne, who lives in Cedar Key. “The fact that he would spend a Sunday with us, all day, speaks volumes about his interest in all aspects of the university.”
UF President Kent Fuchs and UF IFAS senior vice president of agriculture and science Jack Payne pose for a photo shortly after President Fuchs climbed the lighthouse and explored the beach of Seahorse Key. The island contains a marine laboratory used to teach UF and Santa Fe College students (Nina Cusmano/WUFT News).
Fuchs, who had never been to Cedar Key, spent Sunday exploring the Gulf Coast city that is home to numerous UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences projects and archaeological research sites.
He was given an airboat tour of archaeological sites, followed by a boat trip to see clam farms, Snake Island and Seahorse Key, where he climbed to the top of the Cedar Key Lighthouse.
Fuchs said he was fascinated by the history of the area at the unique archaeological sites.
The Cedar Key Historical Society Museum has been approved to participate in Schwan’s Home Food Delivery Fundraiser to raise money for building repairs. Our fundraising campaign ID is 27519 and beginsJune 1, 2016 and ends July 16, 2016. For more details and to place an order go to https://www.schwans-cares.com/campaigns/27519-cedar-key-historical-society-museum-building-repairs
Contact: Doreen Bauer
On a blustery day, this past Friday, some seventeen Bronson Middle School students with their instructor Jennifer Bray, boarded the 42-foot UF Research Vessel Discovery and “went to sea.” And discover they did. They inspected specimens, seine-netted, collected data, trawled, and found, most appropriately, a seahorse.
Bronson Middle School eighth-grade science teacher Jennifer Bray armed her 17 charges with the learning necessary to make the at the Seahorse Key Marine Lab day a success: before boarding the vessel, they already knew how to operate multi-parameter probes to measure salinity, wind direction, wind speed; they worked agreeably and confidently in groups.
And the group certainly knew how to respond to Captain Kenny McCain’s “No roughhousing,” “Keep your hands to yourself,” and “If you fall out of the boat, don’t panic, just stand up” advice. No one fell overboard; all heeded the additional advice with smiles and “yes, sirs.”
By 10 am, the incoming tide was high enough, if most of the crew stood in the front of the vessel, to leave the UF Dock off Third Street. Clouds were in the sky, and the overcast conditions provided a cool 75-ish degree temperature.
Soon the skies opened up, the waves heightened, and the sturdy boat barely swayed. The group huddled, very temporarily, in the cockpit and watched Captain McCain expertly navigate the strong wind, high waves, and heavy rain into the safe Seahorse harbor.
Off the vessel and inside the Seahorse Key Marine Lab, students talked with Scambati and Bray about the Seahorse Key ecosystem, mutualism, estuaries, birds and their recent disappearance, the Waccasassa and Suwannee River basins, and more. Even better, accordidng to several students, was the specimen viewing; they saw starfish, octopus, shrimp of all sizes, pinfish, crabs, and many, many more. Observations were noted on each student group’s data sheets.
Funding for these projects are from the District’s Regional Initiative Valuing Environmental Resources (RIVER) program. Projects that are eligible for RIVER funding consideration enhance or address the District’s water supply, water quality, flood protection and/or natural systems responsibilities District wide.
“Partnering with our local communities is essential to sustaining our water resources,” said Noah Valenstein, District executive director. “Together we can successfully implement measures to benefit people and our ecosystems that are critical to North Florida. Several of the selected projects will help the recovery of the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee minimum flows and levels, as well as, reduce nutrient loadings in the Santa Fe BMP.”
In February, our middle and high school “ag” classes planted red potatoes. Since then, we have diligently tended to our gardens. This Thursday, May 19, 2016, we harvested our potatoes, which is earlier than we had planned, due to irrigation issues. Our crop yielded only small sized potatoes due to the depth available in the soil for potatoes to grow. When planting potatoes, the depth the seed potato is planted is the deepest the new potatoes will grow, you need a good amount of soil in between the seed and the leafy plant. Usually mounding is done multiple times throughout a growing season; however, we were limited on soil. We took our potatoes (in one pound brown paper bags) to the Food Pantry for them to be used by community members in need.
Whether you live in the water, live on the water, play on the water or just simply love to look at the water, Cedar Key is the place to be. The winning design will be featured on all promotional materials (posters, ads, postcards, t-shirts, etc). The winning artists receives an automatic invitation to the 2017 festival along with complimentary booth fee.
The Green Business of the Month for May of 2016 is the Faraway Inn. Oliver and Doreen Bauer are the owners since they bought it in November of 2000.
The facility was built in 1948 and is a great example of the post-World War II hospitality industry in Florida with a mix of well-maintained free-standing cottages and attached rooms. The complex covers a half a City block, with a multitude of gardens, and it fronts on Goose Cove for those great Cedar Key sunsets.
The Faraway Inn has been in the Florida Green Lodging program for a number of years and currently is in the Trip Advisor Green Leader Program, which has similar goals and criteria as the Green Lodging Program. Both programs encourage the reduction of resource usage, electricity, water, and reduction of waste by implementing recycle programs that are available to staff and guests.
In a brief interview with Doreen and Oliver Bauer on Thursday, May 12, the two shared their thanks for being selected as the Green Business of the Month. They have been at the Faraway Inn for 15 years and are “Still going strong,” said Doreen with a broad, fine smile.
The Faraway Inn, at 847 Third Street here in Cedar Key, is located on the property that was once the Eagle Pencil Company Cedar Mill in the late 1800s; when it was destroyed by a hurricane.
When asked how the Bauer’s got into the “green” habit, they replied that they have always thought in that mode and always recycled and conserved. “ What made it easier here in Cedar Key,” Oliver explained, “is that “there was already a program in place.” In other times and places, one could try to recycle but often, no pick-up system was in place; resultantly, recyclable items went into the landfill.
The Bauers explained that their inn’s garbage and recycling cans are clearly colored differently and labeled to eliminate guests’ potential confusion. They report that their recycling and their trash disposal are nearly equal, 50/50%.
The Bauers were the first to place dog “poopy” bags about their property and beyond. Doreen said, “I did not want anyone to have an excuse not to do the right thing and use the bag; so we put them all around.” “It worked, she said, “now we see them all about town.”
The May Artist of the Month at the Cedar Keyhole is Joey Barkhouse. Joey creates fantasy fish out of driftwood, fan coral, and other accoutrements. She spent 15 years as a pointer of landscapes and undersea mammals, eventually returning to school at the Rhode Island School of Design. She worked as a senior designer for an ad agency, and retired to the Nature Coast. Joey spotted a piece of driftwood which looked like a fish and she was off and running with all of her energy and enthusiasm, creating fish of every size, color and shape.
Levy County 4-H is proud to announce the 2016 Summer Day Camp schedule. Day Camps will be hosted all summer on a wide variety of topics. To register or find out about pricing, deadlines, age limits or times, please call the 4-H office at 352-486-5131, visit our website at www.levy.ifas.ufl.edu or stop by the Extension Office at 625 N. Hathaway Ave, Bronson, FL 32621, to pick up an informational page and enrollment form.
Shooting Sports I Day Camp, June 13-17. Participants have the opportunity to earn their Hunter Safety Certification during this week and learn to shoot archery, rifle, shotgun, and/or muzzle-loading.