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FWC Warns Boat Operators to Watch out for Manatees

FWC Warns Boat Operators to Watch out for Manatees
Posted at 5:29 PM, Nov 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-04 18:29:25-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) -- If you'll be hitting the water in a boat anytime soon, keep your eyes peeled for manatees. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants to remind boaters that it is important to slow down and be well aware of the animals.

November is Manatee Awareness month, and on the 15th, manatee speed zones go into effect across the state, to help slow down boat operators in areas of heavier manatee populations.

The manatees will be migrating to warmer waters.

"When you're on the water, polarized sunglasses [are] very important. [It] allows you to cut down the glare, see into the water better. Better chance of seeing a manatee near your boat", said Ron Mezich, Biological Administrator of the Florida Manatee Management Program. "Manatees have a large tail and so when they push water up and down, we get the circular patterns on the surface of the water. It looks like someone skipped a stone when they're swimming away, only much larger circles."

FWC says that once the water hits around 68 degrees or less, the manatees start moving to warmer waters in the region.

For more information on Manatee Awareness over the open waters, click here.