Manatee Rules

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission will no longer enforce five state manatee speed zone areas in Lee County.

That announcement came after a Circuit Court dismissed an announced commission appeal of a 2002 ruling in favor of 10 Lee County boaters. Those boaters had claimed the speed zones were unconstitutional because they were not based on sound science.

Commission spokesman Gary Morse says the court's ruling nullifies state speed zones, but all federal speed zones and speed zones in channel areas will still be enforced.

Morse says even though enforcement had stopped, boaters still should watch for manatees as cold weather leads them to migrate to the warmer waters of Caloosahatchee River.