Castoff and I are proud to be natives

60 Times Florida Man Did Something Totally Unbelievable | Bored Panda

Native here as well! Born and raised. I lived in FL until after high school, and I have to admit I knew several shining examples of “Florida Man”.

Local radio station calls 'em “Flor-idiots”.

I’ve been here since 1963. I was lucky enough to have a VHS camera when I was of that kind of age and those friends. You wouldn’t believe the real crap those boys have tried.

I always love reading the wild antics of Florida Man. I imagine him to be like that Joe Exotic guy, but with alligators, and more meth.

Yeehaw!

I distinctly remember at the age of 9 watching the big boys jump off the bridge about 25 feet off the water on an out going tide. I decided to give it a try when I stood on the rail I knew once I jumped I couldn’t take it back. I considered the potential consequences of it. I knew I could swim well enough and it didn’t hurt the big boys so decided to jump. It was a thrill!

At that moment I learned to think it though when you know the action or thing you say can’t be taken back. I have often had that moment of clarity come to mind when faced with the same type of discissions in life. Sometimes I jump and sometimes I step off the rail. It depends on my willingness or not to accept the potential consequences of the next action. It was my first awareness of risk assessment.

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Before retirement a part of my job was to supervise the unloading of tanker trucks. If there were problems with a truck or a driver it was a pretty safe bet the plate would be from Florida. That said… I sure enjoyed my visit to central Florida a couple years back. The birding was awesome.

Florida is a ‘tame’ Australia

from the 2nd sentence of the article:
“And no wonder, as the local Floridians have to deal with alligators, venomous snakes, seasonless climate, mosquitos and such high humidity that leaves you all wet in a second on a hot one”

FL // Oz
alligators // man eating crocodiles (salties)
snakes // Taipan, Brown, Tiger, Death Adder, not to mention the water snakes
mosquitos // mosquitos
other:
hurricanes // cyclones
jellyfish:
portuguese man o’ war // blue bottles, box jellyfish, Irukandji

not to mention those cute little blue-ringed octopus

I’ll think I’ll take FL

Given time Florida may have all those Australian critters too.

Florida has the most number of invasive species of anywhere in the world. A few years back they found some small Nile Crocs near Miami. I have been told of a single cobra also being found by someone in the know. Neither is considered established.

My Dad back in the 1990s saw a Jaguarundi in Ocala National Forest. Someone is known to have released a number of them in the 1950s. Back in 1931 fishing in a canal near Ochopee he saw a large constrictor slide off the bank disappearing into the water. Many years latter while watching a show about the history of circuses in America I learned that many circuses would winter in south FL. When the depression hit many went bankrupt. Some just released the animals if they couldn’t sell them or couldn’t feed them rather than putting them down.

Other than being born in Tallahassee, I’m not much of a native. My family moved to SC when I was 2.
Both sets of of
my grandparents
were natives of central Florida as are all my cousins. I-4 goes through pastureland that belonged to my maternal grand parents. My paternal grandparent’s house is still there with a massive sink hole behind it.

Yes. Florida invasives. I was at the NC Outer Banks last week (Ocracoke) and heard and saw an invader that made its way up from Florida. The Eurasian Collared-Dove. They don’t live here in central NC so that funny sound really catches my ear. Wonder how long an invasive has to be someplace before it’s considered a native?

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And the invaders get invaded - Years ago I saw a PBS TV presentation on the problems Florida was having with exotics escaped from captivity.
Being a fish nerd, I was especially interested in the aquatic segments of the show - always looking for an argument for guys like me to breed commercial tropical fish in a colder environment so escapees will freeze rather than establishing themselves in the wild. Anyhow, their cameraman got some really good underwater footage of an group of strikingly colored exotics (Tilapia buttikoferi - bet you know these guys, Castoff) chasing off a group of drab colored natives. It was a really good visual telling of the story, quite dramatic. Except the “natives” being chased off in the film were Aquedens portalegrensis. From S. America.

So the photographer had accidentally taken footage of African exotics displacing South American exotics and not a native fish in sight. I guess it’s sort of like the Hollywood “spaghetti western” idea. One works with the actors one has on hand.

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My son-in-law did a number of years going down to work with the research on the phytons. He loves to fish and you should see the many different exotic species he catches in the canals. Plecostomus are in lots of the river systems too. They can cause stress for the Manatees.

The DNR years ago introduced the S.A. Peacock Bass as a gamefish. Blue tilapia ( Oreochromis aureus ), were harvested for food after escaping and spreading rapidly when I lived there in the mid 70, to the mid 80s.

Here is a Florida aquaculture for food production regulations link you might find of interest. Tilapia are on the list.
https://www.fdacs.gov/Agriculture-Industry/Aquaculture/Food-Fish

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A couple of videos on fishing for invasive and native fish in Everglade canals. Some Gator action in the second one.

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Consider yourself lucky that central NC is one of the few places they aren’t real common (they’re scattered throughout NC, but in relatively low numbers). We have plenty out west. Some of the highest densities in the country are in Colorado and Kansas.

I’m a fairly avid birder, and have been known to travel fairly long distances to see a new bird. In the early 90s, one of the very few consistent places to see a Eurasian in the US was Everglades City, FL. My father and I drove 4 hours from the Melbourne area to see this exotic new species. Little did we know that a population explosion was about to happen. Of course we brought a canoe with us, and after finding the bird, spent the better part of the week canoeing the 10,000 Islands area. I have many fond memories of that trip, and I begrudgingly have to thank the Eurasian Collared-Dove for it. And just think, now they’ve been seen in every state but Hawaii (and yes, that includes Alaska).

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I have eaten mudfish caught in the Little Pee Dee River. It was fried and tasted fine but the longer I chewed it, the bigger it got.

Nearby when fishermen catch one of those they gill bleed it and return it to the water. WHICH makes the gators happy. So they approach boats waiting for their mudfish.