is a world class paradise for sports anglers with 12,000
miles of rivers and streams, 1,200 miles of coastline,
almost 8,000 lakes and 2,200 marinas. Freshwater fishing in Florida's canals,
lakes, ponds and rivers yields a huge variety of sport fish ranging from from
largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, gar, to bottom dwelling catfish. Saltwater
species include Permit, Grouper and Tarpon.
Everglades National Park has been designated a World Heritage Site, an International
Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance.
Established in 1947, the Everglades National Park covers 4,000
sq mi in southern Florida extending from Lake Okeechobee southward to
Federal Land comprises 1,398,617.13 acres, Non-Federal Land - 461.13 with
the gross total area acres of 1,399,078.26. The Everglades
is a unique ecosystem and is completely dependant upon water flow, making
it one of the largest and most productive estuaries in the world. The
support more than 350 species of birds and over 1,000 species of plants.
The annual average rainfall of more than 60 in. (152 cm) with most falling
in the summer. Big Cypress Swamp, to the northwest, and Lake Okeechobee
are the chief sources of its water.
Everglades National Park is open year round. Highest visitation is from
December through April, and the lowest visitation is May through November.
Walking and canoe trails, boat tours and tram tours are excellent for
viewing wildlife, including alligators and a multitude of tropical and
Everglades Wilderness Waterway extends 99 miles between Everglades
City to the West and Flamingo to the East where the vast saw grass
marsh of the Everglades meets the sea . An unspoiled realm of mangroves,
hidden coves, and isles with sandy beaches abounds with wildlife.
This remote wilderness waterway is yours to explore. Back Country
Marina provides day trips or overnight trips utilizing the camp
sites along the Everglades Wilderness Waterway.
YOUR DEGREE FROM HOME!
FISHING CHARTERS & GUIDES
Endangered Species in Everglades National Park:
endangered species is a species of plant or animal that, throughout all or a significant
portion of its range, is in danger of extinction. Everglades National Park is,
or was at one time, home to fifteen endangered species.
American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)
Green turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Atlantic Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempi)
Atlantic hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys
Atlantic leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritima mirabilis)
Snail (Everglades) kite (Rostrhamus
Wood stork (Mycteria americana)
West Indian manatee
Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi)
wood rat (Neotoma floridana smalli)
Key Largo cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus
Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis)
butterfly (Papilio aristodemus ponceanus)
Garber's Spurge (Chamaesyce garberi)
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Fishing abounds in the Everglades. The
unique combination of year-round warm water, brackish rivers and backcountry bays,
mangroves, oyster bars, estuaries, forage, and moving water, makes Southwest Florida
one of the leading fisheries in the World. The
nearshore bays, shallow flats and mangrove shorelines provides endless possibilities
to hook into a trophy Tarpon, Snook, or Redfish. Everglades
fishing is very diverse, from the shallow back country grass flats, to the outside
islands and canal systems. The Everglades National Park has
a large selection of fish species. With 1.4 million acres in the Park alone, everglades
fishing is very unique. In the same fishing charter, it is possible to catch bass
in the freshwater, snook in the backcountry, tarpon in the rivers, redfish on
the beaches as well as trout on the flats.
Regulations in the Everglades
All commercial fishing is prohibited in Everglades National Park.
Recreational Fishing Gear
for dip nets, cast nets, and landing nets, all other seines and nets are prohibited.
The use and possession of spear guns and spear poles are prohibited.
A Florida freshwater fishing license is required to fish in freshwater
or to possess fresh water species.
Live or dead fish (including
minnows and shiners) or amphibians, and non-preserved fish eggs or roe, are prohibited.
Digging for bait inside the park is not permitted.
Closed to Fishing
is allowed at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center lakes, Taylor Slough, Royal Palm Visitor
Center area and trails, Chekika Lake and along the Shark Valley Tram Road.
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Salt Water Fishing
Florida saltwater fishing license is required to fish in saltwater or to possess
Bait is not included in bag limits.
Saltwater bait: shrimp, minnows, pilchards, pinfish, mullet, mojarras (shad),
or ballyhoo. Bait may be taken with hook and line, dip net (not wider than 3 feet
/ 0.9 m), and cast net.
by manatees have been posted. Keep an eye out for manatees. Slow to an idle if
observed, but do not approach or molest.
and Queen Conch
and possession of lobster and queen conch is prohibited.
Stone crabs, during
open state season, and blue crabs may be taken by recreational fishermen using
attended gear (for example: star trap, baited line, landing net, etc.). Crabbers
are limited to five (5) traps. Unattended gear, including traps, is prohibited.
may be taken by dip net (not wider than 3 feet / 0.9 m) or cast net, personal
use only, not for sale.
COMMON EVERGLADES GAME FISH
distinct lateral line; high, divided dorsal fin; sloping forehead; large mouth,
protruding lower jaw; grows much larger than other snooks; pelvic fin yellow.
Where found: from central Florida and South Texas south, usually INSHORE
in coastal and brackish waters, along mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and bridges;
also on reefs and pilings nearshore.|
Size: most catches 5 to 8 pounds.
*Florida Record: 44 lbs., 3 ozs.
last ray of dorsal fin extended into long filament; one dorsal fin; back dark
blue to green or greenish black, shading into bright silver on the sides; may
be brownish gold in estuarien waters; huge scales; mouth large and points upward.|
Where found: primarily INSHORE fish, although adult fish spawn OFFSHORE
where the ribbon-like larval stage of the fish can be found. Size: most
angler catchs 40 to 50 pounds. *Florida Record: 243 lbs.
chin without barbels; copper bronze body, lighter shade in clear waters; one to
many spots at base of tail (rarely no spots); mouth horizontal and openng downward;
scales large. Where found: juveniles are an INSHORE fish, migrating out
of the estuaries at about 30 inches (4 years) and joining the spawning population
Size: one of 27 inches weighs about 8 pounds. *Florida Record:
51 lbs., 8 ozs.
color gray, dark or iridescent blue above, shading to silvery sides, in dark waters
showing golden tints around breast; small permit have teeth on tongue (none on
pompano); no scutes; dorsal fin insertion directly above that of the anal fin;
17 to 21 soft anal rays.|
Where found: OFFSHORE on wrecks and debris,
INSHORE on grass flats, sand flats, and in channels; most abundant in south Florida,
with smaller specimens from every coastal county.
Size: common to
25 pounds. *Florida Record: 51 lbs., 8 ozs.
dark gray or green above, with sky blue tinges shading to silvery and white below;
numerous distinct round black spots on back, extending to the dorsal fins and
tail; black margin on posterior of tail; no barbels; no scales on the soft dorsal
fin; one or two prominent canine teeth usually present at tip of upper jaw.|
Where found: INSHORE and/or NEARSHORE over grass, sand and sandy bottoms;
move into slow-moving or still, deep waters in cold weather. Size: common
to 4 pounds on west coast, larger on east coast. *Florida Record: 15 lbs., 6 ozs.
silvery color with bluish or greenish back; slender, round body; snout long, conical,
aiming downward and overhanging lower jaw; dark streaks between scales on upper
half of body and faint crossbands extending down to lateral line; extremities
of dorsal and caudal fins shaded with black. Similar Fish: ladyfish, Elops saurus|
Where found: primarily INSHORE fish inhabiting shallows of the Florida
Keys; found in shallows often less than 1 foot deep, usually over lush grass flats,
occasionally over white sand. Size: 3 to 5 pounds. *Florida Record: 15
lbs., 6 ozs.
color bluish-green to greenish-gold back and silvery or yellowish belly; soft
dorsal and anal fins almost identical in size; prominent black spot on operculum
(gill cover); black spot at the base of each pectoral fin; no scales on throat.
Where found: common in both INSHORE waters and the open sea.
Size: usually 3 to 5 pounds. *Florida Record: 51 lbs
high arched back; 10 to 14 pairs of chin barbels; gray or black colored body in
adults; young have 4 to 6 vertical bars; has cobblestone-like teeth capable of
crushing oysters; scales large. |
Where found: INSHORE fish common to
bays and lagoons; bottom dweller often found around oyster beds; also OFFSHORE.
Size: common to 30 pounds. *Florida Record: 93 lbs.
olive or gray body coloration with black blotches and brassy spots; gently rounded
preopercle. Similar Fish: gag M. microlepis; yellowfin grouper, M. venenosa. |
Where found: OFFSHORE species; adults associated with rocky bottoms, reef,
and drop off walls in water over 60 feet deep; young may occur INSHORE in shallow
Size: common to 40 pounds, may attain weights exceeding 100
are two campgrounds inside the park Flamingo and Long Pine Key.
Pine Key Campground
7 miles / 11 km from the main entrance, just off the main road.
up sites for tents and RVs, including one group site.
Close by: Fishing pond,
hiking trails, amphitheater.
the end of the main park road in Flamingo.
234 drive in sites, including 55
with a view of the water, four group sites, 64 walk-up sites (20 on the water's
Close by: observation tower at Eco Pond, hiking trails,canoe trails
Camping is offered year-round at Long Pine Key &Flamingo.Reservations
are strongly recommended at Long Pine Key and Flamingo during peak season from
November 23 to April 18. Call the reservation agent at (800) 365-2267 up to five
months in advance. Both campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served
basis the rest of the year. Frontcountry fees during peak season are $14 for walk-in
sites, $14 for RV sites, and $28 for group sites. Park campgrounds at Long Pine
Key &Flamingo have drinking water, picnic tables, grills, tent and trailer
pads, and rest rooms. Flamingo has cold-water showers and Flamingo Marina offers
hot showers for $3. RVs are welcome, but there are no hook-ups. Campground stays
are limited to 14 days during the peak season. Checkout time is 11 A.M.
Country Camping in the Everglades
Everglades National Park has three
kinds of backcountry campsites: Chickees, Ground Sites, and Beach Sites.
Backcountry permits are: $10 (1-6 people) $20 (7-12 people) and $30 (more
than 13 people).
Chickees are located along interior rivers and
bays where no dry land exists. They are elevated 10 foot x 12 foot / 3 m x 3.7
m wooden platforms with roofs, usually constructed on open water, well away from
mangrove trees. A narrow walkway leads to a self-contained toilet. You'll need
a free-standing tent, since stakes or nails are not allowed.
are mounds of earth a few feet higher than the surrounding mangroves, located
along interior bays and rivers.
Beach sites are located on coastal
shell beaches. Many beach sites have no toilets.
City is a mile long mangrove island with crab houses, shops, restaurants, motels,
marinas, museums, an airport, canoe & kayak guided adventures, aerotours,
boat tours, airboat rides, canoe/kayak/bicycle rentals and nice walking paths.
It is known
as 'the fishing and stone crab capital of Southwest Florida' and is one
end of the Wilderness Waterway, the Everglades backcountry route linking Everglades
City to Flamingo.
here for more information on Everglades City.
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Ten Thousand Islands , Florida
Ten Thousand Islands is the coastal area in the Everglades National Park where
mangrove islands and shallow creeks make a wilderness maze.
Some of the islands are landmasses called keys but many are clumps of mangrove
trees rising out of coral reefs, oyster beds, and sandy shoals. The area lies
southeast of Naples and northwest of the Everglades National Park. The many islands
form a transition from the freshwater marsh of the "river of grass" to the open
salt water of the Gulf of Mexico.
Marco Island is the largest of Florida's
Ten Thousand Islands, located on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida.
Click here to learn more about the Ten Thousand
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