* DEP Home * About DEP * Programs * Contact * Site Map * Search *
Loxahatchee River-Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve Project Spotlight

"Explored on canoe or kayak, the wild and scenic waters can easily transport an open mind back in time to the good old days of Trapper Nelson."


Southeast Florida in Martin and Palm Beach counties


1,700 acres of sovereign submerged lands


Irene Arpayoglou, Manager
Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves
3300 Lewis Street
Fort Pierce, FL 34981
(772) 429-2995



Management Plan

An update to the Loxahatchee River-Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve Management Plan has been drafted, and is available for download. The Florida Coastal Office is seeking feedback, and will be holding a public meeting. Comments can also be submitted by email to FloridaCoasts@dep.state.fl.us.

Public Meeting
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6 pm
Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Hobe Sound, FL


 Quick Facts about Loxahatchee River-Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve
Loxahatchee River - Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve


Trapper Nelson's zoological park

Trapper Nelson's, aka Tarzan of the Loxahatchee, homestead and zoological park was built along the narrow, scenic Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River in the 1950s.

Oyster reef

Oyster reefs help to improve water quality in the Loxahatchee River.

Jupiter Inlet lighthouse

The Jupiter Inlet lighthouse was completed in 1860.

  • Loxahatchee River translates to "The Creek of the Turtle".
  • Designated as the Loxahatchee River-Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve in 1970, the aquatic preserve includes the remains of Trapper Nelson's Wildlife Zoo.
  • Loxahatchee River-Lake Worth Creek Aquatic Preserve includes the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River that was designated as the first of two Wild and Scenic Rivers in Florida.
  • The upper reaches is composed of freshwater and tidal marsh riverine communities which is important habitat for various fish and invertebrate species such as the blue crab, striped mullet, snook, and tarpon.
  • Near and within the estuary, mangrove communities line the shoreline and submerged resources include tidal flats, seagrass beds, and oyster bars.
  • Boating (especially kayaking and canoeing), waterskiing, recreational and commercial fishing, wildlife observation and photography are a few of the most popular activities in the aquatic preserve.
  • The aquatic preserve is home to many rare wading birds such as the wood stork, little blue heron, tricolored heron, reddish egret, and roseate spoonbill.

Last updated: October 06, 2017

  3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235 Tallahassee, Florida 32399 850-245-2094
Contact Us 
DEP Home | About DEP  | Contact Us | Search |  Site Map