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Public Use Management at Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics

The goal for public access management in CAMA managed areas is: "To a degree that is consistent with our goals for natural and cultural resource protection, we will promote and manage public use of our preserves and reserves that supports the research, education, and stewardship mission of CAMA."

There are several commercially-important aquatic species that spend at least a portion of their life cycle in the Mosquito Lagoon and are a significant source of revenue for the area. These include the hard clam, American oyster, brown shrimp, pink shrimp, white shrimp and blue crab.

One of the most important commercial species in the Mosquito Lagoon is the hard clam. Due to consistent salinity levels, wild hard clam harvest totals for Volusia County have continued to rise. Monitoring efforts are important to ensure that clam bed populations are sustainable at current harvest levels. Future commercial exploitation of other species such as whelks or snails (for the production of buttons), or the harvest of horseshoe crabs or other undeveloped markets should be monitored for adverse affects to local resources.

Mosquito Lagoon is one of the most important recreational fishing destinations in inland waters on the east coast of Florida. Numerous fishing guides bring clientele to the area for shallow-water sports fishing. Recreational fishing contributes heavily to the local economy. There are a total of 42 fish camps, hotels and campgrounds and 48 bait and fishing related businesses in the vicinity of the Mosquito Lagoon.

Fishing data from surveys conducted in Mosquito Lagoon showed recreational anglers normally targeted redfish and/or spotted sea trout.


Current popular nonconsumptive uses include: boating, sun bathing, wading, sight-seeing, nature viewing, picnicking and limited camping. Recreational boating and use of personal watercraft has increased dramatically in recent years in Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve (MLAP) near the city of Edgewater. Kayaking has become very popular in the last ten years. Kayaks are great for travel through the shallow bottoms and narrow creeks. Visitors are served by several kayak rental and ecotourism operators working in the vicinity of MLAP.

Rental of motor boats and personal watercraft is available near the preserve. High speed recreational sports such as water skiing, and tubing are popular on weekends in channels through this shallow system. High-speed use is primarily focused in Government Cut, Shipyard Channel and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW). A study of historical aerial photographs taken between 1943 and 2000, found the number of dead margins (mounds of disarticulated shells) rising sharply in major boating channels. Some oyster reefs along the AIWW migrated away from the channel as much as 50 meters and consisted primarily of piles of sun-dried shells. Developing techniques for minimizing impacts to these important resources is vital.









Last updated: April 06, 2015

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