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Living Waters: Aquatic Preserves of Florida Quick Topics

Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve Segment - Transcript

We head back toward the east coast again to the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve which is located in southern Volusia and northern Brevard counties, just south of New Smyrna Beach and ending close to the NASA's Cape Kennedy Space Center. The lagoon is approximately 36,000 acres of submerged lands that stretch from 28 miles. The Mosquito Lagoon is one of the state's most pristine waterbodies. Thousands of acres of shallow seagrass beds, mangrove-covered islands, sand bars, and natural channels characterize the area's natural habitats which feature a wide variety of fish and wildlife species. Mike Stubblefield, a local kayak fisherman and sportswriter comments on the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve.

Mike Stubblefield:
I'm out there 80 to 90 days a year, just as an observer. I kayak fish, but I'm not out there just to fish; I'm out there looking. I guess the reason for that is when I started spending time over there, particularly down kinda low, close to the water like you are with a kayak or canoe, you start noticing things that you wouldn't as I always did speeding by in a bigger boat up and down the Intercoastal. The place sort of flummoxed me a little bit, little or no tidal movement in the Mosquito Lagoon. So, you've got a body of water, probably the only captive resident red fish population in the world, and to the newcomer it doesn't change, but it does. Every day, it's a little different. And I'm no scientist and I'm certainly no authority on it. It's just kinda become a study, a personal study I guess you'd say.

The Indian River - Mosquito Lagoon Complex contributes over 800 million dollars to the local economy each year. The reconnected mangrove marshes and seagrass beds are nursery grounds to important recreational and commercial marine life. Snook, grouper, snapper, sea trout, tarpon and lobster are just a few of the many species that spend a portion of their life cycle in this lagoon.

Mike Stubblefield:
Mosquito Lagoon is a place where you can stop at a supermarket on US 1 south of New Smyrna and in about 10 minutes you are in a primeval jungle; you're in a different world. And you are on a body of water that hasn't changed very much, probably in ten thousand years except a few little villages on the north end of it. It's just an amazing place.

Without Mosquito Lagoon we don't have an ecological base to keep wildlife and so on reproducing and happy and productive, but we got no place to go. We don't have enough of those places, certainly on the east coast.

Cedar Point Mosquito Lagoon

Cedar Point Mosquito Lagoon
Photo: Clyde Butcher









Last updated: September 08, 2016

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