|Public Use Management at North Fork St. Lucie River Aquatic Preserve
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."
The North Fork St. Lucie River (SLR) is accessible to the public year-round for consumptive and
non-consumptive uses. Staff plan to conduct a public use survey that will help to identify when, how,
and where people are using the resources within the preserve, and how to inform them about this special
The main consumptive public uses of preserve are fishing and crabbing. The public fishing piers within
the preserve (located at White City Park, River Park Marina and Veteran's Memorial Park at Rivergate)
are the easiest way for the public to access the preserve. Both commercial and recreational anglers use
boats to fish in the preserve for species such as mullet, croakers, sheepshead, snapper and snook.
Commercial castnetters rely on some areas of the North Fork SLR for mullet, croakers and sheepshead.
The North Fork SLR also supports year-round commercial and recreational blue crab operations.
Opportunities for non-consumptive public uses of the preserve include canoeing, kayaking, motor
boating, sailing, water skiing, wake boarding, catch-and-release fishing and nature viewing. The most
popular non-consumptive use of the preserve is boating.
Clean boating practices are important and
should always be used. Staff also promote the use of low-impact recreational opportunities,
like paddling, that can help prevent unforeseen damage to natural resources within the preserve.
Monofilament line from fishing activities is regularly seen around boat ramps, fishing piers and
entangled around bird rookeries in the preserve. Birds can become entangled in the monofilament line
and die. Staff receives help from volunteers to remove monofilament line on and around the public boat
ramps and fishing piers and at all bird rookeries located within the preserve just prior to the nesting
season. These sites have been identified as debris hotspots that require constant attention.
Monofilament recycling containers are currently located at two of four public boat ramps. Additional
recycling containers and educational efforts are needed.
September 24, 2010
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
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