High water prompts restrictions for three Everglades-area WMAs

High water levels have prompted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to issue an executive order temporarily restricting public access to Everglades and Francis S. Taylor, Holey Land, and Rotenberger Wildlife Management Areas. These three areas are in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

This action is necessary because high water levels force area wildlife to take refuge on tree islands and levees, resulting in high levels of stress for these animals.

The order went into effect at midnight on June 14, the order prohibits vehicle, airboat, all-terrain vehicle and other public access to the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor, Holey Land, and Rotenberger WMAs. However, access to Conservation Area 2A from the L-35B levee north to the east-west airboat trail is still permitted and access to Area 3A South is permitted east of the Miami canal between Interstate 75 and the L-67A levee. Boat ramps and fishing in established canals remain open, but a minimum distance of 100 yards from any tree island must be maintained to minimize disturbance to upland wildlife.

These special regulations remain in effect until rescinded by a subsequent executive order.

For updated closure and reopening information, visit MyFWC.com/Viewing and click on “Wildlife Management Areas” and then “Open/Closed Status.” If you have additional questions, call the FWC’s South Regional Office at 561-625-5122.

To see the executive order, go to MyFWC.com/About and click on “Inside FWC,” “Learn more about the Executive Director’s Office” and then “Executive Orders.”

To report a violation of this order, or any fish and wildlife law violation, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

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