If you’ve fished the Florida Bay backcountry in Everglades National Park, the Park wants to hear about your experience, especially regarding Snake Bight and the effect its special travel regs have on your experience.
ENP Superintendent Dan Kimball announced two public workshops and a public comment period to gather public input on the Snake Bight Pole and Troll Zone in Florida Bay that was established in January 2011.
Currently, the 9,400 acre Snake Bight Pole and Troll Zone, allows use of internal combustion engines only in Tin Can or Snake Bight channels, where on-plane transit is permitted, and in the Jimmy’s Lake idle speed area. Within all other areas of the pole and troll zone, boats may only be propelled by push poles, paddles or electric trolling motors.
These rules were established to prevent sea grass damage that negatively impacts the ecosystem of Florida Bay. The workshops come one year after the implementation of the largest pole and troll zone in Florida.
Scheduled workshops are from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.: Monday, March 5, 2012 at the John D. Campbell Agricultural Center, 18710 SW 288th Street in Homestead: and Thursday, March 8, 2012 Murray Nelson (Monroe County) Government Center at 102050 Overseas Highway in Key Largo.
Schedule includes informal discussion between staff and the public, and updates on effectiveness and enforcement in the special zones.
To provide input without attending a workshop go to: parkplanning.nps.gov where you can comment online through March 31, 2012. You’ll be asked to describe the quality of your experience in the area, what you like most about the current Snake Bight regulations, what you like least and changes you would recommend to park managers in order to improve the zone.