Brochure | Map Only
This brochure is designed to provide the public with information and a summary of regulations pertaining to hunting and other recreational use on the Alligator Lake Public Small-Game Hunting Area. Regulations that are new or differ substantially from last year are shown in bold print. Area users should familiarize themselves with all regulations. For exact wording of the wildlife laws and regulations, see Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's wildlife code, on file with the Secretary of State and state libraries. This brochure and the Florida Hunting Regulations handbook should provide the information necessary for you to plan your hunting activities. These publications are available from any Commission office, county tax collector and at MyFWC.com.
Persons using public small-game hunting areas are required to have appropriate licenses, stamps and permits. A daily use permit is not required to take wildlife on this area. The following persons are exempt from all license and permit requirements (except for the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp [federal duck stamp]): Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older; residents who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate; residents in the U.S. Armed Forces, not stationed in Florida, while home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders; and children under 16 years of age. Children under 16 years of age are exempt from the federal duck stamp. Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975 must have passed a Commission-approved hunter-safety course prior to being issued a hunting license, except the Hunter Safety Mentoring exemption allows anyone to purchase a hunting license and hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter, 21 years of age or older.
Hunting licenses, management area permits, migratory bird permits and Florida waterfowl permits may be purchased from county tax collectors, license agents, at MyFWC.com/license or by telephone at 888-486-8356. A no-cost Migratory Bird Permit is available when purchasing a hunting license. Any waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must possess a federal duck stamp; available where hunting licenses are sold, at most post offices or at duckstamp.com. Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility information is available at MyFWC.com/ADA.
All general laws and regulations relating to wild animal life or freshwater aquatic life shall apply unless specifically exempted for this area. Hunting or fishing on this area shall be allowed only during the open seasons and in accordance with the following regulations. The regulations in this brochure pertain only to the Alligator Lake Public Small-Game Hunting Area, which is the north and south marshes and adjacent levees. That portion of Alligator Lake that is outside of the small-game hunting area is subject to statewide waterfowl regulations.
- Taking or attempting to take any game with the aid of live decoys, recorded game calls or sounds, set guns, artificial light, net, trap, snare, drug or poison is prohibited.
- No person shall cut or destroy any tree on, or remove any tree, shrub, or protected plant from, the area without written permission from the landowner or primary land manager.
- Public access is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as "Closed" or "Restricted".
- Releasing any animal is prohibited, unless authorized by permit from the executive director.
- Construction or use of permanent blinds or structures is prohibited.
- Tampering with or destruction of area equipment, improvements and water control structures is prohibited.
Public access and vehicles:
- Alligator Lake Public Recreation Area is closed to public access on Mondays, except for persons accessing the Alligator Lake Public Small-Game Hunting Area for the purpose of hunting ducks, geese and coots.
- Portaging over levees is allowed only at designated portage sites.
- During hours open for hunting waterfowl with firearms, only hunters with appropriate licenses and permits are allowed in the marshes and on the levees.
- Outboard motors may only be used at idle speeds. Use of airboats is prohibited during the entire length of the waterfowl season. All-terrain vehicles, unregistered and unlicensed motorcycles and tracked vehicles are prohibited at all times.
Hunters and check stations:
- Access for hunters is allowed only via boat or foot from the boat ramps near the Department of Transportation Office or the Columbia County High School. Two water control structures allow boat access from the lake into the north marsh. Portaging over levees is allowed only at designated portage sites.
- Hunting with firearms from dikes, levees or bridges is prohibited.
- Hunting with firearms other than shotguns is prohibited.
- Hunting with shotguns larger than 10 gauge or shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited.
- Only non-toxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shall be used when hunting ducks, geese and coots. Possession of any other type of shotshell when hunting is prohibited.
- The discharge of a firearm outside of periods open to hunting or in areas closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.
Waterfowl retrievers are allowed only during periods open to hunting.
Camping is prohibited.
Bag and possession limits:
Ducks, geese and coots – See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlets.
Open season - waterfowl:
Ducks, geese, and coots may be hunted on Mondays and Thursdays in the North Marsh; and on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in the South Marsh during open seasons established by the Commission for these species (see Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlets).
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area permit, migratory bird permit and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp.
Legal to Hunt – Ducks (including mergansers), geese and coots only (See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlets).
Regulations Unique to the Waterfowl Season - In addition to these regulations, all General Area Regulations and Migratory Bird Regulations shall apply.
- Shooting hours are from ½ hour before sunrise until noon.
- Falconry hours are from ½ hour before sunrise until sunset.
Fishing and frogging:
Allowed year-round except during hours when waterfowl hunting with firearms is allowed.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Fishing license (not required when frogging).
Legal to Take - See Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations Summary.
Regulations Unique to Fishing and Frogging - All General Area Regulations and General Freshwater Fishing Regulations shall apply. For additional information see the Alligator Lake Fish Management Area brochure.
- If you have any questions about this material, please call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 386-758-0525 (TDD 800-955-8771).
- FWC is not responsible for protection of personal property and will not be liable for theft of or damage to personal property.
- Columbia County purchased this area using funds from the Florida Community Trust. The Suwannee River Water Management District was the lead entity for planning and implementing restoration efforts, in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Ducks Unlimited provided funds for water control structures.
If you see law violators or suspicious activities, contact your nearest Commission regional office or call 888-404-FWCC. You may quality for a cash reward from the Wildlife Alert Reward Association.
The Department of Interior prohibits discrimination by race, color, nationality, age, sex or handicap. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility of this agency, write to: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600: or to Office for Human Relations, USFWS, Department of Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.