Regulations Summary and Area Map
July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017
Brochure | Map Only
Regulations that are new or differ substantially from last year are shown in bold print.
Waterfowl Hunt Dates and Bag Limits:
- Legal to Take: Wood duck and teal during September season; teal during the Teal only September season; duck, geese and coot during regular duck season; see hunt dates listed below. Daily bag limit during September duck seasons is 6 ducks with species restrictions. Daily bag limit during regular duck season is 6 ducks with species restrictions, 5 merganser (only 2 of which may be a hooded merganser), 15 light geese and 15 coot. Consult Migratory Game Bird Regulations for detailed information for the special September duck seasons and for duck, light goose and coot season.
- STA 3/4 will be open for scouting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sep. 10 and 11 and from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Nov. 12 and 13, and Dec. 3 and 4, 2016.
- The following hunt days are available for STA 3/4 A:
Sep. 18, 2016 (teal and wood duck season)
Sep. 23 and 25, 2016 (teal only season)
Nov. 20, 25 and 27, 2016
Dec 11, 16, 18, 23 and 30, 2016
Jan. 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29, 2017
Feb. 5, 2017 (youth waterfowl hunt)
- The following hunt days are available for STA 3/4 B:
Sep. 17, 2016 (teal and wood duck season)
Sep. 24, 2016 (teal only season)
Nov 19 and 26, 2016
Dec 10, 17, 24 and 31, 2016
Jan. 7, 14, 31, and 28, 2017
Feb. 4, 2017 (youth waterfowl hunt)
License and Permit Requirements:
- A valid Florida hunting license or other license that includes a hunting license, a Florida Waterfowl Permit, a Federal Duck Stamp, an STA Waterfowl Permit, Management AreaPermit and a Migratory Bird Permit (unless exempted by law).
- Hunting licenses, Florida Waterfowl Permits, Management Area Permitsand Migratory Bird Permits are available from any county tax collector’s office, license agent, through the toll-free telephone number (1-888-486-8356) or at MyFWC.com. Federal Duck Stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices and online at www.usps.com.
- 80 STA 3/4 A Waterfowl Permits will be available for each hunt day: 40 for the morning hunt and 40 for the afternoon hunt.
- 50 STA 3/4 B Waterfowl Permits will be available for each hunt day: 25 for the morning hunt and 25 for the afternoon hunt.
- Hunters must submit electronic applications for STA Waterfowl Permits through the Commission’s Recreational License Issuance Services (RLIS). Application periods, deadlines, worksheets and instructions are available at MyFWC.com, FWC offices or county tax collector’s offices.
- Each permit holder may bring up to two guests, either hunting or non-hunting. The hunt party shall not exceed three persons, except during youth waterfowl hunts when a youth hunter must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, per F.S. 790.22. One or two youth hunters per permit shall be supervised by one or two non-hunting adults.
- Children under the age of 16 may apply for the special September duck and regular seasons in addition to the youth waterfowl hunt.
- STA Waterfowl Permits are non-transferable, except as provided at the check station via a lottery system so that walk-ins may utilize unused permits.
General Area Regulations:
- Littering is prohibited. All materials used for temporary blinds and spent shell casings must be removed after each hunt.
- The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
- Tampering with or vandalism to water control structures, equipment, improvements, and / or private property is prohibited.
- Construction or use of permanent blinds is prohibited.
- Camping is prohibited.
- Fires are prohibited.
Public Access and Vehicles:
- Permitted hunters and guests shall enter and exit only at the designated entrance.
- Access to the STA is allowed for hunting waterfowl only unless authorized by the South Florida Water Management District. Other specific uses may be permitted by the South Florida Water Management District.
- Access is prohibited on structures and equipment and in areas posted as “Closed” or “Restricted”.
- Vehicles may not be operated on roads or levees posted as closed. Do not block gates and levees with vehicles or equipment.
- Use of motorized vehicles is prohibited except by hunters in possession of an STA Waterfowl Permit on established waterfowl hunt days.
- Use of bicycles is prohibited from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise.
- Only one vehicle per permit may access the area on scheduled hunt dates, except during youth waterfowl hunts when up to two vehicles per permit may access the area.
- Motorized vessels, including gas and electric-powered boats, and boat trailers are prohibited.
- All boats must be equipped with required boating safety equipment.
- Airboats, tracked vehicles, motorcycles, ATVs and swamp buggies are prohibited.
- Parking spaces will be selected by waterfowl hunters at the check station prior to entering the area from the list of available parking spaces maintained by check station staff. Permitted hunters will select their spaces in the order that they check in with the check station staff. Walk-in hunters will then select their spaces in the order in which they are chosen via the lottery system.
- Hunters must park their vehicles at the designated parking spaces. The parking assignment must be displayed on the windshield or dashboard of the permitted vehicle.
- Parking locations adjacent to boat ramps are available by disabled parking permit only.
Hunters and Check Stations:
- Permitted hunters and guests must check in and out at the check station together and check all game taken.
- The check station will open at 4 a.m.
- Hunters who have permits for the morning hunts must check in at the check station between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. and must declare their hunting guests to the check station operator prior to 5 a.m. All hunters participating in a morning hunt must check out by noon.
- Hunters who have permits for the afternoon hunts must check in at the check station between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. and must declare their hunting guests to the check station operator prior to 1 p.m. All hunters participating in an afternoon hunt must check out by 1 hour after sunset.
- Permit holders who do not check in during the required time intervals forfeit their permit.
- Permit holders who do not declare their hunting guests during the required time shall forfeit their ability to take hunting guests on their hunt.
- “No Show Walk-in” Lottery - A lottery system will be used to distribute any unissued or forfeited permits at 5 a.m. for morning hunts and 1 p.m. for afternoon hunts. Hunters selected during the lottery shall check in at the check station immediately upon being selected (or forfeit their permit) and shall immediately declare their hunting guests or forfeit their ability to take hunting guests on their hunt.
- “Replacement Walk-in Lottery” - The order that the other walk-in hunters (a.k.a. “replacement walk-ins”) may enter the area will be determined using the same lottery system after the no-show walk-ins are drawn. Replacement walk-ins shall check in as other hunters check out such that a quota of 40permits for STA 3/4 A or 25 permits for STA 3/4 B is not exceeded throughout the hunt. No additional replacement walk-ins will be checked in 1.5 hours before legal shoot time ends for both hunts. Any walk-ins who arrive after the lottery has begun shall form a separate line (in the order of arrival) until after the lottery is completed. If additional openings occur, this line will be let in first-come, first-served.
- Please be advised, submitting false information or using another person’s identity without their consent is considered identity theft and may result in felony charges and loss of hunting privileges.
- Dogs are prohibited except waterfowl retrievers and bird dogs may be used while hunting.
- Dogs must be kept under physical restraint when not hunting.
- When hunters are at the check station, their dogs must be left restrained at the hunter’s vehicle.
- Shooting Hours: For morning hunts - ½ hour before sunrise until 11 a.m. For afternoon hunts - 2 p.m. until sunset.
- Hunting with firearms other than shotguns is prohibited.
- Hunting with shotguns capable of holding more than 3 shells is prohibited.
- Use of non-toxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required.
- Taking wildlife from STA levees is prohibited.
All or parts of the STA may be closed for construction or other water management reasons. Please help in protecting the integrity of stormwater treatment facilities – remove vegetation from boats before entering and leaving the area.Your support is appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact FWC at (954) 746-1789.
Report your leg bands: 1-800-327-BAND
About STA 3/4:
Stormwater Treatment Area 3/4 (STA 3/4) is a 16,772 acre constructed wetland designed to reduce phosphorus loading to the northern Everglades and Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. The plants inside this constructed wetland are absorbing phosphorus as they grow, eventually depositing much of the nutrient in the soils. Previously under agricultural practices for decades, phosphorus from fertilizers and organic soils has been carried into the Everglades by storm runoff, causing a change in the Everglades landscape. Too much of this essential nutrient has allowed cattail to invade the River of Grass, reducing the coverage of sawgrass and open water sloughs. Unfortunately, cattail does not provide the habitat necessary to support many of the plant and animal species that are unique to the Everglades. STA 3/4 was constructed at a cost of over $83 million, and is one of six STAs mandated by the State of Florida’s Everglades Forever Act with a primary goal of reducing the amount of phosphorus that reaches the Everglades ecosystem. The numerous levees, water control structures and monitoring equipment within STA 3/4 are critical to the success of the phosphorus control program. Any damage to these facilities as a result of public access could restrict the continued public use of STA 3/4.
This waterfowl hunting area is a cooperative effort of the South Florida Water Management District and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in order to provide additional opportunities for recreation on public lands in South Florida.
These agencies and the Department of Interior prohibit 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 of Human Relations, USFWS, Dept. of Interior, Washington D.C. 20240.