News Releases

High water prompts additional restrictions for Everglades-area WMAs

News Release

Friday, October 12, 2012

Media contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459

High water levels have prompted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to issue another executive order, temporarily restricting public access to Holey Land and Rotenberger wildlife management areas (WMAs). These same restrictions have been in place for the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor WMA since Sept. 10.

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

Effective at midnight on Oct. 15, the order prohibits vehicle, airboat, all-terrain vehicle and other public access to the Holey Land and Rotenberger WMAs. These two areas are in Palm Beach County.

The order also prohibits the taking of game and cancels the upcoming general-gun vehicle season that was scheduled for Oct. 20 to Nov. 4 in the Holey Land and Rotenberger WMAs, as well as the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor WMA. However, this order does not apply to people permitted to participate in the statewide alligator and migratory bird hunts, to frogging, or to people operating boats while fishing within the established canal systems or fishing within one mile of a canal. Boaters must maintain a minimum distance of 100 yards from any tree island or levee when operating a vessel or airboat 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These special regulations remain in effect until rescinded by a subsequent executive order.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 and click on “Open/Closed Status of FWC Offices and FWC-managed Areas.” If you have additional questions, please call the FWC’s South Regional Office at 561-625-5122.

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.

FWC Facts:
The St. Johns River is one of the few rivers that flows north instead of south.

Learn More at AskFWC