Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
Florida Forest Service
South Florida Water Management District

 

Okaloacoochee Slough WMA encompasses nearly 35,000 acres in Collier and Hendry counties on CR 832, 3.5 miles from SR 29 between LaBelle and Immokalee. Although a cooperator on the majority of this area, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is the lead management agency on close to 3,000 acres.

The slough itself extends northward to the Caloosahatchee River and southward about 50 miles into Big Cypress Swamp. The WMA, with its diverse natural communities-slough, marsh, cypress, wet prairie, pine flatwoods, oak hammocks, and oak-palm hammocks - provides important habitat for the endangered Florida panther and the crested caracara.

photo of panther kittens from den
David Shindle
FWC Contracted Panther Biologist
Okaloacoochee Slough panther kittens

Deer, hog, small game, and turkey hunting are all excellent: quota hunt permits are required to hunt deer, turkey and hog (though hogs may be taken during small game season without a quota).  Small game is open to all with a management area permit and hogs may be taken during small game season.

Camping is permitted year-round by all at one campground and there are two additional campgrounds for hunters with quota permits during hunting seasons.  There is also a walk-in campground with two campsites which is open except during quota hunts.

There are 39 miles of trails open for wildlife viewing, hiking, non-motorized biking, and horseback riding. This area is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.  Children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when horseback riding on public lands.  For more detailed information go to Nicole's Law PDF.  All horseback riders must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses when on state lands. Fishing is available in the canals and some small borrow pits, but is not exceptional. Paddling is a possibility, but areas to paddle are limited, and poling is usually necessary except during the height of the wet season. There are no designated launch areas.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "closed to public access" by FWC administrative action. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited.
  • Hunting dogs may be taken onto the WMA after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. one day after the end of the season. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs or retrievers are allowed during small game season for hunting small game. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "closed to public access" by FWC administrative action. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.  For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times.

Hunters must comply with all hunting regulations

Hunting Regulations and map

Okaloacoochee Slough Hunt Calendar - Year-at-a-GlanceAdobe PDF

Seasons Summary Dates (range July 2014 through June 2015)
Archery August 9-24
Muzzleloading Gun September 6-8 and 13-15
Family Hunt September 20-21
General Gun September 27 through October 5
Small Game November 15 through December 28
Spring Turkey March 7-15 (Legal shooting hours are 1/2 hour before sunrise
until 1 p.m. Hunters must exit the area by 2 p.m.)

(Calendar does not reflect Federal migratory game bird hunting seasonsAdobe PDF.)




FWC Facts:
The northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is the official state bird of Florida.

Learn More at AskFWC