High water prompts temporary closure to portions of Everglades WMA

Due to high-water levels associated with recent storms, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is temporarily closing portions of the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26.

The L4 south and L5 south levee roads will be closed to all public access until further notice. However, Water Conservation Area 2 (2A and 2B) and that portion of Water Conservation Area 3A South located east of the Miami Canal between 1-75 and the L-67A levee will remain open to public access.

Public access is prohibited in the remainder of the area, except licensed and permitted individuals accessing established canals via boats (other than airboats) may participate in the Statewide Alligator Harvest Program, waterfowl hunting (during statewide migratory bird seasons), fishing, frogging, and non-native reptile removal. Participants must maintain a minimum distance of 100 yards from any tree island to minimize disturbance to wildlife.

Permitted python removal contractors employed by the South Florida Water Management District or the FWC may use vehicles on levee roads other than the L4 south and L5 south levee roads.

“As water levels in the wildlife management area rise, wildlife such as deer, raccoons, and rabbits tend to seek higher ground, such as tree islands and levees,” said Dr. Tom Reinert, FWC regional director. “To protect them and help reduce stress, temporary public closures are necessary. Area canals remain open to boat access, though, for fishing, frogging, and other recreational access.”

If you have questions, contact the FWC’s South Regional Office at 561-625-5122.