Boat Tours, Paddle-craft Rentals and Select Conveniences Temporarily Unavailable
Glass-bottom, snorkel, diving and island boat tours, and rentals for canoes and other paddle-craft, are temporarily unavailable. The park is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and regrets the inconvenience. Limited snack items are available.
Elliott Key Harbor and Campground Closed Until Further Notice
Contractors began work to repair damaged boardwalks and marina at Elliott Key and the visitor center grounds. The marina and campground at Elliott Key are closed until the repairs are complete. University Dock on Elliott Key remains open for day use only. More »
Park Readies for Two-Day Lobster Mini-Season
During the July 29 and 30 Spiny Lobster Sport Season, a unified team of National Park Service Rangers, working in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, will be out on the water in both marked and unmarked vessels, including nighttime hours, to ensure both public safety and legal lobster harvest. At the same time, park biologists will be stationed at popular boat launching sites to complete surveys on the quantity, size, sex and harvest locations for lobsters. The surveys provide scientists with important information to help them monitor and better understand the Park’s lobster populations.
Harvesting lobsters in the Biscayne Bay-Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary (whose boundaries overlap the Park’s boundaries) is prohibited year-round. The Sanctuary, established by the State of Florida to provide a place where lobsters can live and breed safely year-round, includes all of Biscayne Bay and Card Sound from a line connecting Matheson Hammock to the southern tip of Key Biscayne all the way south to Pumpkin Creek and the Card Sound Bridge. The Sanctuary’s eastern boundary conforms to the high water line on the east side of the Keys, including all natural and artificial tidal creeks and channels in that area.
Recreational harvesters with a valid Florida recreational saltwater fishing license and crawfish permit can take up to 6 legal-sized lobsters (3” carapace length) per person, per day during the Sport Season. The same limitations apply during the regular Spiny Lobster season that opens August 6 and runs through March 31, 2010. The taking of egg-bearing female lobsters and the use of spearguns or other hook-type instruments is prohibited. All lobsters must remain in whole condition until returned to the mainland.
Superintendent Mark Lewis stresses that safety is a priority during lobster season. The use of a 20" x 24" dive flag is required to be displayed on vessels used by divers and snorkelers. Boats must stay at least 300 feet from any boat displaying a dive flag unless at idle speed. Use and display dive flags properly. Look for dive flags while operating a vessel and exercise caution near them. Diving in or within 100 feet of a marked channel is prohibited in Biscayne National Park. To help ensure safety and protection of the resource and visitors,
A downloadable lobster brochure, including a map of the Biscayne Bay-Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary and information on how to properly measure a lobster, is available by going online at www.nps.gov/bisc then clicking on the "Fishing & Lobstering" Quick Link. Additionally, a free informational session to help prepare harvesters the 2-day Sport Season is being offered at Bass Pro Shop in Dania on Friday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. For further information, please call the park at 305-230-7275.
Did You Know?
Elliott Key and other islands in Biscayne National Park were settled under the Homestead Act of 1862. This law gave free land to settlers willing to live on and farm a piece of land for five years. The main crops planted here were pineapples and key limes.