** NEW** July 2013 – Park Announces Seasonal Extension of Jimmy’s Lake Idle-Speed Area in Snake Bight Pole and Troll Zone
Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball announced that the opening of the seasonal extension of the Jimmy’s Lake idle-speed area will begin on July 15, 2013. This area expands the existing Jimmy’s Lake area which begins at Tin Can Channel and goes north for nearly 1 mile. With this seasonal change, the idle-speed extension area will continue north for an additional quarter mile, while maintaining the same 1000 foot width. The area is delineated by signs at the end of the current northern boundary of Jimmy’s Lake and three buoys at the end of the idle-speed extension area.
The decision was based on public input from many that know Florida Bay extremely well, and additional site assessments conducted by park staff. The extension area will be open from July 15 through October 31, taking into account historic high summer water levels in the area. Superintendent Kimball calls this “a great example of how knowledgeable park users and park managers can work together for the protection and enjoyment of Everglades National Park. We have been able to identify a way to provide additional access, while also ensuring that the natural and wilderness resources in the area remain protected. We look forward to getting feedback this summer on what visitors think about this change.”
The 9,400-acre Snake Bight Pole and Troll Zone initially opened in January, 2011, and was established to provide enhanced protection of Snake Bight’s sensitive aquatic vegetation and wilderness resources, improve the quality of flats fishing, enhance paddling and wildlife viewing opportunities, and expand education on proper shallow water boating techniques. Funding for the implementation and scientific assessment of the project (which is ongoing) was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Flamingo Friendly Fishing Tournament, the South Florida National Parks Trust, as well as the Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation.
For more project information go to the project page on the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment & Public Comment (PEPC) website by clicking here.