Group: Super Administrators
Joined: Jan. 2004
||Posted: Jan. 02 2008,16:53
Brevard, Volusia and Indian River Hotspots
|Brevard, Indian River and Volusia counties probably offer greater choices for reaching more premium paddling areas than any other region of the state. The St. Johns River bordering these counties to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Indian River Lagoon system running right up their spine make this tri-county area a paddle lovers paradise, and one that can't be fully experienced in a lifetime.|
Eric Davis, fishing guide and owner of The Back Country in Vero Beach, talks of the abundance of fresh and saltwater access in Indian River County: "There are many spots paddlers are using to reach the water," Davis said. "One of those places, Ansin-Garcia Reservoir (Blue Cypress Water Management Area), is perfect because of motor size limits."
Situated near excellent fishing, Ansin is on State Road 512 near Fellsmere. Part of this man-made reservoir has a restriction of 10-hp or less on outboards, and no airboats. "The 512 east side canal offers great access to paddlers looking to fish," David added.
He suggested several places for paddlers to reach portions of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL).
"From Winter Beach, use the east end of 69th Street. From the south side of Vero, use Oslo Road, and north of Wabasso Causeway, accessing Pelican Island and the IRL's east shore, use Jungle Road."
The Pelican Island area, home of our nation's first national wildlife refuge, not only offers great entryways for those looking to fish for snook, tarpon, redfish and other salty critters, but also an excellent area for bird watching -- it's basically wind protected with below-normal boat traffic.
About one mile north of Sebastian Inlet, the Inlet Marina provides close access to the waters north and west of the Inlet. Paddlers frequent this area, which is loaded with shallow grass-covered flats, mangrove shorelines and hordes of bird and marine life. Much of this area is a slow zone, and the marina offers both kayak and canoe rentals.
From Brevard's west shore of the IRL, paddlers can access safe and interesting waters, including the St. Sebastian River, Goat Creek, Crane Creek, and Ballard Park.
The Oars and Paddles Park just east of Mather's Bridge at 1329 Banana River Dr. in Indian Harbour Beach is a perfect place to start a paddle tour of the south end of the Banana River Lagoon (BRL).
Twenty minutes north, and only a short jog west of Highway A1A, Ramp Road Park also supplies top-notch access to Cocoa Beach's wonderfully unique Thousand Island area of the BRL.
North of the Barge Canal off Hall Road (just east of State Road 3), KARS Park is open for those paddlers wanting to explore the west shore of the north BRL's No Motor Zone.
"This area offers some of Florida's finest sight-fishing," said Tom Van Horn, who fishes these waters for spotted seatrout, snook, red and black drum. There's a $5 per boat charge to use these facilities.
Kayaking on the Mosquito Lagoon, on the border of Brevard and Volusia, is accessible along its west shores in many areas. Watch out, though, as this part of the lagoon is open water and can get quite rough, very fast.
Volusia's River Breeze Park offers a safe and easy access to the north Mosquito Lagoon and there's no entry fee. For more information about this area, call Volusia County Leisure Services at (386) 736-5953.
Credit: Florida Today
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