St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge will open the pools along Lighthouse Rd. ( Co. Rd. 59) to hand launch boats with electric trolling motors on March 15. The pools remain open to boats until Oct. 15.

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge will open the pools along Lighthouse Rd. ( Co. Rd. 59) to hand launch boats with electric trolling motors on March 15. The pools remain open to boats until Oct. 15.

Anglers are reminded that the daily entrance fee is $5/car or an annual 12 months pass is available for $25.

A roller device has been constructed in the East River Pool boat ramp(first pool to the west of Lighthouse Road). Please be careful when moving boat down the device and back up the device. Also, please do not block pier entrance when parking after unloading boats at the East River boat ramp.

Gates will also be opened to access refuge road 316 in the Panacea Unit from March 15- May 15, leading to ponds in the Otter Lake vicinity. Otter Lake and lakes adjacent to Surf Rd. are open year round for boating. Outboard motors larger than 10 hp are not allowed on any lake, or pond on the Panacea Unit. Fishing is allowed year ‘round from the bank, according to state regulations.

The refuge staff appreciates the cooperation of our anglers to prevent the invasive exotic weed Hydrilla from spreading into refuge waters. Healthy lakes and ponds are best for fishing and for wildlife!

Also, note Daylight Savings Time began March 12 and the electric gates on Lighthouse Road and Otter Lake Road will then open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. ET.

Spring prescribed burning occured from March 1 – March 15 along Lighthouse Rd. and the levees to maintain viewing areas, reduce woody vegetation and expand flowering and fruiting plants.

For more information and a copy of the fishing regulations, please call 850/925-6121