changes to Lake Harbor Public Small-Game Hunting Area
In the past several years, the invasion of a nuisance plant known as fire
flag (Thalia geniculata) has
complicated management of the Lake
Harbor Public Small-Game Hunting Area. The
predominance of fire flag in the rice field during the September duck
season has greatly reduced habitat quality and hunter
success. In addition, it has proven infeasible for the cooperating
farmer to drain and disk the fields after the September season and produce
a millet crop that consistently provides good habitat and hunting
opportunities for the regular duck season.
To address these issues, a new management schedule (beginning in summer 2002) will allow the field to be drained after the July rice harvest, disked multiple times to control fire flag, planted with millet in October, and flooded for the regular waterfowl season. Under this new plan, two days of hunting during the September duck season will be forfeited. However, the higher odds of improved habitat conditions and higher-quality hunting during the regular waterfowl season should outweigh the loss. We are hopeful that after several years the new protocol will result in control of fire flag to the extent that, at least in some years, we will be able to reinstate the two-day September hunt.
For questions regarding habitat management contact the South Florida Waterfowl Field Station at 321-726-2862.
For questions regarding hunt management contact Bijaya Kattell at 561-625-5133.