Manatee Awareness Month

(WFLX) - A warning for boaters: Florida manatees are on the move, and that means you should take extra caution on the water.

November is Manatee Awareness Month. It's the time when the mammals start traveling to warmer waters.

Florida Fish and Wildlife is reminding boaters speed zones will be changing this month to keep manatees safe during their migration, and you should keep a close eye on the water to give the sea cows plenty of room.

"Boaters should scan the water near or in front of the boat - looking for swirls resembling a large footprint, a repetitive line of half-moon swirls, a mud trail, or a snout or fluke (tail) breaking the water's surface" (Source: FWC News).

Manatees are federally protected by both the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Indian River County:

Nov. 1 - April 30

  • Slow speed - Within Sand and Shell islands area, Channel Marker 66 south to Channel Marker 75; Indian River area from Hobert Lodge Marina to North Canal, and from Channel Marker 156 south to St. Lucie County line west of the Intracoastal Waterway.

Nov. 15 - March 31

  • No entry - Portion of canal system adjacent to Vero Beach Power Plant.

St. Lucie County:

Nov. 15 - March 31

  • Motorboats prohibited - Within Moores'Creek.

Nov. 15 - April 15

  • Slow speed - Within Garfield Cut/Fish House Cove area.

Nov. 15 - April 30

  • Slow speed - Within Intracoastal Waterway channel between North Beach Causeway south to Channel Marker 189 and within the Shark Cut Channel in the Ft. Pierce Inlet area.
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