A Boating and Angling Guide to Choctawhatchee Bay A Boating and Angling Guide to Choctawhatchee Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Logo Sport Fish Restoration Logo NOAA Logo Northwest Florida Water Management District Logo DEP Logo Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance Logo
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Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission

Fish and Wildlife
Research Institute
100 Eighth Avenue SE
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

Partial funding for this project was obtained through the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Fund.
Welcome to Choctawhatchee Bay
Choctawhatchee Bay from the International Space Station
Choctawhatchee Bay from the International Space Station, NASA

Choctawhatchee Bay is located within Okaloosa and Walton counties in northwest Florida. It is 27 miles long, one to six miles wide, with a surface area of approximately 129 square miles. The bay is an estuary, which is a semi-enclosed body of water where fresh and saltwater mix. The primary source of freshwater is the Choctawhatchee River and secondary sources include small creeks that feed into the bayous. The saltwater comes from the Gulf of Mexico that connects to the bay through East Pass. The river, bay, and numerous surrounding bayous make up the Choctawhatchee Bay System.

Choctawhatchee Bay provides significant economic, recreational, and aesthetic resources to this area, but stormwater runoff from our streets, parking lots, lawns, and sewers can cause the bay waters to be overloaded with pollutants and sediment. Fertilizers, pesticides, toxic compounds, and heavy metals greatly impair water and sediment quality. Although specific sources area difficult to determine, pollutants and sediments can come from a variety of places ranging from industrial and agricultural areas, to your back yard.

Shoreline development increases erosion and loss of shoreline vegetation. Loss of vegetation can have dramatic effects since it stabilizes our shorelines, filters pollutants, increases water clarity, and provides critical habitat for wildlife.

The population of the Choctawhatchee watershed is growing rapidly and demands on the estuary for residential, recreational, and other consumer uses are quickly increasing. Management agencies are involved in watershed management issues on a large scale, but it also takes a sense of stewardship and action of individuals to ensure that Choctawhatchee Bay remains a productive system.

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This Web site was last updated on January, 2014.

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