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Stormwater Treatment Area 1 West
 

Regulations Summary and Area Map

July 01, 2020 - June 30, 2021


 
 

This brochure is designed to provide the public with information and a summary of regulations pertaining to hunting and other recreational use on the Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) 1 West Public Small Game Hunting Area. Regulations that are new or differ substantially from last year are shown in bold print. Area users should familiarize themselves with all regulations. For exact wording of the wildlife laws and regulations, see the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s wildlife code, on file with the Secretary of State and state libraries. This brochure and the Florida Hunting Regulations handbook should provide the information necessary for you to plan your hunting activities. These publications are available from any Commission office, county tax collector, and at MyFWC.com.

 

Persons using public small game hunting areas are required to have appropriate licenses, permits, and stamps. The following persons are exempt from all license and permit requirements (except for the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp [federal duck stamp]): Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older; residents who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate; residents in the U.S. Armed Forces, not stationed in Florida, while home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders; and children under 16 years of age. Children under 16 years of age are also exempt from the federal duck stamp. 

 

Licenses and permits may be purchased from county tax collectors, license agents, by telephone at 888-486-8356, or at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. A no-cost Migratory Bird Permit is available when purchasing a hunting license. Any waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must possess a federal duck stamp (available where hunting licenses are sold, at most post offices, or at www.duckstamp.com).

License and Permit Requirements:

1.   Valid Florida hunting license (or other license that includes a hunting license), Florida waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp, STA waterfowl quota permit, management area permit, and migratory bird permit (unless exempted by law).

2.   Licenses and permits may be purchased from county tax collectors, license agents, by telephone at 888-486-8356, or at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. Federal duck stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices and online at www.usps.com.

3.   80 STA 1 West A Waterfowl Quota Permits will be available for each hunt day: 40 for the morning hunt and 40 for the afternoon hunt.

4.   40 STA 1 West A Stand-by Permits will be available for each morning hunt.

5.   80 STA 1 West B Waterfowl Quota Permits will be available for each hunt day: 40 for the morning hunt and 40 for the afternoon hunt.

6.   40 STA 1 West B Stand-by Permits will be available for each morning hunt.

7.   80 Youth Waterfowl Quota Permits will be available for each youth waterfowl hunt: 40 for the morning hunt and 40 for the afternoon hunt. Participants in the youth waterfowl hunt may hunt in either STA 1 West A or STA 1 West B.

8.   Hunters must submit electronic applications for STA waterfowl quota and stand-by permits at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. Application periods, deadlines, worksheets, instructions, and other information regarding waterfowl permits are available at MyFWC.com, FWC offices, or county tax collector’s offices. Any waterfowl quota permits remaining after the drawing held in Phases 1 and 2 will be available during Phase 3 on a first-come, first-served basis until the quota is met. Hunters who are unable to use their waterfowl quota permit may return it. The availability of returned waterfowl quota permits is reflected in real time and these returned permits are included in weekly reissue drawings throughout the season. Any stand-by permits remaining after the Phase 1 drawing will be available in Phase 2 on a first-come, first-served basis until all chances have been issued. Stand-by permits will not be available for return/reissue.

9.   Each permit holder may bring up to two guests, either hunting or non-hunting. The hunt party shall not exceed three persons, except during youth waterfowl hunts when a youth hunter must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, per F.S. 790.22. One or two youth hunters per permit may be supervised by one or two non-hunting adults.

10.   Children under the age of 16 may apply for the special September duck and regular seasons in addition to the youth waterfowl hunt.

11.   STA waterfowl quota permits are non-transferable, except as provided via the stand-by permit system or the on-site walk-in lottery.

Area Regulations
  • General

    General Area Regulations:

    All general laws and regulations relating to wild animal life or freshwater aquatic life shall apply unless specifically exempted for this area. Hunting or the taking of wildlife or fish on this area shall be allowed only during the open seasons, and in accordance with the following regulations:

    1.   Taking or attempting to take any game with the aid of live decoys, recorded game calls or sounds, set guns, artificial light, net, trap, snare, drugs, or poison is prohibited.

    2.   The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.

    3.   Public access is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as “Closed” or “Restricted.”

    4.   Taking or herding wildlife from any motorized vehicle, aircraft, or boat which is under power is prohibited, until power and movement from that power, has ceased.

    5.   The release of any animal is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.

    6.   It is unlawful for any person to leave any garbage, refuse, or litter in the area.

    7.   It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass, or woodland.

    8.   A Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle, or boat in accordance with law.

    9.   Spent shell casings and all materials used for temporary blinds must be removed after each hunt. Construction or use of permanent blinds or structures is prohibited.

    10.  Tampering with or destruction of equipment, improvements, or water control structures is prohibited.

    11.  Cutting or damaging fences is prohibited.

    12.  Fires are prohibited.
  • Parking

    Parking:

    1.   Hunters must park their vehicles at designated parking spaces and parking assignments must be displayed on the windshield or dashboard of the permitted vehicle.

    2.   Parking spaces will be selected by waterfowl hunters prior to entering the area from the list of available parking spaces maintained by check station staff.

    3.   Waterfowl quota permit holders will be able to select their parking space according to the order their permits were awarded during the waterfowl quota drawing.

    4.   The check station operator maintains an ordered list of waterfowl quota permit holders and will call each permittee by name (roll call) to check-in and select their parking space starting at 4 a.m. for morning hunts and at 12:30 p.m. for afternoon hunts. Waterfowl quota permit holders should arrive on time to avoid missing their initial chance to select a parking space. Waterfowl quota permit holders arriving after their name has been called, but before 5 a.m. for morning hunts or 1 p.m. for afternoon hunts, will be checked-in after the check station operator has completed the initial roll call.

    5.   Hunters can use their customer identification number to check their place on the list of permit holders, which will be posted at MyFWC.com/Duck.

    6.   To avoid crowding, only permit holders should approach the check station when checking in, declaring hunt guests, and selecting parking spaces.

    7.   For morning hunts only and beginning at 5 a.m., each stand-by hunter will select their parking space according to the order their stand-by permit was awarded via the stand-by drawing, provided a waterfowl quota permit becomes available.

    8.   For afternoon hunts only and beginning at 1 p.m., walk-in hunters will select their parking spaces in the order in which they are chosen via the on-site walk-in lottery.

    9.   Parking locations adjacent to boat ramps are available by disabled parking permit only.

  • Public Access and Vehicles

    Public Access and Vehicles:

    1.   Permitted hunters and guests must enter and exit only at the designated entrance and at the same time.

    2.   Access to the STA is allowed for hunting waterfowl only unless authorized by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Other specific uses may be permitted by the SFWMD.

    3.   Access is prohibited on structures and equipment and in areas posted as “Closed” or “Restricted”.

    4.   Vehicles may not be operated on roads or levees posted as closed. Do not block gates or levees with vehicles or equipment. Use of motorized vehicles is prohibited except by hunters in possession of an STA waterfowl quota permit on established waterfowl hunt days.

    5.   Use of bicycles is prohibited from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise.

    6.   Only one vehicle per permit may access the area on scheduled hunt dates, except during youth waterfowl hunts when up to two vehicles per permit may access the area.

    7.   Motorized vessels, including gas and electric-powered boats, and boat trailers are prohibited.

    8.   All boats must be equipped with required boating safety equipment.

    9.   Airboats, tracked vehicles, motorcycles, ATVs, and swamp buggies are prohibited.
  • Hunters

    Hunters and Check Stations:

    1.   Permitted hunters and guests must report at the check station together when entering and leaving the area and check all harvested game. To avoid crowding, only permit holders should approach the check station when checking in, declaring hunt guests, and selecting parking spaces.

    2.   The check station will open at 4 a.m.

    3.   Hunters who have waterfowl quota permits for the morning hunts must report at the check station between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. and must declare their hunting guests to the check station operator prior to 5 a.m. All hunters participating in a morning hunt must check-out by noon.

    4.   Hunters who have waterfowl quota permits for the afternoon hunts must report at the check station between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. and must declare their hunting guests to the check station operator prior to 1 p.m. All hunters participating in an afternoon hunt must check-out by 1 hour after sunset.

    5.   Waterfowl quota permit holders who do not check-in during the required time intervals forfeit their permit.

    6.   Waterfowl quota permit holders who do not declare their hunting guests during the required time intervals will forfeit their ability to take hunting guests on their hunt.

    7.   For morning hunts only and beginning at 5 a.m., stand-by permit holders will replace no-show waterfowl quota permittees in order of the random drawing until the quota is met. There is no guarantee that persons with stand-by permits will be allowed onto the area to hunt. Stand-by hunters must decide if their position on the stand-by list is worth showing up at the check station on the hunt day. Selected stand-by hunters must report at the check station immediately upon being chosen (or forfeit their stand-by permit) and immediately declare their hunting guests (or forfeit their ability to take hunting guests on their hunt).

    8.   For morning hunts only, stand-by permit holders who show up the morning of the hunt, but are not chosen to replace a no-show waterfowl quota permittee may remain at the check station and check-in as other hunters check-out such that a quota of 40 permits is not exceeded throughout the duration of the hunt. No additional replacement hunters will be admitted within 1.5 hours before legal shooting time ends for the morning hunt.

    9.   For afternoon hunts only and beginning at 1 p.m., a lottery system will be used to distribute any unissued or forfeited permits to walk-in hunters. Hunters selected during the lottery must report at the check station immediately upon being selected (or forfeit their permit) and will immediately declare their hunting guests (or forfeit their ability to take hunting guests on their hunt).

    10.   For afternoon hunts only, the order that the replacement walk-in hunters may enter the area will be determined using the same lottery system after the no-show walk-ins are drawn. Replacement walk-ins must check-in as other hunters check-out such that a quota of 40 permits is not exceeded throughout the hunt. No additional replacement walk-ins will be admitted within 1.5 hours before legal shooting time ends for afternoon hunts. Any walk-ins who arrive after the lottery has begun must form a separate line (in the order of arrival) until after the lottery is completed. If additional openings occur, this line will be let in on a first-come, first-served basis. 

    11.   Please be advised, submitting false information or using another person’s identity without their consent is considered identity theft and may result in felony charges and loss of hunting privileges.
  • Guns

    Guns:

    1.   Shooting Hours are ½ hour before sunrise until 11 a.m. for morning hunts and 2 p.m. until sunset for afternoon hunts.

    2.   All boat ramps, parking areas, roads, levees, and adjacent powerline pads are closed to hunting.

    3.   The discharge of a firearm outside periods open to hunting or in areas designated as closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.

    4.   Hunting with firearms other than shotguns is prohibited.

    5.   Hunting with shotguns capable of holding more than 3 shells is prohibited.

    6.   Use of non-toxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required.

    7.   Taking wildlife from STA levees is prohibited.
  • Dogs

    Dogs:

    1.   Dogs are prohibited except waterfowl retrievers and bird dogs may be used while hunting.

    2.   Dogs must be kept under physical restraint when not hunting.

    3.   When hunters are at the check station, their dogs must be left restrained at the hunter’s vehicle.

  • Direction

    COOPERATION REQUESTED

    All or parts of the STA may be closed for construction or other water management reasons. Please help in protecting the integrity of stormwater treatment facilities – remove vegetation from boats before entering and leaving the area. Your support is appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact FWC at (954) 746-1789.
  • Report a Band
    Report your leg bands: 1-800-327-BAND

General Area Regulations:

All general laws and regulations relating to wild animal life or freshwater aquatic life shall apply unless specifically exempted for this area. Hunting or the taking of wildlife or fish on this area shall be allowed only during the open seasons, and in accordance with the following regulations:

1.   Taking or attempting to take any game with the aid of live decoys, recorded game calls or sounds, set guns, artificial light, net, trap, snare, drugs, or poison is prohibited.

2.   The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.

3.   Public access is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as “Closed” or “Restricted.”

4.   Taking or herding wildlife from any motorized vehicle, aircraft, or boat which is under power is prohibited, until power and movement from that power, has ceased.

5.   The release of any animal is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.

6.   It is unlawful for any person to leave any garbage, refuse, or litter in the area.

7.   It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass, or woodland.

8.   A Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle, or boat in accordance with law.

9.   Spent shell casings and all materials used for temporary blinds must be removed after each hunt. Construction or use of permanent blinds or structures is prohibited.

10.  Tampering with or destruction of equipment, improvements, or water control structures is prohibited.

11.  Cutting or damaging fences is prohibited.

12.  Fires are prohibited.

Parking:

1.   Hunters must park their vehicles at designated parking spaces and parking assignments must be displayed on the windshield or dashboard of the permitted vehicle.

2.   Parking spaces will be selected by waterfowl hunters prior to entering the area from the list of available parking spaces maintained by check station staff.

3.   Waterfowl quota permit holders will be able to select their parking space according to the order their permits were awarded during the waterfowl quota drawing.

4.   The check station operator maintains an ordered list of waterfowl quota permit holders and will call each permittee by name (roll call) to check-in and select their parking space starting at 4 a.m. for morning hunts and at 12:30 p.m. for afternoon hunts. Waterfowl quota permit holders should arrive on time to avoid missing their initial chance to select a parking space. Waterfowl quota permit holders arriving after their name has been called, but before 5 a.m. for morning hunts or 1 p.m. for afternoon hunts, will be checked-in after the check station operator has completed the initial roll call.

5.   Hunters can use their customer identification number to check their place on the list of permit holders, which will be posted at MyFWC.com/Duck.

6.   To avoid crowding, only permit holders should approach the check station when checking in, declaring hunt guests, and selecting parking spaces.

7.   For morning hunts only and beginning at 5 a.m., each stand-by hunter will select their parking space according to the order their stand-by permit was awarded via the stand-by drawing, provided a waterfowl quota permit becomes available.

8.   For afternoon hunts only and beginning at 1 p.m., walk-in hunters will select their parking spaces in the order in which they are chosen via the on-site walk-in lottery.

9.   Parking locations adjacent to boat ramps are available by disabled parking permit only.

Public Access and Vehicles:

1.   Permitted hunters and guests must enter and exit only at the designated entrance and at the same time.

2.   Access to the STA is allowed for hunting waterfowl only unless authorized by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Other specific uses may be permitted by the SFWMD.

3.   Access is prohibited on structures and equipment and in areas posted as “Closed” or “Restricted”.

4.   Vehicles may not be operated on roads or levees posted as closed. Do not block gates or levees with vehicles or equipment. Use of motorized vehicles is prohibited except by hunters in possession of an STA waterfowl quota permit on established waterfowl hunt days.

5.   Use of bicycles is prohibited from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise.

6.   Only one vehicle per permit may access the area on scheduled hunt dates, except during youth waterfowl hunts when up to two vehicles per permit may access the area.

7.   Motorized vessels, including gas and electric-powered boats, and boat trailers are prohibited.

8.   All boats must be equipped with required boating safety equipment.

9.   Airboats, tracked vehicles, motorcycles, ATVs, and swamp buggies are prohibited.

Hunters and Check Stations:

1.   Permitted hunters and guests must report at the check station together when entering and leaving the area and check all harvested game. To avoid crowding, only permit holders should approach the check station when checking in, declaring hunt guests, and selecting parking spaces.

2.   The check station will open at 4 a.m.

3.   Hunters who have waterfowl quota permits for the morning hunts must report at the check station between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. and must declare their hunting guests to the check station operator prior to 5 a.m. All hunters participating in a morning hunt must check-out by noon.

4.   Hunters who have waterfowl quota permits for the afternoon hunts must report at the check station between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. and must declare their hunting guests to the check station operator prior to 1 p.m. All hunters participating in an afternoon hunt must check-out by 1 hour after sunset.

5.   Waterfowl quota permit holders who do not check-in during the required time intervals forfeit their permit.

6.   Waterfowl quota permit holders who do not declare their hunting guests during the required time intervals will forfeit their ability to take hunting guests on their hunt.

7.   For morning hunts only and beginning at 5 a.m., stand-by permit holders will replace no-show waterfowl quota permittees in order of the random drawing until the quota is met. There is no guarantee that persons with stand-by permits will be allowed onto the area to hunt. Stand-by hunters must decide if their position on the stand-by list is worth showing up at the check station on the hunt day. Selected stand-by hunters must report at the check station immediately upon being chosen (or forfeit their stand-by permit) and immediately declare their hunting guests (or forfeit their ability to take hunting guests on their hunt).

8.   For morning hunts only, stand-by permit holders who show up the morning of the hunt, but are not chosen to replace a no-show waterfowl quota permittee may remain at the check station and check-in as other hunters check-out such that a quota of 40 permits is not exceeded throughout the duration of the hunt. No additional replacement hunters will be admitted within 1.5 hours before legal shooting time ends for the morning hunt.

9.   For afternoon hunts only and beginning at 1 p.m., a lottery system will be used to distribute any unissued or forfeited permits to walk-in hunters. Hunters selected during the lottery must report at the check station immediately upon being selected (or forfeit their permit) and will immediately declare their hunting guests (or forfeit their ability to take hunting guests on their hunt).

10.   For afternoon hunts only, the order that the replacement walk-in hunters may enter the area will be determined using the same lottery system after the no-show walk-ins are drawn. Replacement walk-ins must check-in as other hunters check-out such that a quota of 40 permits is not exceeded throughout the hunt. No additional replacement walk-ins will be admitted within 1.5 hours before legal shooting time ends for afternoon hunts. Any walk-ins who arrive after the lottery has begun must form a separate line (in the order of arrival) until after the lottery is completed. If additional openings occur, this line will be let in on a first-come, first-served basis. 

11.   Please be advised, submitting false information or using another person’s identity without their consent is considered identity theft and may result in felony charges and loss of hunting privileges.

Guns:

1.   Shooting Hours are ½ hour before sunrise until 11 a.m. for morning hunts and 2 p.m. until sunset for afternoon hunts.

2.   All boat ramps, parking areas, roads, levees, and adjacent powerline pads are closed to hunting.

3.   The discharge of a firearm outside periods open to hunting or in areas designated as closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.

4.   Hunting with firearms other than shotguns is prohibited.

5.   Hunting with shotguns capable of holding more than 3 shells is prohibited.

6.   Use of non-toxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required.

7.   Taking wildlife from STA levees is prohibited.

Dogs:

1.   Dogs are prohibited except waterfowl retrievers and bird dogs may be used while hunting.

2.   Dogs must be kept under physical restraint when not hunting.

3.   When hunters are at the check station, their dogs must be left restrained at the hunter’s vehicle.

 
Seasons ( Count: 1)
  • Waterfowl Season
    Teal and Wood Duck Only: September 19-20 (Saturday (Unit B) and Sunday (Unit A))
    Teal Only: September 25-27 (Friday and Sunday (Unit A), Saturday (Unit B))
    Youth Hunt: November 14 (Units A and B)
    Duck, Light Geese, and Coot - Phase 1: November 21-29 (Fridays and Sundays (Unit A), Saturdays (Unit B))
    Duck, Light Geese, and Coot - Phase 2: December 12 - January 31 (Fridays and Sundays (Unit A), Saturday (Unit B))
    Youth Hunt: February 13 (Units A and B)
     
    Teal and Wood Duck Only:
    Unit A: September 20
    Unit B: September 19
     
    Teal Only:
    Unit A: September 25, 27
    Unit B: September 26
     
    Youth Hunts:
    Units A and B: November 14 and February 13
     
    Duck, Light Geese, and Coot - Phase 1:
    Unit A: November 22, 27, 29
    Unit B: November 21, 28
     
    Duck, Light Geese, and Coot - Phase 2:
    Unit A: December 13, 18, 20, 25, 27, January 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31
    Unit B: December 12, 19, 26, January, 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
     
    Scouting Dates - STA 1 West will be open for scouting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sep. 12-13 and from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Nov. 7-8 and Dec. 5-6, 2020.

    Legal to Hunt - Teal and wood duck during September "Teal and Wood Duck Only" season; teal during September "Teal Only" season; ducks, light geese, and coot during “Duck, Light Geese, and Coot” season; see hunt dates listed above. Daily bag limits during waterfowl season are as follows: “Teal and Wood Duck Only” – 6 ducks (only 2 of which may be wood ducks); “Teal Only” – 6 ducks (any legal teal species in the aggregate); and “Duck, Light Geese, and Coot” – 6 ducks (including no more than 4 eiders, 4 long-tailed ducks, 4 scoters, 3 wood ducks, 2 black ducks, 2 canvasbacks, 2 mallards with only one of them being female, 2 redheads, 2 scaup,1 Florida mottled duck, 1 fulvous whistling-duck, and 1 pintail); 5 mergansers (only 2 of which may be hooded mergansers); 15 light geese; and 15 coots. For additional information and regulations regarding waterfowl hunting, consult MyFWC.com/hunting/waterfowl.
 

COOPERATION REQUESTED

All or parts of the STA may be closed for construction or other water management reasons. Please help in protecting the integrity of stormwater treatment facilities – remove vegetation from boats before entering and leaving the area. Your support is appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact FWC at (954) 746-1789.
Report your leg bands: 1-800-327-BAND

About STA 1 West:  Stormwater Treatment Area 1 West (STA-1W) is a 6,670 acre constructed wetland designed to reduce phosphorus loading to the northern Everglades and Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. The construction first started as Everglades Nutrient Removal project in 1994 and the construction of the STA was completed in 1999. The plants inside this constructed wetland are absorbing phosphorus as they grow, eventually depositing much of the nutrient in the soils. Previously under agricultural practices for decades, phosphorus from fertilizers and organic soils has been carried into the Everglades by storm runoff, causing a change in the Everglades landscape. Too much of this essential nutrient has allowed cattail to invade the River of Grass, reducing the coverage of sawgrass and open water sloughs. Unfortunately, cattail does not provide the habitat necessary to support many of the plant and animal species that are unique to the Everglades. STA-1W was constructed at a cost of over $83 million, and is one of six STAs mandated by the State of Florida’s Everglades Forever Act with a primary goal of reducing the amount of phosphorus that reaches the Everglades ecosystem. The numerous levees, water control structures and monitoring equipment within STA-1W are critical to the success of the phosphorus control program. Any damage to these facilities as a result of public access could restrict the continued public use of STA-1W.

 This waterfowl hunting area is a cooperative effort of the South Florida Water Management District and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in order to provide additional opportunities for recreation on public lands in South Florida.
The U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: The Office for Human Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240. The project described in this publication is part of a program funded by federal dollars under the Wildlife Restoration Act. Federal funds pay 20 percent of the cost of the program.