A Boating and Angling Guide to Charlotte Harbor A Boating and Angling Guide to Charlotte Harbor
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About This Guide
Natural Resources
Managed Areas
State Parks and Preserves
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Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission

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

Charlotte County
UF/IFAS Extension
Florida Sea Grant

25550 Harbor View Rd #3
Port Charlotte, Florida 33980

Funding for this project was obtained through grants from the West Coast Inland Navigation District and Charlotte County.

Additional funding for this project was obtained through the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Fund.
State Parks Banner
Florida's state parks, managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, provide boaters and anglers a wealth of opportunities to experience all that Charlotte Harbor has to offer. Boaters can visit the barrier islands that compose Stump Pass Beach, Don Pedro Island, Gasparilla Island and Cayo Costa state parks. Paddlers can travel up and down the coastal creeks of the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. Fisherman can take advantage of any of the state parks around Charlotte Harbor to try to catch inshore game fish.

For more information about Florida's state parks, please visit the online Florida state parks guide.

Stump Pass Beach State Park
Stump Pass Beach State Park consists of the southernmost mile of Manasota Key, Peterson Island, Whidden Key and the protected channels between them. A mile of beach provides visitors with opportunities for shelling, swimming, bird-watching, snorkeling, fishing and sunbathing.

Don Pedro Island State Park
Don Pedro Island is part of a chain of barrier islands extending along the Gulf Coast. Between Knight Island and Little Gasparilla Island, Don Pedro is accessible only by private boat. Boaters can tie up at the dock on the mangrove-lined, bay side of the island. Recreational activities include year-round swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as sunbathing, fishing and shelling. Docks are available for day use and are provided for visitors who enjoy boating and fishing.

Gasparilla Island State Park
This 127-acre park, located at the southern tip of Gasparilla Island, is one in a chain of barrier islands that extend along the gulf coast of Florida. Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound separate the island from the mainland. A 1890s lighthouse, outstanding fishing and superb beaches are part of this island park's charm. Recreational activities offered at Gasparilla Island State Park include swimming, fishing, surfing, picnicking, shelling and visiting the Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum.

Cayo Costa State Park
The park encompasses 2,420 acres on one of Florida's largest unspoiled barrier islands. The southern portion of North Captiva Island, which lies off the coast of North Fort Myers, is also included in the park. Fishing is excellent in Charlotte Harbor, especially at Boca Grande Pass. Limited bayside docking is available for day visitors and overnight campers.

Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park
The Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park is comprised of over 43,000 acres in Lee and Charlotte counties. These lands were acquired to provide a natural buffer from urban areas and agricultural lands to help protect the largest and most productive estuary in Florida. More than 80 miles of shoreline is protected. Fishing, wildlife viewing and hiking are popular activities. Wildlife is abundant and a variety of bird life is readily observable. Birding is considered of such quality that some trails have been listed in the south section of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Access is provided at trailheads and gates along the boundary of the Preserve. Open water and expansive tidal marsh communities provide opportunities for scenic vistas.

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