intelligent animals that have a wide range of
vocalizations and cooperate well together.
If you go boating, they may just follow you,
playing in the wake behind your aquatic
vehicle. If you don’t want to rely on luck,
many tours in the area specialize in spotting
Florida has over 250 different species
of freshwater fish. Most of the species are
non-native, meaning there are very few
truly native Florida fish. Families include
black bass, catfish, gar, American eel and
tilapia. Some species are threatened and
are constantly monitored by government
organizations, while others are either
restricted or prohibited from fishing.
There are over 1,000 species of saltwater
fish in Florida’s waters, and most are edible.
More than 40 of those species have their
harvest regulated, and some species have
game fish status, meaning they can’t be
sold. Species include flounders, groupers,
grunts, jacks, tunas, mullets, snappers,
snook, redfish, swordfish, shrimp, crabs,
and many more. In addition, there are also
several shark species in our waters, including
hammerhead and nurse sharks, but you’re
more likely to find shark teeth on the beach
then encounter one in the water. Again,
www.myfwc.com is your go-to place for
the most up-to-date information on fish
regulations and fishing calendars.
It seems like everyone who visits Florida
wants to see an alligator. You are most likely
to see them sunning on the banks of a canal
or possibly on a golf course, or you might
just see the top of a gator’s head skimming
the water. Whatever you do, don’t get close
and keep your pets away from any area
frequented by alligators.
Nobody forgets the first time they see a
gopher tortoise cross the road. This species
is threatened and federally protected. They
burrow in sandy soil, but if you find one on
Photo by Judy Kinney.