Regulations Summary and Area Map
July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016
Brochure | Map Only
Regulations that are new or differ substantially from last year are shown in bold print.
Waterfowl Hunt Dates and Bag Limits:
- Legal to Take: Wood duck and teal during September duck season; teal only during the extended September season, geese and coot during regular duck season; see hunt dates listed below. Daily bag limit during special September duck season is 6 ducks with species restrictions. Daily bag limit during regular duck season is 6 ducks with species restrictions, 5 merganser (only 2 of which may be a hooded merganser), 15 light geese and 15 coot. Consult Migratory Game Bird Regulations for detailed information on special September duck season and duck, light goose and coot season.
- STA 5 will be open for scouting from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sep. 12 and 13 and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 14 and 15 and Dec. 5 and 6, 2015.
- The following hunt days are available:
Sep. 20, 2015 (teal and wood duck season)
Sep. 27, 2015 (teal only season)
Nov. 22 and 29, 2015
Dec 13, 20 and 27, 2015
Jan. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, 2016
Feb. 7, 2016 (youth waterfowl hunt)
License and Permit Requirements:
- A valid Florida hunting license or other license that includes a hunting license, a Florida Waterfowl Permit, a Federal Duck Stamp, an STA Waterfowl Permit, Management AreaPermit and a Migratory Bird Permit (unless exempted by law).
- Licenses and permits may be purchased from county tax collectors, license agents, at MyFWC.com/license or by telephone at 888-486-8356. Federal Duck Stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices and online at www.usps.com.
- For detailed information on license exemptions, consult the hunting regulations pamphlet for duck and coot season.
- 80 STA 5/6 Waterfowl Permits will be available for each hunt day: 40 for the morning hunt and 40 for the afternoon hunt.
- Hunters must submit electronic applications for STA Waterfowl Permits through the Commission’s Recreational License Issuance Services (RLIS). Application periods, deadlines, worksheets and instructions are available at MyFWC.com, FWC offices or county tax collector’s offices.
- 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 shall be supervised by one or two non-hunting adults.
- Children under the age of 16 may apply for the special September duck and regular seasons in addition to the youth waterfowl hunt.
- STA Waterfowl Permits are non-transferable, except as provided at the check station via a lottery system so that walk-ins may utilize unused permits.
General Area Regulations:
- Littering is prohibited. All materials used for temporary blinds and spent shell casings must be removed after each hunt.
- The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
- Tampering with or vandalism to water control structures, equipment, improvements, and / or private property is prohibited.
- Construction or use of permanent blinds is prohibited.
- Camping is prohibited.
- Fires are prohibited.
Mobility-impaired Duck Blind:
- One Persons With Disabilities (PWD) duck blind permit shall be issued for each hunt. Each PWD duck blind permit holder may bring two guests, either hunting or non-hunting.
- Only hunters with a PWD Duck Blind Qualifying Card issued by the Commission may apply for a permit to use the blind. Visit MyFWC.com/ADA or call 850-488-5878 for information on obtaining a Qualifying Card.
- Qualified hunters wishing to apply for a permit for the PWD duck blind shall call the south regional headquarters at 561-625-5122 the Wednesday prior to the hunt. The permit shall be issued via random draw the next day or first-come, first-served if no one has applied.
- PWD duck blind permits not issued by 4 p.m. the Friday prior to the hunt shall be made available at the check station the day of the hunt on a first-come, first-served basis to a qualified hunter.
- Hunters permitted to use the blind may only hunt from the blind. Waterfowl may only be hunted from the blind when a PWD hunter is present.
Public Access and Vehicles:
- Permitted hunters and guests shall enter and exit only at the designated entrance.
- Access to the STA is allowed for hunting waterfowl only unless authorized by the South Florida Water Management District. Other specific uses may be permitted by the South Florida Water Management District.
- Access is prohibited on structures and equipment and in areas posted as “Closed” or “Restricted”.
- Vehicles may not be operated on roads or levees posted as closed. Do not block gates and levees with vehicles or equipment.
- Use of motorized vehicles is prohibited except by hunters in possession of a STA Waterfowl Permit on established waterfowl hunt days.
- Use of bicycles is prohibited from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise.
- 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
- Motorized vessels, including gas and electric-powered boats, and boat trailers are prohibited.
- All boats must be equipped with required boating safety equipment.
- Airboats, tracked vehicles, motorcycles, ATVs and swamp buggies are prohibited.
- Parking spaces will be selected by waterfowl hunters at the check station prior to entering the area from the list of available parking spaces maintained by check station staff. Permitted hunters will select their spaces in the order that they check in with the check station staff. Walk-in hunters will then select their spaces in the order in which they are chosen via the lottery system.
- Hunters must park their vehicles at the designated parking spaces. The parking assignment must be displayed on the windshield or dashboard of the permitted vehicle.
- Parking locations adjacent to boat ramps are available by disabled parking permit only.
Hunters and Check Stations:
- Permitted hunters and guests must check in and out at the check station together and check all game taken.
- The check station will open at 4 a.m.
- Hunters who have permits for the morning hunts must check in 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. PWD duck blind permit holders must check in by 5:30 a.m.
- Hunters who have permits for the afternoon hunts must check in 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. PWD duck blind permit holders must check in by 1:30 p.m.
- Permit holders who do not check in during the required time intervals forfeit their permit.
- Permit holders who do not declare their hunting guests during the required time shall forfeit their ability to take hunting guests on their hunt.
- “No Show Walk-in” Lottery - A lottery system will be used to distribute any unissued or forfeited permits at 5 a.m. formorning hunts and 1 p.m. for afternoon hunts.Hunters selected during the lottery shall check in at the check station immediately upon being selected (or forfeit their permit) and shall immediately declare their hunting guests or forfeit their ability to take hunting guests on their hunt.
- “Replacement Walk-in” Lottery - The order that the other walk-in hunters (a.k.a. “replacement walk-ins”) may enter the area will be determined using the same lottery system after the no-show walk-ins are drawn. Replacement walk-ins shall 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 checked in 1.5 hours before legal shoot time ends for both hunts. Any walk-ins who arrive after the lottery has begun shall 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 first-come, first-served.
- Forfeited or unreserved PWD duck blind permits will be made available first-come, first-served to qualified hunters at 5:30 a.m. for morning hunts and 1:30 p.m. for afternoon hunts.
- 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.
- Dogs are prohibited except waterfowl retrievers and bird dogs may be used while hunting.
- Dogs must be kept under physical restraint when not hunting.
- When hunters are at the check station, their dogs must be left restrained at the hunter’s vehicle.
- Shooting Hours: For morning hunts - ½ hour before sunrise until 11 a.m. For afternoon hunts - 2 p.m. until sunset.
- Hunting with firearms other than shotguns is prohibited.
- Hunting with shotguns capable of holding more than 3 shells is prohibited.
- Use of non-toxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required.
- Taking wildlife from STA levees is prohibited.
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 5/6:
Stormwater Treatment Area Five and Six (STA 5/6) is a 16,508 acre constructed wetland designed to reduce phosphorus loading to the northern Everglades and the Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area. 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 5/6 is a STA 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-5/6 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 5/6.
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. A portion of the lands within this area were purchased in cooperation with the U.S. Department of the Interior.
These agencies and the Department of Interior prohibit discrimination by race, color, nationality, age, sex, or handicap. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility of this agency, write to: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600; or to Office of Human Relations, USFWS, Dept. of Interior, Washington D.C. 20240.