Econfina Creek WMA - Fitzhugh Carter Tract

Managed in cooperation with
Northwest Florida Water Management District External Website

photo of Black Pond on Carter Tract
Black Pond, a popular fishing spot on the Fitzhugh Carter Tract

An independent parcel of Econfina Creek WMA named the Fitzhugh Carter Tract, lies just west of Highway 77, 5 miles north of Highway 20 in the Greenhead community.  This 2,175-acre tract contains a wide variety of habitat types, including xeric sandhill uplands, portions of upper Pine Log Creek, various wetland habitats, and clear, sand-bottomed lakes.  Non-native sand and slash pine plantations have been harvested, and the uplands are currently being restored to their original condition of  longleaf pine and wiregrass.

While it is in part a wildlife management area, the Carter Tract is also a mitigation bank property, purchased by the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) to offset development impacts to other wetlands in the surrounding areas.  The primary objective of the Carter Tract is the preservation and restoration of the wetlands and surrounding uplands on the property.  Thus, recreational use is limited and more intensively managed on this wildlife management area than most others in the Northwest Region.  While the Carter Tract is open to access on foot everyday during daylight hours, public vehicle access is limited to Friday through Monday (except during established hunting seasons) and is restricted to improved roads.  Camping, swimming, horseback riding, use of bicycles and ATVs are all prohibited on the area.

The Carter Tract was operated as a popular fishing ranch by its owner, Mr. Fitzhugh Carter, in the 1960's and 1970's.  During drought conditions, some of the old cypress boats Mr. Carter built and rented to anglers can be seen exposed on pond banks throughout the area.  The tract was later leased as a private hunting area.  Knowing the rich history of recreational use and recognizing its potential for high quality recreational opportunities, NWFWMD entered into an agreement with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to manage the property for limited recreational use and to conduct ongoing monitoring of fish and wildlife resources.  Recreational activities include seasonal hunting, fishing, hiking and bird watching. Visitors to the area will often spot white-tailed deer,External Website wild turkey,External Website songbirds and wading birds, including little blue herons,External Website tricolored herons External Website and snowy egrets.External Website

The Special Opportunity Fishing Program on the Carter Tract provides a unique opportunity for anglers of all ages to fish in cypress and sand-bottomed ponds that are characteristic to this region of Florida.  The fishing program operates four days per week (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday) year-round with the exception of established hunting seasons.  Boats are located on the lakes for use free of charge, and lifejackets and paddles are provided.  For more information about the Carter Tract or to reserve a boat, please call (850) 773-2631.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited.
  • Hunting dogs may be taken onto the WMA after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. one day after the end of the season. Hunting with dogs, other than bird dogs or retrievers, is prohibited. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.

 Hunters must comply with all hunting regulations
Hunting Regulations and Maps
 Migratory game bird regulations

 

Seasons SummaryDates (range July 2012 through June 2013)
Archery October 20 - November 4
Duck September 22-26
Muzzleloading Gun December 1-3
General Gun November 22-25 and January 19-27
Fishing and Frogging Allowed Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays (except during periods open to hunting) by permit only
Small Game December 8-23
Spring Turkey - Youth March 9-10 (Legal shooting hours are 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. Hunters must exit the area by 2 p.m.)
Spring Turkey March 16-18, 29-31 and April 12-14 (Legal shooting hours are 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. Hunters must exit the area by 2 p.m.)


FWC Facts:
The Wall Street Journal has ranked the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival of Brevard County as the third-best birding festival in the United States.

Learn More at AskFWC