Fisheating Creek itself is a high-quality,
free-flowing blackwater stream. The tea-colored water results from
the swamps and the marshes through which the source of its water
flows. Extensive forested wetlands and floodplain marsh buffer the
creek for most of its route. Closer to Lake Okeechobee some areas
have been converted to rangeland for cattle.
Although dry and wet prairies are found on the
area, they are more extensive on the neighboring conservation
easement. Prairies are interspersed with hundreds of small
depression marshes. Dry prairie is characterized by saw palmetto,
dwarf live oak, gallberry, shiny blueberry, yellow-eyed grass,
southern bog button, dwarf St. Johns wort, and wiregrass. Wet
prairie is generally found grading into dry prairie and often on
the edges of depression marshes. Characteristic plants include
yellow colic root, maidencane, toothache grass, bachelor's buttons,
white-topped sedge, sand cord grass, and beak rushes.
Portions of Fisheating Creek WMA have been modified
through drainage and suppression of fire and through agricultural
or forestry practices. Disturbed areas are being restored and
natural communities maintained through prescribed fire, cattle
grazing, and mechanical and chemical treatments. In the spring,
some areas are roller chopped to maintain good brood habitat for
Invasive plants, both native and non-native, are a
problem on Fisheating Creek WMA as they are on many public lands
and public waters throughout the state.
Wetland nightshade, a member of the tomato family
from South America forms dense, impenetrable mats covered with
thorns. Control of wetland nightshade is especially difficult since
once berries are formed, the plant, even when treated with
herbicide, will not die until the berries ripen (up to 4 weeks).
Fifteen hundred acres of invasive wax myrtle and buttonbush at the
head of Cowbone Marsh are being controlled through cattle grazing,
mechanical means, and prescribed fire.