This brochure is designed to provide the public with information and a summary of regulations pertaining to hunting and other recreational use on the Stormwater Treatment Area 3/4 (STA 3/4) Public Small Game Hunting Area. Regulations that are new or differ substantially from last year are shown in bold print. Area users should familiarize themselves with all regulations. For exact wording of the wildlife laws and regulations, see the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s wildlife code, on file with the Secretary of State and state libraries. This brochure and the Florida Hunting Regulations handbook should provide the information necessary for you to plan your hunting activities. These publications are available from any Commission office, county tax collector and at MyFWC.com.
Persons using public small game hunting areas are required to have appropriate licenses, permits and stamps. The following persons are exempt from all license and permit requirements (except for the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp [federal duck stamp]): Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older; residents who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate; residents in the U.S. Armed Forces, not stationed in Florida, while home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders; and children under 16 years of age. Children under 16 years of age are exempt from the federal duck stamp.
Hunting and fishing licenses and state waterfowl permits may be purchased from county tax collectors, license agents, the Internet at MyFWC.com/license or by telephone at 1-888-486-8356. A no-cost Migratory Bird Permit is available when purchasing a hunting license. Any waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must possess a federal duck stamp; available where hunting licenses are sold, at most post offices or at duckstamp.com
All general laws and regulations relating to wild animal life or freshwater aquatic life shall apply unless specifically exempted for this area. Hunting or the taking of wildlife or fish on this area shall be allowed only during the open seasons, and in accordance with the following regulations:
- Taking or attempting to take any game with the aid of live decoys, recorded game calls or sounds, set guns, artificial light, net, trap, snare, drug or poison is prohibited.
- The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
- Public access is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as “Closed” or “Restricted.”
- Taking or herding wildlife from any motorized vehicle, aircraft or boat which is under power is prohibited, until power and movement from that power, has ceased.
- The release of any animal is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
- It is unlawful for any person to leave any garbage or refuse, or in any way litter in the area.
- It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass or woodlands.
- A Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle or boat, in accordance with law.
- Littering is prohibited. All materials used for temporary blinds and spent shell casings must be removed after each hunt. Construction or use of permanent blinds or structures is prohibited.
- Tampering with or destruction of equipment, improvements, and water control structures is prohibited.
- Cutting or damaging fences is prohibited.
- Fires are prohibited.
The following hunt days are available for STA 3/4:
Sep. 22, 2019 (teal and wood duck season)
Sep. 27 and 29, 2019 (teal only season)
Nov. 16, 2019 (youth waterfowl hunt)
Nov 24 and 29, 2019
Dec 1, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29, 2019
Jan. 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, and 26, 2020
Feb. 8, 2020 (youth waterfowl hunt)
Scouting Dates -
STA 3/4 will be open for scouting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sep. 14-15, and from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Nov. 9-10, 2019.
Legal to Take -
Wood duck and teal during September season; teal during the Teal Only September season; duck, geese and coot during regular duck season; see hunt dates listed above. Daily bag limit during September duck seasons 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 http://myfwc.com/hunting/waterfowl/ for detailed information for the special September duck seasons and for duck, light goose and coot season.
- A valid Florida hunting license or other license that includes a hunting license, a Florida waterfowl permit, a federal duck stamp, an STA waterfowl quota permit, management area permit and a migratory bird permit (unless exempted by law).
- Licenses and permits are available from county tax collectors, license agents, or at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or by telephone at 888-486-8356. Federal duck stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices and online at www.usps.com.
- 40 STA 3/4 Waterfowl Permits will be available for each hunt day: 20 for the morning hunt and 20 for the afternoon hunt.
- Hunters must submit electronic applications for STA waterfowl quota permits at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. 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 quota permits are non-transferable, except as provided at the check station via a lottery system so that walk-ins may utilize unused permits.
- Permitted hunters and guests shall enter and exit only at the designated entrance and must enter and exit the area at the same time.
- Access to the STA is allowed for hunting waterfowl only unless authorized by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Other specific uses may be permitted by the SFWMD.
- 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 an STA waterfowl quota 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.
- Hunters must park their vehicles at designated parking spaces and parking assignments must be displayed on the windshield or dashboard of the permitted vehicle.
- Parking spaces will be selected by waterfowl hunters prior to entering the area from the list of available parking spaces maintained by check station staff.
- Permit holders will be able to select their parking space according to the order permits were awarded during the Phase 1 lottery.
- The check station operator maintains an ordered list of permit holders and will call each permittee by name (roll call) to check-in and select their parking space starting at 4 a.m. for morning hunts and at 12:30 p.m. for afternoon hunts. Permit holders should arrive on time to avoid missing their initial chance to select a parking space. Permit holders arriving after their name has been called, but before 5 a.m., will be checked-in after the check station operator has completed the initial roll call.
- Hunters can use their customer identification number to check their place on the permit holder list which will be published on the STA 3/4 PSGHA webpage (next to brochure and maps).
- To avoid crowding, only permit holders should approach the check station when checking in, declaring hunt guests, and selecting parking spaces.
- Walk-in hunters will select their parking spaces in the order in which they are chosen via the walk-in lottery.
- Parking assignments 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.
- Permitted hunters and guests must check in and out at the check station together and check all game taken. To avoid crowding only permit holders should approach the check station when checking in, declaring hunt guests, and selecting parking spaces.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 replacement walk-in hunters 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 20 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.
- 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 are ½ hour before sunrise until 11 a.m. for morning hunts and 2 p.m. until sunset for afternoon hunts.
- All boat ramps, parking areas, roads, levees, and adjacent powerline pads are closed to hunting.
- The discharge of a firearm outside periods open to hunting or in areas designated as closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.
- 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.
Cooperation Requested About:
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 3/4: Stormwater Treatment Area 3/4 (STA 3/4) is a 16,772 acre constructed wetland designed to reduce phosphorus loading to the northern Everglades and Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. 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 3/4 was constructed at a cost of over $83 million, and is one of six STAs 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 3/4 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 3/4.
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.
The U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: The Office for Human Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240. The project described in this publication is part of a program funded by federal dollars under the Wildlife Restoration Act. Federal funds pay 20 percent of the cost of the program.