National Wildlife Refuge
|4055 Wildlife Way
Vero Beach, FL 32963
Phone Number: 772-581-5557
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Currently, due to the lack of staff and other time constraints, structured educational programs are not available. However, future visitor facilities, opening on March 15, 2003, following the Centennial Celebration will provide materials for a historical perspective of the refuge as well as the entire National Wildlife Refuge System. Roving interpreters will be available periodically.
Boating and fishing is permitted in the open water areas of the Refuge. There are good fishing opportunities for redfish, snook, sea trout, mangrove snapper, jack crevalle and other popular sport fish. State fishing regulations apply. Recreational shellfish harvesting is permitted in the waters north of Spratt Point and Paul's Island, but outside of the designated commercial shellfish leases. Current state harvest maps and regulations are available at most tackle shops.
No Hunting is allowed on the refuge.
The staff of this refuge share duties with Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, which hosts the nation's largest population of nesting sea turtles. During the turtle nesting season, night walks are conducted in June & July for the public. Reservations can be made through Sebastian Inlet State Park, once dates and times of night walks are established in early May. Call (321) 984 - 4852.
Wildlife-based recreation is abundant in the Indian River Lagoon and is best experienced through boat tours and kayaking, which offer the best views of wildlife in its natural habitat. Boaters are cautioned to observe posted Manatee slow speed zones in the Refuge. Tide charts and navigational maps may be useful for the shallow areas in the lagoon.
On March 15, Centennial Trail visitor facilities will include additional boardwalks and a wildlife drive. Restored natural communities will provide the visitor with habitat openings and edges where they can view and photograph wading birds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. These facilities will be available through a partnership with Indian River County.
Pelican Island and its array of birds can be viewed by boat and beginning March 15, 2003 by the observation tower. Access to the island is restricted to outside of the posted closed area around the island. Boating is permitted elsewhere in the open water areas of the refuge, open all year.
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