Approximately 40,000 acres of brackish lagoon waters, including Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River Lagoon and Banana River are open to fishing. Day-time bank fishing for saltwater species is available from many dike roads, Patillo Creek, Eddy Creek and Haulover Canal. Bank fishing after dark is not permitted. Freshwater fishing is limited to about 100 acres of borrow pits. Portions of the Banana River are a manatee sanctuary where waters are open to non-motorized boats only. Other waters are posted "Slow Speed" for manatee protection. Waters contained within the Kennedy Space Center Security Zone are closed to entry. Fishing is allowed year-round, but allowable species may vary seasonally. Saltwater species include spotted seatrout, flounder and red drum. Available freshwater species include largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish. All Florida state fishing regulations apply. For additional refuge rules and regulations, please see the Boating and Fishing Regulations 2021-2022 brochure below. For a list of refuge permitted fishing guide, please see Merritt Island NWR 2022 Fishing Guides below.
Laws, rules, and regulations