Lake Panasoffkee Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
Southwest Florida Water Management District

 

photo of creek on Lake Panasoffkee WMA
Southwest Florida
Water Management District

Lake Panasoffkee WMA lies along the eastern shore of Lake Panasoffkee, in north central Sumter County. This nearly 9,000-acre area was acquired between 1990 and 1997 to preserve the lake and its associated floodplain forests. Four spring-fed creeks enter the lake. Pinelands and oak scrub are found at higher elevations. Wild turkey, wild hogs, white-tailed deer, armadillo, hawks, turtles, and wading birds are common residents. Lake Panasoffkee WMA is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. On the loop trail through the open pasture kestrels, meadowlarks, and killdeer may be observed. The spur to Little Jones Creek is a good spot to hear and observe warblers. Over eight miles of shared trails are available for bicycling, and 18 more miles of trails are open for horseback riding and hiking.  Children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when horseback riding on public lands.  For more detailed information go to Nicole's Law PDF.  All horseback riders must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses when on state lands. Visitors can picnic in the open pavilion. Lake Panasoffkee offers separate primitive equestrian and group campsites. Pavilion and campsites may be reserved for group use with the Southwest Florida Water Management District upon request. Fishing, boating, and paddling are available on the lake, which is accessible from a nearby county boat ramp. Hunting may be enjoyed seasonally.  During special opportunity hunts (see the Regulations Summary link below) public access is limited only to permit holders.

 

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For puposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed during hunting seasons, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. During non-hunting periods the possession of dogs shall only be as authorized by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative codes. 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 tken onto the WMA beginning 8 a.m. the day before each hunt and shall be removed the last day of each hunt. Hunting deer with dogs is prohibited. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs or dogs with a shoulder height of 15 inches or less are allowed during the small game season, and no more than 3 free-running dogs per quota permit are allowed during the wild hog-dog season. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative codes. 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.



FWC Facts:
Florida is #1 in the country for total days of wildlife viewing by nonresident visitors. (8.5 million)

Learn More at AskFWC