Lower Econfina River Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with the
Suwannee River Water Management District

The 3,004-acre Lower Econfina River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located in Taylor County, about 16 miles west of Perry. The Cabbage Creek Tract (2,387 acres) and the Scanlon Tract (617 acres) lie within the boundaries of the WMA and are managed by the Suwannee River Water Management District (District).

photo of Lower Econfina River
Edwin McCook
Suwannee River Water Management District

The narrow and twisting Econfina River meanders through the property, creating scenic beauty, wildlife habitat and paddling opportunities. Wildlife species include Florida black bear, gopher tortoise, swallow-tailed kite (spring and summer), wild hog, deer, turkey and squirrel. Turtles, otters, blue herons, egrets and other wading birds frequent the river. Since prehistoric times, people have enjoyed the abundant resources found here, which include Econfina chert, a type of rock used to make stone tools and projectile points.

Habitats within the WMA include floodplain forest, floodplain swamp, bottomland forest, pine plantation and mixed hardwood forest. These habitats along the Econfina River act as water storage areas during flood periods, reducing damage to surrounding communities. They also help to clean and filter the river water that eventually makes its way downstream to the coastal estuary. The District manages the natural resources and recreation; the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission administers hunting related activities.

Recreational opportunities in the WMA include hunting, fishing, paddling, horseback riding, hiking, bicycling and wildlife viewing on existing unpaved roads. No camping is allowed. Many of the river access points provide canoe or small-boat launches. There are three entrances to the WMA from paved roads.  Vehicles are allowed only during hunting season east of Econfina River.  Fishing and frogging are allowed year-round.  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.

 

From September to March, hunts take place on limited days. They include seasons for archery, muzzleloading gun, small game and spring turkey. Check the list below for regulations and more detailed information about hunting seasons. The WMA is open for public use year-round, from 1.5 hours before sunrise until 1.5 hours after sunset.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed (exept in areas posted as CLOSED TO PETS), but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. 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 deer or wild hog with dogs is prohibited. Hunting with dogs other than bird dogs or dogs with a shoulder height of 15 inches or less is prohibited. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. 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.

For more information: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (386) 758-0525, MyFWC.com/recreation and the Suwannee River Water Management District (386) 362-1001 or (800) 226-1066 (FL only), SRWMD/recreation.

 




FWC Facts:
Whooping cranes, the tallest of North American birds, stand nearly 5 feet tall. Their wingspan measures between 7 and 8 feet.

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