Yellow River WMA - Escribano Point Parcels

Photo Escribano Point shoreline
Fred Salomon
Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Association

The Escribano Point parcels encompass 4,018-acres within the Grassy Point Area in the southwestern tip of the Yellow River Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The WMA is located fourteen miles northeast of Pensacola (across Pensacola Bay), and six miles southeast of Milton. The parcels extend to East Bay and are bordered on the east by Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), and on the west and north by wetlands along Blackwater Bay, including Catfish Basin and the Weaver River, which flows into the Yellow River. The northern parcel is an expanse of black needlerush marsh surrounding Catfish Creek and tidal creeks that grade into pine forest at higher elevations. The southern parcels consist of basin swamp, maritime hammock and scrubby pine forest. The parcels protect some of the last undeveloped waterfront tracts in the county. They are part of a network of publicly owned conservation lands that provide habitat for rare plants and animals such as the white-topped pitcher plant, Gulf sturgeon and Florida black bear and help safeguard the water quality in Blackwater Bay, East Bay and the Yellow River.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is the lead agency for the Escribano Point parcels. They work closely with the owners and operators of the adjoining conservation lands to ensure that resource protection and recreational opportunities are of the highest quality. FWC will manage the area by restoring historic water flow, replanting native vegetation and reintroducing a prescribed burning regime that mimics natural fire events.

The Escribano Point parcels are open year-round. Except for a paved public road that leads part of the way to the two campgrounds, access is limited and few of the unimproved roads run through the parcels. Because of vehicle access restrictions imposed by Eglin AFB, visitors to the southern-most parcels can drive part of the way and then must walk the rest. A permit from Eglin AFB is required to access Department of Defense Lands. The permit costs $10.00 and can be purchased at: Natural Resources Branch, 107 Hwy 85 North, Niceville, FL 32578; (850) 882-4164. Recreation includes paddling (northern parcel), wildlife viewing, hiking and photography. Camping is allowed year-round at two campgrounds in the Grassy Point Area and all campsites are by reservation only. Hunting opportunities include seasons for archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small game and spring turkey. Hunting during all seasons except small game requires a quota permit. Motorized vehicles may be operated on named and numbered roads; all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are prohibited. Fishing is permitted year-round. Catfish, black bass and bream are the most popular freshwater species taken; saltwater favorites include red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, striped bass and sheepshead.  Also see the Yellow River WMA website. Dogs are permitted but must be kept under physical restraint at all time. Regulations regarding hunting dogs may be found in the hunting regulations brochure.

For more information: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 850-265-3676, MyFWC.com/recreation.




FWC Facts:
Barn owls in Florida breed from March through July and nest in secluded places like caves, barns, tree cavities and large birdhouses. They build no actual nest.

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