Which will make your kayaking experience that much safer and worry-free. 5) See The Notorious Melting Clock At The Salvador Dali Museum. If the gator swims directly at you, you should line the kayak to point directly at him, then back paddle. Still, it's important to remember you're a visitor in their territory, and you should r. First of all, feeding gators is illegal in Florida, so that's a pretty good reason not to do it. Slowly unzip your life jacket pocket, pull out your camera, and take a picture.. On the other side of that, I have encountered mother gators in heavily used kayak trails like the Turner River in Big Cypress. Find the trail maps here: Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. Locals can come to Haulover Canal to see manatees in the winter, and several tour groups offer manatee kayak tours including Get Up and Go Kayaking. Lastly, we provide guided kayak tours through the 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Fakahatchee State Preserve just south of Naples and Marco Island. @jgram2 's link covers all the other do's and don'ts. Turning a corner once and in slipped a alligator, I decided to stay on my course which went right over were the gator just entered. Typically, an adult alligator will prey on fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds. You should stay at least 60 feet away from alligators at all times. Storage would be the biggest benefit, but they are also great on class I whitewater. At one point it was trying to get onto the dock. Pete Joyce was paddling in a swampy section of the Waccamaw . If you are driving a car that doesnt have a roof rack, you might want to consider the removable foam blocks. With that said, Nile Crocodiles regularly eat animals that are twice as large as a full-grown adult human. We help our readers find the best kayaks and water related equipment to help you have the best time of your life whenever you are engaging in water activities. The simple answer is no. When you witness these types of behaviors, you need to stay cautious and aware. To ensure safe paddling on the river, use appropriate clothing, such as life jackets and protective wear. If the water temps are warmer than the air temp, they will simply float in the water. No problem! Even when you spot one in the water, not moving and just chilling, it is probably snoozing. Kayak with a friend This is often the case overnight and early mornings when the air temp is still a bit chilly. While alligators often display territorial behavior, they don't usually have much direct interaction with nearby kayakers. Is it Safe to Do. Hi Heather, there shouldnt be a scenario where an alligator would consider you prey except for one, and Ill get to that in a sec. It confirms the statement that they will let you be if you let them be. So these are the places to explore if you are looking for a great kayaking experience in Florida without Alligators. JOHNS COUNTY - See you later, alligator! Google both sounds and if you hear either one while paddling you need to pay extra close attention. The Wilderness Trail of the Suwannee River is a great place for kayaking. This will help you avoid potential danger or alligators lurking in the water. You can explore various rivers and creeks filled with wildlife and stunning views here. Put on your life jacket, grab your paddle, and set off for an exciting adventure in Florida! It is best to stay within the designated trails while kayaking in Florida. If we want to keep ourselves safe and maintain the natural balance of the ecosystems we love to paddle in, refraining from feeding wildlife is one of the best practices. If we see this, we simple kayak on by. Kayakers cannot resist disturbing the gators when kayaking in Florida and they bother them until one attacks. 3) while conducting recreational activities (e.g., swimming, canoeing, fishing) in waterways with alligators. In the end, we have outlined some safety tips for kayaking in Florida. Beyond using common sense, here are some precautions to take when kayak fishing in. If storage were an issue and I were paddling an area like the Colorado river near Glenwoods Springs I would choose an inflatable, but other than that Id suggest a hard boat. You also might have that once in a million alligator attach and if you break your main paddle on its head you will need a backup. Also, never disturb alligator nests or baby alligators because their mom is always nearby ready to protect her . In our waters its crazy the different types of splashes we can get. If youre looking to have some fun outdoor water adventures, then you have come to the right place. When you spot a gator in the distance, it will be in a lying position 90% of the time when on the ground. Well, it s because of human stupidity and lack of thinking that accidents and dangerous situations arise. Here, you will find the fourth largest spring in Florida and enjoy paddling along its crystal-clear waters surrounded by wildlife. What does an agitated gator look or act like? The alligators in Florida are not aggressive and will not attack a human unless they feel threatened. Kayaking in these locations will give you an amazing experience. Is it safe to kayak in Florida? I hope he was only passing through and not making a home we do have tons of flying fish, waterfowl, turtles, etc! In my opinion, there are a few benefits of an inflatable and there are certain waters where they might be best. The most popular mangrove kayaking in the United States is in the Tampa Bay area. Unless threatened, they will care less about you and your party paddling in your fishing kayaks around them. With that said if you are launching from an area where people clean their catch pay close attention to whether or not the alligator is staying close by. Remember, he isnt trying to eat you; he is trying to fight you, almost as dangerous. It's always best to use common sense even though it's very safe. Well, as the title suggests, it is somewhat of a necessity but for many, it is also fun. - Just Go! This park covers around 24,000 acres and is home to thousands of alligators. Sometimes when I kayak in cape fear river I have no choice but to cross where I have seen a alligator go in the water, due to it being a narrow canal at certain areas. June 16, 2022. Following these suggestions, we will sometimes pass by a 10 footer within 10 yards, but. We were in Cape Coral last Feb/March on a canal and witness an alligator swimming around across from our house. As you might have already guessed, alligators like to sleep and they actually spend an average of 17 hours per day sleeping. 4) Bask In Greatness At The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. - Just Go! The most abundant small mammal that an alligator eats in our location would be a raccoon, not a zebra. However, as with any outdoor . Yes, they are perceiving your kayak as an unknown, potential hazard and they're going to a different location where they feel safer. Ive lived in South Carolina for 30 years and only started kayaking last week. It is true that alligators are native to Florida and live in all of the fresh water springs, rivers, lakes, and marshes. If you would prefer to do a kayaking tour in a saltwater environment, here are some great options: Florida springs are the real star of Florida kayaking. Please, understand though, Im not suggesting you paddle at an alligator, nor am I suggesting you take an alligator selfy from 5 feet away. The area is 105 miles long, and you will find plenty of diverse wildlife to observe. I hope this helps! If you are in Florida, swim at a pool or a swimming area that is guaranteed to be alligator free. At one point I was in front and saw a very large gator slip off the side into the water probably 20 yards from us. The St. Johns River is an amazing place to go kayaking in Florida. This park is located in Key Largo, where you can kayak and explore the wildlife of the coral reef. A Complete Guide to New Smyrna Beach - Just Go! Alligators are just as afraid of us as we are of them, so typically if a kayak enters an alligator area, they will duck below the water and hide. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while paddling in Florida, let us write some useful tips that can help you stay safe on your kayaking trip in Florida waters. 12.Alexander Springs Recreation Area, Ocala National Forest. A quality jacket with pockets gives you quick access to your phone, a whistle (a sound-making device is required by law in most states), and other essentials like sunscreen, chapstick, and a knife Not a big deal if it happens. The river boasts stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife you can observe while exploring. Other animals, like snakes and birds, might also pose a danger, so its important to stay vigilant when paddling around them. With a good camera, you can make some amazing photos and that is it. However, you need to take the possible risks seriously and you should always paddle with a friend and file a float plan. In addition, this area has many access points, such as Palatka or Blue Spring State Park. In addition, the area is free from all the dangerous wildlife, so you can be sure there wont be any alligators. Kayaking with alligators sure does not sound safe, but it actually can be provided that those doing it respect the animals whose homes they are invading. This is another potentially dangerous alligator scenario. If it seems like they are waiting for a scrap you need to be extra careful. Do Kayaks Need to Be Registered in Colorado? You might miss loud splashes or even an alligator bellowing. At least until you know for sure it is not someones home. It sure is a great place for kayaking. Any ideas on what to do if I am caught in that unfortunate situation? So much more detailed than the usual articles out there. I would stay away from it. Dinoflagellates emit glowing light through a chemical reaction, and lead to an amazing night time kayaking experience. Stay safe out there, paddle with a partner and have fun! Yeah, it could have meant he was establishing his territory. you really put my mind at ease thank you! Swimming in a Florida lake is generally safe, but there definitely have been people attacked and killed by alligators in Florida. Then, of course, they blame it on the animal and call the area alligator-infested waters. How dangerous are alligators? Additionally, these waters are safe to paddle in, as no alligators are present. Would the alligator consider my head turned toward it and my eye contact an aggressive action? Throwing rocks, casting too close to a group . If an alligator cant internally regulate their body temp then how do they do it? must have been at least 6-7feet tip to tail! Guide for DIYers, 10 Best Downrigger Release 2023 Different Tension Settings. Kayaking With Alligators: How To Stay Safe. Great informative article. When is the best time to see bioluminescence in Florida, Limited Edition Florida Print JellyPressStore. When people are kayaking in the Southern United States, one fear runs through everyone's minds.And that's what happens if I see an alligator.And for those who didn't know, yes, people kayak with alligators in the United States of America.But that opens the question, "Is it safe to kayak with alligat. I have no illusions that this will protect me if attacked by an alligator, but it might make it harder for the gator to accomplish its goal. That is why many kayakers found out the hard way how dangerous alligators really are. I am planning to winter in Florida for the the first time. >> oh my goodness. Kayaking is easy, and can be done in two hours, but in the cooler months this is a great place to kayak with manatees in Florida. I wonder if you have any information for if the worst case does happen. This park covers almost 40,000 acres and is home to thousands of alligators. As you may know, Florida waters are home to many alligators, and its important to know where to go without running into one. Youre welcome, and welcome to NC. My husband and I just moved to Sneads Ferry and we are on a narrow inlet that leads to the New River. Spend A Day at Smyrna Dunes Park: The New Smyrna Dog Friendly Beach - Just Go! Bringing the fish in slower didnt make as much commotion on the top of the water, and often, the gators didnt know I was landing fish. If you hear baby alligators calling that means their mom can be nearby and that can be very dangerous. They both can be deadly dangerous animals, and I would never recommend swimming in their territory. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. That information about other water hazards was VERY helpful. Hit the kayak's side with the paddle, blow your PFD whistle, or use an air horn. 2) if you approach a female alligator or her babies. With all of the above information, we now better understand why an alligator might attack a kayaker. To stay safe kayaking in Florida, never confront or feed alligators, as they will change their behavior and approach kayaks more readily. 3. Thanks! Its a great place to go kayaking, with its almost crystal clear waters and serene surroundings. They have teeth, they are mean-looking, and they look very similar to the well-known saltwater crocodiles in Australia and Africa. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is the perfect destination for kayakers. I have several kayaks at home in RI and a kayak trailer to transport those kayaks to our beautiful waters. I paddle a surfski on the TennTom Waterway in Miss. The first time, I passed by very close, not realizing it was an alligator until too late. This article isnt designed to convince you to kayak with alligators, although we would love to take you out. Keep your Distance. At that point you are very aware of them and the water definitely erupts as you mentioned in your comment. I kayak in the cape fear river in wilmington, nc. We recommend sunscreen, bug spray, a good hat, and layers. Let me rephrase that, these are the scenarios when you should take extra precautions when kayaking with alligators and when you should pay closer attention to their body language and your surroundings. In the mangroves we sometimes get boaters going way to fast in the tight creeks and music will inhibit my ability to hear their boat. The key here is to keep the fish as quiet as possible when reeling them in. Still trying to build my confidence to hop on my kayak. Many people canoe and kayak in Florida waters each year, and alligators can be present in any fresh or brackish water in the state. I contemplated getting an inflatable because I have no roof racks on my car and no way to transport a hard kayak. The Gator stare in Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia. If I see someone roaring and pounding his chest, like he just finished a cage fight, Im probably not going to and ask him for directions. Yes! I hope this helps! While the odds of a gator attacking a kayaker are extremely low, paddling in places where alligators are native does come with an increased risk. Additionally, there are multiple areas along the river where you can take a break and enjoy the stunning scenery. The alligator hangs out in the water by some tall water grasses. As a Florida family, kayaking is one of our favorite things to do. To stay safe, always avoid kayaking in the dark. Also, you need to think about whether that gator is close to a boat launch because fisherman are cleaning their catch. In a few incidents, alligators have actually bitten canoes and kayaks, resulting in minor injuries to people and damage to their boats. This article isnt designed to convince you to kayak with alligators, although we would love to take you out. Does the Matanzas River have alligators? We use the Preception 9.5 Sound Its a great boat for the backwaters of SW Florida. (FWC) is responsible for the management of the state's water resources. If you see an alligator while kayaking, it is best to stay away and notify the authorities. Im so nervous to kayak and after reading realize the video I took from my backyard where I could only see his head for a few min but then his back and body raised up so I could see all his back scales may have meant he was aggressive? How To Stay Safe If Kayaking Near Alligators 1. Just play it safe and enjoy your kayaking! The Manatee River is a great place to go kayaking in Florida. Not only can this help you avoid sticky situations like kayaking by an alligator nest it can also help you spot amazing wildlife encounters. So if I do ever find myself in that senerio, do you have any suggestions? Florida alligators are known to be aggressive and territorial animals, so it's not surprising that they might attack kayaks. Mullet jumping sound like belly flops and snook strikes sound like hollow claps. Though there's a certain level of risk involved with each outing, kayaking with alligators is safe if you remain alert. Small children should not swim alone or be left unattended on the shore of a large Florida lake. Contrary to what some people may believe, alligators typically don't view humans as food. Stay inside the boat. For the most part, that mother is very used to seeing kayakers and seems to ignore them altogether. The state has many beautiful kayaking spots and the weather is generally good for kayaking year-round. Provided that you keep your distance and behave respectfully, you can have a fun time indeed. We can see how the gators react underwater when we encounter them in our super clear ponds with sandy bottoms. A kayaker exploring a section of a North Carolina river found more than he expected when an alligator slammed into his boat. Can Dogs Go On Inflatable Kayaks Without Them Breaking? While the odds of an alligator attacking a kayaker are extremely low, paddling in areas where they're native comes with some risk. While climate change is a whole other story, one in which the forces of nature are again going to cause havoc to everything human, nature in the general sense of the word is also dangerous. They might be a bit heavier, but they are next to indestructible even from an Aligator Tooth! It is their natural home, and the fact that people are intruding means the waters are human-infested. If this happens, you should paddle away from the agitated gator. Average Kayak Speed: Whats the Average Kayaking Speed? The Santa Fe River is a great place to go kayaking, located near High Springs. But you need to implement safety procedures to ensure your safety and prevent damages or injuries. Out of habit, I try not to kayak directly over the gators last location. Some kayakers even carry a rubber mallet with them for this purpose. So, you should visit this place as you dont need to worry about alligators. All participants are required to wear properly fitting life jackets. As you may know, Florida is home to around 1.5 million alligators. So, if you find an alligator sunning itself out of the water, it is out of necessity, and I promise you he or she would prefer to be in the water if not for the temperature. Keep in mind that kayaking during alligators' mating season increases the risk of attacks, as does hanging fish from your boat when fishing. Who feeds a wild Alligator? At any time we could see a 500-pound manatee, 100-pound tarpon, or ten-foot alligator all in two feet of water! These are our tips and tricks to make your Florida family kayaking trip amazing and memorable. Thorough, informative, user friendly grammer & even a lil entertaining at times! Can you boat on the Tampa Bypass Canal? Kayaking in Florida is a great way to get away from the theme parks and see the true beauty of Florida. There may be some times when an alligator appears within this distance. Lastly, the more experiences you have on the water, the better you get at identifying certain splashes. Despite the one million alligators that live in Florida, the CDC reports only one death on average due to alligator attack per year in the entire United States. I would definitely recommend hitting a gator on the head with your paddle if they are coming at you and close enough, but if they are able to bite your paddle, they will not let go and could pull you in. The fact that they are apex predators in their ecosystem means that nobody hunts them, nobody but humans of course. Besides, we have also described the 3 most dangerous places to avoid in Florida at all costs due to the high deficiency of Alligators. 1- DO NOT FEED THEM For a good reason, it is restricted feeding alligators. Often during this season, you will hear that deep bellow, or you will see and hear super loud splashes around a corner. I would not advise it as the rubber would give the alligators indigestion once eaten . People often fail to realize that nature is unbeaten in its fight against humans. The Myakka River State Park is another area to avoid due to the high population of alligators. With everything above being said, why is kayaking with alligators so frowned upon then and why is the whole debate of whether it is fun, dangerous, or necessary? In my experiences with false charges, the gators want to be visible, and they are, meaning they are on the top of the water and are trying to intimidate you. We also understand that alligators, like people, can be moody. #1 Never Feed Alligators #2 Leave Your Dog At Home #3 Try To Avoid Alligator Territory #4 Leave Them Alone During Mating Season #5 Keep A Healthy Distance #6 Don't Make The Alligator Feel Cornered Gators are now more solitary and territorial. The Rainbow Springs State Park is a great place to go kayaking in Florida. Alligators are found in freshwater habitats throughout the state of Florida and can pose a serious threat to both people and animals. Learn how safe it is to kayak with alligators and how to respond in the event of a threat. Florida Wildlife Commission November 20, 2020, 1:13 AM Encounters between boaters and alligators are not very common, particularly when you consider how many people enjoy recreational boating in Florida. My husband and I just bought a 10ft. Fisherman will often clean their catch of the day at the local boat ramp, then throw the waste in the water. Tour guides here in Florida have been immersed within these waters for a long time and are very familiar with the territory. Avoid kayaking in areas with known alligator populations, such as swamps, marshes, and ponds. Get an internship that provided employee housing on a Carolina Bay in eastern North Carolina. Kayaking with a partner is always recommended as it can be beneficial if something goes wrong while on the water. With so many great places to kayak in Florida, there's no need to risk an encounter with an alligator. Cost of Entry: $10 per person at launch site - guided tours and rentals also available. It also messes with your ability to be aware of your surroundings. Alligators smaller than four feet are not large enough to be considered dangerous unless they're handled, FWC says. Your article has provided me this morning much useful information to guide me before my maiden voyage this coming Monday in May where temperatures are now in the 90s. Similarly, if I see an alligator swimming back and forth quickly, snapping its jaws or, better yet, bellowing and vibrating the water with its back, You better believe Im going to go around that alligator. I wouldnt recommend music, I just personally believe there is no place for that in the wild, and it bothers other paddlers. However, you still need to remember an Alligator does not see you as prey, but they can associate you with a meal. Kayaking with Alligators is not 100% safe! The Suwannee is perhaps Florida's most well-known river. This can be a safe distance that minimizes the risk of your presence becoming threatening through the eyes of the alligator. Search no more! Ive recently begun to pass by an alligator in a small channel that leads out to the main channel. You see an alligator bellowing main channel paddling in a Florida lake is generally good for kayaking.! Limited Edition Florida Print JellyPressStore here is to kayak with a good hat, and set for. Its important to stay safe out there rentals also available Florida and they bother them until attacks! Boasts stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife you can kayak and explore the wildlife of the Suwannee river is great... When paddling around them and birds, might also pose a serious threat to both people and damage their... 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