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SaltwaterNow's EcoTour Guiding and Fishing Adventures for our St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Area and our Apalachee Bay is dedicated to the tenants of sustainable, ecologically sensitive and responsible enjoyment of our resources.
It is both a privilege and a responsibility to assure that our marine, estuarine and coastal resources remain diversified, healthy and vibrant. I am in support of all presented tenants of this Certified Ecotour Provider program and will assist to enhance and endorse this program throughout North Florida.
Guided Tours of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
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Thank you for visiting my website. If I can assist you with your visit to our area please contact me. My 26' Power Catamaran with twin 150's is comfortable, quiet and reliable. As a USCG licensed Captain (with towing endorsement), a biologist and an avid environmentalist, I will tailor your trip to your interests and abilities. My passion is ocean conservation. As an International Game Fish Association Certified Captain, I enjoy the sport of the fishing. I also work for TOW BOAT US on weekends; try me on Channel 16. If I can assist you with your vessel or your understanding of our local waters; please think of me as an available resource.
My 26' Boat is moored at St. Marks and is readily available for fishing, research, diving and exploring the intricacies of our coast.
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IGFA Certified Captain
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Our local tour begins at the confluence of St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers. We are ~7 miles from the St. Marks Lighthouse which is located at the mouth of the Apalachee Bay (Gulf of Mexico); we depart from the town of St. Marks which is the last remote area embedded on the outskirts of the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Area.
A slow meandering tour up the Wakulla River will allow viewing of the transition zones from estuarine to fresh water. Manatees and alligators are typically seen in this portion of the cruise. The cruise downstream to the Gulf presents gradual yet also dynamic changes.
The 7 mile run to the coast is about a 20 minute trip when we are headed for open water at about 30 mph; this area traverses through the marsh areas and at low tide numerous bars and a wide variety of birds are seen; this water is a dark tannic tea colored from the tannins in the leaves in the surrounding wetlands area. This run is directly and totally within the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Boundaries. When viewing wildlife, we go at the pace that nature presents herself.
At the mouth of the St. Marks River, it opens into Apalachee Bay which is the Gulf of Mexico. The seagrass beds and gulf bottom in this area support a wide and diverse variety of habitats and fish.
Our local waters produce an incredible variety of sport and game fish including: trout, redfish, spanish mackeral, tarpon, king mackeral, triggerfish, grouper (gag, red, scamp and goliath), amberjack, snapper, rock bass (black sea bass), flounder, grunt (white snapper), whiting, pompano, little tunny, blue fish, mullet and sharks. Our waters also produce stone crabs, blue crabs and shrimp. On a typical day we will see a wide variety of non-game fish such as pinfish, pigfish, squirrelfish, remoras and stingrays while in the Gulf. While traversing the National Wildlife Refuge, manatees, alligators, otters, manatees and a staggering variety of migratory and resident birds can be seen. While on the water, we are often escorted by porpoises, large turtles surface about our boat and large rays are occasionally seen in aerial displays as they leap from the water. Never are the sights and sounds alike on two trips; even hours apart.
These tours are the basis for our Marine Environmental Education Initiative specifically focused on increasing the appreciation and understanding of our local marine resources for our children and young adults.