Board approves Fellsmere Water Management Area public access project

Fellsmere Water Management Area in Indian River County is already drawing anglers to its waters.

Fellsmere Water Management Area in Indian River County is already drawing anglers to its waters.

PALATKA Fla., March 13, 2018 — Good news for boaters and anglers anxious for fully developed boating access to Fellsmere Water Management Area (FWMA) in Indian River County. The St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board on Tuesday approved an agreement with Fellsmere Joint Ventures that will allow for construction of a boat ramp and other amenities at the northeast corner of the 10,000-acre reservoir.

“The Fellsmere Water Management Area is an important project for water quality, water supply and flood protection,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “In addition, our board is committed to ensuring public access is available to this waterbody, which we expect to offer world-class fishing.”

FWMA is a multi-function reservoir that serves water supply and flood control purposes, and helps improve the water quality of agricultural and surface water drainage. Additionally, the reservoir offers opportunities for public recreation. Already kayakers are taking advantage of the north reservoir, and because of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) habitat improvement work, the FWMA has become a destination for anglers.

“It’s exciting to know that we now have a plan in place for improved access to Fellsmere Water Management Area,” said Governing Board member Doug Bournique of Vero Beach, who represents Brevard, Indian River and a portion of Volusia counties. “I predict that this reservoir will become an internationally famous fishing spot, complementing the adjacent Stick Marsh and increasing tourism in the region.”
Remaining work at the boat ramp facility is estimated to cost $550,000 and take a year to build. District staff are applying to FWC for a grant under the Florida Boating Improvement Program.