Faka Union Bay
Pumpkin Bay, Faka Union Bay and
Fakahatchee Bay lie downstream of the
Southern Golden Gate Estates, a failed
development which built 813 miles of roads
and 138 miles of canals during the 1960s to
drain the swamps of Collier County in SW
Florida. Wet season over-drainage through the
Faka Union Canal has resulted in an 8-12 ppt
salinity decrease in Faka Union Bay compared
to adjacent Pumpkin and Fakahatchee Bays.
Canals and roads in the Southern Golden Gate
Estates will be removed in 2004 to restore the
areas freshwater flow patterns. The planned
hydrologic restoration will reduce the flow out
of the Faka-Union Canal by 99% and provide a
more even distribution (sheet-flow) of water to
the coastal wetlands and bays of the 10,000
Bull Sharks(Carcharhinus leucas) are the only sharks able to acclimate to low
salinities and freely move from freshwater to marine waters.
According to the data so far, bull sharks are the dominant shark caught (over
50% overall), especially in the Faka Union Bay (over 80% within the bay).
Faka Union Bay, due to the large area of drainage canals, receives a tremendous
amount of freshwater during the wet season(July-December).
Salinities are much lower than the other bays and therefore may exclude the
other shark species from entering those waters.
This project was designed to gain an understanding of shark nurseries and distribution before, during and after the restoration of
freshwater sheet flow into three of the many estuarine bays of the 10,000 Islands.
Sharks utilize shallow, protected estuarine bays to give birth to their young. These back bays provide young sharks with a bountiful
food supply and protection from potential predators such as larger sharks.In most of the Ten Thousand Islands waters such as Fakahatchee Bay, Pumpkin Bay and southern Faka Union Bay regulations permit boats to go 30 mph in channels and 20 mph outside.
The most restrictive areas are sites where manatees are known to congregate, such as the Port of the Islands marina and the Barron River. In those places, boats can't travel above idle speed. The Faka Union Canal and the mouth of the Barron River are slow-speed areas.
In general, tarpon fishing is pretty good and sometimes great throughout the warm months in the Everglades, even though it's not quite as productive as some other areas. A big draw is that you might catch a tarpon on one cast, and a snook, redfish or trout on the next. It's wonderful mixed bag fishing.