The Peace River is a river in the southwestern part of the Florida peninsula, in the U.S.A.. It originates at the juncture of Saddle Creek and Peace Creek south of Bartow in Polk County and flows south through Hardee County to Arcadia in DeSoto County and then southwest into the Charlotte Harbor estuary at Port Charlotte in Charlotte County. It is 106 miles long and has a drainage basin of 1,367 square miles. U.S. Highway 17 runs near and somewhat parallel to the river for much of its course.Other cities along the Peace River include Fort Meade, Wauchula and Zolfo Springs.
Fresh water from the Peace River is vital to maintain the delicate salinity of Charlotte Harbor that hosts several endangered species, as well as commercial and recreational harvests of shrimp, crabs, and fish. The river has always been a vital resource to the people in its watershed. Historically, the adundant fishery and wildlife of Charlotte Harbor supported large populations of people of the Caloosahatchee culture (in early historic times, the Calusa). Today, the Peace River supplies over six million gallons per day of drinking water to the people in the region. The river is also popular for canoeing.
There were many pleistocene and miocene fossils found throughout the Peace River area, eventually leading to the discovery of phosphate deposits. Most of the northern watershed of the Peace River comprises an area known as the Bone Valley.
Peace River Campgrounds located at
2998 NW Highway 70 Arcadia, FL 34266.The Peace River was voted the Best River/Lake for canoeing in Florida. 2007 was twelve years in a row! The Peace River near Arcadia, FL contains a wealth of land and marine fossils. The marine fossils commonly found include shark, ray, pufferfish, barracuda, dolphin, etc. Land fossils commonly found include horse, glyptodont, alligator, bird, turtle, snake, deer, etc.Popular with canoeists, the Peace River offers excellent fishing for largemouth bass, bream, and catfish. Snook weighing over 30 pounds migrate from Charlotte Harbor and are caught year round as far north as Fort Meade. Bass, snook, and catfish prefer deep holes around tree snags where flow is strong. Tarpon are also caught in the lower Peace River. Commission maintained boat ramps are located near Fort Ogden at Deep Creek off CR 769 (Kings Highway) in Desoto County, and near Wauchula on CR 652 in Hardee County. Depending on water levels and other conditions, additional limited-access points are sometimes available. Locations follow: US 98 east of Ft. Meade; west of US 17 at Gardner; west of US 17 at Brownville; west of Arcadia off SR 70; and at Lettuce Lake south of CR 761. Bank fishing opportunities are available near Gardner.
Low water, if any water at all, should make for some interesting trips this spring. Snook are in the lower river this time of year. Snook season is closed from December 15 through January 31. Fish with live finger mullet around bridges, docks and the many snags (fallen trees), or try using larger artificial baits such as the DOA Baitbuster and MirrOLures for some great action. Largemouth bass and panfish (bluegill, redear sunfish, and spotted sunfish) should be found in deeper holes in and around the snags, and the catfish wont be too far away. Small spinners and flies should produce some good panfish action, while spinnerbaits and plastic worms should produce some bass.