Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weedon Island for Fishing, Kayaking or Canoeing, and Nature

We brought the water, sunscreen, and bug spray, but we only needed the water. December does not seem to be too buggy except for the boy scout trails along the lake to the north in the early morning or late evening.There is water available at a fountain at the Cultural and Natural History Center, but they only had soft drinks in the vending machines, the day we were there.

The fishing on Weeden Island must be great.  We spent less than an hour talking to the fisherman at the pier and one young man caught 2 fish in that time. There was a manatee swimming around.

Adis Begic and Yellow Skipjack
Adis Begic & Sheepshead

Fiddler Crabs in a Bait Bucket 
I finally got a good picture of  the black crabs in a forest of mangroves near the pier. I  also found them on the roots of the mangrove trees near the observation area, but they were harder to spot as the area was dark. As I understand it, there are three types of crabs on Weedon Island. The black crabs are in the trees, the fiddler crabs on on the land, and the blue crabs are in the water.
Black Crabs by the Pier

There is a short boardwalk from the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Historical Center to the 45 ft observation Tower that takes you around thickly bunched mangroves in a swamp. There are three different types of mangroves, red, white and black, planted in and around the trenches and resulting mounds that were dug years ago to help eradicate mosquitoes. 

We saw an osprey on an old telephone pole near the tower. He was perched  there a long time observing the valley below him.

Osprey near the Observation Tower

The Observation Tower is 45 ft or three stories high, so high you can feel the rush of wind at the top. From there you have a good view of the pier, the multicolored Duke Energy towers, the boardwalk where you came from, and some of the kayaks and canoes in the water.

Weedon Island Boardwalk and Observation Tower
Duke Energy Towers
The canoe and kayak launch is beside the pier. As there is very little parking  there, most groups drop  off their passengers and boats at  the pier and park at the overflow lot at the Cultural and Natural History Center. Some kayakers raved to us about the trip through the mangrove tunnels.

Kayaks by the Weedon Island pier

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