Water officials expanding legal gator hunting area

6,400 acres just added in Palm Beach County

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Good news for local gator hunters: The South Florida Water Management District is opening up 6,400 acres of wetlands in southwestern Palm Beach County for gator hunting this season.

Alligator hunting will now be allowed in Stormwater Treatment Area 2 (STA-2), which is southwest of the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, which is west of Delray Beach.

The hunts will be managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which has coordinated with the water management district since 2006 to host hunts in the district's other stormwater treatment areas in Palm Beach and Hendry counties. These areas are man-made wetlands used to clean waters headed for the Everglades.

Permits specific to STA-2 will be issued by the wildlife commission as part of the agency's statewide Alligator Harvest Program. The number of permits issued and the dates and times of the hunts will be determined by the commission in consultation with the district staff.

The use of motorized vehicles, including boats, airboats and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited.