Category Archives: Snook Islands

American Oystercatchers

American Oystercatchers in the Snook Islands in the Lake Worth Lagoon.

White Heron

Heron at sunrise at the Bingham Islands in the Lake Worth Lagoon

Perception Kayaks

Kayak Lake Worth kayaks getting a break in the Snook Islands.

Snook Islands Restoration

Stopping by to say hi at Phase II of the Snook Islands Restoration Project.

Lake Worth Lagoon

Pretty as a postcard in the Snook Islands

South florida sunrise

Watching the sunrise over Palm Beach in the Snook Islands.

American Oystercatcher

One of the American Oystercatchers of the Snook Islands.

Lake Worth Lagoon Snook Islands

View of the Lake Worth Golf Course Clubhouse from the Snook Islands.

Lake Worth Lagoon

Lake Worth drawbridge as seen from the Snook Islands

Supervising the work at Phase II of the Snook Islands Restoration Project.

Supervising the work at Phase II of the Snook Islands Restoration Project.

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The American Oystercatcher is a large shorebird living in coastal environments around the world. In the United States, the Oystercatcher lives along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. There is a Black Oystercatcher that lives exclusively on the Pacific Coast.

In Central Palm Beach County, the Snook Islands have become a breeding ground and home to the American Oystercatcher. The American Oystercatchers in the Snook Islandsbirds had reportedly disappeared from the area for the last couple decades, but thanks to restoration efforts, the Oystercatcher has been able to make a home in the Lake Worth Lagoon.

A shy bird, the American Oystercatcher has a relatively low population with less than 9,000 birds residing in North America. While its numbers and range have been on the increase, they are vulnerable to marine habitat loss.

Oystercatchers nest in early spring just above the high tide mark, the male and female work together to construct the nest on the ground. In areas with many nesting Oystercatchers, they sometimes use communal breeding wherein one male and two females tend up to six eggs. Newly hatched chicks are fed by the parents for up to eight weeks. Young American Oystercatchers flock together and sometimes form pairs, but they don’t breed until their third year. The pairs may last for life.  For more information, see the Audubon profile for the American Oystercatcher.

American Oystercatcher, Lake Worth Fl       Am. Oystercatchers

All photos taken in the Snook Islands from kayaks. For information on renting kayaks in the Lake Worth Lagoon, visit the Kayak Lake Worth website.

 


Greetings! The blog has been on a bit of a hiatus over the holidays, it is the beginning of our busy season at Kayak Lake Worth, so it’s been tough to make time for everything!

We just got the Full Moon on the Lagoon Tour dates posted through March and Sunset Tour dates for February.

During Full Moon Tours, we are out on the water for about 30 minutes in moonlight only. Sunset Tours are always in daylight and twilight. So, choose your tour accord to your preference. We can also accommodate your group of 4 + if you have a preference for a Sunset Tour on a date other than what we have posted.


If you have been to the Snook Islands Natural Area, or traveled over the Lake Worth Bridge in the last few months, you may have wondered what all that equipment and boats are about.

Just to the north of the bridge a work area is visible where the second phase of the Snook Islands Restoration Project is well underway, and to the south is the Bryant Park project which will bring new boat ramps and two new piers – one complete with a new kayak launch!

The Andy Reid from the Sun Sentinal has a great article that provides more information on the project, you can read the article in it’s entirety below, or click here for the original article.

Kayaks in Snook Beach    DSC02211

Snook Islands growing in Lake Worth Lagoon

“Heron and fishermen alike are getting new hunting grounds in the Lake Worth Lagoon.

Mounds of dirt floating by barge along the Intracoastal Waterway are laying the groundwork for new sea grass beds and mangrove islands soon to take root off the shores of Lake Worth.

Months of work has begun on the $2.3 million project to expand the Snook Islands Natural Area, 100 acres of marine habitat initially created in 2005 to help breathe new life into the lagoon — suffering from decades of waterfront development and pollution.

The new expansion is expected to add more mangrove islands, oyster reefs and sea grass beds, which provide habitat for fish, wading birds and manatees while attracting fishermen, birdwatchers and kayakers to the waterfront.

The work also includes adding new sea grass beds and mangroves offshore of nearby Bryant Park.

“What we have proven is [that] we can create vast areas of sea grass, oysters and mangroves that bring a lot of birds and fish and help filter the water,” said Daniel Bates, Palm Beach Countys deputy director of Environmental Resources Management. “It has good recreational benefits and good habitat benefits at the same time.”

The creation of the Snook Islands is aimed at fixing environmental problems lingering from dredging and development that started decades ago.

Sediment dredged from the lagoon in the 1920s was used to fill in wetlands and expand the Lake Worth waterfront where the city’s golf course now sits.

But that digging left underwater holes that through the years collected polluted muck, smothered life-giving sea grass beds and worsened water quality.

The initial $18 million Snook Islands project started filling in those holes and enabled planting 11 acres of mangroves, about 2 acres of oyster reefs and 60 acres of sea grass beds just north of Lake Worth Bridge.

This year, work was finished on $2 million of public access facilities that included a 600-foot boardwalk, a fishing pier, boat docks and a kayak and canoe launch.

The new expansion calls for adding about 7 acres of sea grass beds, another 1/2-acre of oyster reefs and 3/4-acre of mangroves parallel to the existing Snook Islands, Bates said.

Another 5 acres of sea grass beds and 1/2-acre of mangroves are planned off shore of Bryant Park, on the south side of the bridge.

More Snook, tarpon, redfish and bait fish can already be found thanks to the initial Snook Islands project, according to fishermen who target the area.

“That was one big dead zone. It was nothing but muck. Now you build these island chains and it has drawn fish,” said charter fishing captain Danny Barrows, who primarily fishes the lagoon. “They are fish magnets … It’s a fun place to fish.”

The work is expected to last about six months and is being paid for with state funds, according to Bates.

The dirt being used to fill in the dredge holes comes from digging to create new wetlands at the county’s Okeeheelee Park.

A parade of dump trucks brings the dirt to Byrant Park, where a long conveyor belt on the shoreline feeds the dirt onto barges that carry it to the dump sites.

The kayak launch, boardwalk and other recreation amenities that opened this year have helped give people more access to the waterway, said Juan Ruiz, Lake Worth’s Leisure Services Director.

“It has been a great benefit, a great amenity to the city,” Ruiz said. “We are really pleased with the project. It gets used every day.”

Mangroves once lined the shores of the lagoon, before waterfront development brought seawalls that wiped away the vital marine habitat.

The Snook Islands Natural Area and the newly completed South Cove in West Palm Beach are among the environmental restoration projects in the lagoon aimed at bringing back more marine habitat.

While too much shoreline has been tampered with to fully restore the lagoon, Bates said, “we can certainly make steps in the right direction.”

abreid@tribune.com, 561-228-5504 or Twitter@abreidnews

Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


The East side of Florida may be better know for it’s sunrises, but our sunsets can be beautiful too!

We are happy to announce that in addition to our monthly Full Moon on the Lagoon Tours, we are adding two Sunset Tours too. One Friday and one Saturday per month we will be taking a group out to enjoy the early evening sunsets from the Lake Worth Lagoon.

As the sun sets and the shadows grow long, a whole new side of the Lagoon emerges. Join us this Saturday for the Daylight Savings Paddle and make the most of the long evening. Reservations are required.

Daylight Savings – Enjoy the last of the evening daylight until spring out on a kayak in the Snook Islands.

Saturday, November 3rd

5-7 PM, sunsets at 6:36 PM

$40+ tax per person, launch at Bryant Park

 

Turkey Paddle – Work off Thanksgiving Dinner with a Kayak Lake Worth Sunset Paddle in the Snook Islands.

Friday, November 23rd

4-6 PM, sunsets at 5:27 PM

$40+ tax per person, launch at Bryant Park

 

Holiday Paddle – Kick off the holiday season while you refresh and recharge during a Snook Islands paddle.

Saturday, December 8th

4-6 PM, sunsets at 5:28 PM

$40+ tax per person, launch at Bryant Park

 

Mayan Calendar Mayhem –  Mark the end of the Mayan Calendar with an evening paddle in the Snook Islands.

Friday, December 21st

4-6 PM, sunsets at 5:32 PM

$40+ tax per person, launch at Bryant Park


Kayak Lake Worth offers a number of trips designed to appeal to everyone. From the casual paddler, to more adventurous types, there is a kayak trip for you. We provide all gear and make sure you have the basic skills necessary for maneuvering your kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Please be aware that you and anything you bring along will get wet and the kayaks and sups have a limited storage area. We do provide a small dry box suitable for keys, cell phone, wallet, etc.

Our 2.5 hour rentals are the most popular option. You have the choice of touring either the Snook Islands in Lake Worth or the Bingham Islands which lie just west of the island of Palm Beach. Rental time includes pre-launch procedures such as any necessary instruction and route information. We also make sure to include plenty of time for taking in the sights, bird watching, taking photos or just bobbing along on the currents. Tidal and weather conditions do play a part and may be a factor as to when your chosen area is available to paddle.

For those looking for more time out on the water, we also offer 4 hour rentals. Those renting fishing kayaks most often opt for the 4 hour rental. Kayakers just out for a paddle use the time to venture past the Snook or Bingham Islands out to John’s Island, the Ibis Isle Restoration area and Hunter’s Island. One way trips between the Snook and Binghams are often done during a 4 hour rental. Either you can arrange to be picked up and driven back to your car at the point of origin, or you can have us shuttle you back. The 4 hour kayak rental is also great for exploring Lake Osborne.

Kayak Lake Worth full day rentals are 8 hours. Most of our full day rentals are drop-offs for those living on a local body of water or for those fishing. Others do a roundtrip loop that brings them through the Snook Islands, Bingham Islands, Ibis Isle Restoration area, John’s Island and Hunters Island for an approximately 9.5 mile paddle.

Our kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals and tours are available by reservation only.

For more information, or to make a reservation, please call us at 561.225.8250 or use our contact page. You  can also visit our Rental page for more detailed information.

 

 


We are fortunate to have such a variety of habitats within the Lake Worth Lagoon. Today, we will learn more about a few of these habitats and where they can be found within the Lagoon

Tidal Flats – According to the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, “Tidal Flats are intertidal, non-vegetated, soft sediment habitats, found between mean high-water and mean low-water spring tide datums and are generally located in estuaries and other low energy marine environments. They are distributed widely along coastlines world-wide, accumulating fine-grain sediments on gently sloping beds, forming the basic structure upon which coastal wetlands build.”

Tidal Flats support a variety of life forms such as sea grass, mangroves, invertebrates, crustaceans, bivalves and crabs and many others. You can see examples of Tidal Flats at John’s Island at the mouth of the C-51 Canal.

Wetlands – A naturally occurring habitat in Florida’s Estuaries, Wetlands provide valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife. Mangroves found in wetlands also help to filter the water and provide a favorable environment for fish nurseries.

The Snook Islands Restoration Project restored 100 acres of wetland habitat in the Lake Worth Lagoon. Where dead zones once existed, sea grasses now grow. Hundreds of bird species use the Snook Islands for food and shelter, the American Oystercatcher has even returned to the area and is one of the Snook Islands most vocal residents!

Maritime Hammock – Maritime Hammocks are some of the most rapidly disappearing habits around. They are a non-coniferous forest comprised of native tree species like Gumbo-Limbo, Sea Grape and Saw Palmetto. These coastal wooded habitats are at a higher elevation than Tidal Flats and provide food and protection for migrating birds.

The John’s Island Restoration Project created 1.4 acres of Maritime Hammock that also includes mangrove Tidal Flats, Oyster Reefs and a Tidal Inlet.

These are just a few of the more common ecosystem found right here in the Lake Worth Lagoon. These incredible restoration projects are made possible by the efforts of Palm Beach County and the Department of Environmental Resources Management.

Visit www.KayakLakeWorth.com learn about Kayak rentals and tours in the Lake Worth Lagoon