FWC Presents Draft 10-Year Plan For Lake Stone

April 11, 2019

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff presented a 10-year draft land management plan for the Lake Stone Fish Management Area during a public meeting Wednesday night in Century.

Lake Stone is managed through a cooperative agreement between the FWC and Escambia County to conserve natural communities and use lake management techniques to maintain healthy fish habitats. The area features a man-made lake stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie and channel catfish. The impoundment, managed and maintained by FWC, was constructed in the late 1960s to provide additional freshwater fishing opportunities in an area where these opportunities are limited.

Escambia County maintains public camping facilities and a fishing pier, along with roads, trails and parking facilities in the area. In addition to fishing opportunities, the lake provides recreational opportunities such as wildlife viewing, hiking, paddling and camping. Gasoline boat motors are prohibited from use on Lake Stone; however, the use of electric trolling motors is allowed.

“This draft management plan provides conservation-based management for healthy terrestrial and aquatic habitats, cultural resources, along with fish- and wildlife-based outdoor recreation opportunities for public use,” said Dylan Imlah, FWC land conservation planner.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE DRAFT PLAN.

There is about $148,000 in the first year and an additional $428,000 over the 10-year life of the plan for capital construction.

About 15 campsites have been paved so far, and another 50 to 60 will be paved with county funding, according to Escambia County Parks and Recreation Director Michael Rhodes. The county also hopes to replace the playground and the office/caretaker trailer.

“We are also looking towards potentially building a new open pavilion, kiosk and new gate near the dam for the area, however these items have not yet been approved or vetted for funding,” said Imlah.

There are also two full-time employees in the plan.

“Currently, we have several employees from both the FWC and Escambia County assisting in managing the area. The two employees listed in the plan is based off of our proposed budget, showing that we would need at a minimum of two full time employees dedicated to the area in order to manage optimally. Currently, we have an FWC manager along with several other staff who help maintain the lake and fish populations. We also have FWC staff who monitor wildlife species and exotics that may occur on the upland areas. Additionally, the county pays a caretaker to live on the area and manage the recreational facilities. Not to mention county staff that assist in campsite reservations, facility development improvements,” Imlah told NorthEscambia.com.

There are no plans, she said, to change the public’s current use of Lake Stone, only improve access as funding allows.

Pictured: Lake Stone near Century, and a Lake Stone Management Plan meeting Wednesday night in Century. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Comments

2 Responses to “FWC Presents Draft 10-Year Plan For Lake Stone”

  1. just sayin on April 15th, 2019 12:51 pm

    This story says that county staff assist with reservations? I called the caretaker last month and he told me they don’t take reservations that you just have to show up and hope for the best. So which one is it?

  2. Ashlee Bauldree on April 13th, 2019 2:25 pm

    How do I get involved in anything with the fwc I just started school in the forestry department and I and super interested in getting more involved. Thank you





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