Backcountry Everglades Chickees/Ground Sites post Irma

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tbnolefan, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. tbnolefan

    tbnolefan Active Member

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    Anyone done a good survey of the backcountry since Irma. What Chickees are damaged and are any land sites destroyed? I've tried calling the NPS but they didn't give me a clear answer, only stating that backcountry camping is closed and no permits will be issues until further notice.

    Knowing the pace at which the Park works, I'd imagine camping season might be a wash this year.
     
  2. Backcountry 16

    Backcountry 16 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure which ones but some chickees were fine Capt Lemay has a report about that area somewhere on this sight.
     

  3. Backcountry 16

    Backcountry 16 Well-Known Member

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    You can always camp outside the park around port of the isles. Plenty of land sight's panther key, Whitehorse key and numerous others back towards Marco.
     
  4. tailchaser16

    tailchaser16 Well-Known Member

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    tbnolefan
    What area in particular are you interested in ?
     
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  5. tbnolefan

    tbnolefan Active Member

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    Mostly the Chickees closer to Chokoloskee like Crooked Creek, Plate Creek, Lostmans, and Sweetwater. I'd imagine the ones closer to Flamingo are in better shape.
     
  6. tailchaser16

    tailchaser16 Well-Known Member

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    I am going next weekend. Will check em then, except for Sweetwater that's off my path.
     
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  7. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

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    The sites I've checked, in Whitewater out of Flamingo were in pretty good condition with the exception of the Oyster Bay chickee which will need new roof panels... Unlike Wilma where not one Porta-Potti survived - every site except Graveyard had the Porta-Pottie in place, just fine. Graveyard Creek is the only on the ground site I looked at and I couldn't see a hint of the toilet....

    I figure that the campsites will be the last thing they repair and my one trip out of Chokoloskee since Irma I worked the outside so I have no idea whether the interior sites on that side of the Park got torn up... One thing is certain - the moment the Rangers get back on the water - those interior bay chickees will be on their daily patrol... Don't think I'd want to get creative and just camp on one until they re-open them.... As already noted plenty of areas just north of the Park where you can camp without the hassle.

    Most forget that you can always camp right on the beach - anywhere in the Park - and you're allowed to build a fire, as long as it's below the high water line on the beach....
     
  8. Tarpon Nole

    Tarpon Nole Well-Known Member

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    Definitely not trying to call you out, but is this correct? I was told you could only camp at designated beach camp sites which fall under the normal permit system.

    Again, not trying to argue with you, I am hoping what you are saying is actually true !
     
  9. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

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    Call (305) 242-7700 (the Visitor's center) and verify... Pretty sure I'm right (but I'm always willing to learn...). I see paddlers in particular camping all the time along any stretch of beach they come to....

    If you do the beach thing, though... be very careful of the winds since none of the beaches along the gulf coast are particularly permanent. A hard onshore wind can push a small skiff up onto the surfline where the wind an waves promptly fill it with sand and pretty much bury a skiff in just a few hours (this has happened on more than one occasion between Middle Cape and Cape Sable over the years...).
     
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  10. tbnolefan

    tbnolefan Active Member

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    You have to camp in designated beach spots and you have to have a permit for that spot. You can not claim and camp at any stretch of beach you find fitting.

    That's nothing new. It's been that way as long as I've been going down there and I've been going down there for a long time.
     
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  11. tbnolefan

    tbnolefan Active Member

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    Guess this answers my question. Wonder why they have the islands as partially open.
     

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  12. DBStoots

    DBStoots I Love microskiff.com!

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    Perhaps the porta-potti is the issue, for example Picnic Key. Not sure what else it could be.
     
  13. tailchaser16

    tailchaser16 Well-Known Member

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    Ding Ding, Ding, we have a winner!
     
  14. bobber

    bobber Well-Known Member

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    Right now you can camp North of the Broad at any designated ground or beach site (all of the chickees up there remain closed) without even self pulling a permit, it's a first come first serve basis so be flexible on your site choice and plan to claim your choice early in the day. South of the Broad you must self permit from the box at the cleaning shack on the Whitewater ramp side. At least this way you can see what's still open.
    I'm surprised the park came to such a sensible arrangement so quickly after the storm,sure better than after Wilma.
     
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  15. tbnolefan

    tbnolefan Active Member

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    There are gonna be some problems if they don't start issuing permits out of EC by early December. Last year was a cluster every time I was in the permit office. I can see a self permit system working like they do in the off season. I don't see a first come system working for paddlers. If you pull up to a spot and it's occupied you might have to paddle another five miles to the next spot...and what if that is full....and what if the winds and tide aren't in your favor....

    Are they going to let the islands north of Broad be free for all and not have a group limit?
     
  16. bobber

    bobber Well-Known Member

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    That question I can't answer but as far as the yakkers go, scroom. Fast boat wins every time.
    At least back country camping is open however unfair site allocation might seem.
     
  17. tailchaser16

    tailchaser16 Well-Known Member

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    upload_2017-11-13_13-35-40.png
     

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  18. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

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    I have to ask, after just visiting the Johnson Key Chikee, do you guys really camp there? Seriously, the place is rotten with bird poop, mostly cormorant (though I don't suppose their poo is any worse then the others). It stinks like, well... and you sleep there?
     
  19. bobber

    bobber Well-Known Member

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    If it bothers you, you could sleep in the outhouse!