Jun 23, 2019 | Updated: 04:51 PM EDT

Joe Bay Reopened For Visitors Of Everglades National Park: Closed For Decades For American Crocodiles

Apr 30, 2017 11:21 PM EDT

Everglades National Park whispers to visitors
(Photo : USA TODAY / YouTube) Everglades National Park covers 1.5 million acres. No singular landmark stands out. Instead, the whole park whispers with wonder.

Being closed for about 40 years, Joe Bay has been reopened and now it can be explored by the visitors who are visiting the Everglades National Park. Joe Bay is considered to be one of the main sources of freshwater for Florida Bay.

According to Phys.org, the main reason behind the closing of Joe Bay was to help the American crocodiles recover from extinction as they were at extinction risk. Now, the bay has been reopened for the visitors on kayaks, canoes or paddle boards. Not only the visitors but now the fishermen are also welcomed for searching snook, tarpon and much more.

Researchers in FIU's Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC) are now studying the impacts of the long closed for decades Joe Bay and its recreational fishing on Joe Bay's fish and recreational fisheries. "We haven't had anything in South Florida closed off to human contact for this long. Being able to evaluate Joe Bay in itself, and how does a fish community respond to being separated from humanity, is a really unique opportunity," David Stormer from SERC said.

Florida International University reported that the research on decades-long closed Joe Bay was led by Jennifer Rehage, who is an environmental studies professor in university's Department of Earth and Environment. Jennifer and her research team are using techniques for the study such as using of net hauls, baited remote underwater video (BRUV) surveys, examining the size, species, and a number of fishes in Joe Bay.

Digging further into Joe Bay, the researchers are likewise studying nearby fishermen, fishing guides and guests on their fishing nets and various experiences. Miami local Bobby Gibson is one of them. He has been angling in the Everglades for about 25 years. For Gibson, rounding out the study was a path for him to express his affection for the Everglades and the requirement for science to illuminate administration of a significant common asset. The study has been funded by Everglades National Park and will take around three years for it to be completed.

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