Florida Visitor Information
and Scuba Diving at
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Park Service recognizes that skin and scuba diving are very popular activities,
however, these activities may be limited in certain areas at certain times
by the Park Superintendent. National Seashore jurisdiction includes submerged
lands extending outward one mile or to the edge of the shipping channel.
Because of dangers inherent to visitors and because of possible adverse
effects to natural, historic and scientific features, the following guidelines
will be enforced.
divers are required to have evidence for qualification of diving ability,
such as a nationally recognized certification card or the assurance
of a supervising instructor. It may be necessary to present this information
to a law enforcement officer. Divers can be refused permission to
dive by a law officer if in their judgment conditions are unsafe,
or if equipment or individual abilities are questionable. Businesses
are required to purchase a permit for training classes within park
the "buddy system" and "diver down" flag when
in the water. Each diver will carry a knife as monofilament line is
often found in the area and can be a hazard.
recommended that tanks have a see view pressure gauge. Backpacks and
weight belts will; have a quick release device and weight belts will
be worn on the outside of other equipment.
dive injuries or illness must be reported to the Seashore immediately.
Keep physically fit and do not dive when tired or ill. Plan your
dive, dive your plan.
activities are not allowed without the written permission of the Superintendent.
your responsibility to know existing Florida minimum legal sizes,
limits, harvesting methods and seasons on crab and fish.
fishing is permitted from 200 feet east of the Fort Pickens fishing
pier, to 300 feet west of the last rock jetty in Pensacola Pass. Spear
fishing is prohibited in the Perdido Key jetties and in the vicinity
of swimming beaches. Explosive or power heads are prohibited.
or swimming is permitted within 100 feet of the Fort Pickens fishing
of marine mammals, sea turtles, and manta rays is unlawful. Respect
all creatures you encounter.
Islands are the predominant coastal form within the Florida Unit of the
Gulf Islands Nation Seashore. The southside of Santa Rosa Island has sandy
bottoms exposed to tidal changes and surf action. Many marine creatures
swim or drift through the waters or live on or within the bottom sands.
Most divers find these areas to be a "barren desert." On the
bay side of the island are shallow areas of scattered marine grass in
which the snorkeler can find pinfish, pipefish, seahorses and other interesting
species. Some popular are:
jetties at the northwest corner of Fort Pickens seawall. Depths can
drop to 50 feet, and currents can be treacherous.
1906 wreck of the tugboat Sport, 0.9 miles east of the Fort Pickens
Ranger Station on the bayside.
1894 wreck of the Catherine located southwest of the Ranger
Station at 17 feet. It can be hard to locate.
USS Massachusetts is a 550 feet battleship sunk by the military
in the 1920ís 1.5 miles outside Pensacola Pass.
Park Service Dispatch (report all injuries) (850) 916-3010
Accident Network) (919) 694-8111
Spearing is defined
as "the catching of a fish by bow hunting, gigging, spearfishing,
or any device used to capture a fish by piercing its body. The use of
powerheads, bangsticks, and rebreathers remains prohibited. The following
is a list of species which are prohibited for harvest by spearing.
|Families of ornamental reef fish (surgeonfish, trumpetfish,
angelfish, butterflyfish, porcupinefish, cornetfish, squirrelfish,
trunkfish, damselfish, parrotfish, pipefish, seahorse, puffers.
species not listed which are managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission, and those not managed by the Commission are allowed
to be harvested by spearing.
Information provided by:
National Park Service