Florida Intracoastal Waterway - Florida Keys
Keys Boating Info - What every boater should know before boating in the Keys
1. The Florida Keys are notorious for bad holding ground while anchoring. This is because of the sea grass beds which grow on rocks. There is a thin layer of sand on the rocks which the grass grows on, and then solid rock. Keep a constant watch out.
2. Four feet is considered deep water in the Florida Keys. Stay away from shallow areas, which are visible during the day, and can be detected by a change in the color of the water.
3. There are severe fines for damaging grass beds, coral heads and marine wildlife, and the Florida Keys are chock full of these things. Be respectful of your surroundings, or else you could pay a hefty price.
4. If you drop a hook alongside your boat while cruising in the Keys and happen to catch something, great! But make sure you read the Florida fishing regulations first which tell you what the minimum and maximum sizes of local fish that you are allowed to catch are. Also, if you catch and fillet a fish that you caught on your boat, make sure you keep the head and tail. This is in case Marine Patrol stops you and happens to look in your cooler or freezer. To avoid a fine, just follow the rules.
5. If you are going to stop at one of the many reefs along the Keys, please use the moorings that are found around these areas. Using the moorings will prevent damage to the rocks and grass beds, and will give you a secure hold. While snorkeling and scuba diving remember not to disturb any artifacts or bring home souvenirs, which also are illegal and subject to fines.