Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mayakka River State Park

Day 114
Miles today:  0    Total miles: 2,537.5
Hours today:    0
Locks today: 0.    Total locks: 34

Yesterday we visited Myakka River State Park, Florida's largest state park. We took an airboat ride as well as the tram tour. There are a LOT of gators here, 500-1,000 we were told. The Myakka is Florida's only designated "wild and scenic" river.
Mama and 2 babies- click on photos for a better view
Who's afraid of a lil' ol' gator? Birds don't taste that good anyway.
A rare frontal shot

We sat way out on the bow for our boat tour

Our tour guide told us that feral pigs are a big problem in the area- they dig and destroy plants in the park, on nearby golf courses, and in backyards as they root around for food. Each year more than 1,000 pigs are removed from the park and are then sold to game farms and Asian markets. Since a sow has up to 3 litters a year, with 8-14 piglets each time, so the pig population continues to grow. Tilapia are also invasive and unwelcome in the park. These fish consume the food supply of the native fish, and are taking over the small lakes that are part of the Myakka River.

We enjoyed docktails and dinner with Iowa friends Glenn and Joyce. We met them two years ago when we were here, and picked up right where we left off. As everyone knows, the best part of doing the Loop is the people we meet along the way!

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