Endangered Wildlife


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You're probably wondering why a fishing web site would concern itself with animals that are on the Federal Endangered Species List! It is our desire to inform and educate our anglers about the unique wildlife found on the installation so that these species can live out their lives undisturbed and you, the angler, can enjoy your fishing experience without being disturbed.

Fort Stewart is home to a number of wildlife species whose existence has been jeopardized for many reasons. These animals include the American bald eagle (Federally protected), red-cockaded woodpecker (endangered), eastern indigo snake (threatened), wood stork (endangered), frosted flatwoods salamander (threatened), and shortnose sturgeon (endangered).

The only fish we have that is federally protected by law is the shortnose sturgeon. (Check this fish out on our "fish information page" by clicking on it's name above!) It's not likely that an angler would catch one of these fish because they are generally not caught on hook and line. But, if for some reason, you happen to hook into one of these strange looking fish and you get it to the boat, be sure to let it go!!! It is illegal to possess, harm, harass, injure or kill these species, and the fine can be pretty stiff, up to $50,000 and one year in prison.

If in your travels around post while on your fishing trip you should happen to see one of these other protected species or you venture into their habitat, please leave the area and do not disturb the site or the animal.

Bald Eagle - Many Bald Eagles can be seen on Ft Stewart. One known nest is located near Pineview Lake (Pond 1). If you fish this lake, you will notice a buoy line with "keep out" signs. This a protective area where admittance is prohibited by law. Our mission is to protect this site and prevent it from being disturbed as well as keeping disturbance by humans to a minimum during the eagle mating season (fall through early spring). The Bald Eagle was delisted from the Endangered Species List in 2009, however it is still just as protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Eastern Indigo Snake - This snake is the longest native snake in North America and can grow to lengths of 9ft! These snakes are often found on the sand hills of south Georgia sunning near gopher tortoise burrows during the winter and spring. The summer and fall will usually find them in the stream bottoms hunting food. These snakes are so dark blue in color that they appear black. They sport an orange-reddish chin. These snakes are NOT venomous and are generally docile in nature.

RCW

Red-cockaded Woodpecker -This woodpecker is unique because it lives in live pine trees. Installation biologists and foresters are helping to recover this species by installing artificial cavities in large old longleaf pines, conducting control or "prescribed" burning, and thinning the forest by increasing timber harvest. The resultant open forest is good for the woodpecker as well as military training. Only the male bird has a very small patch of red on it's head that can only be seen close-up. The bird's roosting and nesting trees are marked with bands of white reflective tape.

wood stork

Wood Stork -This is the only stork species found in North America. Although there are no know nesting or roosting sites on Fort Stewart, this bird does frequent the installation to feed in shallow ponds and swamps. This is a large white bird with black wing tips on the underside of the wings.

Frosted Flatwoods Salamander -The frosted flatwoods salamander is a small, dark colored salamander found in and adjacent to isolated temporal ponds located in the pine flats of the southeast. Because many salamanders are hard to distinguish, we ask anglers not to collect salamanders for bait while on Fort Stewart.

shortnose sturgeon

Our only endangered fish in coastal Georgia are the shortnose sturgeon and the Atlantic sturgeon, which inhabit our coastal rivers. These peculiar looking fish are covered with bony plates and have a "shark-like" tail. The short, flat snout have four "whiskers" or barbells dangling beneath it. The Atlantic Sturgeon can reach lengths up to 14 feet while the smaller shortnose sturgeon only attain lengths up to 4.5ft. Both species spend most of their life in freshwater and will make long excursions upstream to spawn in the late winter and early spring. These fish have declined due to degraded water quality, commercial fishing, dam construction, and impacted spawning habitat. These sturgeon can be found in the lower portions of the Canoochee River and the lower half of the the Ogeechee River. All the different sturgeon species have historically been fished primarily for their roe, or eggs, more commonly referred to as "caviar". If you accidently catch one, please release it immediately.