Boating in Biscayne National Park

Of the park’s 172,000 acres, 95% is covered by water so boating is the perfect way to experience the park. Explore sparkling Biscayne Bay, visit emerald islands and discover living coral reefs.


Explore the Sparkling Biscayne Bay

Boating is the perfect way to experience the park. Discover Biscayne Bay, visit emerald islands and discover living coral reefs. Access to these magnificent resources is limited only by time and your skills as a boat operator.

  • Nearby marinas provide access to boaters
  • Keep boating safety in mind
  • Use mooring buoys when available
  • Comply with slow speed zones
  • Watch water depth & avoid running aground
  • Columbus Day weekend information
  • Park waters are shallow, so tide predictions are important
  • Personal watercraft are prohibited, including jet skis and wave runners
  • Use nautical charts (available in marine stores or park bookstore, NOAA 11451 covers park waters)

Free classes to improve boating skills

  • Class topics; park resources, safety, navigation rules, groundings, liability and how to get involved at local national parks
  • English or Spanish language classes available
  • To register or for more information please call +1 (305) 230 1144  Ext. 041

Protected corals, animals and habitats

Please do not anchor in coral reefs.

Tips to avoid striking protected species including sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and smalltooth sawfish:

  • Keep a sharp lookout
  • Watch your speed, especially at night
  • Keep your distance

Any collision or injury to such protected species should be reported immediately to:

  • National Marine Fisheries Service – (800) 853 1964
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hotline – (888) 404 3922
  • Local rescue organization

Federal or state agencies may impose a civil fine of $25,000, a criminal penalty of $50,000 and/or up to 1 year in jail for violating the Endangered Species Act or state statute by “taking” an endangered or threatened species or damaging sea grass and coral. “Taking” is defined as harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, collecting or attempting to engage in such conduct.


Miami-Dade County operates marinas and boat ramps adjacent to the park. The first two listed below, feed directly into the park. During periods of heavy traffic a marina may close temporarily until the congestion clears and parking spaces open up.

  • Homestead Bayfront – marina, swimming area and beach located just south of park headquarters at Convoy Point.
  • Black Point – marina, bike path, canoe/kayak launch, fishing jetty and restaurant located on central and western border of park.
  • Matheson Hammock – marina, swimming area, beach and restaurant located in northern vicinity of the park.
  • Crandon – marina located on Key Biscayne near the northern border of the park. It is close to restaurants, Biscayne Channel, Stiltsvilleand and one of the best beaches in Miami.
  • Information on boating and fishing.

Fishing and Lobstering

With mangrove shorelines, seagrass meadows, sand flats, reefs and shipwrecks, the park offers diverse fishing experiences. Fishing and other harvesting activities are largely governed by state law. The park works with the State of Florida to promote regulations and ensure the sustainability of fisheries resources.

The taking of lobster is prohibited in the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary including all natural, artificial and tidal creeks between the islands and along the mainland. Legally taken lobsters may be transported through the sanctuary.

It is prohibited to collect ornamental aquarium species, plants and animals, or harvest giant land crabs in the park. Prohibited species include; goliath and Nassau grouper, queen conch, sawfish, sea turtles, stony and fire corals, sea fans, longspine sea urchins and numerous species of sharks. For the full list, see Florida saltwater fishing regulations.

Fisheries Awareness Class

The experience and wisdom of boat captains and scientists combine in free fishing classes taught by Biscayne National Park experts. The classes are offered in English and Spanish.

“By helping anglers in the community we are also improving the health of the fisheries and protecting the amazing resources of the park,” said Captain Gil Muratori. “Each depends on the other.”

The classes help people to identify the fish they catch, understand fishing regulations and get the most out of their fishing experiences. Course benefits include:

  • Free fish identification guides and other materials.
  • Advice on tackle, equipment maintenance and fishing techniques including “catch and release.”
  • Understanding how improved fishing depends upon protecting resources.

The next three and a half hour class in English begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 2, 2017, at Suniland Park. Suniland Park is located at 8398 SW 128th Street in Pinecrest.

The next class in Spanish begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2017, at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center located at 9700 SW 328th Street in Homestead.

Over a thousand people have benefited from the park’s fishing class since it began in 2007. The class is provided as a service to the community by volunteers as well as park employees and contractors. More classes may be offered depending upon interest and the availability of instructors and facilities.

For more information or to enroll in an English class, please contact Vanessa or call 786-335-3649.

Para más información o para inscribirse en una clase en español, por favor contacte con Yelitza o llame a 786-335-3611.

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