Manatee Migration: Where Do They Go in the Winter?

Now that the weather is getting cooler, animals are starting to migrate. One animal that begins its migration during mid-November is the manatee.

Manatees are on the move looking for warmer bodies of water in the fall, seeking out more comfortable places to stay during the chillier winter months. During their migration period, they have been known to hide in bays, rivers and other pockets of water. Because of this, it’s important for everyone on boats and personal watercraft to slow their speed and be mindful of manatees.

Swimming ManateeHitting a manatee at a high speed could not only harm these gentle, loving creatures, but also cause significant damage to your vessel. Since these animals are hard to spot, we recommend using polarized sunglasses when on the water to help see beneath the surface. Manatees also create a circular pattern on the water above them –sometimes called a “footprint,” as Fort Myers Florida Weekly reports.

The drive toward awareness has helped boaters and watercraft riders keep manatee fatalities to a minimum. More than 6,000 of these animals were spotted in an aerial survey conducted earlier this year, according to Florida Weekly. Unfortunately, there have been 91 boating accidents that resulted in manatee fatalities as of Nov. 9, reports the paper.

Florida has several seasonal manatee protection zones that into effect starting Nov. 15. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission dedicates more than $2 million a year to manatee conservation efforts. The money is used for education programs, community outreach, manatee rescue and partnerships with local organizations. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission even offers a special section on its website where users can learn about manatees and find areas where they can view manatees.

At Woody’s Watersports, we offer a wide variety of personal watercraft rentals that give riders a chance to explore the waves and even see manatees up close in some instances. Our personal watercrafts offer guests a more personalized experience than an average boat rental, and allow riders to choose how they want their adventure to go.

Are you interested in having a unique and exhilarating experience aboard a Jet Ski? Reserve a personal watercraft with us today! Learn more about booking a rental today by calling Woody’s Watersports at 727-391-0200!