HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — In a reversal of course, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) plans to propose a rule to create a Spring Protection Zone on the Weeki Wachee River.

The protection zone would be from the spring boil in the state park to the Rogers Park Boat ramp in Spring Hill.

What You Need To Know

The move is what Hernando County officials wanted. It could become official at a July 19 hearing.

FWC initially countered the county’s request for a continuous SPZ with a plan that would protect 20 individual point bars on the river instead. At an FWC hearing last month, county officials, along with environmental advocates spoke out against that plan.

Spectrum Bay News 9 is the first news outlet to learn that FWC is now planning to propose a continuous SPZ zone instead.

“At the July 19-20, 2023 Commission Meeting, FWC staff will present a proposed final rule that will create a Spring Protection Zone restricting beaching, mooring, anchoring, and grounding of vessels on the spring run of the Weeki Wachee River extending from the spring boil within Weeki Wachee State Park to the Rogers Park Boat Ramp,” said FWC spokesperson Ashlee Salute.

FWC will be seeking public comment on the proposed SPZ ahead of the July hearing. A summary of the comments received during this period will be presented to FWC commissioners at that meeting. Comments may be submitted to BoatingPublicComments@MyFWC.com and by mail:

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Attn: Boating and Waterways, 1M

620 South Meridian Street

Tallahassee, Florida 32399