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Hickory Mound Impoundment remains closed

For immediate release: Sept. 13, 2016
Contact: Karen Parker, 386-754-1294
Hickory Mound Impoundment remains closed; other areas open after storm cleanup

Although the Hickory Mound Impoundment in the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area remains closed, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) crews are working to clear roads and remove public safety hazards throughout the area damaged by Hurricane Hermine.

As of today, the following areas are open on Big Bend WMA:
Hickory Mound Unit: Public access continues to be restricted to County Road 14 via Mossy Hammock Road and Martin Grade, as the portion of Cow Creek Grade owned by Four Rivers Land & Timber Company is still closed for construction. Within the boundaries of the Hickory Mound Unit, all roads west of Cow Creek Grade and including the portion of Cow Creek Grade between the north WMA boundary and Swartz Tram are open, except for the portions of Coker Road south of Swartz Tram.
Spring Creek Unit: Spring Creek Road, Rock Road., and all roads south of Henderson Road are open.
Tide Swamp Unit: All roads south of and including Dallus Creek Road, Tide City Mainline, Turkey Track Tram, Pine Island Road, Indian Island Road, Bridge Road, Horse Island Road, Road 6 and Road 7 are open. Hagen’s Cove will remain closed until necessary repairs can be made.
The Snipe Island Unit.
The Jena Unit.
WMA staff have been removing trees blocking area roads. As additional roads are cleared and deemed safe for public access, the list of roads reopened will be updated. To get the updates, go to MyFWC.com/Viewing and click on “Wildlife Management Areas,” then “Open/Closed Status.”

According to David Nicholson, district biologist in the Perry Field Office, Hickory Mound Impoundment has quite a bit of damage.

“We know this is a popular area, but because of public safety concerns we need to keep the impoundment closed while we make the necessary repairs,” said Nicholson. “It’s important to us that the public be able to access this WMA, and that’s why we are working hard to make the necessary repairs as quickly as possible. However, because of the extent of the damage, these repairs could take a while.”

The 10-foot-plus tidal surge removed up to 1 foot of material from nearly 3 miles of dike. The storm surge also damaged several of the hatches on the water control structures and eroded the sides of the dike.