St. Johns RIVERKEEPER (SJRK) was featured along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and our bass angler partners in the July 2024 issue of Florida Sportsman.

The article features FWC’s effort to build temporary enclosures in the St. Johns River to protect submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) from grazing pressure. Big shout out to FWC’s Dan Kolterman, bass angler Tim Mann, and St. Johns River residents Ray Bunton and David Girardin for showing us how it is done! Grasses are currently thriving within existing enclosures, and through this joint project we hope to help reestablish healthy SAV throughout the lower St. Johns River. Read the full article online here.

SJRK is expanding this effort to install more protective enclosures along our SAVe our River’s Grasses Expedition route from Lake George to Doctors Lake.


Read the Full Article Here


“As [Lisa] Rinaman, [the St. Johns Riverkeeper] put it, ‘if you don’t have grass, you don’t have bass.’ Eelgrass serves as a bass nursery and concentrates fish in small areas, allowing anglers to work the grass beds with lures during spawning. Without those meadows, bass are now congregating around structures such as docks, debris, ledges, and lily pads.”

“’When you’re out building a fence together, you really get to know people and understand our individual connections to the river, but also our common interest in making sure the St. Johns River is as healthy as it can be,’ Rinaman says.”

“The Dancy Point fence proved enclosures could work in the St. Johns River and served as a model for the others FWC, St. Johns Riverkeeper, and volunteers erected in the lower St. Johns this year. Rinaman’s team collects data on the grass, salinity, temperature, and other factors at the sites to better understand stressors that may limit eelgrass growth. More enclosures could be on the horizon. The Riverkeeper is co-permitting additional structures on its sites, and Girardin awaits permits to help other interested homeowners construct fencing on their waterfront. Kolterman is working to secure funding to continue FWC’s enclosure efforts.”