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USA Parks
Florida
Northwest Region
Rocky Bayou State Park Aquatic Preserve
ROCKY BAYOU STATE PARK AQUATIC PRESERVE
ROCKY BAYOU STATE PARK AQUATIC PRESERVE
Rocky Bayou is a fresh to brackish water system located along the northern edge of Choctawhatchee Bay. This preserve was designated as such for the primary purpose of preserving the biological resources in the area and maintaining these resources in an essentially natural condition. The Bayou receives freshwater input from two creeks, Rocky Creek and East Turkey Creek, and several smaller steephead streams. Rocky and East Turkey Creeks are two of only six streams, all within the Choctawhatchee Bay System, that support the endangered Okaloosa darter (Etheostoma okaloosae). This scenic preserve is fringed by forested wetlands, marshes, and low bluffs, with grassbeds occurring below the mean high water line. The preserve provides food and habitat for numerous fish and wildlife, and several designated species are known to occur in the preserve. A bald eagle's nest has been active and produced fledglings for over five years.

The aquatic preserve is a hot spot for recreational activity due to the calm, somewhat freshwater and its proximity to the community of Niceville. The uplands bordering the aquatic preserve consist primarily of residential and public managed areas. Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Recreation Area and Eglin Air Force Base manage almost half of the uplands adjacent to the preserve which help buffer impacts to water quality.
Nature of the Area
Floodplain marsh - Sagittaria, maidencane, pickerelweed, buttonbush, waxmyrtle, sawgrass, bulrush, sedges, spadderdock

Bottomland forest - sweetgum, blackgum, red maple, sweetbay, river birch, black titi, red titi, Atlantic white cedar, red cedar, bald and pond cypress, gallberry, wild azalea, orange azalea, and several pine, oak, and holly species


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USA Parks
Florida
Northwest Region
Rocky Bayou State Park Aquatic Preserve
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