Bethesda Park Lake [Fish Management Area], Northwestern Duval County, Florida

Bethesda Fish Management Area

    As part of an on-going project to formally document the presence of Pomacea paludosa (Say, 1829) [Florida Applesnail] in northeast Florida, on May 23, 2007 a visit was made to the approximate 16 surface-acre lake at Bethesda Park, 10790 Key Haven Boulevard, near the intersection of Dunn Avenue and Interstate-295 in the northwestern part of the county. This lake, apparently a barrow pit used during the construction of the nearby interstate and also known as the Bethesda Fish Management Area, is part of what is termed the Jacksonville Urban Pond Project (JUPP) which is a cooperative effort between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Jacksonville Department of Parks and Recreation and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide extensive bank angling opportunities to local citizens.

    Upon arrival at the lakes spacious fishing pier it was obvious that the impoundment housed an impressive population of Pomacea paludosa with both live snails and numerous egg clutches readily apparent. The lake was then circumnavigated which further confirmed the initial observations of a large healthy breeding Pomacea population. Like many other man-made stand-alone lakes in the county with no apparent inflow/outflow or nearby water bodies, it will likely forever remain a mystery as to how the snails got established initially.

[Click on the images below for a higher resolution version.]

Fishing Pier Looking West Towards Interstate-295

Fishing Pier Looking North

Fishing Pier Looking West Towards Interstate-295

Fishing Pier Looking North

Four Pomacea From The Lake

Pomacea Egg Clutches Along The Shoreline

Four Pomacea From The Lake

Pomacea Egg Clutches Along The Shoreline

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