Rocky Bayou Aquatic Preserve

Water, Fish, Streams. Steephead

The Rocky Bayou Aquatic Preserve was designated in 1970 for the primary purpose of preserving the biological resources in the area and maintaining these resources in an essentially natural condition. 

  • Rocky Bayou is a fresh to brackish water system supporting a large variety of fish and shellfish, including the federally endangered Okaloosa darter.
  • Rocky Bayou receives freshwater input from two creeks - Rocky Creek and Turkey Creek - and several smaller steephead streams.
  • Steepheads are seasonally influenced streams that occur only in locations with specific underground conditions.
  • Several designated species such as osprey and bald eagles are known to nest within the aquatic preserve. Osprey, in particular, are often sighted by campers, kayakers and locals.

Public Access

Residents and visitors have access to a host of water-related activities, including boating, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing and swimming in the bayou. A boat ramp and full camping facilities can be accessed within Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park.

Archaeological Resources

The Rocky Bayou shoreline was a highly active site for gunnery and bombing practice during World War II.

Wildlife Habitat Description

This aquatic preserve provides food and habitat for numerous fish, reptiles, birds and benthic invertebrates. Several designated species are known to occur in the preserve, particularly birds of prey.