American alligators are hard to avoid in Florida. It’s always best to assume that there are alligators in any body of water while visiting the Sunshine State. A lake where you can find a lot of alligators is Lake Monroe. Lake Monroe is a popular and large lake in the Central Florida area. Have you ever wondered how many alligators live in Florida’s Lake Monroe? Keep reading to find out and learn more about this lake.
Where is Lake Monroe?
Lake Monroe is a lake in Seminole County and Volusia County. It’s within Sanford, DeBarry, and Deltona. Lake Monroe is the 8th largest lake in the Orlando metropolitan area. The surface area of this lake is 9,406 acres. This lake is part of the St. Johns River system.
Sanford is a Central Florida city in Seminole County. It sits on the southern shore of Lake Monroe. The surface area of Sanford is about 27.18 square miles. Sanford has many great attractions. While here, you can visit the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens and many local parks.
DeBarry is near Sanford. It’s a 21.79 square mile city in Volusia County on the eastern shore of the St. Johns River near Lake Monroe. Some things to do in DeBarry include the Gemini Springs Park, DeBary Hall, and River City National Park.
The last larger city near Lake Monroe is Deltona. It’s a city in Volusia County. It was established on November 18, 1962 as Deltona Lakes. The surface area of the city is 40.84 square miles. Near Deltona is Blue Spring State Park and Hontoon Island State Park.
Are There Alligators in Lake Monroe?
American alligators are common in Lake Monroe Florida. Kayakers and paddle-boarders frequently come in contact with them or spot them, although attacks are very rare.
How Many Alligators Live in Florida’s Lake Monroe?
Estimating just how many American alligators live in Lake Monroe is an impossible task. American alligators are sneaky, quiet, and well-hidden in the murky waters of the lake. There could be hundreds or thousands! According to an interactive map published by Donovan Myrie, Ph.D., about 138 alligators have been counted in Lake Monroe.
Things to do in and near Lake Monroe
So, what is there to do in and near Lake Monroe? Popular activities on Lake Monroe include bird watching, hiking, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, and boating. Although tempting to want to take a dip in the lake during summer, it’s not recommended as there is a risk of alligator attacks. While swimming isn’t recommended, in 2014, a group of four men, one who was 70 years old, swam almost four miles across the entire lake and made it back in one piece! According to a news report, the older man, Tom Fromholz, has been wanting to swim across the lake for years.
Wildlife in and around Florida’s Lake Monroe
American alligators are just one animal you can find in Lake Monroe. Also within the lake are fish species, bird species, and mammals surrounding the lake. Listed below are a few animals you may encounter while visiting the lake.
The first animal on our list is the sandhill crane, likely the most iconic bird species in Florida. These birds are very common in Central Florida. Sandhill cranes are large cranes native to North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. These large birds are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. They are about 8.9 to 10 pounds, although they can weigh more. Male sandhill cranes are slightly larger than females. The height of a sandhill crane depends on its subspecies. However, they are between 2 feet and 7 inches, to 4 feet and 6 inches.
Also along the lake is the white-tailed deer. In Florida, there are an estimated 700,000 white-tailed deer. These common deer have a wide range. They range a lot in size depending on the subspecies. For example, one of the smallest white-tailed deer subspecies is the Florida Keys white-tailed deer, which weighs 77 to 110 pounds.
You can also find bald eagles along Lake Monroe and in the surrounding area. In Florida, bald eagles are found surrounding many lakes and rivers. There are an estimated 1,500 nesting pairs in the state. Bald eagles are easy to identify by their size and unique appearance. These symbols of freedom have a white head and tail and yellow bill, eyes, legs, and feet. Interestingly, in this bird species, female bald eagles are larger than males. The average length of a bald eagle is 28 to 40 inches. They have a wingspan of up to 8 feet.
Wild turkeys are also common near Lake Monroe. In Florida, there are two subspecies of wild turkey, the eastern wild turkey and the Osceola or Florida wild turkey. They both closely resemble each other, but Florida wild turkeys have narrower white barring on their wing feathers, which gives them a darker look overall.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Javier Cruz Acosta/Shutterstock.com
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