Estero Bay

Lee County, Florida.

Estero Bay ends in Bonita Springs, Florida.

19350668.21 miles (31141891.41 sq kilometers)

About The Estero Bay

About Estero Bay, FL

Bordered on the west by a chain of barrier islands, Estero Bay is an estuary located on the west coast of Florida southeast of Fort Myers Beach. Islands surrounding it include Estero Island, Long Key, Lovers Key, Black Island, Big Hickory Island, and Little Hickory Island. It is not supplied with freshwater by any major river but rather by a number of small rivers and creeks including the Imperial River and Estero River. The bay, which is long and very shallow, is also an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico that covers about 15 square miles. 

When a rise in sea level flooded the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River and the smaller rivers and creeks of the present area, the estuary complex began to form about 5,000 years ago. Estero Bay was formed into a lagoon-type estuary by the lack of significant freshwater input and a weak tidal exchange due to the restricted size of its inlets. In December 1966, the northern half of the bay was designated as Florida’s first aquatic preserve called the Estero Bay Preserve State Park. Its southern half down to the Lee County line was added during the 1983 session of the Florida Legislature. 

Tides play a significant role in the functionality of the plant, crustaceans, mammals, and fish in the area. The preserve is surrounded by state parks and other recreational sites offering access to the bay for boating, kayaking, fishing, and more despite heavy development. The estuary indirectly supports a variety of commercial and sport fisheries by providing a nursery area. 

Estero Bay Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Estero Bay, FL