Places to Canoe/Kayak

        Shell Key Preserve

Pictures and Information


Shell Key Preserve is in Tierra Verde, Fl in Pinellas county.
Map of Shell Key


   Shell Key Preserve is a very long and narrow island a couple miles south of Pass A Grille. It can only be reached by canoe, kayak, or boat. There is a Shell Key shuttle to the island. The island is shaped like the letter C and it protects about 9 smaller islands from gulf winds and waves. The water around these 9 small islands is only about 1-4 feet deep. The preserve is beautiful and the water around the island is usually very clear. It's a great place to canoe or kayak. The water on the bay side of the island is only a few feet deep and really only suitable for canoeing or kayaking.

There is a pass at both ends of the island. The pass at the north end of shell island is deep enough for most boats to get through easily. The pass at the south end of the Key is only about 3 feet deep in some spots. The ocean / gulf side of this island is a scenic stretch of beach that is always littered with shells. Hence the name "Shell Key" Preserve.

   This Key, like almost anywhere else in South FL, has great fishing. On the east side of the island where all the flats are is a great place to catch redfish. The rest of the Key has good fishing for Speckled Trout, Flounder, Spanish Mackerel, Pompano, Sheepshead and many others.

   One of the islands that is protected by shell key is Ponnoma Island. There is an old dilapidated house on Ponnoma Island and the island is privately owned. There is also a dock on the island but it does not look like it has been used in many years. Ponnoma Island is about 1000 feet in diameter. Some of the pictures below are of this island.

Shell Key is managed by Pinellas County Shell Key Barrier Island.

   Another of the islands/keys protected by shell key is Sawyer Key. This island is surrounded by water that is only 4 inches to 3 feet deep depending on the tide.


Sea shells on Shell Key Preserve beach

The next three images are from the ocean / gulf side of the island

These are pictures of the Island from the bay side

This is the shallow pass on the north side of the Island
This is the deeper pass on the south side of the key / island

This is a small crystal clear brackish stream that winds through part of the island

These are pictures of a trail that winds through a large section of the interior part of the island

Sandpipers at the Key

These are pictures of Sawyer Key (one of the islands protected by Shell Key)

These are pictures of Ponnoma Island

This is Summer Resort Key

These are just a few of the very small islands