Springs Outing: ONF Springs Fish Study
Photo Copyright Sami Kattan. All Rights Reserved.

Springs Outing: ONF Springs Fish Study

Dr. Steve Walsh, a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, led 22 intrepid adventurers to the Ocala National Forest to observe fish up-close.  The Springs Outing began with everyone meeting at Salt Springs Recreation Area, where Dr. Walsh provided a brief introduction to fish identification for species typically seen in the north Florida springs.  Despite overcast skies on a chilly fall day, most everyone donned masks and snorkels and jumped into the 72-degree water to view…

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Springs Outing – Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Sweetwater Wetlands provides an interesting combination of both engineering innovations and wildlife benefits.  Bob Knight began the outing by discussing the design aspects of the project.  His initial remarks included comments on the challenges, the cost, the effectiveness, and the benefits of the design. The challenges included the 20-30 years it took to convince the City fathers that the project was worthy of the $25 million cost.  The project was given a boost when a $45 million…

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Springs Outing – Seminole State Forest

On this hike, the Florida Springs Institute combined with St. Johns Riverkeeper for a day hike through Seminole State Forest.  Led by Jane Durocher of Riverkeeper, Heather Obara of FSI, and Ranger Ralph Risch we hopped from a conversation with a scrub jay to three small unknown (to most of us) springs. The first stop was a mile or so along the appropriately named Sand Road, where Ralph called a nesting pair of scrub jays to welcome us…

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Springs Outing – Holton Creek Tract Hike

Written by FSI Board Member, Dave Wilson Despite easy access near Live Oak, Holton Creek is a virtually unknown spot.  Outing leader and biologist, Tom Morris, chose this venue as a natural progression from last month’s exploration of the sink at the Alapaha Dead River!  The connection between the Dead River Sink and the rise at Holton Creek was established last year by the Florida Geological Survey when they dumped 100 pounds of fluorescein dye into the…

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Springs Outing – A Tour of the Best Karst Features in the Ellaville Area

Despite chilly breezes and overcast skies, Tom Morris led 29 outings enthusiasts through the karst region surrounding Suwannee River State Park. To start the trip, Tom used samples to explain the differences between Ocala limestone, Suwannee limestone, and chert. Limestone is calcium carbonate or CaCO3; the Ocala Limestone is soft and crumbles in your hand; the Suwannee Limestone is hard; while chert is silica dioxide with formula SIO2.   He also brought along a fossilized mastodon rib bone and…

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