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Freshwater Snorkeling in Northern Florida

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#1 jhodge

  • NANFA Guest
  • Mississippi

Posted 27 May 2022 - 11:02 PM

I will be traveling to northern Florida the third week of June. It will be a little bit of a roving trip with one to four nights spent in various places. The most nights will be near Blue Springs State Park, but I will also have nights in Gainesville, St. Augustine, and one additional night that I have not committed somewhere as I work back northwest from BSSP towards Pensacola.


Can anyone offer suggestions on great freshwater snorkeling locations north of Orlando? I also wouldn't mind a saltwater suggestion or two, but mostly interested in freshwater.

#2 swampfish

  • NANFA Member

Posted 16 June 2022 - 11:45 AM

I dip-netted a site in September 2016 that might be appropriate. It is site 95 in the Florida Collecting Guide (29.2133, -81.6547) north of Eustis and east of Ocala at a  bridge over Juniper Creek on State Route 19. It is a slow-moving creek over sand with very clear water. There is a side road with parking and a canoe launch ramp. The west half of the creek has a firm sand bottom, but the middle of the creek is very soft sand. The east half is more vegetated with organic debris. I did not go to the east side because I got scared of the soft sand in the middle and left. There were numerous Pteronotropis colei, and the Guide lists several other species. I have photos I can email.


Phil Nixon


#3 jhodge

  • NANFA Guest
  • Mississippi

Posted 27 June 2022 - 07:08 PM

Thank you, Phil! I did not see your response until after I returned, but unbelievably I actually stopped at this exact spot. I'm still learning IDs, but there were many cichlids and sunfish, as well as schools of Gambusia and some shiner, probably the P. colei.

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