(7.4) WATER DATA - Ocklawaha River, Florida - A Braided Stream

Ocklawaha River, Florida
A "Braided-Stream" with
Auxiliary or Secondary Channels
A.K.A. "Side-Creeks"


An Information, Opinion, & Photos Report
Compiled by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca
With the assistance of Captain Erika Ritter & K. Alwine
Created:  06 February 2015
Last Revised:  30 September 2016

 
NOTE:  Click-on individual photos to enlarge them!


From the inflow of the Silver River downstream to the St. Johns River, the Ocklawaha meanders for 51 river miles through a 1/2 to 1-mile wide forested floodplain -- except where altered by Rodman Reservoir. This luxuriant swamp forest of bald cypress (baldcypress) and mixed hardwoods was originally 36,000 acres in size. Along many of those 51 miles the Ocklawaha has auxiliary and/or secondary channels -- or side-creeks -- making it a braided-stream with many additional miles of flowing rivulets, some canoe-navigable but others totally un-navigable. Between Rodman (Kirkpatrick) Dam and the St. Johns River, for example, the main Ocklawaha River channel is about 12 river miles long but a detailed search of United States Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps reveals that there are about 52 miles total of flowing stream channels here separated by floodplain swamp islands.

The best known of the Ocklawaha River's side-creeks have names such as: Bear Creek, Johnson Creek, Turpentine Creek, Dead River (there are several of them), Old River (there may be a couple of them), Teuton Creek, Cedar Creek, Turkey Creek, Strouds Creek, Stuarts Creek, etc.

Ocklawahaman and a Florida largemouth river-bass from the Ocklawaha's main channel


And some of the side-creeks (or isolated segments of them) are also excellent, QUIET, flowing streams to bass-fish upon. Powerboats and air-boats are unable to horse-power their way into these riverine jewels of the Ocklawaha River -- cypress knees and tree trunks stop the noisy gas-guzzlers at the main channel's edge. Only the man-powered angler who is willing and able to pull-over and/or swamp-stomp their canoe or kayak through the Ocklawaha River's floodplain forest may experience these wild-waters and the native Florida largemouth river-bass that inhabit these jungle streams -- as they have for perhaps thousands of years. The side-creeks of the Ocklawaha River, Florida. They are beautiful natural examples of our Real Florida and By-God river-bass fishing!

"There are lake fishermen, and there are river fishermen, and seldom do the twain agree!" - Original author unknown.



Ocklawahaman and a Florida largemouth river-bass from an Ocklawaha side-creek.
 
Ocklawahaman and a Florida largemouth river-bass from an Ocklawaha side-creek.

Old Iron Bridge -- made from a railroad flatcar -- along a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Old Iron Bridge -- made from a railroad flatcar -- along a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Old Iron Bridge -- made from a railroad flatcar -- along a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.
 
The remains of a boat that never made it out of the jungle.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Ocklawahaman and a Florida snapping turtle shell along a Side-Creek.

Ocklawahaman and a Florida snapping turtle shell along a Side-Creek.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.

Canoeing a Side-Creek of the Ocklawaha River.


Ocklawahaman obtaining drinking water from "Desperado Spring" flowing pipe


Ocklawahaman and a Florida largemouth river-bass


OCKLAWAHA RIVER BASS FISHING IS SPECIAL!

The free and nearly natural middle section of the Ocklawaha River -- which comprises most all of the state designated "Ocklawaha River Aquatic Preserve" -- contains its original strain of Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) plus other fishes that have adapted over the centuries to its swift-flowing lotic ecosystem, which is rarely found anywhere else in peninsular Florida. This is Real-Florida bass fishing for stream-bred, riverine-adapted largemouth bass native to this canopied, cool-water, spring-fed river for perhaps thousands of years.

The aesthetic quality of this Ocklawaha angling experience may be comparable to having the unique opportunity to fish for wild, non-stocked rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in one of their surviving unspoiled, cold-water, Pacific-slope streams -- where rainbow trout have been native for thousands of years -- in Oregon, Washington (state), or Alaska some 3000 miles or more away from north-central Florida.

Or maybe being able to enjoy the rare pleasure of doing a fishing trip for wild, non-stocked smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) on one of their precious few remaining boulder-strewn, cool-water, free-flowing, spring-fed rivers -- where smallmouth bass have been native for a thousand years or so -- in the Ozark or Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, Missouri, or Oklahoma at least 1000 miles from Florida’s Ocklawaha River.


YES, OCKLAWAHA RIVER BASS FISHING IS THAT SPECIAL! 



REFERENCE AS:  Nosca, P. 2016. "Ocklawaha River, Florida: a braided stream" webpage report. "Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca reports" website. Paul Nosca, Eureka, FL.

https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahamanpaulnoscareports/ocklawaha-river-florida---a-braided-stream

 

 

 

Email:  ocklawahaman1@gmail.com

 

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