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Econfina Creek 2011

fishThis year is getting nicely Econfinaed (see list), that is Econfina Creek in NW Florida. The FTA Annual Flower Hike was splendid. Kayaking down the creek for my third time, I focus on a spring and fishes. Floating, I watch water. It is September 16, 2011. The day is perfectly warm and clear as is the water, which is low with a steady brisk current. The water flows south toward the Gulf of Mexico, but is intercepted by a reservoir serving as water supply for Panama City.

Here are several springs bubbling up from the Floridan aquifer. I haven't seen one like this before. It shoots out of the bank beside the creek. The video starts with Renee kayaking upstream. Beyond her is the cove containing the spring where a young woman borrows a swim mask, pushing forward to get a look into the spring outflow. When she lets go of the rocks, the water tosses her bumping my kayak and we laugh.

Although much of the land bordering the creek is privately owned or inaccessible, we find a shallow beach to stop for lunch. Looking closer into the water I see fish swimming upstream. Progress is slow and suddenly they let go and swim or drift downstream until just past the shadow of our tree when they turn around and space themselves like a fleet ready to repeat the upstream advance. I had never seen so many fish all flocking together and behaving like this. Later someone told us that there are many similar groups of fish all along the creek. They swim upstream to catch food flowing downstream, right into their mouths. Looking closely at this video frame by frame I found one fish I think might have caught something. His mouth looks like a bubble of air and the top fin is raised up like a fan.

Spring and Fish movie and description

See Flash or YouTube versions of the four-minute movie (Offline direct).

From the NWFWMD Springs Map I guess this is Gainer Spring #2. Here is a description.

watery colors

Watery Colors movie

Versions: Flash, Flash High Resolution , QuickTime MP4 (biggest with best stepping frame-by-frame, but long download -- see Wholeo blog for why choose this one), QT Reference or YouTube.

See Econfina Creek background info on the 2008 page and Williford Spring plunge in 2010.

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