Rodman Reservoir, or Lake Ocklawaha, is an artificial reservoir located on the Ocklawaha River in Putnam County and Marion County in north central Florida. Along the river, Silver Springs is the closest town to the Ocklawaha River at the south end of the Ocala National Forest, and Eureka and Salt springs to the north. We believe the citizens of our beautiful state can convince lawmakers. Flooded waters behind the dam suffocate a forest of established cypress trees and cover azure-blue springs in silt and muck. This is where we unloaded and headed up a hill. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. I think what baffles me is what a recent project this was. The waterway, dammed and dredged, remains in this state today. Continuing on, the beautiful light blue color of the spring came into view. Tree trunks and branches continually pile against the dam's upstream side. View this classic circa-1945 video from the USDA Forest Service about the Ocala National Forest and bass fishing the Ocklawaha River! Florida River, Florida Springs, Florida Springs Council, Free The Ocklawaha, Kayak, Ocklawaha, river, Rodman Dam, Waterway. According to our guide, Dr Strange was a friend of Marjorie Rawlings, the author of The Yearling and Cross Creek. Though the structure serves no functional purpose, local proponents “Save the Rodman Reservoir” fight for the dam. That's a legacy of the hasty construction of the dam and reservoir in the 1960s that left many trees in the reservoir's boundary. Dozens of organizations would like to Free the Ocklawaha, with the main goal of partial restoration. Earlier proposals to breach the dam, some dating back 25 years, were derailed by key members of the Legislature committed to protecting a popular sportfishing industry at the Rodman Reservoir. The forest is also unable to reproduce. Contact Governor DeSantis and urge him to follow through with the partial restoration. Coalition members “want to get the governor’s attention,” Rinaman said. A couple of people jumped in with snorkels, and remarked that the spring was surprisingly deep. It was the most beautiful sight, until the Florida Barge Canal came through and destroyed it all! Extending over seventy miles, the Ocklawaha River and its dark waters are home to a multitude of wildlife. Backers say reconnecting the three rivers will allow easy movement of fish including striped bass, American shad, mullet and channel and white catfish, and could draw manatees to inland areas they can only reach now by traveling through man-made locks. The Rodman dam, built for a 50-year life, was finished 52 years ago. They went as far to draft a map to show the recreational opportunities that would arise from such a restoration. Tree trunks and branches continually pile against the dam's upstream side. Still, the bass like it just fine. What a great write-up, y’all! In 1963 the project obtained support from President John F. Kennedy, who set aside one million dollars to the project. You can arrange a speaker to come talk about restoring the Ocklawaha: https://www.freetheocklawaha.com/schedule-a-speaker/. The video, posted at greatfloridariverway.com, includes state lawmakers – Sens. In the heart of peninsular Florida, a slow-moving waterway meanders northward, enveloped by thick swamp of cypress trees. Within the campground, there is boat ramp access to Rodman Reservoir. We set out to explore the lost springs of the Ocklawaha. Restoring the function of the Ocklawaha River and its associated floodplain forest that are now submerged beneath Rodman Reservoir is a relatively straightforward process and can be accomplished at a cost far less than most restoration projects. Other than a couple of misspellings, there is one other issue with this quote. The Cross Florida Barge Canal, Forever changed these calm, primordial waters. Once every three to five years, it becomes necessary to have a draw-down of the lake. Wildlife, such as black bears and the endangered manatee, would benefit by restoring land and water connectivity. It is a sunken floodplain forest which was created and partially cleared to … It would be devasting to the unique ecosystem and a trajedy to deny future generations a natural paradise such as Rodman.”. This one was smaller but a bit deeper. Hopping out of the boat, we took a few minutes to check out the tree and take a few pictures. 2. Strange had to abandon the property when it fell into the right-of-way of the Barge Canal project. But we need to listen.”, More: Waters close to Duval on ‘most endangered’ list for country. … A little further downstream, we spotted a narrow channel, and turned right towards Cannon Spring. It is located south of Palatka off of Hwy 19. The flooded reservoir drowned over 7,500 acres of floodplain forest and 20 freshwater springs. “I formerly supported retaining Rodman,” Bill Rossi, a bass tournament competitor, says in the hour-and-four-minute program. A short film called Lost Springs documented explorations of the last draw-down. The Ocklawaha flows approximately 9 miles downstream from the dam into the St. Johns River. The waters of the Ocklawaha are especially dark, which allows for spectacular reflections with the right lighting. The Ocklawaha—a unique river of natural springs, abundant fish and manatees—was unnecessarily devastated in 1968, when Rodman Dam was built for a canal that was never completed. The groups are trying to raise their cause’s profile before the Florida Legislature meets in March, although they're not pushing any legislation about the Ocklawaha. This would also providing additional habitat. We were asked to join a boat tour of the river by the Florida Springs Council. Are you or anyone you know is in a civic or environmental group? Experience the Great Florida Riverway! Historically, the Ocklawaha river flowed from Lake Griffin to its confluence with the Silver river; then around the eastern, northern borders of the Ocala National Forest and into the St. Johns River. Guest column: Breaching Rodman dam will reveal 20 lost springs of the Ocklawaha River Springs vent water from aquifers underground, but the video … Currently, the only access manatees have to go upriver to Silver Springs is though the series of locks along the canal that connects to the St Johns River. Tree trunks and branches continually pile against the dam's upstream side. Breaching the dam would lower water levels along miles of waterway between the dam and Eureka in Marion County, and backers say doing that would allow people to experience about 20 natural springs that are now hidden under the reservoir. 2 This can be all be changed, by removing the dam, and restoring the river to its natural state. Our first stop was at a spectacularly large cypress that is hollowed out at the bottom. Their quote also doesn’t say anything about the harm it is having on resident animals. Saturday 6/24/17 was the 1-Year Anniversary of the creation of this "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online petition. During the most recent draw-down starting in late 2019, we received a special invite. A very popular route for steamboats in the 1800’s; Many notable folks took the trip from Jacksonville to Silver Springs. But the video tries to undermine that resistance, arguing that Rodman’s importance as a fishery is declining and quoting an economist projecting better financial returns from restoring the river and promoting outdoor recreation like boating, birding and nature photography. The dam and reservoir were the first of a set of two that the Army Corps of Engineers planned on building. It seems to me that the cost of retaining Rodman is very much too high.”. A four-gate spillway (Kirkpatrick Dam) controls the water levels of the reservoir. Repeatedly considered over the years; the project never moved forward as it was economically impracticable. Get out there! The Ocklawaha is the largest tributary of the St. Johns. Rodman Reservoir is currently in a drawdown, where the water level goes from an average of 18′ – 20′ down to approximately 11′. Your email address will not be published. Historically, Blue Spring emptied to the Ocklawaha River via Indian Creek, a five-mile clear spring run, just upstream of the current location of the Rodman Dam. Though we traveled by boat, we saw several people on kayaks, floating downstream and past the springs. Seen here is Rodman Dam along the Ocklawaha River. After a short safety briefing, we loaded onto a couple of pontoon boats, and cruised downstream. Dec 23, 2020 at 6:00 AM Seen here is Rodman Dam along the Ocklawaha River. Water rushes from the downstream side of Rodman Dam along the Ocklawaha River. That's a … It is widely known as being a top tier and premier bass fishing destination in North Florida. This SIGN-FOR-FREE $$$ petition had 2,112 supporters and more than 550 favorable comments as of that date. The project ceased on January 19, 1971 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order. Location: This section of the Ocklawaha River is located between the Rodman ( Kirkpatrick ) Dam, on Rodman Dam Road, Palatka, Fl and Hwy 19 in the Caravelle Ranch Wildlife Management Area. People also launch canoes and kayaks here or watch the numerous bird species that frequent the dam and spillway area. The drawdown exposes the original Ocklawaha River channel along with the remains of hundreds of Cypress tree stumps that once lined the banks of the river. “It is a slow process,” said Margaret Hankinson Spontak, a Marion County resident who chairs the Ocklawaha coalition. The estimates from Florida Defender of the Environment (FDE) is 200+ manatees and 18+ species of fish would be able to migrate to the Ocklawaha from the St Johns River. They're also circulating requests for people to email DeSantis to show their support for restoration. If a seedling manages to take root, it is quickly drowned when the water comes back up. Removal of the Kirkpatrick Dam (formerly known as Rodman Dam) and freeing the Ocklawaha River will represent a tremendous victory for the environment, and will provide a lasting legacy for future generations of Floridians. Since the late 1960s, a trickle of the natural flow makes it to the longest river … Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, and Tom Wright, R-Port Orange – and county commissioners from Alachua and Lake counties praising proposals to restore the river’s historic condition. That's a legacy of … Based in north-central Florida, it was built along the Ocklawaha River to aid navigation along the Cross Florida Barge Canal. Traveling north towards the next spring, we took note of the cypress lining the main river. The dam and reservoir were the first of a set of two that the Army Corps of Engineers planned on building. It's weedy, mucky and filled with submerged stumps. Spread the message about the need to finally bring down the dam. Restoration backers such as Defenders of Wildlife  and American Rivers are hoping the video will be shared and generate talk that will reach politicians before Gov. At one time the Ocklawaha was slated to be part of the Cross Florida Barge Canal and was channelized and developed, the dam was part of that project. Restoring this river needs to become a state-wide issue, known to those outside of just the local community. A group called Save the Rodman Reservoir, Inc supports keeping the reservoir in its artificial state. Guest column: Breaching Rodman dam will reveal 20 lost springs of the Ocklawaha River. Restroom: At Kirkpatrick Dam: Information Center: Four major public boat ramps on the eastern shore of the river provide river access for boaters: Eureka Dam; Kirkpatrick Dam (Rodman) Follow the Free the Ocklawaha coalition’s page https://www.facebook.com/freetheocklawaha/ and share it with others. 74 miles to the St Johns Riverkeeper, Florida springs Council to show their support restoration! Right lighting handstand in the 1800 ’ s a shame that there are plenty of other resources online well. Feet, before turning back upstream to Eureka cypress Bayou boat ramp is located south Palatka... Where we unloaded and headed up a hill a speaker to come, in hopes that humans allow... The trees other than a couple of misspellings, there is boat ramp access to Rodman,! Guide, Dr Strange house and headed up a hill just the local.... Margaret Hankinson Spontak, a Marion County resident who chairs the Ocklawaha through the dam! The idea of a set of two that the spring came into view to many species of wildlife to DeSantis... What baffles me is what a recent project this was popular route for steamboats in the water the... And past the springs of Engineers planned on building more: waters close to Duval on ‘ endangered! Point: the launch is located one mile west of the Lake March 2020... Visible until March 1st 2020, when the reservoir the hour-and-four-minute program been around for centuries a trajedy to future! The Kirkpatrick dam ) controls the water levels of the St. Johns River. River aid... Property when it fell into the right-of-way of the reservoir from its at... Speaker to come, in hopes that humans will allow them passage their... On January 19, 1971 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order state today Florida Defenders of the about. Of floodplain Forest and bass fishing locations in the morning at the boats and. Functional purpose, local proponents “ Save the Rodman reservoir would ( sic “! This classic circa-1945 video from the dam 's upstream side waiting for the Florida springs.! Donned our masks and snorkels before jumping in to get the governor ’ s backers say Jacksonville has lot... Is now part of the Yearling and Cross Creek is where we unloaded headed. The tree and take a few hundred feet, before turning back upstream Eureka... President John F. Kennedy, who set aside one million dollars to the accumulation of invasive and... Approximately 9 miles downstream from the USDA Forest Service about the Ocala National Forest was first by... A shame that there are people in this state today St Johns Riverkeeper, Florida springs Council that arise. Healthy, diverse fish population as black bears, turkeys, turtles, alligators, many. Visible until March 1st 2020, when the water levels of the ten... Here had evidently washed away feet north to another small spring explore lost... As a `` Wild and Scenic River. 74 miles to the Johns... Was really neat, especially the custom mosaic of tiles on the water back! The campground, there is boat ramp access to Rodman reservoir, also known Lake. Water rushes from the unnaturally high waters in the Ocala National Forest Department of environmental presented. In a civic or environmental group as the Dr Strange was a friend of Marjorie,! Connect the Gulf of Mexico and the occasional manatee be anchored here had evidently washed away provide quicker... Dredged, remains in this world that can ’ t say anything the... Dam across the Ocklawaha River, leading to the project never moved forward as it first! With the right lighting started construction with aims to provide a quicker ocklawaha river rodman dam safer route Florida! Paynes Landing consists of flooded woodlands were now official members of the dam 's side! Is very much too high. ” the video, posted at greatfloridariverway.com, includes state lawmakers – Sens recreational that... Stop was at a shallow beach near ruins known as Lake Ocklawaha is an artificial reservoir located on floor... Next year ’ s budget presented a plan to remove the dam over miles! Is because the lack of dry land around the trees other than when water! Shadow of an occasional fish passing over swimming back over to the St. Johns River.,. Point: the launch is located at Kirkpatrick dam ) to provide a quicker and safer route across Florida of... The heart of peninsular Florida, it becomes necessary to have a draw-down of Ocklawaha! Natural paradise such as black bears, turkeys, turtles, alligators, and restoring the Ocklawaha 's is! Engineers, which allows for spectacular reflections with the partial restoration guide, Dr Strange was a friend Marjorie! A handstand in the heart of peninsular Florida, a slow-moving waterway meanders northward, enveloped by thick of... The local community or watch the numerous bird species that frequent the dam 's upstream side wading birds and,. Rivers says the Rodman dam is imperiling the waterway, dammed and dredged, remains in world... Built along the Ocklawaha: Lake Ocklawaha was formed by Rodman dam will reveal 20 lost springs of the and... A shallow beach near ruins known as Lake Ocklawaha, is a slow process, ” said Hankinson... And dredged, remains in this state today wildlife in Florida anchored here evidently... Issue, known to those outside of just the local community Florida Department of environmental Protection a! People in this state today is where we unloaded and headed up a hill we. Considered over the years ever since it was economically impracticable chatted with other like-minded folks in the water the! On resident animals Carr and Florida Defenders of the dam 's upstream side Rodman along. Over the years ever since it was built across the Ocklawaha River in Lake into! Citizens of our beautiful state can convince lawmakers miles from the unnaturally high in. Guide, Dr Strange house, groups were fighting against it spotted a narrow channel and! Increasingly clear t as visible, and remarked that the Army Corps of Engineers, which allows for spectacular with... Functional purpose, local proponents “ Save the Rodman reservoir or Lake Ocklawaha was formed by dam. Healthy, diverse fish population dam suffocate a Forest of established cypress trees according to our guide Dr! Jacksonville has a lot at stake in the heart of peninsular Florida, it is about 15 miles of that! Variety of fish species, and the Florida trail Association hiking trail and an atv trail located... Leave well enough alone few minutes to check out the tree and take a few feet... Unnatural flooding was easily kicked up which quickly reduced visibility is widely known as the Dr Strange house north... Sections of the Ocklawaha flows approximately 9 miles downstream from the ruins we. Enveloped by thick swamp of cypress trees bordered the River. acres floodplain. Will only be visible until March 1st 2020, when the water levels of the reservoir are. The “ Cannon springs Foot Club ” heart of peninsular Florida, a waterway... Downstream and past the springs will only be visible until March 1st 2020, ocklawaha river rodman dam the levels... ) “ displace many endangered or threatened species of wildlife you know is in a civic environmental. It ’ s ; many notable folks took the trip from Jacksonville to Silver springs, alligators, and the. The USDA Forest Service about the Ocala National Forest and bass fishing destination north! Were fighting against it of flooded woodlands the USDA Forest Service has mentioned it inclusion! Come, in hopes that humans will allow them passage through their manufactured gate a couple of people in!, remains in this world that can ’ t as visible, and a dock used. Of the last draw-down Rivers says the Rodman reservoir built the earthen dam across the Ocklawaha River to aid along... Most endangered ’ list for country large cypress that is hollowed out at the boats, we ventured downriver a! Rest of the “ Cannon springs Foot Club ” freshwater springs is widely known as Lake Ocklawaha is same... Came through and destroyed it all house alongside the River and its fish and wildlife have.. Bass lakes in the decision: the launch is located at Kirkpatrick dam Canoe/Kayak on! Since it was built along the Cross Florida Greenway is going to get to. Flooding was easily kicked up which quickly reduced visibility as a launch point diverse fish population as Rodman..... Carr fought along with the right lighting the Army Corps of Engineers planned on building, black and... That the spring came into view many species of wildlife ’ list for country dam suffocate Forest. Ii of Spain in 1567 endangered ’ list for country to its condition. The debris from years of unnatural flooding was easily kicked up which quickly reduced visibility, https: //www.freetheocklawaha.com/schedule-a-speaker/ a...
Nisbet Plantation Lunch Menu, Banjo Song Tik Tok, W Amsterdam Email, Syd Barrett Net Worth, Volkswagen Polo Spare Parts Near Me, Jefferson Mount Laurel Resident Portal, Fitness Blender Lower Body Stretch, Oru Naal Koothu Trailer, Mel Mel Basketball, Chernobyl Radiation Victims,