Pothole Spring, Suwannee River, Dixie County, Florida 2019-11-13

SRWMD checked on Pothole Spring, found it normal, and asks everyone to send in pictures of how they have seen it. This is on the Suwannee River in Dixie County, Florida.

[Looking out to the Suwannee River]
Looking out to the Suwannee River
Photo by Marc Minno, Suwannee River Water Management District on November 13, 2019.

Received November 13, 2019 from Marc Minno, Water Resource Coordinator, Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD):

I visited Pothole Spring today with colleagues to see if there is some problem. The spring is located on the west side of the Suwannee River at the southern end of the Suwannee River Water Management District’s Booker Springs Tract in Dixie County, Florida. Following is a description from Springs of Florida, Florida Geological Survey Bulletin No. 66, 2004 revised edition https://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094032/00001/3x?search=pothole), pages 451-452.

[Figure 57. Pothole Spring (photo by T. Roberts)]
Figure 57. Pothole Spring (photo by T. Roberts), Springs of Florida (FGS : Bulletin 66), Page 452. Picture ca. 2004.

Pothole Spring pool measures 10 ft (3.1 m) wide and 25 ft (7.6 m) long. Depth is approximately 15 ft (4.6 m) The spring water is clear and is light yellow-green. Limestone is exposed within the circular spring vent and is covered with algae. Spring discharge creates a turbulent boil on the water surface above the vent. A brief spring run flows east 20 ft (6.1 m) into the west side of the Suwannee River. The spring run has an exposed sand bottom. The river banks rise steeply to approximately 8 ft (2.4 m) above the spring surface southwest of Pothole Spring.

[Green spring water]
Green spring water
Photo by Marc Minno, Suwannee River Water Management District on November 13, 2019.

That description is similar to what I saw today, except there is no spring run and I did not see a “turbulent boil”. The spring pool is joined directly to the Suwannee River. I added bold font to the phrase “and is covered with algae”. The only vascular plants present today were a few clumps of the exotic weed, Hygrophila polysperma (Indian Swampweed). There were patches of short filamentous algae attached to the bottom sediments in shallow water on the north and south sides of the spring pool, but mostly the bottom was sandy/clayey. I did not see any dead or dying vegetation and the spring looked fine (see attached photos). The spring becomes covered with dark river water at times, which may limit plant growth.

Photo by Marc Minno, Suwannee River Water Management District on November 13, 2019.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Photo by Marc Minno, Suwannee River Water Management District on November 13, 2019.

I thank Marc Minno and SRWMD for checking on Pothole Spring, as I had asked them to do on November 5, after a facebook report by Adopt A Creek got a lot of attention.

I answered Marc Minno:

Thanks, Marc,

Thanks for checking, and it’s good you didn’t see anything unusual.

I have two questions:

1) Can I post your report and pictures?

2) The first thing people will ask is: why is the spring usually covered with algae?

Other springs that often get river water are not covered with algae.

Thanks. -jsq

He answered:

You are welcome to post my comments and my photos (1st Powerpoint slide). However, the 2nd Powerpoint slide includes 2 aerial photos taken from Google Earth. I don’t have their permission to distribute them so please don’t post those, but you can direct people to Google Earth if you wish.

Why is the spring usually covered with algae?

We don’t have much information on Pothole Spring or the algae growing there. I don’t know if the algae become more abundant in summer vs. winter or how the dark river water or disturbance by people affects the algae. Algae are not all bad. Native species are food for certain kinds of animals. Perhaps some of your followers will have historical photos of Pothole Spring that we can compare!

The four pictures above labeled as by Marc Minno are the ones from his “1st Powerpoint slide”.


According to google.com, These are our attribution guidelines for Google Maps and Google Earth.

All uses of Google Maps and Google Earth content must provide attribution to both Google and our data providers. We do not approve of any use of content without proper attribution, in any circumstance. We require attribution when the content is shown. Requests for exceptions will not be answered or granted.

Each of these WWALS Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT) maps has GoogleMyMaps clearly visible bottom center and Google’s own Map Data copyright notice in the bottom left.

[Between Hirsh Landing Ramp and NW 967 Street Ramp]
Between Hirsh Landing Ramp and NW 967 Street Ramp and upstream from Rock Bluff Springs and Bob’s River Place.


[NE 937 Ave.]
NE 937 Ave.

[More than halfway to the Gulf]
More than halfway to the Gulf

Google Earth Pro

Google’s attribution guidelines also say:

Only including “Google” or the Google logo is not proper attribution when there are third-party data providers cited with the imagery. Attribution information will appear automatically on the content if you:

  • embed an interactive map using the HTML provided on Google Maps;
  • use one our Geo APIs to create and embed a custom map in your website or application; or
  • export a high-res image or .mov file from Google Earth Pro on desktop.

The images below I made using Google Earth Pro on desktop’s own image save feature. For unknown reasons, Google Earth Pro did not include imagery sources for most of them. Some of the older ones say “Image USDA Farm Service Agency”. I followed Google’s own attribution guidelines.


The most recent Google Earth Pro map is basically the same imagery as the current Google Map. A few years before that, imagery gets increasingly vague. You can see the Suwannee River sometimes goes farther into the spring and sometimes not, but that’s about it.

Anybody with historical pictures of Pothole Spring, please send them in, to contact@suwanneeriverkeeper.org, Marc.Minno@srwmd.org, or post them as comments on this blog post or facebook, etc. We’ll be more likely to catch them if you send them directly to us.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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