Back in the day—15 Aug 2015—Gilchrist Blue Spring,
before the boardwalk and steps were damaged by a storm and removed.
I was there the next day—phenomenal aggregation—not seen
again by me since there or elsewhere. Spawning?? Feeding?? The
bottom of the run then was carpeted by Hydrilla about 1-2″ high,
having been munched to a Hydrilla-turf carpet by Suwannee Cooters
which arrived that summer in the hundreds to munch. That changed my
mind about Hydrilla removal—maybe better to leave it alone as
turtle pasture. I would like to see the chubs and turtles like that
Gozillions of Redeye Chubs! Photo by diver/photographer Danielle Shmalberg from Orlando, Now Danielle Marsh, actually from Gainesville.
Back in 1994-1998 big schools of chubs were present in the
Val bed right at the kayak launch at Iche St. Park. These minnows
are highly associated with submerged aquatic vegetation, typically
living within the Val forest, but have greatly declined in abundance
now. Loss of habitat I suppose.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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