NATURE AT IT’S BEST

I had several trips up the Silver River this week, departing from the Ray Wayside Park, just east of Ocala.  The wildlife there is in a word, abundant.

On our trip Tuesday, February 17, we spotted Wood Storks, River Otters, Night Herons, and over 50 Rhesus Monkeys, along with the usual Gators and Fishes.

Yes, Mother Nature is alive and well on the Silver River.

RARE SIGHTING

I ‘ve had several sight-seeing tours on the Silver River over the past few weeks.   We spotted lots of wildlife including Rhesus Monkeys, Gators, and even a pair of Wood Stork.

Also, one of the rarest sightings I have ever seen on the River.  People Fishing!  An oversight in the Florida State Legislature left the Silver River open for fishing through the first week of “09, and the few that got wind of it, including myself, took advantage.

Fishing the Silver River.  Very controversial subject.  I encounter people on both sides of the fence. As far as I am concerned, it’s public lands.

As long as people practice good concervation, there’s no reason these waters can’t be shared by fisherman and sightseer alike.

Remember, let’s all try to get along.

LUCKY DOG

A funny thing happened on the way back to the boat ramp.  I took a couple from Washington State, and their Boxton Terrier “Plumb Bob”, on a tour of the Silver River.  On a typical trip, we idle up river to the head springs at the Silver Springs Attraction, then tour several of the springs and begin our return trip with the trolling motor. This allows our clients to leisurely check out all the sights and sounds of the River at a snails pace.

On this trip, it also gave me a couple of precious seconds to race to the stern of the boat and fish “Plumb Bob” out of the drink.  You heard me,  mans best friend got excited and fell in and could not swim a lick.  Sank like a rock.

Just got lucky, I guess.  Never saw him fall in, just reached down in the bubbles and pulled him out by the hind leg.  Looked like someone pulling a chicken out of a pot.

Ole “Plumb Bob” spent much of the remainder of the trip by my side.  You could tell he appreciated the effort.

NATURAL BEAUTY

On a recent tour of the Silver River, I noticed that most of the obstructions left by Tropical Storm Fay have been cleared.

Although there are still a submerged snag or two, the pristine waters of this natural beauty are clear for navigation.

We spotted a wide variety of wildlife on our trip, including a Cormorant (waterfowl) attempting to swallow a pike (chain pickerel) as large as he was!

Absent were the Rhesus Monkeys, who I am sure had taken to high ground to avoid the standing water near the banks of the River that had intruded on their habitat. These guys like living near the water, but not in it.  I suspect they will be back as soon as the River returns to her banks.

The 3 youngest adults we had along on this tour made a game out of “Who could spot the most Alligators”!  After about the 40th Gator, they changed it to the biggest.  When all 3 kids spotted an 11 foot Gator at the same time, I declared the game a tie!

If you’ve never toured the Silver River, through the Silver River State Park, and even if you have, I would higlly recommend it.  It truly is a Natural Beauty.

The Simple Beauty Of The Silver River
The Simple Beauty Of The Silver River

Silver River Navigable!

The Silver River is now navigable, with a couple of large snags here and there.  We managed to negotiate these obstructions, but I would not recommend it for most powered boats.

The River has cleared up substantially since T.S. Fay, and the flow is quite fast.

The wildlife for the most part have been unaffected, other than a few unhappy monkeys with wet feet.

Expect a few more trees to fall, and snags to develop over the next few weeks until this wet weather concludes, and the River falls back into its banks.

Be extra careful if you decide to take a trip up the Silver River, or better yet, give us a call and leave the boating, and worries up to us!