The following Silver River photographs were taken by Ocala Nature photographer John Lingle on a normal Silver River Day.
Finally…Fall! On the Silver River and Ocklawaha River that means the leafs are changing colors, the days are more pleasant, and there is less traffic from other boaters. This is a wonderful time to have the Rivers to yourself. When it comes to viewing the abundant wildlife along the way, that is the key. As we all know, they also like having the Rivers to themselves.
You will always see something new every time you go down these Rivers. Unlike caged animals, these unhampered critters do their own thing. It is a thrill when you get to see that little something that you will only see in their uninhibited life’s on these waterways. Just the other day an alligator was giving her babes a ride on her head as she moved them back to the river’s bank. I have seen these gators thousands of times, but that was a first.
The Rhesus Monkeys are spotted on nearly every trip down the River, and the numerous birds cannot be counted. Herons, Egrets and more will be seen as you travel the Silver and Ocklawaha Rivers. We saw a pair of Ospreys about a week ago, one of our rarer sitings.
There are plentiful Mullet and Blue Shad running. On the Ocklawaha River, the Trophy Largemouth Bass are biting. Check out our freshwater fishing reports to catch the latest action!
We’ve spotted a manatee on two consecutive tours of the Silver River. It is a fairly large adult manatee. On both occassions we have seen it about one mile east of the basin of Silver Springs. It is easy to spot looking down in the water due to it’s light coloring and large size.
In the 28 years I have been on the Silver and Ocklawaha Rivers, this is only the second manatee I’ve ever seen. It probably traveled the Harris Chain of Lakes through the lock at Moss Bluff. However the manatees’ journey ends, we’ve enjoyed the pleasure of seeing it on the River.
The season is changing on the Silver River, fall is giving us some beautiful weather. Day temps are in the 80’s, with the overnights in the 50’s.
On a recent trip down the Silver River, the gators seemed to be scarce. Well, they were just hanging out, down on the bottom, trying to stay warm. An interesting site to see, them resting just under you as you boat over them. Oh…by the way….GO GATORS! The monkeys didn’t seem to care about the change in temps, we spotted several different troops jumping from tree to tree. A Bald Eagle flying over us was an added bonus for the day.
Remember to time your trips to leave a little earlier. The shortening daylight can catch you by suprise.
Take the time to visit the Silver River State Park while you are in the Ocala/Marion County area. Please check with them for fees and operating hours, in paticular for the Museum. A great place to share with your children, with a walking trail down to the River. My mother and I had a deer run past us as we walked the path to the Silver River on our last visit there. So many have told us that they had no knowledge about it, that we want to share this special place with our readers. Just another of the many opportunities in Marion County to enjoy nature.
If you get the chance to visit the Silver or Ocklawaha Rivers, come back to our site and post a comment with us. We will be glad to share with our readers your experiences along the Rivers.
When taking a trip up the Silver River, you never know when you will see something for the first time.
Our guests from Indiana met me at the Ocala Boat Basin around 8:30 a.m., Sunday morning, and we were the first boat down the River.
As usual, when I am trying to site the Rhesus Monkeys, I watch for movement in the trees.
On this paticular occassion, the movement was quite obvious. Monkeys were flying from one side of the River to the other, a distance of 20-30 feet. They were taking off from the taller trees, and landing in the shorter ones on the far bank. This was one of the largest troops of Rhesus Monkeys I have ever seen on the Silver River, 50 or more strong. These natural acrobats really put on a show, with us watching in amazement for over 15 minutes.
My guests were anxious to see some alligators, and the first one we spotted was over 12 feet long. One of the largest gators I have ever seen on the Silver River.
After all the trips I have taken up the Silver River in the last 25 years, it never ceases to amaze me that it is always an adventure.
For more information look at the Silver River Tours section of our web site.