Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wekiva River, Katies Landing, Downstream

Friday, November 23, 2007, I kayaked the Wekiva River from Katies Landing. The same launch I did Sunday the 18th, but I went in a different direction. North, downstream 5 miles to the St. Johns River.

The west, or left bank is the Seminole State Forest. Homes line the east bank for the first 3/4 of a mile. This dosen't prevent wildlife viewing.

The last sign of devolpment is Wekiva River Haven, featuring bait, beer and rental motor boats. I was happy to see all the rental were still at the dock at10:45 am. Past Wekiva Haven, the River enters the Lower Wekiva State Preserve. Lots of wildlife. I've seen deer and one bear. On some days, lots of alligators. Yesterday started out overcast and cool. I wore a windbreaker for the first time since last Feb or March. Saw only two alligators. Here they are.

The one on top is about a foot long, bottom. six

>I saw, including mine, as many kayaks as powerboats, three, for the first hour plus on the River. The usual litany of birds. Ibis were by far the most prevalent species. Roosting in trees. Feeding among the cypress knees, Taking off in a frantic/frenetic burst.

At the four mile mark, Blackwater Creek joins the Wekiva. The additional flow lets larger boats in from the St Johns. Bass and ponton boats mostly. Later, the Little Wekiva joins in. The deeper water allows not just larger boats, but manatees to enter the final mile of the Wekiva. I've seen them about four times. None this trip, water may be a bit cool and the Wekiva manatees have moved on to Blue Spring.

Passing a bass boat, I briefly entered the St. Johns, then turned back. Passing the same bass boat near the mouth, I saw one guy's rod bend sharply. I saw the big mouth of the large mouth breach the surface. I watched the fight, the bass tried to go under the boat, but was reeled in. Nice fish. Eleven pounds. After taking their own pictures, the anglers released it.

The clouds lifted, it was a beautiful mid 70's day. I made a short trip up Blackwater Creek, then back to the Wekiva, continuing upstream, back to Katies. I was no the only person to have Thanksgiving Friday off. I saw a lot of the rental boats from Wekiva Haven. Fishing, families touring the River. To my pleasure, everyone I saw, renters and owners were courteous, slowing down when the saw me. That is not always the case. I made it a point to say thank you.

Here are some lower Wekiva scenics.

It being the day after Thanksgiving,I have to include turkeys. I knew that a flock is often present on the lawns of some of the riverfront homes. And so they were. I paddled up a short canal to get a better look as the troop (what do you call a group of turkey?) made their way across the lawn and into the forest.

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