Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Oklawaha River to Cannon Springs

 I know what you are thinking. "Cannon Springs?  Dave, why haven't we read about this before?"    I'll tell you why. Ill informed locals who prefer a dammed "lake" to  free flowing, spring fed river.  In one of the great boondoggles in history, a plan was hatched to cut a canal across north central Florida.  The Cross Florida Barge Canal would have forever altered the Oklawaha, Silver, and Withlacochee Rivers.  Fortunately, people decided that was wrong, in in 1971, the Canal project was stopped.  But, some dams had already been built.  So called "Lake Oklawaha" aka the Rodman Reservoir, floods the river banks.  The greatest loss is that it floods 20 or so natural springs.
 This is not a spring.  It is the boat ramp at Hogs Landing.   Every 3 years, the dam is opened, water levels recede to their natural level.  This is done to kill the weeds that build up in the unnatural "lake"

 Kayak on water's edge.  Looking back to the car. Think of all the trees that must have been here before the dam.

Paddling up the Oklawaha River



 Hunting for lost treasure. Or, in this case, springs

 If I knew how to get to this point, I could have cut my paddle in half.  But, who wants to do that?
 It is across the River from Paynes Landing.  I had hard time finding information on where to launch the kayak, and exactly where Cannon Springs is.  There was a lengthy discussion among the Spring Hunters, a Facebook group I belong to.  They were planning a trip to Cannon Springs.  I do not do group outings, and try not to ask questions.  Would rather find things myself.  I did get some ideas from reading the group's comments.

 A likely spring

Spring run?

I landed, hunting, for springs.    Soggy ground, so I could not get to close.

Cannon Springs Run. I found it!

 Cannon Spring

 People must dive off the platform on the tree when the River is unnaturally high.
Landed, and entered Cannon Spring.

  Snorkeled down the run to a smaller spring

Named it, "Dave"


 Back to Cannon

 I have never snorkeled near such a wonderful discharge.

 As I write this on March 13, 2016, the gates Rodman Dam have been closed, the Oklawaha is backing up, and this won't be seen for another 3 years.  Blame people who think they have  God given right to run overpowered boats at full throttle and their lackeys in Putnam County.

 Residential canal off the main run to the Oklawaha
Small spring run?

 Entering the Oklawaha River




 Trees killed by the dam high water

 More murdered trees.

 There should be trees here.  Instead, it is the bottom of a reservoir/

I was on the River just after 7. Off, just past 3.
 Road from the Hog Valley ramp.



Luis said...

So you have a spring named after you. Now you have a legend status.

Dave said...

There also is a Cannon tombstone in Cedar Key. I like this better.