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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Magnificent Morrison Springs

Published June 5, 2012 Florida Sportsman
One of Northwest Florida’s best-kept secrets is known to more Georgia and Alabama folks than Floridians. And they aren’t talking. It has to do with a jewel of a Panhandle spring, a turquoise pool surrounded by stately cypress trees whose aerial roots stand taller than a man. Below the surface, clear, 68-degree water wells up from a spring cave source over 90 feet deep.

Some Florida springs are choked with hydrilla, a non-native, invasive weed. Up until 1990 that was a problem at Morrison. The state put in an herbicide to try to kill it. The owners raked and bulldozed. Nothing dented it. Then a levee broke on the upper river system bringing down enough muddy water to raise the level of the pool over 28 feet. When the water fell, the hydrilla had failed to get sunlight for so long that it perished. No longer is it a plague. Hopefully, native grasses will soon return. Beneficial vegetation shelters grass shrimp for the local fish population, and helps keep the water clear by filtering out sediments.
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