Mar 27, 2012

How Turner River got its water back?

HP Williams Wayside is more than a boardwalk:

It’s also the source of the Turner River, too.

Turner River gets its water
from HP Williams Wayside Canal

March 2012

The longer story is that the canal (at HP Williams) stole the water from the river first before it was forced to give it back. South of the wayside, across Tamiami Trail, is a pile of rocks, behind which the southern section the old Turner River Canal channel has been refilled with earth back to wetland grade.

That stopped water escaping down the canal and pushed it into the river instead.


Soon thereafter canoeists followed:

There’s a hydrologic sweet spot when paddling is best on the river. Too little water and the river runs dry to the point it won’t float a boat. Too much water and the river raises a boat too high against the ceiling of the mangrove tunnels to the point that the only way to get through is to lie on one's back and "monkey bar" through.  Then there’s the battle of trying to vie for room among many paddlers during peak tourist season and fending off the mosquitoes during the summer and after winter rains.

Can you see how this year's paddle season
was longer than the year before?

This year’s paddle season is close to coming to an end.

Typically, the river dries down, i.e. can’t float a boat, around the start of April. That puts this year more or less in the normal range. Last year, in comparison, the river dried down in February and didn’t rebound until well into July.  Of course, Spring of 2011 was a record deep (and long) drought.

Timely rain extended
the paddle season through March
But we should feel fortunate:

Prior to restoration the river was barely even there.

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