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Fishes of Silver Springs Florida

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Title:
Fishes of Silver Springs Florida
Creator:
Allen, E. Ross, 1908-1981
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
36 p. : ; illus.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Deep Springs ( local )

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
01739549 ( OCLC )

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Full Text
FISHES
SILVER SPRINGS FLORIDAf
SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


E. ROSS ALLEN





















Introduction

The purpose of this booklet is to help the visitors of Silver
Springs recognize and remember the fish of Silver Springs and to
identify fresh water fish found in other places in the state.
The photographs for this booklet were made by Constance
and Wesely Mueller during the winter of 1945, by special under-
water cameras and deep sea diving suits.


Dedicated to the
visitors of Silver Springs, Florida


Copyright E. Ross Allen, Silver Springs, Florida, 1946




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


Index

Page
Florida Gar ................ ....... 9
Eastern Longnose G ar .................................. 10
M udfish ...... .................................... . 11
Florida Threadfin Shad ................................. . 12
Eastern Lake Chubsucker ................................ . 13
Southeastern Golden Shiner ................... .... . . . . 14
F lorida Shiner ............................ ........... . 15
Southern Channel Catfish ................................ . 16
W hite Catfish .......... .. ........................ 18
Southeastern Yellow Bullhead ....... .... ... .......... 18
C hain P ickerel ......................................... . 20
N eed lefi sh ................................. ......... . . 22
A m erican E el ............................. ........... . 22
G olden T opm innow .................................... . . . 24
Southeastern Starhead ................................... . 24
O scellated K illifish ................ ..................... . 24
Eastern M osquito Fish ........... . . . . . . . . . 24
Least K illifish . . .. . ........ . ........ . . .... .......... . 24
Sailfin M olly .............................. ........... . 26
W h ite M u llet .................................. . . . . ..... . 26
C raw labottom .... .................................... 26
Largem outh B ass . .. . .. .......... . . . . . . .... 27
W a rm o u th ...... .... ... .... ..... ...... .. .. .. ... . ...... . 2 8
Eastern Stum pknocker .................................. . 28
R edbreasted Sunfish .................................... . 28
Eastern Bluegill or Bream .... ............... ............ 29
Eastern Shellcracker . . .............. ... . .............. . 30
S trip ed M u llet . ...... ...... ... ... ... ... ... ... .. .... .... . 32
Southern Sole ...... ....................... ........... . 32
Gizard Shad ............................... ........ 32
G iant Shrim p . . ........ ....... ....... 34
Speckled P erch ........................................ 35





FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA



Ilustrations

Page
Black Bass as seen from photo-sub . . . . . . . . ...... Front Cover
F lo rid a G a r . . . . ... .... .. : .... .... . . . . ....... .. 9
Bowfin or M udfish . .. . .. ..... . . . . 11
Eastern Lake Chubsucker ................. ....... . . . 13
Southeastern G olden Shiner ............................ . 14
F lo rid a S h in er . .. . . ....... .. ... ... ...... .. .. .... . .. . 15
Channel Catfish ... . . ... .. ...... . . .... . 16
C channel C atfish . .. . . ............................. . 17
W hite C atfish . . .. ................. . 19
C hain P ick erel . ......................... . ........ . 2 1
Florida Snapping T urtle . . . ......................... . . 23
F lorida T errapin ... . .. ... ...................... . 23
G lass Bottom Boat . ..................... . . 25
Photo Submarine Boat . . ... ............... ........ .25
Largem outh B ass . .. ................... . . 27
E astern B luegill ... . ... ............................... 29
S h ellcra ck er . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
M u llet . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1
D ivers Feeding Tam e Fish ............................... 33
Fish Eye View Glass Bottom Boat .. . . . . . . . .. ...... 35
Speckled P erch ......................................... 35
A llig ato r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . 36
Southeastern Golden Shiner ....................... . . ...... . 36




DISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


Acknowledgementy

This booklet would not have been possible
had it not been ior Dr. Carl Hubbs, Ichthyolo',-
ist, with whom I collaborated on a scientific paper
for the Florida Academy of Science. Vol. 6, Nos.
3 and 4, 1943. I am also grateful for help I
received from Holbrook Scott, Mrs. C. T. Roess,
Dr. Coleman Coin, Miss Everna Phillips, Dr.
S. Hilldebrand, Dr. Archie Carr, Al Chable, and
the boat guides of Silver Springs, Florida.
























































































4
\I




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


Fishes of Silver Sppincj

Florida


Silver Springs, located five miles east-northeast of Ocala,
Marion County, comprise one of the largest and most widely
known of the crystal-clear outflows from the limestone cap of
northern Flordia. The chief flow emerges at a constant tempera-
ture of about 72�F. from a funnel-shaped depression more than
35 feet deep. The combined discharge is estimated at 22 million
gallons per hour. The outflow, Silver Springs Run, meanders 7
miles before entering the Ocklawaha River, which is a tributary
of the St. Johns River.

The chemical analysis of the water in parts per million is:
silica 32, iron .06, calcium 70, magnesium 11, sodium and potas-
sium 4.4, radicals-bicarbonate 205, sulphate 43, chloride 7.6,
nitrate .86; total hardness as calcium carbonate 220.

The main spring forms a pond with a surface of about 2
acres. The current in the pond varies from none to moderate; it
is about 4 miles per hour at the spring source. On account of the
extreme clarity of the water, rank growths of aquatic vegetation
with a coarse-leaved Sagittaria predominating, beautify not only
the shallows, but also the sides of the deep spring pits. The bottom
is of marl and somewhat cavernous limestone. The shores are low
and in part marshy.

The fish of Silver Springs are in good condition, and compar-
atively free of parasites. Silver Springs fish seldom rub against
submerged logs and sticks, as do fish infected with external para-
sites. Excepting Signalosa, no species has been observed to die in
large numbers. Predators.are also few. Fish-eating birds are not
very common and only occasionally feed around the springs prop-
er. Raccoons, though plentiful downstream, do not feed in the
springs. Softshell turtles occur but are not very common, and they
have been seen to feed very little upon fish (in fact these turtles
feed every day on the bread that is used to attract the sunfish).




8 FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA

Every visitor whether a fisherman or not, will enjoy seeing
the fish in Silver Springs. It is a virtual fish "Garden of Eden."
Nature's own balanced aquarium where fish live in safety and
never see tempting bait dangling on a hook. You can see fish here
just like Ponce DeLeon and the Indian did hundreds of years
ago. There are adult fish that are so minute that they are seldom
seen; the smallest being 3/8 of an inch in length. There are giant
catfish, three feet long, that attain a weight of forty-five pounds.
There are prehistoric looking gar fish, five feet in length. All to-
gether there are thirty-six varieties of fish, also crayfish, fairy
shrimp, and giant shrimp that attain a length of twenty-two
inches. There are always a dozen or more alligators living in the
springs, and nine varieties of turtles.




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA 9


FLORIDA GAR
Lepisosteus platyrhincus DeKay
Plate No. 3

The garfish are closely related to prehistoric fish. They have
sinister looking heads with long alligator-like bills full of needle
sharp teeth. The bodies are long, streamlined with very strong
hide covered with armour of primitive ganoid scales. (Scales are
used commercially for jewelry). This fish is beautifully marked
but well camouflaged to hide in grasses while waiting for prey.
The boat guide will probably point out the Florida Gar in
side pools usually near the grassy shore line. The Florida gar
feeds on small aquatic life such as crayfish, shrimp, and smaller
fish. They mostly feed at night. Unlike most other fish they can
live out of water for three to six hours. Can thrive in any fresh
water, even in drying up mud holes, and have few enemies because
of their tough hide. The Seminole Indians cook the whole fish in
the hide, and eat from right out of the shell. They grow to about
thirty inches in length. The Florida garfish lay great quantities
of eggs. A 24 inch female contained 10,705 eggs. A specimen 34
inches long weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces and contained 15,540 eggs.
They grow to 36 inches in length.




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


LONGNOSE GAR
Lepisoteus osseus osseus (Linnaeus)

The local form of the Longnose Gar attains a larger size than
does the Florida gar; the largest ones are about five feet long and
robust in build. Greyish color with black spots.

Longnose Gars are much less plentiful in Silver Springs
than the Florida Gar. Some, however, may be seen at any time
of the year except on cold days, when they probably go into hid-
ing. They seem to become more abundant in warm weather and
probably migrate upstream in the spring. There are more of these
fish seen from the Jungle Cruise boat than the glass bottom boats.
In the deep water they may be seen during the day swimming
slowly back and forth, occasionally rising to break the surface in a
smooth roll. Others may be observed in shallow water in dark,
shady places, under bushes and logs, resting on the bottom as
though asleep. Once in a while one may be seen with a four or
five inch sunfish in its mouth. They seem to do much of their
feeding nocturnally. They have a habit of lying near the surface
at night, and persons paddling along in a canoe in the dark are
often startled by a sudden splash as the gars rush off. On such
occasions small gars sometimes jump into the boat. This gar fish
also has large multiplying ability. A specimen 50 inches long had
46,803 eggs; one 56 inch specimen weighed 32 pounds and con-
tained 77,156 eggs.




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


BOWFIN
Amia calva Linnaeus

You may occasionally see these dark colored large fish lying
quietly on the bottom or slowly swimming past the boat. They
attain a length of 26 inches, a weight of 11 pounds. Rounded
stout bodies dark brown or black in color resembling a cat fish in
appearance. Occasionally they swim in a vertical position to the
surface, tadpole fashion, to gulp air and return to the bottom.
At times the bowfin or mudfish, as it is sometimes called, will be
seen nosing along the bottom in search of food. It is commonly
thought that this fish is a destructive predator. Southern people
know how to prepare and cook the mudfish and consider it good
food.






FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


FLORIDA THREADFIN SHAD
Signalosa petenensis vanhyningi Weed

This small relative of the gizzard shad is not regularly present
in the pool of Silver Springs but occasionally invades these waters
in immense droves. The invaders probably come from St. Johns
River. So far as known, schools first arrived in 1933 but these
soon disappeared. The next occurence was in 1941, when count-
less numbers suddenly appeared, and many died, to produce a
smelly nuisance. They deserted the springs on March 15 but re-
turned about a week later. During the later half of March the
schools were too dense to be seen through. Swimmers complained
the fish got into their bathing suits. On April 5, these shad were
somewhat scarcer but still excessively abundant. Later they dis-
appeared. Their return will be eagerly watched for.

These fish swam in dense, compact schools, acting in sur-
prising unison. Whole areas flashed aside on attack by a predator,
but the gap thus made was soon filled in. Others jumped to escape
the enemy.

The individuals of a school maintained remarkably parallel
courses as they rushed about ceaselessly, day and night. Most
of the schooling was near the surface, or in large sheets extending
from near the surface to the mid-depths of the deepest spring
hole. Some schools penetrated into the deeper waters.

It is something of a mystery how so many thousands of
plankton feeding fish found subsistence in the crystal water of
Silver Springs. They did not appear to be feeding.

. The Threadfin Shad observed on April 5 varied much in size
but all were small fish. They were very silvery, but one could
see the dark streaks, of which two stood out sharply in lateral
view. The shoulder spot was not very conspicuous.




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA 13


CHUBSUCKER

Erimyzon sucetta sucetta (Lac6p6de)
This fish resembles the northern carp in size and build and
has a pointed narrow head. You will most likely see them travel-
ing in schools or in pairs over the sagittaria (eel grass) beds.

The Chubsuckers of Silver Springs are dark olive green and
beautiful irridescent bronze on the back and sides.

One adult collected measured 151/4 inches long, 41/2 inches
wide, and weighed 2 pounds.

The mouth of a Chubsucker is made for sucking up food off
the bottom and is turned down for that purpose. The mouth of
the 2 pounder measured /2 inch from top to bottom and %/8 inch
across.






FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


SOUTHEASTERN GOLDEN SHINER
Notemigonus crysoleucas boscii (Valenciennes)

Silver Springs is inhabited by a type of Golden Shiner so
unlike the ordinary representatives of the species as to be scarcely
recognizable on first sight because they are so large. The Golden
shiner here grow to a length of twelve inches. Even more sur-
prising is the robustness of the body. The very deep scales are
set off with unexpected conspicuousness by dark basal bars. The
Golden Shiners usually swim past the boat in schools of about ten
to fifteen.






FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


FLORIDA SHINER
Notropis, species


The Florida Shiner is a small dark-striped minnow about 11/2
inches long. They are very plentiful near the edge of the Springs,
schooling in large numbers and are always active, sometimes
swimming very deep or swimming so close to the surface as to
cause a ripple. When large fish strike at them they make series
of leaps out of water to escape.




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


SOUTHERN CHANNEL CATFISH
Ictalurus lacustris punctatus (Rafinesque)
The channel catfish attracts more attention, in Silver Springs,
than any other fish. They are numerous, particularly around the
deep spring holes where they can be seen maintaining a position
by swimming against the current.
Large blue black fish that attain a weight of forty to fifty
pounds, they have broad heads and thick cheeks and some "old
timers" have white spots on top of their heads.
During the day they stay in the entrances to the caves but
at night they roam around in shallow water, feeding on small
fish, crayfish and other food.
More of these large catfish are seen in a deep spring hole
which is called "Catfish Hotel, with running water in every
room."
Channel catfish are a delicious food fish and are caught
commercially by the thousands in Lake George which is con-
nected to the Ocklawaha river.


















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'V^e^ " = -* - - * ^?;* *

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CANNL. . C ATFI

CHANNEL CATFISH





FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


WHITE CATFISH
Ictalurus Catus (Linnaeus)

There are three kinds of catfish found in the Springs, and if
you are a close observer you may recognize the different kinds
when you see them through the glass bottom boat. The Channel
Cat is the largest, the White Catfish next in size and the Mudcat
the smallest.

The white catfish is not white in Silver Springs but is dark
blue in color. You will see hundreds of them in the Catfish Hotel,
and you may see them in other spots hiding under logs or laying
quietly on the bottom. On numerous occasions I have swam down
to these sleeping fish and stroked them on the back before they
were aware of my presence.











SOUTHEASTERN YELLOW BULLHEAD
Ameiurus natalis erebennus Jordan

Also called Mudcat. The mud catfish is yellow brown in color
and seldom over twelve inches in length. They are so secretive
you probably will not see more than one or two.




A


CHANNEL CATFISH


WHITE CATFISH





20 FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA

CHAIN PICKEREL or JACK PIKE
Esox Niger LeSueur

This is one of the most attractive fish found in Silver Springs,
but rather rare. You will probably see only two or three. They
resemble the northern pike and are one of the choicest game fish.
They attain a length of two feet and are brightly colored green
with very distinct mottled markings. You will most likely see
the jack pikes lying stiff and motionless near the surface in shallow
weedy water. This fish is usually quiescent but -swims very fast in
short darts when it does move. They are often caught with live
bait or plug throughout Florida, and are considered very good
eating.

















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CHAIN PICKEREL




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


NEEDLEFISH
Strongylura marina (Walbaum)

The Needle Fish are like Gar fish in appearance but very
thin and long, light grey in color and usually travel in schools
of three or four, near the surface. They migrate from the Atlantic
Ocean.
You may not see them from glass bottom boats but most like-
ly you will see them from the Jungle Cruise boat.




AMERICAN EEL
Anguilla bostoniensis (LeSueur)

The eels are not often seen because of secretive nocturnal
habits, but you may occasionally see them from the boat where
they feed close to the bottom in deep water. They grow to a
length of 30 inches.




SMALL FISH

Around the shoreline in the shallow water of Silver Springs,
live many small fish. Some venture out into deep water and you
may see some from the boat, but at signs of danger they swim for
cover in shallow water grasses. Many of these fish are classed as
semi-tropical and are very popular for home aquariums.





FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


FLORIDA SNAPPING TURTLE


TERRAPIN


FLORIDA




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


GOLDEN TOPMINNOW
Fundulus chrysotus Gunther

This beautiful minnow prefers to live in ponds and streams
away from the springs. They are golden in color with black spots.
About 11/2 inches in length.



SOUTHEASTERN STARHEAD
Fundu'us dispar lineolatus (Agr.ssiz)

This minnov. gets the name from a starlike marking on top
of the head. About I1/ inches in length.



EASTERN MOSQUITO FISH
Gambusia affinis holbrookii (Girard)

This little fish, effective in mosquito control, is rather common
along the weedy shores of Silver Springs, but it is less abundant
than it was formerly. Blackspotted individuals occasionally occur
and are the most sought after for aquariums. The young are born
alive.



OCELLATED KILLIFISH
Leptolucania ommata (Jordan)

This minute fish has eyelike spots, lives in marginal vegeta-
tion, and in recent years has been very scarce, probably due to
low water making them easy prey for larger fish.



LEAST KILLIFISH

Heterandria formosa Agassiz
This tiny live-bearer, once regarded as the smallest of all
vertebrates, is well represented in Silver Springs and lives in
shallow water in the thickest vegetation.
























PHOTO SUBMARINE


FISH-EYE VIEW OF THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


SAILFIN MOLLY
Mollienisia latipinna LeSueur

The Sailfin is Silver Springs' most attractive small fish and is
very common around the shore and shallow water in and all
around Silver Springs. They are beautiful, having a row of black
dots on grey and silver body. The males are the most beautiful,
having a large dorsal sail like fin which they can raise and lower
at will. The edges of the fin are irridescent blue and fairly sparkle
in the sunlight. When the males are courting the females they
exhibit a tremendous amount of energy, much like the pea-
cock strutting around and around, raising their sail like fin and
stiffening out the pectoral and ventral fins, making short rushes
here and there with sudden stops and occasionally flashing their
side against the female. You do not see these fish from the boat
but watch for them along the shoreline.




WHITE MULLET
Mugil curema Valenciennes

White mullet are rare in Silver Springs but once in a while
a few are seen. Two have been collected.




CRAWLABOTTOM
Hadropterus nigrofasciatus Agassiz

This small fish is also known as the Darter. They are slender
trout-like in shape with mottled black and greenish colors,
swim very fast in short dashes here and there close to the bottom
and are very hard to see, but you may see them laying against
the top of rocks and ledges. They seem to like the swift current
and constantly swim against it, just enough to hold their position.





FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


LARGEMOUTH BASS
Huro salmoides (Lac6p6de)

The Largemouth Bass is Florida's most popular game fish.
They attain a weight of 16 lbs. and there are some records even
larger. Silver Springs bass are beautiful with intense markings.
You will see bass of all sizes swimming in deep or shallow
water acting like the kings that they are. You will notice that
they swim among other fish peaceably even though they are
carniverous, but when they are hungry they suddenly strike at
smaller fish.
Once in a while you may see a bass swimming around with a
bream caught in his mouth too large to swallow. If you see bass
striking at seemingly invisible objects it is fairy shrimp that live
in grass and are so transparent that they are very difficult to see,
even at close range.
If you happen to see a black bass yawn you'll see the reason
for the name "Largemouth"-a six pound bass can hold a grape-
fruit in its mouth.




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, 1LIORIDA


WARMOUTH
Chaenobryttus coronarius (Bartram)

They are also called Warmouth Bars, Sun Trout, Goggle Eye.
They are very beautiful but are not common here and they have
a habit of hiding under logs and stumps in the darkest places they
can find under vegetation, therefore, seldom are seen from the
glass bottom boats. They feed principally at night on fish and
insects and resemble the sunfish but can easily be distinguished
from Bluegills by the large mouth and dark color. They usually
weigh less than one pound but some have been found weighing
two pounds.



REDBREASTED SUNFISH
Lepomis auritus (Linnaeus)

The red breasted sunfish are also called long eared sunfish, red
perch, yellow breasted sunfish and Robin.
This is a beautiful fish similar to the common Bluegill in size
and shape, easily recognized by the pale red breast and long ear
flap which is narrow and black. This sunfish is not common in the
Springs but some can be seen in deep springs where they feed
on small fishes, insects and crustaceans. The maximum length is
eight inches, weight, one pound.



STUMPKNOCKER
Lepomis punctatus punctatus (Cuvier)

Also called Spotted Sunfish and Spotted Bream.
The eastern stumpknocker is characterized by the numerous
small blackish spots on its light colored sides. In the water, how-
ever, these spots are less conspicuous and diagnostic than are the
bright silvery, creamy, or rosy margins along the soft dorsal and
caudal hns. Most of the stumpknockers stay during the day in
only moderate depths, swimming leisurely over the weeds near
the bottom. As the photo sub slows down, the stumpknockers
swim against the glass windows, as though curious. At night they
coma inshore, where they feed on small fish and insects. In the
spring they also come inshore to spawn in slight excavations near
the edge of the pool. Most of their nests are located in groups
on hard bottom, of white sand or sna'l shells. The guarding
parents are faithful, deserting their nests only when considerably
disturbed. The maximum length is about seven inches.





FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


EASTERN BLUEGILL OR BREAM
Lepomis macrochirus purpurescens Cope

Also called blue sunisli. recdbreasted sunfish, blue bream,
coppcrno:ed bream and dallordce.
Next to the catfish, the Eastern Blucgill is the most common
and conspicuous fish in the Springs. You will become very well
acquainted with this fish as you will see them everywhere and
feed them by hand. They are so tame that the boat guides can
catch them by hand. You will enjoy watching them play football
with a breadball, and will be amazed at their speed and grace-
fulness.
They are beautifully marked with vertical black bars on
greenish yellow body, bright red breast, black ear flap. The tail
fin is fringed with white. The older adults are of a darker pur-
plish color. Average size about eight inches-but some grow to
twelve inches in length and weigh a pound and a half.




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


SHELLCRACKER
Lepomis microloplus microlophus (Gfinther)

The shellcracker, also called red eared sunfish because of its
red "ear-spot," is a common species in Silver Springs, and stays
in both deep and shallow water.
This is the largest sunfish in the springs. They get the name
Shellcracker from habit of eating snails. In the spring season you
may see the shellcracker guarding their nests, which are very con-
spicuous bowl-shaped depressions in dense stands of course sagit-
taria. They are faithful guardians of their nests and remain even
when swimmers or boats come close.
They grow fourteen inches in length and probably attain a
weight of two pounds.











































MULLET




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA


STRIPED MULLET
Mugil Cephalus Linnaeus

These attractive fish are very prominent, always swimming
about, forever feeding on algae off the blades of underwater
grasses. They start at one end of the blade of grass, sucking up
food as they slowly swim up toward the end. The mullet will
gather up a mouthful of mud and silt and then expel everything
but food in a sudden manner, leaving a small cloud of dirt like a
bomb burst in the sky. The mullet will change color, light and
dark, according to environment.: This is done almost instantly as
they swim from sandy patches to dark places. The mullet is the
highest jumping fish at Silver Springs, often possessed with a
desire to leap high in the air, high as 4 feet and distance of 16 feet
and occasionally one will land in a boat or smack the side. The
mullet has a gizzard like a bird and is .one of the few fish in Silver
Springs that migrate all the.way from the Atlantic Ocean to Silver
Springs. Silver River joins the Ocklawaha and the Ocklawaha joins
the St. Johns River near Welaka and the St. Johns River flows
north and empties in the Atlantic near Jacksonville.




SOUTHERN SOLE
Trinectes maculatus fasciatus (Lac6pede)

The Southern Sole looks like a baby flounder. It is flat round
with both eyes on top side, about size of silver dollar, sandy color,
and underside is conspicuously spotted.
You will have to be sharp eyed and alert to see this fish as
they stay on the bottom and dart very fast from one place to
another. They bury themselves under the silt on the bottom and
are out of sight most of the time. They are occasionally caught
by underwater swimmers scooping them up by hand.




GIZZARD SHAD
Dorosoma cepedianum (LeSueur)

You may not see the Gizzard Shad because they are rare in
Silver Springs. They are recognizable by wide flat silvery body
and dark spot on shoulder. They usually travel in small schools
in the deepest spring holes where they feed on the vegetation like
the mullet. They grow to about 15 inches in length.









l--kil


Constance and Wesley Mueller, Deep-Sea Divers Feeding Tame Fish





34 FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA

GIANT SHRIMP
Macrabrachian Jamaicense

The Giant Shrimp looks like a lobster to the layman, or a
crayfish or anything but a shrimp because it is so large. They grow
to length of 22 inches with feelers much longer, have long claws
with heavy body beautifully marked with green and yellow pat-
tern.
This shrimp is very rare but probably more common in Silver
Springs than anywhere else and you may see one if you are lucky,
irom the glass bottom bo-.t. They usually live in the deep holes
on or underneath the huge rocks. One has been living for years
underneath the sunken boat in the Bridal Chamber. They catch
fish with their long pincers, feeding more at night than in the day.
One of these mounted shrimp may be seen at Ross Allen's
Reptile Institute.




FISHES OF SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA 35


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PFWI'


Shellcracker


Black Bass


Speckled Perch Bream


SPECKLED PERCH
Pomoxis nigro-maculatus (LeSueur)

This beautiful game fish is not very common in Silver Springs
but you may see a few feeding with Sunfish. They are dark in
color with light spotted speckled appearance. They have slightly
narrower body than Sunfish, large tail fin and large prominent
eyes. This is one of the best local eating fish and is very popular
with Florida fishermen.
























SOUTHEASTERN GOLDEN SHINER


SIX FOOT ALLIGATOR ON THE BOTTOM
IN SILVER SPRINGS






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