Dry Creek Report
(Dry Creek (upper 5 miles))

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Report By:  jlpaddle    Date: 8/18/2012 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: None     Map & Directions: View

Dry Creek is a tributary of the Chipola River about 7 miles South of Marianna, Florida.

My Report:

Frances Stone lead a trip on Dry Creek on 08-18-2012.There were 9 of us ( 7 adults and 2 teenagers) and we had a great time once we got on the water. Since the path to the water is not public, imagine our surprise when we got to the put in and the owner had harvested some trees and ran them through a chipper. The ground was all turned up and there were tree limbs blocking the old rutted road to the water. We ended up walking to the end of the field, where there was only a small amount of limbs and dirt. The people with wheels had to be helped over some of the rough spots. But we got in the water with no problem. If it rains hard a lot of mud is going into the creek.

Black Spring was murky (Black Spring is a "river rise" and not a clear spring from the Florida Aquifer), so there was nothing to see and we went on out into Spring Lake. As usual it was very shallow and hard to find a path deep enough to paddle. Just before the bulrushes I got out and walked about 10 feet, before it got deep enough to float again. The bulrushes were a pain as usual. I find that once you get into them the best method is to pull on the bulrush and push with your paddle when you can not get a hold on a bulrush. There is always the option to get out and walk, since it is August and the water is less than two feet deep. The only problem with walking is the mixture of mud and snails is hard on your feet if you donít have boots. The area after the bulrushes was very shallow, but the water got deeper just before the next bend in the river. We saw two fishermen in a canoe and they wanted to know how we found the creek.
Once the creek got deeper, we started seeing fish: Big schools of mullet, small brim and bass and even one catfish. I saw two deer on the trip; one ran across the creek and made quite a splash, while the other (further down the creek) just snorted and ran off into the trees. There were a lot of ibis on the creek and half of them seemed to get scared to the point of excreting when they saw us. There was at least one kingfisher that kept flying just ahead of us down the creek.
There were a number of new trees down along the creek, but they were relatively easy to go around. The one big blockage is still a slide over, but the silt build up is making it hard to get a running start or get a straight shot at the big log. The motorboat people have done a lot of chainsaw work along the creek, but they have left this blockage alone. Further down we ran into a tree that had been a limbo log, but had graduated to impassable except for one very limber and determined teenager. We cleared a small area to the left and after I had pulled a few people through the water got deep enough to float by with help. Once, everyone got through I realized there was a weak spot in the approximately 8 inch tree and did some quick cuts with my folding saw. After some pushing and tugging it broke off about a six foot section, so now there is plenty of room.
We ran into two different motorboats and their exhaust fumes made the next hundred yards or so very unpleasant. The flowers out on the trip were the cardinal flower (lobelia cardinalis), mistflower/ageratum (Conoclinium coelestinum), small amounts of pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), I saw one spatter dock flower (Nymphaeaceae).
A good time was had by all.
On the river by 10 AM and off by 1:20 PM Tallahassee time.

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 5
Fees/Costs $: 0

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsFlorida Caverns State Park is North of Marianna and there are other river trips you can make on the Chipola River.

Post Date: 10/17/2012

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