Things To Do in Florida's West Coast
Paddling the River & Springs
The spring-fed Chassahowitzka River was named an Outstanding Florida Waterway for its pristine, natural condition. The main river is wide and slow moving, with many spring-fed side streams. The spring runs make this an exceptional paddling destination and one of our favorites. Beautiful scenery, lots of wildlife.
The spring-fed river is generally clear, changing to salt water as it approaches Chassahowitzka Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, about 5.6 miles from the launch. Accessible only by boat or kayak/canoe, the river itself is an easy paddle. The spring runs have some more challenging sections. The river is quite shallow, especially 1-2 miles downstream, and the spring runs generally very shallow. This helps to restrict motorboat traffic - a plus. In kayaks, we found all passable even at low tide. The Spring Loop (about 7 miles) is popular, accessing all the nearby spring areas.
As part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, there is much bird-watching (over 250 species) and wildlife viewing including alligators, manatees, raccoons, otters, deer and more.
Paddlers & Kayakers are required to have an approved PFD available on the vessel and carry a sound making device that can be heard one-quarter mile.
Fishing Chassahowitzka holds many species of fish because there is an abundance of food for them to eat. The natural springs of the Chassahowitzka River feed nutrient rich water to the flats, mangroves and oyster bars. This makes for the ideal habitat for game fish.Chassahowitzka and the Chassahowitzka River backwaters hold a large variety of Florida game fish including Redfish, Trout, Cobia, Snook, Tarpon, Flounder, Snapper, Grouper, Sharks, Spanish Mackerel and Sheepshead. Licenses and permits are available online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com
It is recommended your first few times fishing in this area you go with guide or charter service.
There are few things more fun that scalloping! The shallow grass flats of the Chassahowitzka River is a quiet spot for scallop hunters. Spring-fed, this 5 mile long river is home to pristine saltwater bays and diverse aquatic life.
The 2021 season begins July 1st and runs through September 25th. This does require a Florida license (GoOutdoorsFlorida.com) and proper safety equipment. There are several nearby charters or you can use your own boat. Enjoy!