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digit

Might (finally) be a good year for the Peace River

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digit

The last couple of fossil hunting seasons on the Peace River have been pretty short and limited. In 2017 Hurricane Irma made a mess of Florida and pretty much ran directly over the Peace River causing unbelievable flooding in the area (Canoe Outpost in Arcadia had to rebuild their office after the waters rose to waist-deep). Last season frequent periodic heavy rains kept spiking up the river level anytime it got down near levels that would have permitted decent fossil hunting. Both seasons were very brief but persistent fossil hunters (driven nearly mad from the waiting) did manage to pull some nice fossils from the rivers and creeks despite the limited opportunities.

 

This season Florida seems to have relocated the switch for the secret hurricane repulsion device and we have been spared any storms. The northern Bahamas sadly were not so lucky and that is a continuing mess that will take more than a year to try to recover from. :(

 

I remember a time nearly a decade ago when the vagaries of the weather patterns conspired to put Florida into drought conditions. It was a weird year for weather all around. We had a strong blast of cold air from the north that, instead of being repelled quickly, held on for an extended period. This caused enormous fish kills in Florida Bay where the shallow waters quickly cooled below the tolerance of many species and stuck around long enough to make a severe impact. I worked on a project monitoring coral reef health on the Florida reef tract which usually looks for coral bleaching and mortality during the peak-of-summer water heating events. It was a mild year for bleaching but corals are also susceptible to temps below their liking and an estimated one sixth of all corals in the Florida reef tract died during that two-week period over the winter of 2009-10 (some reefs experienced a 75% reduction in corals). In 2010 the rainy season failed to appear as expected and by autumn we were under water conservation restrictions with limits on the days that we could water to try to resurrect our brown hay into lawns.

 

I can remember being in the Peace River nine years ago to the day on Sunday, 10-10-10 near Arcadia. The river was so low that it was virtually impossible to navigate without getting out and dragging the canoe over large sandbars only a few inches deep. It was an interesting time to see parts of the bottom of the Peace River that were normally hidden by deep dark water. It was early enough in my fossil hunting experience that I likely did not take appropriate advantage of the deeper holes which might have produced some prizes that were normally off limits.

 

http://www.canoeoutpost.com/peace/showpage.asp?page=waterlevel

 

I just checked the Canoe Outpost water level page and the river is at their "normal" datum point. This is when the level of their floating dock aligns with their fixed dock. Fossil hunting usually starts about a foot below this and gets really good about two feet below. If we can avoid any late season hurricanes :fingerscrossed: we might have an early start and (finally) a nice long fossil hunting season in South Florida. I'm assuming that the Florida regulars @jcbshark @Sacha @Shellseeker @Bone Daddy and others are keeping their eyes on the water levels and hoping for a productive season to make up for the last two. Looking forward to seeing an over-abundance of nice finds this season.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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sharkdoctor

Good luck down there! Hopefully all of the water flow from the past several years will have worn some really spectacular fossils out of that stubborn marl. Can't wait to see the trip reports once you get back in the water!

 

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Tidgy's Dad

Good luck all.:d_good_luck:

May the Peace be with you. 

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Bone Daddy

I had planned to return this weekend, but now those plans are on hold after looking at the gauges. If it drops a little by saturday or sunday, I may try again.

 

I recently told a friend who is somewhat new to fossil hunting that half of hunting is just sitting at home on the computer and watching gauges and weather forecasts.

 

Hopefully Ken is right. We are due for a good season. The last two were underwhelming compared to previous years.

 

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dalmayshun

love the Peace be with you quote...beside having all a combined massive knowledge about fossils, the forum certainly has a great number of humorists, and people who can turn a phrase...often comments remind me of Will Rogers wit. Love reading the comments even if I have nothing to post. 

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PODIGGER

Had a good day hunting on the river last Friday and after sitting out Tuesday due to the weather report I am determined to get back out there tomorrow.  While I sat home Tuesday Bone Daddy had a great find that caused me to once gain curse the dreaded weathermen and their erroneous forecasts!  I too have been watching the gauges and see a glimmer of hope that tomorrow will be workable.

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Shellseeker
9 hours ago, digit said:

I can remember being in the Peace River nine years ago to the day on Sunday, 10-10-10 near Arcadia. The river was so low that it was virtually impossible to navigate without getting out and dragging the canoe over large sandbars only a few inches deep.

Hmmm,  yes Here is a photo of the Gardner boat ramp,  on August 12th 2009,  when the water depth is normally 6-10 feet with fast currents... I have not since seen the water levels so low. Note the coffee colored water.

 

PeaceRiverAug12downstreamGardner.thumb.jpg.985948cd1edefd581ef7f4ac0c882894.jpg

 

9 hours ago, digit said:

others are keeping their eyes on the water levels and hoping for a productive season to make up for the last two. Looking forward to seeing an over-abundance of nice finds this season.

 

I must admit that I have been doing that.... There already been some interesting finds despite deeper , faster, water...HemiCrop2a.JPG.d82e5b51aaade1cf8a3eb958a52a8842.JPGHarborDolphinTooth2.JPG.833e516d0738796156e8a74806522b9d.JPGIMG_0754.thumb.JPEG.ee7ad670b22fe90d52cecd25d079c00f.JPEG

 

It might be a very interesting season.  :fingerscrossed:

 

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PODIGGER

 I think this season is off to a good start.  Two nice finds from Friday 10/4/19 Peace River shown below. Partial fossil ivory tusk and partial mastodon tooth.  Not to detract from Bone Daddy's great find of a fossilized skull this week!  The Peace River has been replenished by this years storms and the coming season looks promising!

thumbnail.jpeg

_88I7178.jpeg

_88I7177.jpeg

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Bone Daddy
2 hours ago, Shellseeker said:

Hmmm,  yes Here is a photo of the Gardner boat ramp,  on August 12th 2009,  when the water depth is normally 6-10 feet with fast currents... I have not since seen the water levels so low. Note the coffee colored water.

 

PeaceRiverAug12downstreamGardner.thumb.jpg.985948cd1edefd581ef7f4ac0c882894.jpg

 

 

I must admit that I have been doing that.... There already been some interesting finds despite deeper , faster, water...HemiCrop2a.JPG.d82e5b51aaade1cf8a3eb958a52a8842.JPGHarborDolphinTooth2.JPG.833e516d0738796156e8a74806522b9d.JPGIMG_0754.thumb.JPEG.ee7ad670b22fe90d52cecd25d079c00f.JPEG

 

It might be a very interesting season.  :fingerscrossed:

 

 

Is that last one a digested tooth?

 

Man, that photo of the Gardner ramp is nuts. And I've never seen that opposite bank look like that. I wish I had been hunting then. Did little Charlie Creek run completely dry that year (or close to it)?

 

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Bone Daddy
50 minutes ago, PODIGGER said:

 I think this season is off to a good start.  Two nice finds from Friday 10/4/19 Peace River shown below. Partial fossil ivory tusk and partial mastodon tooth.  Not to detract from Bone Daddy's great find of a fossilized skull this week!  The Peace River has been replenished by this years storms and the coming season looks promising!

thumbnail.jpeg

_88I7178.jpeg

_88I7177.jpeg

 

An intact mastodon tooth is on my bucket list. The one you found there is bigger and better than all of the partials I have found so far. I'd be pretty happy with that find.  :)

 

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Shellseeker
1 hour ago, Bone Daddy said:

Is that last one a digested tooth?

 

Man, that photo of the Gardner ramp is nuts. And I've never seen that opposite bank look like that. I wish I had been hunting then. Did little Charlie Creek run completely dry that year (or close to it)?

 

The last one is a Hyplural,  Tuna I think. They are really rare.

 

The mouth of Charlie Creek was mostly closed with sand.. the "creek" was 7 feet across 3 inches deep.

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