ECO RIVER TOUR
Come join us on a 2 hour river cruise to get a glimpse back to the Caloosa River that WAS and the Caloosahatchee as we enjoy it today.
We will peek back to a time BEFORE: Releases of tannin colored water from Lake Okeechobee chased the Blue Crab from the river. Before the 1965 construction of the Franklin Lock and Dam. Before the winding river was straighten and the channel cut over 1000’ wide and 25’ deep to create C43, also referred to as the cross Florida Shipping Channel.
Back to the late 1800’s when the Menge Brothers cut the 5 mile long Caloosahatchee Channel from Lake Okeechobee to Lake Hicpochee and Hamilton Disston removed the limestone rapids at the west end of Lake Flirt, at the original headwaters of the Caloosahatchee River. These actions combined to begin draining the mighty Lake Okeechobee and the surrounding wetlands to the Gulf of Mexico
The River at that time resembled a serpent as it twisted its way to the Gulf of Mexico at Punta Rassa. Many of the bends were so tight the steamboats had to use lines (ropes) tied to trees to turn the vessels. One such bend, named Devils Elbow, we traverse today as it is one of the 6 remaining oxbows in the river section between State Route 31 Bastille Bridge and the Franklin Locks.
See the flora that would have been present at that time all along the river before the development of the waterfront property with modern multi-million dollar homes. Wildlife that is common along the route even today includes: Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Blue Heron, various species of raptors including Osprey, Hawk, and Bald Eagle. Occasionally we have the opportunity to see some rare, threatened or endangered species of birds such as the Swallow-tailed Kite, Limpkins, Sandhill Cranes. Even a West Indian manatee may be in the area. More common species are sometimes seen such as alligator, tarpon, and of course the mullet that are jumping for joy just to live here in Sunny Southwest Florida!
- What is an Oxbow? An original river bend that is now connected to the new river channel at both ends
- How many Oxbows will we visit? At least 3 of the 6