This camera shows the mid spring run at Blue Spring State Park, where manatees congregate during the winter months when the river temperature in the adjacent St. John’s River drops below the temperature of the spring.
The spring run is a constant 72 degrees year-round making it a vital warm-water sanctuary for manatees in the winter time and it is completely closed-off to people. Any people seen in the footage are researchers with special permits. In addition to manatees, a variety of native fish such as gar, catfish, tarpon, mullet, grass carp, bass, mosquito fish and introduced fish such as tilapia, pacu, and armored catfish can be seen. Occasionally turtles, cormorants, grebes or snakes make an appearance, too.
Manatees who regularly winter at Blue Spring State Park near Orange City, Florida, have been chosen as adoptees for Save the Manatee Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee® program. Blue Spring’s natural spring maintains a year-round temperature of 72 degrees and is an attractive winter refuge for manatees who seek the spring waters when the surrounding river water temperatures become cold. To learn more about the Adopt-A-Manatee ® program, visit savethemanatee.org/adopt