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Water-Related News

Native wildlife, plants thrive as result of seasonal low water levels at Myakka

Shorebirds, including imperiled species such as black skimmers, benefit from ongoing efforts to restore natural hydrology in the park.

Myakka River State Park is known for its dynamic natural communities. Much of their variation is driven by the park's namesake, the Wild and Scenic Myakka River, which winds through the park from north to south, for nearly 12 miles.

Levels of this rain-fed river and its two floodplain lakes (the Upper Myakka Lake and Lower Myakka Lake) are usually highest in the summer — our rainy season — when water overflows into floodplain marshes and wetlands. And in the fall and winter — our dry season — water levels gradually drop.

At the shallow lake and river edges, slowly decreasing water levels leave in their wake concentrations of fish and other aquatic animals, to the great delight of native and migratory birds. And native plants progressively spring back to life, as water recedes, further sustaining wildlife large and small.

Myakka's ecosystems evolved to thrive and depend on this regular ebb and flow, which includes extended periods of low water, or drawdown.