Gators go with flow

Alligators are a common site along US41.
Some would even say that they are the stars.

Ask any first-time Florida visitor what might entice them to spend a day away from the beach, top on that wish list would be to head out into the Swamps to see some gators.
“Some big ones.”

Come spring time those visitors are not disappointed.

That’s the time of the year when gators flock to the canals in droves, often in very tight company to one another.

Here’s a short video that shows 3 alligators.

The first has his mouth open into the inflowing current. That’s in Ochopee at the US41 bridge that feeds down into Halfway Creek.

And no, that gator’s not gurgling: He’s letting the current bring his food to him.
Talk about a smart fisherman!

The second gator is 5 miles down Loop Road, at Sweetwater Strand culverts. Not much flow there, just a very slow moving current. But he wasn’t so much interest in the current as he was attracted to our presence.

No, not to eat.

He was just looking for a free handout. Sweetwater Strand is a common spot for viewing gators and other wildlife.

Remember: never feed the alligators.

Its illegal and dangerous – for you and for the next person who comes along next. Most of all, its a form of animal cruelty.
Acclimated gators are the ones most likely to become labeled as nuisance gators …

And you can guess what happens to them.

The third alligator is floating in the tailwater pool of the S12A structure. There’s no flow there for the time being: It’s not scheduled to open until later this Summer in July.

Is that gator waiting for the flow gates to open?
Or maybe he has his gates confused:
The eastern most S12 structure — S12D — is currently open, releasing over 200 cfs into Everglades National Park.

And the gator does seem to have a keen interest in the hydrologic monitoring station a few feet behind him (it’s the one in the right hand side of the picture below).
Maybe gators know more that we give them credit for.
Maybe that gator is a hydrologic expert of sorts. Dare I say a hydrologist.
Or maybe he’s just interested in the gentleman standing on the platform of the hydrologic monitoring station, rod and reel in hand, also looking for fish.
That’s a more likely explanation.
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