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Center of Lake Jackson empties into the Porter Sink Hole for third time

Lake Jackson00000000.jpg
Posted at 10:49 PM, Dec 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-19 22:54:45-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The center of Lake Jackson has once again drained into the Porter Sink Hole.

"Years ago when I was a kid I fished with my Grandad on this lake and my dad, but this is very impressive," Lavon Register who came out to spectate the Lake Jackson dry down.

Register is describing his first time experiencing the third Lake Jackson dry down event of 2021.

"It's just something you haven't seen for the first time and when you see it words really can't explain it" sai

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Website, the rim of the Porter Sink Hole became exposed on Dec. 1.

"You couldn't imagine that the water would be down this low and then you wonder 'where is it going and how does it get back in here," questioned Register.

Retired Biologist Michael Hill with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has that answer.

"We are currently 10 inches below rainfall for the year, and we're 2.5 inches below rainfall (for November). Being that most of the water leaves the lake through evaporation and the transpiration of the plants, and seeping through the sandy bottom, a lot of the water is already gone," said Hill.

Describing in detail the importance of rainfall for Lake Jackson on their website, the Florida DEP says:

"Generally, lake levels have been trending downward over the last few years due in part to long-term regional drought conditions and lack of heavy, localized precipitation events within the lake’s basin that are needed to sustain lake levels."

When Lake Jackson dry downs happen, the water is rushed down into the Floridan Aquifer, which provides drinking water to the people of Leon County, and will also come resurface in Wakulla Springs.

Hill says that for the Lake Jackson ecosystem, the dry down is helpful for the lake.

"For the edges, it allows for the natural accumulation of mud, that mud gets to dry up and firm up, and so when the lake fills, it's good for the fish and the aquatic plants, there's a lot of aquatic insects available for the young fish to eat whenever the lake is flooded, so it just helps rejuvenate the lake," said Hill.

The Florida DEP says that foot traffic is allowed to the Porter Sink Hole off of Faulk Drive, but advises you to be careful when you're out there.