Chipola River – Let’s Get Outdoors

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The Chipola River is a river in Jackson County, Florida. The river is named after the Chipola Indian tribe who once lived along its banks. The Chipola River is approximately 7 miles long and flows through the towns of Marianna and Altha. The river is popular for fishing, swimming, and canoeing.

There’s a gentle river that flows gently northeast, splashing through woodlands, around trees, and over rolling stones.

It’s the Chipola River, and it’s a great place for kayak fishing.

If you’re new to kayak fishing, the Chipola River is one of Florida’s best-kept secrets. There are tons of fish here that would love to swim off with your bait or lure.

Yeah, this river is teeming with bass populations. Yes, you’ll find crappie, too. Hell, there are even blue catfish lurking about in this water too.

There are several public boat ramps and parks along the river.

How Deep Is the Chipola River?

The Chipola River is a tributary of the Apalachicola River, which stretches up to 18 miles. The river is spectacular and holds a lot of meaning for people surrounding the area. There are dead lakes at the river’s end, blocking Lake Chipola at the dead end.

The river flows a few miles away from the dead lake in the south direction. The lake is surrounded by a green area, adding coolness to the area. It has rare and endangered plants surrounding it with sea turtles and fish within the lake.

It has over 60 springs flowing within the river, making the water utterly clean and its fish healthy to eat. The average depth of Chipola River is 12.3 feet which is not that deep or shallow.

The water is considered nice enough for fishing and even diving to cool off in summers.

In the Chipola River area, you can occasionally go camping, hiking, fishing in the river, or fishing or boating. The lake is a perfect spot to explore and hang out with friends in the summers.

However, you must fish under the supervision and only during the season.

Read More: The Withlacoochee River: Let’s Explore Florida’s Tenth Largest River

Is the Chipola River Clear?

chipola river kayaking

Chipola river is one of the biggest tourist attractions with multiple water sports. People are headed into the woods to search for the essence of spring, and you truly get it in the Chipola River and the area surrounding it.

Chipola River has the clearest blue water except when it travels to the dead lake.

The lake is a fun spot for kayaking, where people paddle and have fun. There is a bar near the lake where you can stop by for lunch or breakfast and quickly cool off in the river.

The area surrounding the Chipotle River provides you with insane scenic beauty with no human structures to disrupt your bond with nature. You can paddle and kayak for up to 52 miles in the river to get united with nature.

You can paddle up to the Maud spring, where you enjoy the best views. However, you must pass a cave-like structure to reach the Maud springs. It is a beautiful limestone moss-like structure which looks phenomenal.

You get to see a lot of fish clusters and underwater wildlife in the spring water.

What Kind of Fish Are in the Chipola River in Florida?

chipola river fish

Chipola River does not only have stunning views and offers exceptional adventures; it is much more than that. Many fishers drop by the river in search of great fish as Chipola River is a home for distinct underwater species.

Chipola River is mainly home to Shoal Bass, which most people across the country love. The cold-fed spring water is a home for many fish and a habitat for sea plants.

Bluegill, redear, sunfish, and redbreast are some of the fish types you can easily find in the fresh spring water.

However, there are some fishing restrictions that people have to follow. In 2019, the population of Shoal Bass was adversely affected due to Hurricane Michael.

Hence, the possession of Shoal Bass is strictly prohibited. The laws may change depending upon the fish population, but they have to be released immediately for now.

Largemouth bass and catfish are also some fish types fishers find in the peak season. There are guided tours as well, which first-timers can join. You can book a small boat with fishing equipment to sharpen your skills.

You should avoid fishing in the river if you don’t have a fishing license.

Read More: 5 Fun Things to Do in Florida During Spring (and Spring Break!)

Is the Chipola River Navigable?

River Chipola is navigable, but it is made depending upon so many spring waters. Up to 63 spring waters flow in the Chipola River, making it a unique water body.

The river is one of the longest, with a flow area of 100 miles going to the Northwest Florida direction.

The river ultimately flows into the Apalachicola River after making way from the dead lakes. Once, the Chipola River flooded, causing the death of multiple plants and trees.

The lake does not only look beautiful; it allows people to engage in multiple water sports.

You can go tubing, kayaking, and swimming in the lake without fearing the wild. The lake has 122 million gallons of fresh spring water.

It is a home for many species, such as owls, kingfishers, and plants that grow at the bank. One look at the view can make you feel utterly refreshed and revived.

lower chipola river

Where Does Chipola River Start?

Chipola River has a stunning view and clear water springs that will undoubtedly take your breath away. The lake flows 100 miles to Northwest Florida and ultimately flows into the Apalachicola River.

From water sports to fishing, the lake offers it all.

The lake begins from the Dead Lake State Area, which may look muddy and not so pleasant. However, as the lake progresses, you will notice immense clarity and stunning views.

People living in the southwest and northwest region will enjoy a stunning view of the river.

There is a Chipola River water management area where government activities happen. The management area runs for 18 miles and connects with the Chipola Cutoff.

People also spot the endangered plants, turtles, and insects in the forest area.

Read More: 8 Amazing Places to Go in Florida

Where Does the Chipola River Begin?

Chipola River is one of the largest water bodies in South Florida, with 92.5 miles of water flowing to its ultimate destination, Lake Apalachicola.

The water starts flowing from the dead lake, now named the Dead Lakes State Recreation Area.

The river can become shallow, especially during summers when the flow is not that high.

Hence, the boaters must pay attention in low depth season to prevent damaging the marine life, especially on limestone shoals.

The area around is not that great for a picnic as it is mostly forest and has bigger trees.

Wrapping Up

The Chipola River is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon kayaking or canoeing.

The water in this river is clear and it is not very deep. As a result, you can wade through shallow areas easily and even explore the river bed.

This small river is home to many species of wildlife including lots of birds. I have seen herons, woodpeckers, hawks, deer, otters, turtles, and even coyotes here.

If you’re ever in Marianna Florida you should stop by this part of the Chipola River for some fun kayaking.

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