Big Pottsburg Creek At A. C. Skinner Parkway, Southeastern Duval County, Florida
As part of an on-going
project to formally document the presence of
Pomacea paludosa (Say, 1829)
Applesnail] in northeast Florida, on 6/4/2006 this reporter conducted a visit to the
far upper portion of Big Pottsburg Creek near A. C. Skinner Parkway -
east of Belfort
Road and south of J. Turner Butler Boulevard. This visit was a logical
follow-up to the survey conducted somewhat further north (downstream) in
the same general area on 6/2-3/2006.
The first water body investigated was a large lake abutting a commercial area immediately south of A. C. Skinner Parkway. The lake shoreline had the largest number of Pomacea paludosa egg clutches ever observed by this reporter at a single location to date. Both live and dead Pomacea were prominent along the shoreline and without a doubt the Pomacea population of the lake was immense. Likewise an interconnected ditch just north of A. C. Skinner Parkway was found to have a large Pomacea population. An extension of the parkway further east was underway and a large concrete bridge was being constructed over Big Pottsburg Creek. This area also showed evidence of Pomacea and the snails had deposited their egg clutches on the yellow turbidity curtains associated with the on-going construction. The strong odor of the water (sulphur) near the construction site indicated the presence of an nearby artesian spring.
The next area investigated was the J. Turner Butler Boulevard bridge over Big Pottsburg Creek. Although no evidence of Pomacea was observed at this location, the snails are believe to be present. The high speed highway traffic passing by only feet away precluded more than a cursory investigation. A small, very shallow, inconspicuous drainage ditch which parallels the highway just west of the creek was found to have a breeding Pomacea population present.
A small retention pond of very recent construction just south of J. T. Turner Butler Boulevard and just north of A. C. Skinner Parkway was next investigated and surprisingly it too had both Pomacea paludosa egg clutches and living snails. It appears likely that the entire drainage system for this industrial/commercial area is interconnected via underground culverts which facilitates dispersal of the snails.
Since the Big Pottsburg Creek watershed has at least 2.5 miles of suitable Pomacea habitat combined with the fact that the snails have previously been found in other even smaller downstream tributaries of the creek (Drainage Ditch On Parental Home Road and Bennett Branch On Bowden Road), it appears likely the entire drainage system is populated by Pomacea.
|Interconnected ditch looking north||Northern end of the lake looking north|
|Turbidity curtain with Pomacea eggs - looking south||Roadside ditch with breeding Pomacea population|
|Pomacea paludosa eggs on stick along large lake shoreline|
Pomacea paludosa eggs on beer bottle along large lake shoreline