» King's Spring

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Overview Location & Specifics Conditions Resources Nearby Systems  
Portions of the following information were taken from Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 66.

The Kings Bay Springs Group is located in Kings Bay west of Crystal River. Coming into Crystal River from the north on US 19/98, King's Bay can be accessed via numerous boat landings north and south of the Bay.

Description - There are about 30 known springs, including Tarpon Hole and Hunter Spring, that either issue from the bottom of Kings Bay or flow into the bay from side creeks. Their combined flow feeds Crystal River, which flows approximately 7 miles northwest to the Gulf of Mexico. Surrounding land is coastal lowlands with brackish marsh and hardwood-palm hammock to the west and the City of Crystal River to the east. The whole system is tidally influenced, and Kings Bay is brackish. Rosenau et al. (1977) referred to these springs as the Crystal River Springs Group.

HUNTER SPRING - This spring issues vertically from the bottom of a conical depression near the head of a side creek channel feeding the eastside of Kings Bay. Another spring is at the head of the channel. Hunter Spring pool is circular and measures 210 ft in diameter. Depth measured over the vent is 13 ft. The spring has a sand bottom with some limestone near the vent. The spring bottom is choked with dark green filamentous algae, and some Hydrilla is present. Water is clear and bluish. There is a large boil in pool center. Land on the north rises to approximately 4 ft above water and is a county maintained recreational park. Land on all other sides of spring pool is extensively developed with apartments and houses. A concrete sea wall entirely surrounds the pool except for outflow and inflow. There is a square swimming dock floating in the center of the spring pool. This spring was closed to swimming during summer 2001 due to high coliform bacteria levels detected in the water (Eric Dehaven, SWFWMD, pers. comm.).

TARPON HOLE SPRING - This spring issues from a deep, conical depression in Kings Bay on the south side of Banana Island. The spring pool measures approximately 450 ft north to south and 550 ft east to west. The depth measured over the vent is 58 ft. Water is typically clear and bluish, but can be cloudy during high tide. There is a large boil present in center of pool. Visibility was low when visited in October 2001. Algae cover limestone substrates. The vent is a large circular hole in limestone. Nearby islands to the north are part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and have marsh grasses and hardwood-palm hammock vegetation. Land to the east is privately owned with many houses and a marina. This spring is a favorite scuba diving location and manatee observation area.

Utilization - All of Kings Bay and most of its springs are used for swimming, manatee observation, pleasure boating, and scuba diving. The west side of Kings Bay and some islands are part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. The city of Crystal River nearly adjoins the east side of Kings Bay.
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Latitude: 28.87967
Longitude: -82.59887
Zone:
Coordinate System:
Maximum Depth: 85'
 Cave Diving
 Cavern Diving
 Open Water Diving
Date Submitter Visbility Remarks
9/25/2012 John S 5-100 Dove Kings Spring Today the basin was pea soup green but the cavern had 100 vis nice dive
4/2/2011 Cary Ernst poor then better Took a boat ride from Fort Island to King Spring. It was nice. The dive was OK then better. The viz in the first 20 feet was about 6 to 8 feet. Then deeper into the cavern it was probably 20 to 30 feet. Lots of snorkelers and divers there when I was leaving. Lots of silt in there so I was glad I has it to my self for a while.
11/16/2008 Fed 5-10ft Rented a pontoon boat with some friends to dive and look for manatees. Dove King's Spring first. Vis was the worst I had seen ever. About 2-3 feet until you entered the cavern. Once in the cavern vis was maybe 10feet still very silty. Saw a bunch of sheepshead. No manatees to be see anywhere at Crystal River, still too warm for them I guess.
9/16/2007 Kyle Jones Murky 10-20 ft Rented a boat from Paridise and anchored outside the mooring buoys at King Springs. Obtained a O2 capatable air fill from dive shop on 19 one mile away. The hotel dive shop (were I rented the boat), didn't have hyper filtered air or nitrox. There were lots of OW divers and snorkelers stirring blowing up the vis. I had to feel for the cold water to locate the spring because at the surface, the vis was only about 3 ft. As I dropped into the enterance of the caven, the vis became clearer. There were lots of fish, crabs, and a large American eel.
4/13/2006 Dave Jones 30-40 Rented a jon boat from Paradise and motored the 500 m over to Banana Island and anchored just outside the mooring buoys. The surface water was murky with 10-20' visibility which quickly cleared up as we entered the cavern. There were several boats with OW divers that had just dived here and stirred up the algae and sediment. It was still an interesting dive with lots of fossils, cracks, crevices, fissures, and catfish to inspect. At all times within the cavern one or both of the entrances were readily visible. However, at the back of the cavern I poked my head up a solution tube and noticed it continued as a cave passage. This would probably require a no-mount to enter, but looked wide enough to continue with a back-mount single. The initials carved in the wall indicate someone's already tried this. As we ascended we swam through a school of 100 gray snapper. Water was 73 F. Apparently there is another spring worth diving just off a private dock near the Crystal River Best Western Resort, but we couldn't find it. Pets can be boarded while you dive at the nearby Pet Salon for $10
1/2/2006 Curt Schuster Murky 20 ft I took a new open water diver to King Springs to get some experience before he takes a trip to Mexico. The King Spring was fairly nice with lots of fish to look at. Josh had a great contact with a friendly Manatee. While he was fighting a Zeagle Ranger BC having never used back inflation before. It looked like the little guy came over to help him right himself. He swam over and push Josh upright with his flipper. It was really funny. Then he came over to me and nuzzled me for a couple of seconds. I have never had a manatee encounter before it was cool. Once we got Josh situated and under control we went down on the bottom and worked on control the rest of the dive. I checked out the cavern and found it very murky.
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