When visiting the creek environment, please remember that most of our creeks receive stormwater that can carry pollutants. Due to their urban environment, most of the creeks have bacteria levels that exceed state standards and could pose a health risk to humans and pets even when the water looks inviting. Please enjoy our creeks from designated trails in our parks.
Nestled in the northwestern most section of Gainesville, Blues Creek is just south of Turkey Creek and rests on the city/county boundary. Approximately 7.9 square miles, it flows west from NW 43rd Ave to San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park where it recharges the Floridan aquifer at Big Otter Ravine. The creek is largely agricultural and residential. It also has conservation, siviculture, natural forest and recreation lands in its watershed.
Biological surveys of Blues Creek indicated that the greatest concern for the creek is its intermittent nature with occasional dry conditions. Habitat availability and water quality in Blues Creek is adequate for benthic macroinvertebrates. Despite the intermittent nature populations of benthic macroinvertebrates remain diverse and abundant. Blues Creek is classified as ‘healthy’ by biological survey in 2003, 2009 and 2014.
Current FDEP water quality nutrient standards for nutrients show Blues Creek exceeding state levels for total phosphorus. Potential phosphorous source is erosion of the phosphorus-rich Hawthorn soil formations, which underlie the stream bed. Agricultural inputs of phosphorus containing fertilizer and livestock manure may contribute to the high concentrations observed in Blues Creek.
Water quality monitoring information is available for Blues Creek. To access this data, please visit here and access the monitoring stations and data by clicking on the station on the interactive map.
Plan A Visit
Visit this creek from the beautiful San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, which boasts some of Florida’s finest mountain bike, equestrian, and hiking trails, as well as open spaces where you can walk, hike or bike. The Alachua Conservation Trust owns the Blues Creek Ravine Preserve which is not yet open to the public.
• Blues Creek runs through San Felasco Hammock Preserve which has one of the few remaining mature forests in Florida.
• The limestone outcrops and extreme changes in elevation provide ideal conditions for many species of hardwood trees, including several champion trees.
• Bobcats, white-tailed deer, gray foxes, turkeys, and many species of songbirds make their homes in the 18 natural communities found in the preserve which Blues Creek runs through.
Blues Creek contains a variety of benthic macroinvertebrates, including dragonfly, damselfly, mayfly, fishfly, blackfly, cranefly, caddisfly, and midge larvae. Amphipods, worms, and beetles are also present.
Blues Creek is also home to little blue heron, snowy egrets, swallow-tailed kites, Florida box turtles, gopher tortoises and the American alligator.
Did you know?
Benthic macroinvertebrates are small animals living among stones, logs, sediments and aquatic plants on the bottom of streams, rivers and lakes. Also known as “benthos”, these animals are large enough to be seen and have no backbone thus “macro” + “invertebrates”. Benthos ranges from dragonflies to crayfish.
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