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Any news on the restrictions for 3 Sisters Springs?

Crystal River manatees

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#1 Jock

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 02:44 PM

I will be leaving on Tuesday to Crystal River for 10 days. Does anyone know if the discussed limitations like no-go areas inside the spring, no flash photography etc, are in effect? Especially flash photography - if it is generally forbidden inside AND outside the spring, I would leave my strobe, arm, batteries etc. at home - saves some 2kg luggage...

Could not find any up-to-date info on the "Fish and Wildlife" pages.

Kind regards,

Joerg

 

p.s.: On a sunny and windy day, I could imagine that in the shallows manatees get a lot "strobe-like flashes" from diffracted sunrays... I took strobe photos some years ago, and not a single manatee ever showed any reaction. Only an idiot would aim the strobes straight into the eyes - why should one? There is way enough ambient light. The strobe is just to light up the belly. But try to tell that a ranger who does not dive... :(   


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#2 okuma

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:47 PM

Contact "Birds Diving", Crystal River.


Underwater Photography:
If it is so easy every one would be doing it!

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#3 joez2391

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 07:16 PM

I was just wondering this as well, if you find out anything would you mind posting it here? Thanks!



#4 Jock

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 03:26 PM

Hi,

This link is a re-post from an article on the wetpixel main page, just in case someone will find this thread by the search function:
https://www.facebook...talRiverComplex
The Fish And Wildlife Service will annonce the status of Three sisters.

I was in their complex yesterday and watched a video which explains the latest rules for photographers and videographers, here are some key points:
As a "pro" you will need a permit, and you will have to wear a yellow vest.
Flash photography is allowed, you need to use a diffusor. You will have to wait some seconds before you take another flash photo, no rapid firing allowed.
You may submerge, but are not allowed to dive down head first onto a manatee.
And, most important, you will have to keep a distance of six feet to a manatee.

I hope FWS will put that video online, easiest way to avoid confusion and discussion....

Jock

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#5 iDreamOfBubbles

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 08:55 AM

I'm in Crystal River right now, and I can confirm that as of now, a lot of the restrictions regarding Three Sisters have not been put into place.  That being said, there is apparently a new guy in charge at the Fish and Wildlife Service, and he has been quite trigger happy closing the springs to visitors.  This morning, we arrived at Three Sisters well before 7 and were one of the first boats there, only to have them close the spring right after we got into the water.  A lot of the captains are quite unhappy with this new policy.  I'm really hoping that we'll be able to make it to Three Sisters tomorrow, as we haven't been able to make it there yet on this trip due to all of the closings.

 

With regards to strobes, I didn't bring mine and have been pretty happy about that decision.  There is no flash photography allowed until one hour after sunrise, and honestly, in Kings Spring, the place where we saw by far the most manatees, the water is so murky that strobes would only add more backscatter.  I suppose they might be worth it if you can actually make it to Three Sisters, but there's so much ambient light there it's almost unnecessary.  More than likely, you'll just end up packing two heavy strobes that will only be of real benefit for a few shots.  For the rest, you'll probably just have the manatee police yelling at you, regardless of how careful and responsible you are.

 

A final note: If you can't make it to Three Sisters, ask to go to House Spring.  It's where we ended up this morning, and although it's very small, the water is even more clear than Three Sisters (so I've been told), and it stays less crowded.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Chris



#6 joez2391

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 05:41 PM

that's great news that they haven't banned flash photography but it sounds like the manatee police will have more things to yell at us about now :rolleyes:

 

just curious where house spring was, tried looking it up on google but couldn't find anything in crystal river.  I'll be going up in a few weeks and would like to check it out if three sisters is closed



#7 iDreamOfBubbles

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 09:19 AM

House spring is quite small, literally the size of a large swimming pool, and it's right next to someone's house.  It's near Jurassic Springs and Hunter Springs (try googling Hunter Springs State Park).  Your boat captain should know where it is, and your operator should also be able to provide you with a map if you decide to look by yourself.  Would highly recommend it for the water clarity, but I will warn you that Three Sisters was closed every day for my 3 day trip :(



#8 mcgowman

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 01:49 PM

Here's a Press Release dated 02/26/2015 from FWS regarding Three Sisters springs access.

http://www.fws.gov/n...3EDD59616B4849D

 

Note the restrictions on flash photography.


Edited by mcgowman, 27 February 2015 - 01:50 PM.






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