Newly flooded shorelines are bursting with life these days in central Florida's Clermont Chain of Lakes, as water levels are their highest in eight years. As the water rises, it floods grass and shrubs, providing habitat for insects and other invertebrates. Minnows and other forage species move in to feed on them. And they are followed by predatory fish and birds.
The great blue heron (top) gobbled up minnows yesterday evening, while the wood stork sifted through the grass and muck early this morning.
If the water stays up long enough, bass and other species should have spectacular spawns in these resurrected shallows during late winter and spring. That could translate into much better fishing in a year or two--- if the water remains high enough for anglers to access this chain of lakes.
Sadly, that probably won't be the case. Most likely because of so many withdrawals and diversions --- some legal and some not --- the Clermont no longer sustains historically "normal" water levels.