Blue Spring, in Jackson County, Alabama
I took the Ichthyology class on a field trip this afternoon for the lab component. We went to Blue Spring in the Paint Rock Valley of Jackson County, Alabama. This is a surprisingly round, deep spring that is honest-to-God blue sitting at the base of a broken limestone/sandstone/chert steep slope of an ancient mountain. Water enters the spring basin from under the road through several fissures at a fairly steady rate. The pool was lower today than I've ever seen it, but it was still a good 2 meters deep in the middle, and 13 deg. C, the temperature of local groundwater. There's also a spring run that joins Guess Creek about 200 meters downstream. We seined some very big striped shiners from the spring, and finally netted some blacknose dace. But that was it; in the past we've caught johnny darters, blueside darters, and sculpins in the pool. The first photo is a view from the west end of the basin; note the Fontinella moss in the water in the foreground. Water temperature at the surface was 66 deg. F (the only thermometer I had...) and total dissolved solids was 138 ppm, about right for local groundwater.