The north basin of Alligator Lake began to lose water a couple of weeks back.
Then last weekend a known sinkhole in the basin abruptly took the rest of the fine fishing lake.
Unpublished pictures of the lake show just a trickle of water and a little puddle right at the sinkhole.
As described by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:
Several sinkholes are located in the north and south basins of the lake which provide direct connection to the aquifer.
One of these sinkholes has been responsible for frequently draining the northern lake basin.
This results from increased hydraulic pressure upon sinkhole sediments as groundwater levels subside during periods of drought.
During these events, the southern areas of the lake retain water, as a shallow connection exists between north and south basins.
Though thankfully uncommon, we have seen this play out before in other lakes that seem prone to such shocking dewaterings. In the 1970s a sinkhole took Lake Jackson near Tallahassee in a matter of hours. And a sinkhole sucked Orange Lake more than once in recent history.
But there’s no minimizing the shock of arriving at your favorite lake one morning to see only its bottom and countless dead fish.