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The Harris Chain of Lakes
Seven Harris Chain Lakes are: Big and Little Harris, Dora, Carlton, Beauclair, Eustis and Griffin. Lake Yale is technically part
of the Harris Chain, but is not accessible from the other lakes. Lake Apopka near Orlando is the head waters of the Chain.
These lakes are part of the Florida Ocklawaha Basin which drains Central Florida to the north through the St Johns River entering the
Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville.
Harris Chain water levels are less affected by seasonal droughts than lakes further south. Water levels remain within a three feet range. Some shallow canals can have problems, but open water navigation remains unaffected.
These are large lakes covering over 50,000 acres of total surface area. During World War II, vegetable farms sprang up around the shores of Lake Apopka to provide food for the war effort. Runoff from these farms and from other local sources caused Lake Apopka to become overloaded with fertilizer and other nutrients. The water quality and great fishing this lake was known for was threatened, which caused the State of Florida to purchase and close the lakeside farms in the nineties. Hundreds of millions of dollars has been invested, with work still ongoing to restore and improve these lakes. In recent years, the great fishing has returned and the water clarity has significantly improved.
If you have questions about the Harris Chain of Lakes, please contact us.
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