Neighborhood: Ft. George – Sisters Creek

Sisters Creek is one of the many waterways in northeast Jacksonville worth exploring by boat or kayak. Sisters Creek, Deep Creek, and Shad Creek are all tributaries to the St. Johns River located in the final stretch of the river’s 310-mile journey. These tidally-influenced, marshy creeks are part of one of the most ecologically-productive sections of our river. The creeks and their surrounding wetlands are home to unique plant and animal communities that thrive in the brackish water, a mixture of fresh and salty seawater, of the estuary. Many fish and animals rely on the estuary section of the St. Johns for food, places to breed, and migration stopovers.

Sisters Creek connects with the Intracoastal Waterway and can best be reached from Sisters Creek Marina off of Heckscher Drive. You can also get there from the beaches via the St. Johns River Ferry.

Here are some fun ways to experience Sisters Creek:

Jax Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing in the estuary can be really fun with the right guide. Because the water here is tidally-influenced and boat traffic can be high, having an experienced fishing guide to help you navigate the area and find the best fishing spot is advised. Check out Jax Kayak Fishing for advice, tips, access spots along Sisters Creek, and guides. www.jaxkayakfishing.com

Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament

The 35th annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament will be held on July 13-18 this year at Sisters Creek Marina, also known as the Jim King Park & Boat Ramp. It is the largest kingfish tournament in the Southeast and includes a Junior Angler Tournament, Food Festival, live entertainment, and more. www.kingfishtournament.com

Boating

There are a lot of ways to access this area by boat and that means a lot of opportunities to explore. Visit Kingsley Plantation from the dock or boat to many of the famous historic sites of Fort George Island. Learn more at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fortgeorgeisland or through many of the excellent maps provided by the Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation at timucuantrailparksfoundation.org.

A lot of people don’t realize that the Lower St. Johns River is actually an elongated estuary that extends over 100 miles from near the Ocklawaha River all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The hydrology of this area is highly varied and influenced by tide, wind, freshwater flows, and the confines of the river banks and bottom. It is one of the most ecologically-sensitive parts of our watershed. However you decide to experience this area, be sure you do so with care. Maintain minimum boat speeds and watch out for wildlife and kayakers. Secure items on your kayak or boat to make sure trash and belongings do not blow into these delicate creeks. This area is truly a national treasure that is fun to explore, but we must protect and preserve it future generations.

About Shannon Blankinship

Shannon Blankinship is the Outreach Director for St. Johns Riverkeeper and contributes regularly via the “On The River” column building awareness for the many issues that impact the St. Johns River. Shannon received her B.S. from Purdue University in Natural Resources Economics and Policy and her J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. She is currently an elected official in Duval County serving on the Soil and Water Conservation District. She is a board member for the local nonprofit The Girls Gone Green and regularly contributes articles affecting animals and health. She is a Springfield resident and works to promote all things great in the urban core neighborhoods.