K I N G S L E Y    L A K E . O R G

Kingsley Facts

updated 8/20

Weather links: 1. JACKSONVILLE Radar  2. STARKE weather  3. US weather 4. National Hurricane Center 5. Atlantic Weather Outlook  6. FirstCoastNews.com  

Starke, Florida, weather forecast

Our new HISTORY & MEMORIES index page is still evolving, but reflects our efforts to put all History pages together in one spot, as we bring more focus to area history. Be sure not to miss the recently added Buzzy’s Memories of Kingsley Lake.

Dock Building Permits. Unless expressly exempted, all construction activity conducted in, on, or over the surface waters of the State of Florida require a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or the State Water Management District. Such activities are also regulated by the counties and municipalities within the State. It is unlawful to conduct an activity, such as the construction of a dock, without first obtaining the required permit. See FlWaterfront.com for more information about permits. Activity conducted without a required permit is considered a "public nuisance" and may be required to be removed.

Boat Ramp access. Since the closings of Strickland’s Landing and Kingsley Beach there is no longer a public boat ramp at Kingsley. Some homeowners pay a fee to join Camp Blanding for ramp access (see Blanding Access, below), but Blanding access can't work for everyone. It remains to be seen whether this situation will eventually lead to another form of public ramp.

Blanding Access for Kingsley homeowners is available for $225 annually on a July-to-June cycle. Call the Blanding recreation department at 904-682-3104 and they can send you an application. To verify your home ownership the application requires an attached copy of your Deed or a recent property tax bill, and a background check from your local police department.

Camp Blanding / Florida National Guard
    Regional Training Site Maintenance 904 682-3108
        Airfield Operations 904 682-3113
        Combined Support Maintenance Shop 904 682-3232
        Facility Manager, Engineering 904 682-3508
        Hq, Camp Blanding Training Site 904 682-3357
        Main Gate guard shack 904 682-3462
        Mates 904 682-3232
        Police 904 682-3223
        Post Commander 904 682-3355
        Recreation Dept 904 682-3104
        Recruiting & Retention 904 682-3524
        Regional Training Site Manager 904 682-3108
        State Maintenance Officer 904 682-3500
    Fire & Medical Emergency, Station 25 904 284-7703
    Forest Management 904 682-3453
    Military Academy 904 682-3512
    Post Exchange 904 682-3513

Fishing...? FWC’s Trophy Catch program  (trophycatchflorida.com) is an awards-based conservation program designed for anglers who catch-and-release largemouth bass (heavier than eight pounds) in Florida. Some of the top winners do most of their fishing at Kingsley! If you fish you should definitely visit their site and read about their program!

Kingsley Lake is an Outstanding Florida Water...!  OFW is a designation that insures some protection for the quality of the lake's water. This page at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection describes the program, and our 'History Index offers some additional information about how and why this was achieved.
    The Dept. of Environmental Protection also has a web page for Kingsley. It's not so hot but we like the PDF aerial photo it sends from its 'Map to Site' link. Click our copy below for a larger view that we improved a bit (note: infrared color film is often used for survey aerial photography because it sees through atmospheric haze—but renders green vegetation as red!). There's another great aerial map here that lets you move!

Forest Fire info. The Florida Division of Forestry Wildland Fire and Fire Prevention page has some good links and information about fires, including a link to a map of current wildfires, a map of fires over 100 acres, and a link about current fire weather conditions.

DOCK Directory. A few hurricanes plus some years have removed almost half of our original dock number signs, which Mike Romanelli so carefully mounted years ago (by canoe). Today we encourage residents to replace their own missing numbers, so we can find each other again! If you don't know your number, see our DOCK Directory. Please send corrections (or updated photos) to this address. Various hardware stores carry the 5 to 7 inch numbers. Choose some that contrast well with your dock, that can be seen from 100+ feet away.

Handy Map of the area at satellite-sightseer.com shows very cool aerial & hybrid views too.

US Geological Survey Seismic Reflection Survey: has some interesting facts and seismic data charts about the Lake’s origin as a sinkhole. Click chart for more info.

New Requirements for Making your House Address Visible. Clay County has adopted new regulations regarding the “proper” posting of house and street address numbers, to bring the county up to current E-911 national standards and facilitate the timely delivery of county emergency services. These regulations also give the County authority to “force” citizens to place proper address number on their buildings and property—so we all should take time to become familiar with the new requirements. Read more about The Clay County Addressing Ordinance #2004-57.

Florida’s Boating Safety Laws. For those who have expressed interest we have posted a complete list of Florida’s Boating Safety Regulations.

Florida’s Dept. of Law Enforcement site has some useful links to databases about sexual offenders, criminal histories, and even hurricane prepardness. The Family WatchDog site developed by John Walsh for American Most Wanted is worth a look too.

Private Property Rights vs. the Rights of Public Domain. A Study of the Conflicting Values when Private Property Rights are Abused by Hunters or Fishermen, by Ronald G. Walsingham. This study from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement examines, from a current and historical perspective, the steps taken by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission to resolve this emotionally charged conflict.

Got Weeds? Regulations about removing aquatic plants can be a hot topic and we’ve discussed it on our TALK page (now updated with newer contact info) including links to download the application for a (free) three year permit. We called the Invasive Plant Bureau office and spoke with Kathy Jenkins, who mails the permits and works with Ryan Hamm who’s in charge of permits. Kathy says the permits are still free, last for 3 years, and renewal reminders are sent out before expiration. Here’s their contact info: (for questions and where to send application for pulling weeds): Ryan Hamm & Kathy Jenkins, Phone: 386-758-0525, Address: 3377 E US Hwy 90, Lake City FL 32055. Link: Florida Fish & Wildlife, Permit: Plant Management Permit Application

Snake info. Just saying “snake” makes some people panic, but in our part of Florida MOST are totally harmless, and sadly, often killed out of fear or plain ignorance. Watching snakes can be a rare & wonderful treat to enjoy whenever they appear. And water snakes seem to be the least understood, as unfortunately, any snake that swims is presumed to be a “moccasin” even though the odds are against it. Most water snakes in our area are harmless. See our new Snake Page for more information. Special thanks to Clif Byrd, one of our resident snake experts, for his help and fact checking.

Nuisance alligators.  Every year or so, we hear about a gator that's found its way into Kingsley, especially when there's a drought, which lately has been the norm. If you happen to see one, please send us a nice photo, then you can report it to this hotline number: 866-392-4286 or go to the upDated FWC’s Nuisance Alligator page for more information.
   So what’s a nuisance alligator? Here's part of what they say at the FWC site: "Generally, alligators may be considered a nuisance when they are at least four feet in length and pose a threat to people or their pets or property. Alligators less than four feet in length are naturally fearful of people and are not generally capable of eating anything larger than a small turtle. They eat small fish, frogs, and other small animals. They are too small to be a threat to even small pets and pose no threat to people. They are typically not dangerous to people unless someone attempts to handle them. Also, they are common in Florida, and the mere presence of a small alligator is not cause for concern, even when they turn up in places where people may not expect to see them such as retention ponds and drainage ditches. However, occasionally alligators less than four feet in length are legitimate problems and must be addressed. If an alligator less than four feet in length approaches people, does not retreat if approached, or is in a location that is not natural, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 1-866-FWC-GATOR (1-866-392-4286)."

About Swimmer's Itch...
Swimmer’s Itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, is a rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain parasites from snails found in lakes and ponds. The parasites first infect birds or mammals and lay eggs. Bird and mammal droppings transfer the eggs into lakes and ponds, where the eggs hatch into free-swimming microscopic larvae, which then infect a certain species of aquatic snail. The Infected snails release a different type of microscopic larvae or cercariae into the water, where the larvae seek a host. If they come in contact with people, the parasites can burrow under the skin, which can cause an allergic reaction and a rash. However, the larvae cannot survive in humans, and quickly die, and the rash usually goes away on its own and doesn't require treatment. The rash cannot be spread from person to person.
Main symptom is an itching or burning skin rash that usually goes away in about a week. Pimples may show up several hours after you were in the water, and they may later turn into blisters.

How is swimmer’s itch diagnosed?
A doctor can diagnose swimmer's itch by simply looking at your skin and asking if you've been swimming in ponds or lakes.

How is it treated?
Swimmer’s itch usually goes away on its own, so most don't need to see a doctor. Moisturizing lotion or over the counter anti-itch creams can help relieve the irritation. See a doctor if you have a rash more than 1 week or have signs of infection, red streaks or draining from the area.

To prevent swimmer’s itch?
To avoid swimmer’s itch, avoid lakes or ponds known to have outbreaks. Season and water temperature can be factors. Showering and drying off with a towel as soon as you get out of a lake or pond, can help too.
   Anyone who swims or wades in infested water may be at risk, although larvae are more likely to be present in warmer shallow water by the shoreline. Children are most often affected because they tend to swim, wade, and play in the shallow water more than adults. Also, they are less likely to towel dry themselves when leaving the water.
   At Kingsley, swimmer’s itch seems to be more common in late summer, and the advice to avoid shallow shoreline areas seems to be useful too.

Have more Facts, or changes? Email HERE.

Local lake SERVICES: We don't intend free advertising, but some basic facts about who to call when you need something would be very useful. Please tell us what else should be listed.... And be sure to check the ServicesDirectory.pdf posted on the Events Page!
Internet providers: this is incomplete and needs updating badly, but Kingsley Lake does now have broadband DSL through CenturyLink. Local dialup is available from Atlantic.net and Earthlink. Some have installed satellite systems from SkyWay and there’s a new service called MyBlueDish. Let us know if there are others we should mention.
For part time residents who don’t want to pay all year to use broadband only on multiple short visits, there’s a more affordable option to get DSL internet at the lake: Century Link’s non-contract payment method. It requires an upfront purchase of their modem ($15 w/shipping) and a $15 activation fee per use period, but then it’s just $1 a day, or about $1.30 per day if you want the faster 1.5 mb speed. And there is no fee for canceling the service at the end of a visit. Therefore, the cost for one week of high speed internet (after the $15 modem) is $24 ($3.40/day) or $9 more for two weeks ($2.36/day), and family members could be using it too via WIFI. All charges get added to the regular phone bill under the heading HSI. For weekend visits this might be too pricey, but for my usual 7 to 10-day visits it’s appealing, and inspired me to cancel our old Atlantic.net dialup account.

Garbage pick up: weekly pickup is provided by Advanced Disposal, 904-695-0500 (toll free: 1-866-779-2529), courtesy of the increased assessment (10/07) on your property tax. Household trash pick up on TUESDAY, Recycle & Yard Waste on Monday. They provide bins for recyclables, and also collect certain bulky items. Set items out by 6 am. Here's their flier (Disposal'08.pdf) as a PDF. Any problems call Clay County Environmental Center at 284-6374 and ask for Frank Teague, or see the County’s web page.

Environmental Convenience Centers (ECCs): Originally designed as garbage collection points for rural areas (our closest one, pictured above, was recently closed), Clay County’s ECCs have become more and more congested, especially on Saturdays, due to a tremendous influx of new residents. The ECCs continue to operate even though the county implemented universal curbside waste and recyclables collection in January 2007. The county encourages the use of the ECCs only as a back up to the curbside collection services. Disposal of commercial waste at the ECCs is prohibited. [ECC link]
  • Clay Hill ECC (904) 269-6374 [map] 14 miles
    5869 County Road 218 (Adjacent to Louie Carter Road)
    Thursday thru Saturday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
    No Yard Trash Accepted 
  • Keystone Heights ECC (352) 473-3711 Ext. 6374 [map] 23 miles
    5505 County Road 214 
    (3 miles east of State Road 100, 3 miles west of CR 315 — Big Tree Lakes area)
    Thursday thru Saturday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
    Yard Trash Accepted 
  • Long Bay ECC (904) 269-6374 [map] 14.5 miles
    1589 Long Bay Road 
    (Approximately 1 mile north of Blanding Boulevard [at yellow flashing light], Middleburg)
    Thursday thru Saturday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
    No Yard Trash Accepted
CABLE TV – Florida Cable, located in Astor, FL, services our area. When we called to report a problem they came within hours and restored our TV service. 800-779-2788
Florida LAKEWATCH: Florida LAKEWATCH is a volunteer citizen lake monitoring program that facilitates ‘hands-on’ citizen participation in the management of Florida lakes through monthly monitoring activities. Their web site is full of great information, and they have a page of data dedicated to Kingsley. We hope to post more info about their work soon.

This is about Len Andrews, our Ladder Boat fisherman, from our TALK page, 5.20.2012 4:35 pm
Len lives in downtown Richmond, Virginia, with his wife Lucille—but for nearly 90 days a year (mid-January through mid-April)—Len comes to Kingsley Lake to sight fish, without Lucille and completely on his own. Sight Fishing is a technique where you see and choose the fish you want to catch, before you catch it.

Which is what the ladder is for, to get high enough to be able to see the fish through the glare on the water. And Len has an 8 to 16 foot long, homemade periscope-like device he uses for viewing too. He even mounted a plexi-glass window panel into the bottom of his boat, although it catches air bubbles and doesnŐt work as well as he hoped.

Len’s fishing technique requires ultra calm water—and zero wind—to allow viewing what’s beneath the surface. So you’ll find him, not unlike a dedicated water skier, out very early or late in the day, or you’ll see him fishing along the edge of the lake that’s closest to the wind source, hugging the calm band of water protected from the wind by shoreline elevation and the trees. Some days though, the wind is just too much, so he doesn’t launch his boat at all.

But when he’s here, February to April—whether it’s windy or calm—Len’s thinking about the fish, 24/7. He rents a nearby trailer from a friend, and launches his boat from another friend’s shoreline.

You all should talk to him. He’s very animated and congenial, and it’s a real inspiration to see someone who is so happy and satisfied simply doing what they love doing. He catches more big fish from Kingsley than anyone I know—and always only “catch and release”—so he puts them all back into the lake, to spawn, or perhaps be caught again another day. But for dinner—after fishing all day—he buys his fish at the grocery store, like the rest of us.

When back home in Richmond, he says he comes to our web site EVERY night. Said he’s read it all, so I quizzed him on a few things—and he didn’t miss a beat! He knows ALL our stories as well if not better than I do! When we met, he shouted across the water from his boat, “I’m your biggest fan.” If you know our community you know that’s an unusual comment—so I’m now Len’s biggest fan—and he sure makes it easy. -c.

p.s. called him today, says he’s fixing up another boat, a V-hull to be more stable in rough water, that’s two feet longer. And the new ladder’s two feet higher than the old one!

...and hopefully, more facts to come. Please help by contributing!