THREE SISTERS WINTER CLOSURES
During the winter months, the interior of Three Sisters Springs is just one of many spots to see manatees in King's Bay. Manatees can also be seen in abundance during the winter months at King Spring, Jurassic Spring, House Spring, Idiot's Delight, and other locations we will tell you. You are virtually guaranteed to see a manatee during the winter months whether the interior of Three Sisters Springs is open or closed. In fact, the interior of Three Sisters Springs closes on occasion between November 15 and March 31 but only when the the number of manatees in King's Bay skyrockets into the hundreds making it more likely that you will see manatees than at any other time. So the best time to see manatees is during a temporary closure because they are all over King's Bay. With that in mind, the interior of Three Sisters Springs will occasionally and temporarily be closed depending on the Gulf of Mexico water temperature as explained by Joyce Palmer, the Project Leader for the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge (CRNWR) Complex, who states:
"A detailed look at manatee GPS locations revealed that when Gulf water temperatures at Shell Island were colder than 17 °C, manatee habitat use patterns shift from the Gulf to higher occurrences in Three Sisters Springs and the adjacent springs known as Idiot’s Delight. Thus, the Service will close Three Sisters Springs to human activity when Gulf temperatures at Shell Island drop to 17 °C and the springs will remain closed until temperatures rise above 17 °C for 24 hours or longer."
For updates, you may check here: https://www.facebook.com/CrystalRiverComplex