While eating lunch on the deck at Harp’s Pub, which is only a few thousand yards from my house, you can look straight down into the murky waters of Big Fishweir Creek. This once navigable urban waterway meanders from Jacksonville’s trendy Avondale neighborhood under the Herschel Street bridge and into the Ortega River where it joins the St. John’s River.
Kayakers, fishermen and canoeists once enjoyed the recreational opportunities of Big Fishweir but this urban waterway has become shallow and harder for wildlife and boaters to navigate due to sediment from surrounding development and storm events.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has designated Big Fishweir as an area that should be swimmable and fishable. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to start removing sediment and invasive plants in early 2021. The majority of funding for the 6.5 million dollar project is federal while about 35% is from the city of Jacksonville.