Little Hatchet Creek
Little Hatchet Creek Watershed is located in the northeastern quadrant of Gainesville and extends into unincorporated Alachua County. It spans approximately 19 square miles. It Includes the Gainesville Regional Airport, Ironwood golf course, and the GRU Murphree well field. The Creek flows from west to east, ultimately discharging into Newnans Lake, and is comprised of two main branches, the North Branch and South Branch. The creek flows through Gumroot Swamp and flows to Newnans Lake. Baseflow of Little Hatchet Creek is from surficial and intermediate aquifer springs and seeps. Dominant land uses are 46% upland forest, 24% wetlands, 8% residential.
Facilities in the northern section of the watershed include the Alachua County Animal Services compound, the Airport Industrial Park, the Alachua Solid Waste Transfer Station, and the Alachua County Household Hazardous Waste Collections Center. The Ironwood Golf Course is situated in the western part of the watershed and owned by the City of Gainesville.
Little Hatchet Creek has intact riparian vegetation which helps to reduce human disturbance on stream diversity. A biological survey on Little Hatchet Creek in 2009 indicated that both habitat availability and macroinvertebrate populations were abundant and diverse. The survey in 2014 showed suboptimal health, however, showing a decrease in ecosystem health. This watershed contains ample natural landscape to help maintain suitable flow, but the dynamic nature of the flow changes is affecting biodiversity and abundance.
For more information on water quality, download the Little Hatchett Creek Fact Sheet. Additionally, water quality monitoring information is available for Little Hatchett Creek. To access this data, please visit here and access the monitoring station and data by clicking on the station on the interactive map.
Plan a Visit
A good place to visit Little Hatchet Creek is the Gum Root Swamp Park and SJRWMD Newnans Lake Conservation Area. This area provides remarkable contiguous, diverse, and productive natural habitats capable of supporting a range of floral and faunal populations.
• Many areas in Little Hatchet Creek have diverse habitats that support a wide array of avian, reptilian, and mammalian species.
• Portions of Little Hatchet Creek Watershed are also a refuge for rare migrant species such as the black-headed gull spotted at the north end of Newnans Lake in May 2000.
• Distinct among other areas in the watershed, Gum Root Swamp habitats include floodplain forests of balk cypress and blackgum trees, upland scrubby pine flatwoods, pond cypress domes and mesic hardwoods.
Adjacent wetland habitats support many species, sustain water-dependent species such as fish and wading birds, and serve as wildlife corridors for many vertebrate species. Distinct among other areas in the watershed, Gum Root Swamp habitats include floodplain forests of bald cypress and blackgum trees, upland scrubby pine flatwoods, pond cypress domes, and mesic hardwoods.