Lake George or Lake Welaka is a broad and shallow brackish lake on the St. Johns River in the U.S. state of Florida. It is six miles (10 km) wide and eleven miles (18 km) long, with an average depth of 8 feet (2.5 m). The west side of the lake is encompassed in the Ocala National Forest. Three major spring groups flow into Lake George on the west side. Salt Springs enters the northwest side of the lake through the 4.3 mile (7 km) Salt Creek. Silver Glen Springs enters the lake about midway down on the west side, and multiple springs comprise Juniper Creek that flows into Lake George on the southwest side, with Juniper Springs at the headwater of the creek. The large island on the north side of the lake is Drayton Island.
The St. Johns River flows out of the lake at the north end at Rocky Point. To the east of this is Salt Cove, taking the flow from Salt Creek. Just south of Salt Cove is Lisk Point, named for a Dr. Lisk who built a house near the point. Steamboats coming down from Jacksonville made a counter clockwise loop around the lake with their first stop at Lisk Point.
Lake George is the second largest lake in Florida, after Lake Okeechobee. Lake George was the third largest lake behind Lake Apopka, but conversion of the littoral zone on the northern side of Lake Apopka to farm fields in the previous century reduced its surface area.
The lake also hosts a wide variety of wildlife ranging from migratory water birds and alligators to a number of normally marine animals. Local springs in Lake George (and throughout the St Johns River) impart enough salt to the system to make the habitat suitable to resident and migratory marine species like Atlantic stingray, various species of mullet, striped bass and blue crabs. There is a large enough blue crab population to support a local fishery, making it one of the only fresh water blue crab fisheries in the world.
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