Hydrology of Hunters Lake, Hernando County, Florida

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4242




The size and shape of Hunters Lake, Florida has been significantly altered by development of the surrounding Spring Hill residential community. The lake is the largest in Hernando County, enlarged by lakeshore excavation and connection to nearby ponds to an area of 360 acres at an average stage of 17.2 ft above sea level. Hunters Lake is naturally a closed lake, but development of Spring Hill has resulted in a surface water outflow from the lake in its southwest corner. Inflow to the lake could occur on the east side during extreme high-water periods. The karst terrain of the Hunters Lake area is internally drained through permeable soils, depressions, and sinkholes, and natural surface drainage is absent. The underlying Floridan aquifer system is unconfined except locally near coastal springs. Flow in the groundwater system is to the west regionally and to the southwest in the immediate area of Hunters Lake. Water level gradients in the groundwater system increase from 1.4 ft/mi east of the lake to about 8 ft/mi southwest of the lake. Hunters Lake is hydraulically connected to the groundwater system, receiving groundwater on the northeast side and losing water to the groundwater system on the southwest side. This close relationship with the groundwater system is demonstrated by graphical and numerical comparison of Hunters Lake stage with water levels in nearby groundwater sites. During 1965-84, the stage of Hunters Lake fluctuated between 12.48 and 20.7 ft above sea level. Because area lakes are all directly affected by groundwater levels, they also show a close relationship with water levels in Hunters Lake. Analysis of water quality data for Hunters Lake indicates that the water of the lake is a soft calcium bicarbonate type with ionic concentrations higher than in water from nearby shallow wells and lower than in water from the Upper Floridan aquifer. Samples collected in 1981-1983 indicate slightly higher levels of ionic concentration than in 1965-66. Distribution of specific conductance readings throughout the lake and water samples and specific conductance from upgradient sites indicates an inflow of more mineralized water into the northern part of the lake. Concentrations of nutrients, carbon, and phytoplankton in Hunters Lake are typical of lakes in this area of west-central Florida. (Lantz-PTT)

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Hydrology of Hunters Lake, Hernando County, Florida
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
1 map : col. ; 34 x 59 cm., on sheet 79 x 118 cm., folded in envelope 31 x 23 cm.