The OCDA was contacted in 2004 to do a cave wildlife survey of Nesbitt Spring. The system consists of 2 sumps near the entrance, and a long section of water passage between them and a third sump. Ceiling heights in the walking stream passages vary with the height going up to 50′-60′. Numerous formations are visible in the cave, and on this visit numerous banded sculpin were present. However, no blind cavefish or crayfish were sighted to complete the wildlife survey as requested.
The OCDA was contacted again in 2005 to attempt to collect live samples from the third sump area. Two divers equipped with sidemount 80’s were to gather samples after getting all the gear back into the cave system. Blind cave life was captured and delivered to the Fish and Wildlife for DNA testing, and the critters were then returned to the 3rd sump area. Our thanks to the Nesbitts for permission to conduct the survey of the spring on their property.
This system had been previously explored, and Sheck Exley’s pen was still in place back there by the 3rd sump. An earlier group’s 1995 dive journal written by Robert Laird can be found here. Robert is an entertaining writer and covers the experience well. You can also find a link to his dive in Roubidoux Spring on this site.