Daily Archives: October 8, 2018

Okefenokee Campout and Paddle, Suwannee River, Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, GA, 2018-12-07-09

Camp two nights and paddle in the Okefenokee Swamp. We will camp Friday and Saturday at Stephen C. Foster State Park near Fargo, Ga. This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp.

When: Friday through Sunday, December 7-9, 2018
9AM, Saturday, December 8, start paddling

Put In: Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, GA

GPS: 30.827659, -82.361819

Take Out: Stephen C. Foster State Park

Camping: Make your camp site reservation through Reserve America. Outing leader Shirley Kokidko has site #56. Let’s try to stay close together so we can share a camp fire and group meal Saturday evening. If you want to share a site and split the cost, post it in the comments (meetup, facebook, or blog) so others will see it. If you don’t want to camp, we want you to come out and join us for this paddle.

Paddling: Saturday morning we will meet at the marina at 9 a.m. to shuttle vehicles to the take out at the Sill. We will paddle from Billy’s Lake through the Narrows to the Sill. The current can be swift so you must be able to maneuver you boat around trees in a swift narrow stream. You must wear a PFD and have a tow rope. The park rents canoes, kayaks and bicycles. There will be an optional paddle Sunday morning.

Bring: You must wear a PFD and have a tow rope. Also boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. And trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

After dark: The park will have a telescope for star gazing Friday night, this is one of the darkest places in the Southeast due to a lack of light pollution in the Okefenokee Swamp. The park also offers a boat tour after dark on Saturday. Telephone reception is mostly non-existent in this remote location so be prepared to put the electronics away and plug into nature.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Gretchen photographing Bret and Phil on the dock
Okefenokee Swamp, 2016-12-10

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Deadline extended for WWALS Boomerang early-bird tickets, through 2018-10-13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, October 8, 2018 — By popular demand at the Hahira Honeybee Festival, WWALS has extended the deadline for early-bird $20 tickets through Saturday, October 13, for the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, coming up Saturday, November 3, 2018. This new event goes downstream and back again on the Withlacoochee River and the west edge of Valdosta, the largest city in the Suwannee River Basin, only a few miles from Valdosta State University. Someone from the Atlantic coast of Florida won our spring BIG Little River Paddle Race this spring, and kayaks or canoes from everywhere are welcome at the Boomerang as well. If you don’t have a boat, two outfitters so far have signed up to supply those. There will be food and drink and music at this WWALS fall paddling festival.

WWALS, Parade
WWALS Boomerang organizer Bobby McKenzie and family with fellow WWALS board member Dan Phillips in the parade at the Hahira Honeybee Festival.

Boomerang paddlers will race from Langdale Park Boat Ramp, just off of North Valdosta Road (US 41), down the Withlacoochee River to Sugar Creek Landing, and back upstream. If you don’t want to race, you can just paddle, and if you don’t want to paddle upstream, you can take out onto Gornto Road. Bobby’s four-year-old son finished our other paddle race, so paddlers of all ages are welcome.

For all the details and to get tickets, Continue reading

Worse upstream and far downstream, Valdosta water quality testing 2018-09-19, 2018-09-25 2018-10-02

Water quality is worse upstream of Valdosta’s Withlacoochee WTP and far downstream of its Mud Creek WTP, according to Valdosta’s most recent data, received last week in response to a Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request from WWALS. This is the recent data I mentioned in the tour of Valdosta WTPs.

Does this data mean Valdosta is perfect and will never spill again? Nope. But it does mean there’s more than one source of fecal coliform and E. coli. We need to find those other sources, which is one reason WWALS is starting a water quality testing program.

Mud Creek WTP

Valdosta’s smaller WTP is in the Alapaha River Basin.

Map, Mud Creek WTP

The WTP is the image left of top center, St. Augustine Road is the green diamond top left, Johnson Road is the grey diamond below and left of top center, and GA 135 Alapahoochee is the grey diamond bottom right.

Map, Mud Creek WTP

St. Augustine Rd., Mud Creek, Mud Creek WTP

100 and 10 are good readings for Fecal Coliform and E. coli, upstream of the Mud Creek WTP. Continue reading