Category Archives: Lake

Gear Swap at Banks Lake: find a new boat, maybe try it out, or get rid of an old one 2020-03-07

Sent to the media Wednesday (see also PDF):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gear Swap at Banks Lake: find a new boat, maybe try it out, or get rid of an old one

[2020-02-26--gear-swap-pr-0001]
2020-02-26–gear-swap-pr-0001

Lakeland, Georgia, February 26, 2020 — Here’s something new: a fun-filled day of promoting paddle activities and trying various boat designs, at Banks Lake on the first Saturday of March. This new event by WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) should help paddlers find a new boat or get rid of an old one. If the owner permits, you can try out a boat right there on Banks Lake. This should help get everyone ready to kick off a new paddling season in the great Suwannee River Basin.

[Bret Miller, NWXpeditions, outfitting a paddler]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, of Bret Miller of NWXpeditions, 2020-02-09

WWALS Outings Chair Bobby McKenzie, who thought up this Gear Swap, says, “Many thanks to Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Worm Moon Paddle, 2020-03-07

Leisurely sunset paddle and watch the full moon over the lake. The moon will be up early this time, at 4:25 PM, before we gather to paddle, because the March full moon is actually on Monday, but we’re going early on Saturday. You can come in even earlier for Gear Swap and stay for the Full Worm Moon Paddle!

This is a rare full moon name that comes from southeastern U.S. native Americans: Full Worm Moon, because earthworms are crawling about already. It’s also called Crow Moon, (Snow) Crust Moon, Sap Moon, or Lenten Moon. More about those names at FarmersAlmanac.com.

Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge is in the Grand Bay–Banks Lake ecosystem. We usually see birds, bats and alligators. Sunsets are usually spectacular, and the full moon over the tree tops reflected in the lake is a sight to see.

When: Gather 5:30 PM, launch 5:45 PM, Saturday, March 7, 2020

Moon and sun: Moonrise 4:25 PM, Sunset 6:35 PM

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it.

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

[Contrasting moon color (NWX)]
Photo: Bret Miller, Contrasting moon color, 2020-02-09.

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Eighth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race 2020-04-25

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Race or paddle, fun for the whole family: the Eighth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race

Adel, Georgia, February 18, 2020 — You could win in any of a dozen categories. But you are not required to race: it’s a nice spring paddle anyway! On Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Reed Bingham State Park, between Adel and Moultrie, Georgia, it’s the eighth annual BIG Little River Paddle Race. There will be lunch, a kayak raffle, and a silent auction afterwards. You can just paddle along this scenic stretch of tea-colored river on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail among cypress, turtles, birds, and yes, alligators. (Don’t pet them and they won’t bother you.) This three-mile race also has fierce competitors, with last year’s winner finishing in barely more than half an hour.

BLRPR mastermind Bret Wagenhorst, an eye doctor in Tifton, GA, and a charter board member of WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS), said, “You can win in any of a dozen categories: one- or two-person canoe or kayak, male or female or mixed, as well as oldest, youngest, and from farthest away.”

[Tandem female canoe, orange (BW)]
Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, of 2019 First female tandem kayak:

Dianne Walters, president of Friends of Reed Bingham State Park (FORB), said, “This is a great community event, with volunteers from all around helping paddlers from everywhere.”

Wagenhorst added, “Last year, the first woman across the finish in a solo kayak was Nikki York, of Adel, GA. And for the first time, a canoe finished first to win the $100 cash prize. It was a two-person canoe of gentlemen from Gray, GA: Continue reading

Pictures: Banks Lake Full Storm Moon Paddle 2020-02-09

WWALS Outings Chair and expedition leader for the Banks Lake Full Storm Moon Paddle, February 9, 2020, reports about this well-attended evening event for paddlers of all ages and experience levels:

[Flotilla (NWX)]
Flotilla (NWX)

We had 2 new family memberships as well as a lady drove in from Cairo and lots of new faces paddled. Continue reading

Pictures: WWALS Light Parade at Banks Lake 2019-12-21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lakeland, Georgia, December 24, 2019 — Five boats participated in the first-ever WWALS Light Parade on Banks Lake, with 30 to 40 viewers on the fishing pier, at the winter solstice, Saturday, December 21, 2019.

[Parade]
Parade

“We had lots of spectators and enjoyed the evening with our S’Mores and hot chocolate!” said Shelby Miller, whose idea this WWALS Light Parade was.

The winners were:

1st place: Bobby McKenzie

[Bobby McKenzie paddling]
Bobby McKenzie paddling

2nd place: Eli Harrell

[Eli Harrell]
Eli Harrell

3rd place: Allison Ray

[Allison Ray and daughters]
Allison Ray and daughters

Bobby McKenzie donated back to WWALS his $50 first prize. Shelby Miller donated the $50 split between the second and third place winners.

[Bobby McKenzie and Eli Harrell]
Bobby McKenzie and Eli Harrell

It was good that Allison’s two daughters paddled as well. The rain did hold off but the wind did not, it was Continue reading

Turbidity, Coral Reef, Cyanotoxin, and Numeric Nutrient Criteria –Waterkeepers Florida to Florida Triennial Review 2019-11-22

Florida provides Get Out of Jail Free cards for fertilizer, sewage, and manure (FSM), wrote Waterkeepers Florida in this letter sent Friday to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in its Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards:

If actual substantial harm is eventually found, the only result is a planning processes that lead to Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs). BMAPs are largely collaborations of the operators of FSM pollution sources, and the only consequence of the failure of the plan to actually curb FSM pollution is a requirement to report the failure. Where BMAPs were hoped to be practical mechanisms to reduce FSM pollution, they have in fact functioned as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for agriculture industries and other sources of as FSM pollution, while our waters continue to be degraded. The FSM rules have been implemented over the past seven years, during which time, widespread massive algae outbreaks have taken place on the St. Johns River, and in other rivers and lakes throughout Florida.

[Turbidity Criteria]

Much of this letter from most of the members of Waterkeepers Florida, including Suwannee Riverkeeper, is about cyanotoxins, which fortunately we do not yet have in the Suwannee River Basin, and coral reefs, which are a southern Florida regional matter. Yet every regional matter affects the whole state of Florida, the southeast, the nation, and the world. For example, about II. Routes of Ingestion:

This calculation only takes ingestion while swimming into account. Exposure to cyanotoxins can also occur dermally and through inhalation of aerosolized particles. These routes are not taken into consideration, as EPA states, because adequate effects data are not available. The relative source contribution that was a part of the 2016 recommendations has been removed, to focus on the ingestion.

Plus people all over Florida and beyond eat fish caught in the red tide areas: how much exposure to ingested cyanotoxins do we all have?

WKFL Letter

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Sponsors up and down I-75 on Water Trail Brochures

There’s still room for sponsor logos on these proofs of brochures ready to print 10,000 copies of each to distribute in Georgia and Florida on I-75 and elsewhere. This will be the third edition of the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT) brochure, and the first-ever Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) brochure.

You can join this opportunity for only $500 per sponsor, online, or contact us. Or maybe you’d like to contribute to our water trail signs.

Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT)

The two previous ARWT brochure editions, 10,000 copies each, lasted about four years. This one has Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Beaver Moon Paddle, Banks Lake, 2019-11-12

Join us for a leisurely sunset paddle at our mini-Okefenokee, the Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, to watch sun set and the full moon rise. The moon will rise at 6:02 p.m. and if the skies are clear we will watch the full moon slowly rise above the tree tops and shine across the water. We will also paddle near a dead tree bat house and hopefully watch bats emerge from the tree just after sunset.

You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset.

When: Gather 4:30 PM, launch 5 PM, Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635.

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, first aid kit, and lights: it will be dark. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.
Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event.

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

[Ripples]
Ripples in moonglow. Photo: John S. Quarterman, Banks Lake, 2019-07-16.

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Shirley practicing at Banks Lake 2019-10-12

Shirley Kokidko, taking out at Banks Lake, where we will paddle tonight to see the sun set and the full moon rise. It’s free to WWALS members, and only $10 per person for non-members. Boats will be available at the lake for free rental from NWXpeditions.

[Loading boat]
Loading boat

Follow the link for details about this evening’s outing. Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Hunter’s Moon Paddle 2019-10-13

Join us for a Full Moon paddle and star gazing at Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge. This is a leisurely paddle around the refuge that lies in the Grand Bay–Banks Lake ecosystem, in the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

When: Gather 5:45 PM, launch 6:15 PM, Sunday, October 13, 2019

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635.

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit.
Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.
And a light! It’s going to be dark.

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

[Yellow]
Yellow Sunset
Photo: John S. Quarterman, sun setting at Banks Lake, July 16, 2019.

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