Looks like we may finally see Action stage tomorrow on the Withlacoochee River above Valdosta @ Skipper Bridge Road. This is upstream from Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, so it’s a good thing that didn’t spill during Irma. The Alapaha River at Statenville peaked Tuesday and probably would be a fine ride (what shoals?) today. The New and The Santa Fe Rivers are still flooding, and that’s still raising the Suwannee River all the way to the Gulf, and there’s minor flooding all the way up at Fargo, so another surge of high levels may follow on the Suwannee. The I-75 Santa Fe River bridge never did close.
The biggest fire in the country, that started April 6, 2017 in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, has been out for about a month now, put out by rains, after massive containment efforts by fire crews from many counties and states. Apparently Lowndes County, Georgia, sent some assistance, since they have a special presentation about that fire on their agenda for this week. Their agendas never say whether such presentations are in the Work Session, which was this morning at 8:30 AM (it wasn’t) or in the Regular Session, Tuesday evening at 5:30 PM (must be then). Gretchen Quarterman was there this morning, and says they said the presenter will be someone unnamed from Charlton County. Gretchen will video the presentation for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).
On October 14, 2017 we recommend you join WWALS on the Withlacoochee River from Nankin Boat Ramp to Madison Highway, stopping at McIntyre Spring and Arnold Springs, with many shoals.
But if you have a mind to race that day instead, here are three opportunities for you:
- Fargo to White Springs,
- the entire length of the Suwannee River
- from Suwannee River State Park to Manatee Springs State Park
Phil Hubbard getting ready July 29, 2017 for Mere Mortals Paddling Race 2017 on the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers
None of these races are by WWALS; we are merely listing them for your information. Continue reading
A primary objective of the WWALS Science Committee is to compile published scientific literature for the Suwannee basin. We are doing this using online search engines including the University of Georgia System Galileo program and Google Scholar. Remarkably, our searches have identified thousands of published scientific papers and reports that link to the keyword, “Suwannee”. Examination of many revealed that they describe research using dissolved organic matter isolated from the Suwannee River near Fargo, GA. This is the material that gives the water its special color.
Photo: Richard T. Bryant, in Pamela P. Holliday, Sherpa Guides, unknown date, The State of the Swamp: The Suwannee River Sill and DuPont’s Mining Proposal Grab attention and Concern in the Okefenokee
Digging further Continue reading
We got smoked here in western Lowndes County yesterday and this morning 60 miles from the West Mims fire as it went up to 107,846 acres in and around the Okefenokee NWR. Many of the fire-fighting numbers went down since last post: remember, the goal is not to put the fire out, rather to contain it. As I write, a big storm just went over here heading that way, so maybe mother nature will take a hand today.
The Valdosta Daily Times has been covering this fire right along, most recently by Terry Richards, VDT, 2 May 2017, Rain barely felt at massive swamp fire,
FARGO — A mild rainfall Monday had little to no impact on the West Mims Fire burning through the Okefenokee Swamp, according to a firefighter.
The blaze, which had burned more than 100,000 acres by Tuesday afternoon, received about a tenth of an inch of rain from a weak cold front that moved through South Georgia Monday.
“It didn’t help,” said Leland Bass, a firefighter and public information officer for the Georgia Forestry Commission.
Maybe they’ll get more rain in the swamp today. Continue reading
Now is not a good time to stay overnight in the Okefenokee Swamp, or to travel at night between Fargo and Moniac, because of smoke.
Lightning started the West Mims fire Thursday, apparently west of Moniac, Georgia in Baker County, Florida. That was in the St Marys River watershed, but the fire has since expanded west and north into the upper Suwannee River watershed and Ware County, Georgia. According to today’s update from InciWeb, the Incident Information System, the fire now involves 13,000 acres and is only 3% contained. Even with 110 firefighters and a variety of equipment, the estimated containment date is two months from now: “Thursday June 15th, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM”. It is a southern fire forest, after all.
Map from InciWeb 2017-04-15. Approximate Location 30.574 latitude, -82.323 longitude.
It’s probably best not to go there at night, since InciWeb says: Continue reading
WWALS Outings Committee Chair Phil Hubbard wrote Tuesday on the facebook event:
Looking forward to the WWALS outing on the historic Suwannee River. Water level currently at Fargo is 93.34′ (2.34′) slightly increasing with the 0.6″ of rain in Fargo yesterday. White Springs is at 52.02′ and rising.
Weather forecast is clear skys and virtually no chance of rain. Temps with an over night low mid 40’s and forecast high of upper 70’s.
What an awesome way to welcome in the return of spring from its brief departure.
Follow the original event blog post for more details.
See you 7AM Saturday, March 18th, 2017, at the Suwannee River in Fargo, Georgia, to paddle into Florida to Roline Landing!
For more outings and events as they are posted, see Continue reading