Update 2020-01-17: Mostly clean in Georgia, not in Florida, Withlacoochee River 2020-01-15
A leisurely paddle on the WIthlacoochee River after it tests clean from the recent Valdosta sewage spill. It may help resolve the problem of such spills causing stigma all the way down the rivers to the Gulf, by showing rains do eventually clean the rivers.
Street map: Troupville Boat Ramp upper right; Spook Brige lower left.
When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, Saturday, January 18, 2020
Put In: Troupville Boat Ramp, 19664 Valdosta Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31602: on GA 133 off I-75 exit 18. in Lowndes County.
Take Out: Spook Bridge. Thanks to The Langdale Company for access through their private property to Spook Bridge for this outing and for water quality testing.
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.
Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We will waive the fee for elected officials. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
This paddle was requested by incoming Valdosta Mayor Scott James. Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter hopes to attend. All elected officials, especially in Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia, and Hamilton and Madison Counties, Florida, are invited to paddle with us, and of course upstream in Cook, Colquitt, Berrien, and Tift Counties, and downstream in Suwannee County and everywhere else.
If you can’t paddle, you can come to the put-in and say a few words. You don’t even have to wear tie-dye.
After putting in at the same location as Paddle Georgia last summer, Troupville Boat Ramp, we will paddle along the Land Between the Rivers to the site of the proposed Troupville River Camp at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River, in the center of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.
Other attractions along the way include Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant Outfall, also known as Valdosta’s $100 million waterfall, where the cleaned-up effluent goes into the river. We will collect some samples upstream and down.
The WWTP was not the source of Valdosta’s December 2019 record-largest raw sewage spill; that came from upstream on Sugar Creek, marked on this map about halfway between Troupville Boat Ramp and downtown Valdosta.
We hope this paddle will demonstrate the Withlacoochee River is clean again. If there’s rain before the paddle, that could be the case.
We’ll probably also sample water in, above, and below Spring Branch, which comes down from the WWTP, a landfill, and a golf course.
Duration: 6 hours
Shuttle distance: 24 miles
Shuttle duration: 30 minutes
This outing includes the traditional WWALS shuttle. Everybody takes their boats to the put-in, most people drive to the take-out, and the drivers pile into one or two vehicles and go back to the put-in.
Paddle distance: 11 miles
Gauge: USGS 02318500 Quitman, US 84
Paddle duration: 6 hours
Host: Bobby McKenzie
Contact: Bobby McKenzie
Backup: in case of high or low water or still-dirty water is: reschedule to mid-February, probably Saturday, February 22.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!