Update 2021-03-29: Still clean last week, filthy Friday before, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-26.
Update 2021-03-24: Withlacoochee River still clean, Florida bacterial advisory lifted 2021-03-23.
Surprisingly, the results Michael and Jacob Bachrach got today, for the samples they collected yesterday after the rains, were almost as clean as possible at Knights Ferry and State Line, and really as clean as possible at Nankin Boat Ramp: zero (0) E. coli.
This matches what Madison Health saw at the state line, Sullivan Launch, and FL 6 yesterday, presumably just before the rains. And with what Madison Health and Valdosta saw earlier in the week.
It’s surprising because we expected manure runoff.
I suppose it’s possible that there was some and it just didn’t reach Knights Ferry Boat Ramp before the tests. However, it’s less than five miles from the nearest manure in cow pastures down the creeks to the Withlacoochee River, and then less than four river miles to Knights Ferry Boat Ramp. With the river already at a pretty good level, you’d think the leading edge of any runoff would have gotten to Knights Ferry within a few hours. Maybe there just wasn’t enough rain this time, after previous rains flushed much of the problem downstream.
So by the evidence we have, the Withlacoochee River is good for fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend.
No need for inset maps this time: all the “beaches” are green on Swim Guide: follow the link, zoom in, and see.
Valdosta has published its data for last week, which we can see corroborates what we previously posted using Madison Health data: last week was a clean week.
Have a good weekend!
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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