Pictures: Chainsaw Cleanup Withlacoochee River 2022-10-16

Update 2023-05-19: Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2023-06-24.

There must be a better way to order pizza.

[Start, chainsaws, pizza, sandbars]
Start, chainsaws, pizza, sandbars

The good news: we did get pizza delivered on the river during the Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2022-10-16. We cleared many logjams. Some of them we had sawed at higher water levels several times before. It seemed like we were a relix rock band doing a greatest hit tour. And at twelve hours we beat our record of taking longer than expected.

Our advice if you want to try paddling this stretch with the water this low (3.6′ or 113.8′ NAVD88) on the US 41 (North Valdosta Road) USGS Gauge?


Not unless you want to drag your boat much of the way. Also, stock up on magnesium and vitamin C for the muscle cramps.

[Dragging boats, 12:50:10, 30.8627133, -83.3230217]
Dragging boats, 12:50:10, 30.8627133, -83.3230217

Yes, I know that was at our current lowest-water recommendation for Langdale Park Boat Ramp and Sugar Creek Landing. But we now have evidence that that’s too low, and we will raise it.

Phil Hubbard says this was worse than when he and I dragged boats 4 of 6 miles on the Little River back in 2016. I don’t know how that can be, since we only went 2.4 Withlacocohee River miles this time. But finally took out several hours after dark. If you do decide to paddle at this water level, take your lightest boat, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

What happens when you climb up a 30-foot river bank, covered in sawdust and river mud, and knock on a door?

“I recognize you! We sent to that river songs event,” said William Bryant Cooley.

[William Bryant Cooley with banners, 17:12:36, 30.8561048, -83.3287687]
William Bryant Cooley with banners, 17:12:36, 30.8561048, -83.3287687

I thanked him for coming to the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest and told him we were having an event right down on the river, maybe he could hear our chainsaws? He said he could.

We had found this Riverhill Drive Deadfall on our July 30th Chainsaw Cleanup, and made it Target Number One for this next chainsaw cleanup.

[This was supposed to be our first target, 30.8560759, -83.3287794]
This was supposed to be our first target, 30.8560759, -83.3287794

As I told William Cooley, we had already chainsawed many other deadfalls before we go there from near Sugar Creek. We had expected to be done by 1 or 2 PM.

[Movie: Two chainsaws, 14:26:37, 30.8589293, -83.3254240 (13M)]
Movie: Two chainsaws, 14:26:37, (13M) 30.8589293, -83.3254240

It was already after 5 PM. So I asked him for some lunch snacks. He handed over some snack bars and chocolate chip cookies, which hit the spot when I handed them out back down on the river.

We were back at chainsawing when here he comes down the bank carrying a pizza and water!

[Thanks for the pizza, 17:18:04, 30.8561502, -83.3285131]
Thanks for the pizza, 17:18:04, 30.8561502, -83.3285131

We thanked him and invited him to the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, from Georgia into Florida and back, this Saturday, October 22nd, at State Line Boat Ramp.

How did we know which house to knock on? Bobby McKenzie had notice that Click ‘n’ Fix user Kellie reported “Tree down: Tree fell in the river behind 2316 riverhill drive”, on April 2, 2022, in ticket # 12120667

Valdosta, GA Verified Official
4/2/22 4:43:48 PM Flag

Valdosta, GA assigned this issue to Public Information

Angela Bray Verified Official
4/4/22 8:04:51 AM Flag

Thank you for reporting, the City of Valdosta will look into this issue and get back to you!

Angela Bray Verified Official
4/4/22 8:04:58 AM Flag

Angela Bray assigned this issue to Angela Bray

Angela Bray Verified Official
4/4/22 9:56:12 AM Flag

Staff met onsite on 4/4 at 9:30 am. It’s private property; however, it’s in the County. Please call the County at 671.2700 if they want to inspect it from their side. Water flow has not been blocked. Thanks for reporting.

Lowndes County also did nothing.

But WWALS dealt with that deadfall, and many others.

There are many more pictures on the WWALS website.

Not many after the Riverhill Drive deadfall, because we were kind of busy trying to get to our take-out, especially after sunset.

[Bend to the left, 18:17:21, 30.8550316, -83.3325827]
Bend to the left, 18:17:21, 30.8550316, -83.3325827

There are still more deadfalls to chainsaw, but they’re downstream from I-75, and we will get them at a slightly higher water level.

For more WWALS outings and events, see:

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!