Navigable stream additions to GA HB 1397 2024-02-27

Update 2024-02-28: Navigability in HB 1397 in GA House Natural Resources & Environment Quality Subcommittee 2024-02-26.

Sent this morning.

[Navigable stream additions to GA HB 1397 --WWALS 2024-02-27]
Navigable stream additions to GA HB 1397 –WWALS 2024-02-27

February 27, 2024

To: Cc:

Rep. James Burchett (176),

Rep. John Lahood (175),,

Rep. Dexter Sharper (177),,

Rep. John Corbett (174), ,

Rep. Chas Cannon (172),,

Rep. Penny Houston (170),,

Rep. Darlene Taylor (173),,

Rep. Clay Pirkle (169),,

Rep. Leesa Hagan (156),,

Rep. Bill Yearta (152),,

Rep. Noel Williams (148),,

Rep. Patty Bentley (150),

Re: Navigable stream additions to HB 1397

Rep. Burchett,

You are invited to the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle on the Withlacoochee River just west of Valdosta, this Saturday, March 2, 2024.  

Thank you for introducing HB 1397. And thank you for including all of the reaches of the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers that are in the WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail and all the reaches of the Alapaha River that are in the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail, as well as the Suwannee River in the WWALS Suwannee River Water Trail.  

I am somewhat mystified as to why Bird Wing Run is listed in HB 1397 as the upper limit for Middle Fork Suwannee River? People paddle down the Middle Fork from Maul Hammock Canoe Shelter, after starting at Kingfisher Landing.

Could you please add to the list of navigable streams in HB 1397:

  • East Fork Suwannee River downstream of Canal Run Campsite
  • This is a popular paddling path at least as far upstream as Billys Island.
  • Alapahoochee River downstream of GA 376
  • Sugar Creek downstream of Baytree Road
  • This is a nice urban creek with a beach and shoals.
  • It has the WaterGoat trash trap paid for by the City of Valdosta and cleaned out by volunteers, and featured on WTXL TV.
  • WWALS cleanups on Sugar Creek have included as participants the Valdosta Mayor and Utilities Director  and a Valdosta City Council member.
  • Sugar Creek will be used this coming Saturday, March 2, as the early takeout for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle.  
  • WWALS has invested considerable time and equipment in clearing deadfalls (fallen trees) from Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River in preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle.  
  • Cat Creek downstream of GA 37
  • That would help with finding and fixing E. coli  problems sampled at bridges on those creeks. WWALS has already started investigating those creek problems and has applied for a testing grant.
  • Franks Creek downstream of GA 122
  • Like Cat Creek for E. coli  testing.

Thank you again for HB 1397. And could you please make the above additions.

For the rivers and the aquifer,


John S. Quarterman


Cc: Georgia House members representing parts of the Suwannee River Basin.