Category Archives: creeks

All WWALS water trails navigable according to GA HB 1397 2024-02-22

Update 2024-02-25: Need to add Sugar Creek, as well as Cat Creek and Franks Creek.

Following up on the December 2023 report of the Fishing Rights Study Committee, that Committee’s Chair, Rep. Burchett of Waycross, who is also the House Majority Whip, this Thursday introduced HB 1397, which defines navigable streams in Georgia.

[Warrior Creek, Okapilco Creek, Deep Creek, Bird Wing Run]
Warrior Creek, Okapilco Creek, Deep Creek, Bird Wing Run

The bill’s list appears to include all of Georgia parts of the WWALS water trails, plus some creeks and an upstream reach of the Alapaha River.

However, the entire Alapahoochee River is missing, https://wwals.net/maps/alapaha-water-trail/arwt-map/arwt-points/#ga-376-bridge, as is the East Fork of the Suwannee River in the Okefenokee Swamp. The North Fork of the Suwannee River is missing, but it’s so overgrown that’s not surprising.

Considering the inclusion of Okapilco Creek, the bill needs to add Sugar Creek below Baytree Road, which is a nice urban creek with a beach and shoals, https://wwals.net/?p=56221 with the WaterGoat trash trap, https://wwals.net/?p=63876 and will be used this coming Saturday, March 2, as the early takeout for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle. https://wwals.net/?p=64095

Similarly, the bill could add add Cat Creek below GA 37 and Franks Creek below GA 122. That would help with finding and fixing E. coli problems seen at bridges on those creeks. WWALS has already started investigating those creek problems and has applied for a testing grant. https://wwals.net/?p=58982

These are the bill’s items in the Suwannee River Basin. If I’ve missed any, somebody let me know. Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers and Franks Creek 2024-02-21

We got good results for Wednesday for the Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, Ichetucknee, and Suwannee Rivers, and Franks Creek.

Valdosta’s recent upstream Withlacoochee River results through Monday are good. Although I recently remarked that Valdosta was better lately about posting its results in a timely manner, Valdosta’s Wednesday results are still not posted.

The rain predicted for yesterday turned out to be a drizzle. No more rain is predicted for a week.

So if you like high, fast, and cold water, this weekend is good for paddling. Maybe fishing. Swimming with a wetsuit.

However, the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers are up from previous upstream rains. The Santa Fe River is coming back down. The Suwannee was never especially high. I’d recommend the Ichetucknee, Suwannee, or Santa Fe Rivers for this weekend, or Banks Lake this evening. Continue reading

Tifton 7,000-gallon sewage spill, Golden Road above Little River 2024-02-12

Update 2024-02-23: Ribbon cutting for Water Quality Testing Lab at Valdosta Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant 2024-03-05.

A major spill takes 10,000 gallons, so Tifton spilled less than that at 7,000 gallons, making it a minor spill.

[Tifton Golden Road 7,000-gallon sewage spill into Little River 2024-02-12]
Tifton Golden Road 7,000-gallon sewage spill into Little River 2024-02-12

According to the February 19, 2024, GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report, this Tifton spill happened February 12, due to power failure.

Tifton, like Ashburn, may want to invest in some backup generators.

The location given by GA-EPD is 803 E. Golden Road, into “Gum Creek”.

[803 Golden Road, Tifton, Spill of 2024-02-12 in GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report 2024-02-19]
803 Golden Road, Tifton, Spill of 2024-02-12 in GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report 2024-02-19

That address is just west of the Golden Road Lift Station that has been the location of previous spills, including:

The excuse each time was power failure or equipment failure. Continue reading

Valdosta Boone Drive and Knob Hill small sewage spills 2024-02-20

Update 2024-02-22: Tifton 7,000-gallon sewage spill, Golden Road above Little River 2024-02-12.

This Tuesday, February 20, 2024, we learned of two small Valdosta sewage spills, each 100 gallons. That’s not enough to get down the creeks to affect the Withlacoochee River, but enough to stink up the neighborhood.

[Map, Boone Drive & Knob Hill 100-gallon sewer spills, Valdosta, GA, 2024-02-20]
Map, Boone Drive & Knob Hill 100-gallon sewer spills, Valdosta, GA, 2024-02-20

One was on Boone Drive at Baytree Road, next to Valdosta State University and One Mile Branch, which runs into Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

The other was at 215 Knob Hill Road on a ditch that runs into Three Mile Branch at the southeast corner of Langdale Park, then into the Withlacoochee River near the southwest corner of the park. That’s the same location as the much larger January 10 spill.

I learned about the Boone Drive spill when I called Valdosta Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes Tuesday morning about the Knob Hill spill.

Neither of these spills has yet appeared in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. Jason Barnes says he already sent a report on the Boone Drive spill to EPD, and he will send one soon about the new Knob Hill spill. Continue reading

Pictures: Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-11

Three of us cleared boating passage between the Sugar Creek WaterGoat on the Withlacoochee River behind the Valdosta YMCA and Wood Valley, around the future Troupville Nature Park and River Camp, past the Little River Confluence, then upstream on the Little River to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Thanks to Phil Hubbard for leading, and his Stihl chainsaw and electric chainsaw, to Shawn O’Connor for using his polesaw.

[Sawing Hurricane and other deadfalls, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, Troupville Boat Ramp 2024-02-11]
Sawing Hurricane and other deadfalls, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, Troupville Boat Ramp 2024-02-11

I brought the new Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-inch chainsaw, paid for through a generous grant by Wild Green Future.

That grant also paid for some other things you will see in the near future. Today at Troupville Boat Ramp, at 4:30 PM, we will be trying out some of those things.

The big deadfall between GA 133 and I-75 was underwater, but there were plenty more to work on.

This is all in preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Saturday, March 2, 2024, starting at Langdale Park.

There are more pictures below.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations

Continue reading

Clean rivers and creek 2024-02-14

Update 2024-02-24: Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers and Franks Creek 2024-02-21.

Update 2024-02-22: Valdosta Boone Drive and Knob Hill small sewage spills 2024-02-20.

We got good results for Wednesday for the Alapaha, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers, and Franks Creek.

Valdosta’s recent upstream Withlacoochee River results through Wednesday are good.

Rain is predicted for this weekend, through Saturday. But if there is not much rain, paddling Sunday should be OK. If you like high water, since the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers are up from previous upstream rains. The Santa Fe River is coming back down. The Suwannee was never especially high.

WWALS has two outings coming up on Saturday, February 24, 2024: the morning paddle from Knights Ferry to Nankin on the Withlacoochee River, and the evening Full Snow Moon paddle on Banks Lake.

And of course don’t forget that Saturday, March 2, is the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle from Langdale Park to Troupville on the Withlacoochee River. That one is free, thanks to a generous grant from Georgia Power.

[Chart, Clean Franks Creek and Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers 2024-02-14, Map]
Chart, Clean Franks Creek and Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers 2024-02-14, Map

No sewage spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida in the past week.

But one was reported in Georgia. Ashburn had a spill of 3,000 gallons of raw sewage into Ashburn Branch, which flows into the Little River. Continue reading

Three clean rivers 2024-02-07

Update 2024-02-16: Clean rivers and creek 2024-02-14.

We got good results for Wednesday for the Alapaha, Withlacoochee, and Santa Fe Rivers.

Valdosta’s Monday upstream Withlacoochee River and Three Mile Branch results were too high after the Sunday rain. Thanks to Valdosta Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes for the Valdosta Wednesday results at GA 133 (OK) and US 84 (bad). He promises those and the US 41 (North Valdosta Road) Wednesday results will be on valdostacity.com website next week.

No rain is predicted for this weekend.

In the past week, no sewage spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

So I’d avoid the Withlacoochee River from US 84 to the state line, but other than that, happy fishing, paddling, and swimming this weekend.

[Chart, Three Clean Rivers, Map 2024-02-07]
Chart, Three Clean Rivers, Map 2024-02-07

Or join us tomorrow (Saturday) for Ichetucknee Polar Plunge and Paddle or Sunday for Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup. Continue reading

Clean Santa Fe and Withlacoochee Rivers 2024-02-01

Update 2024-02-09: Three clean rivers 2024-02-07.

We got good results for Wednesday the Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers. Valdosta’s Wednesday upstream Withlacoochee River results concur.

There is prediction of rain on Sunday, but you can get on the water before then.

So happy fishing, paddling, and swimming this weekend.

Or join us today (Saturday) for Finish: Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2024-02-03.

[Chart, Clean Rivers, Map 2024-02-01]
Chart, Clean Rivers, Map 2024-02-01

Sewage Spills

For once, there were more spills in Florida than in Georgia, although not all were sewage.

One sewage spill was reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia for last Friday, from Quitman. It first appeared in the Monday, January 29, 2024, GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report, with little detail. Continue reading

Sponsored: Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2024-03-02

Georgia Power has pledged a substantial grant for the Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle on the Withlacoochee River, Saturday, March 2, 2024.

“Thanks to Joe Brownlee and Georgia Power, WWALS will not require any payment to paddle,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Just use the eventbrite free ticket to reserve a spot so we’ll have an idea of how many are coming.”
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mayor-and-chairmans-paddle-langdale-park-to-troupville-2024-tickets-799890352577

[Paddlers, Mayor, Chairman 2023-03-04]
Paddlers, Mayor, Chairman 2023-03-04

“However, if you want to support the advocacy and activities of WWALS, there is also a paid ticket through eventbrite. Or become a member or sponsor. Anyway, come down and paddle, see the sights, and have fun!”

For further information about the paddle, see:
https://wwals.net/?p=64027

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2024-02-11

Come help clean up the Withlacoochee River behind the Valdosta YMCA and onwards to the Little River Confluence, then upstream on the Little River to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Bring a chainsaw if you really know how to use it, but you do not have to saw to join us.

You can help by taking pictures, moving sawed branches out of the way, or collecting trash.

We’ve already done this stretch more than once, but we know there’s at least one big deadfall between GA 133 and I-75, and we do not know what Hurricane Idalia added. Bring a rope on each end of your boat in case of portages.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 4 PM, Sunday, February 11, 2024

Put In: Meet at the back of the Berta’s Pizza Kitchen parking lot, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602 and we’ll go to the put-in from there.

GPS: 30.861764, -83.318854

[Crowe Deadfall 2022-07-30; Riverhill Drive Deadfall 2022-10-16; Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-11]
Crowe Deadfall 2022-07-30; Riverhill Drive Deadfall 2022-10-16; Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-11

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