Category Archives: creeks

Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Trash, Okefenokee –Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James Radio 2022-01-20

Update 2022-01-19: Changed to 8:30 AM.

Thursday morning at 8AM 8:30 AM, Suwannee Riverkeeper will be on Scott James Talk 92.1 FM radio, about the annual 11-mile Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers coming up in a week, the trash situation of Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River, and how you can ask the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to stop a strip mine far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, and ask GA-EPD to stop that second wood pellet plant in Adel while you’re at it.

We may also talk about water trails, water quality testing, and who knows what else.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper and Scott James, 92.1 FM, 2021-10-19]
Suwannee Riverkeeper and Scott James, 92.1 FM, 2021-10-19

When: 8 AM 8:30 AM, Thursday, January 20, 2022

Where: Talk 92.1 FM radio, Scott James drivetime show
http://talk921.com/

Listen: Over the air, or through the radio show’s own website, or through any of several online listening services.

Event: facebook

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see Continue reading

Chervil Drive Distributary, Withlacoochee River 2022-01-13

Another Withlacoochee River distributary to a sinkhole! This one revealed by WWALS member and archaeologist Tom Baird. I’m calling it Chervil Drive Distributary because we don’t know any more traditional or official name for it. It’s downstream from the Chitty Bend East Distributary and on the other side of the river.

[Chervil Distributary, Withlacoochee River, Madison County, FL]
Chervil Distributary, Withlacoochee River, Madison County, FL, in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

Another interesting feature is further down river on the right bank about a mile above Madison Blue Springs. At flood, water pours through a gap in the limestone bank and floods a large channel that goes back to a deep sink. The weight of water in the past broke through the ceiling of a cavern and created a beautiful, clear, good-sized swimming hole. It was evidently a popular swimming and picnic spot in the past. Don’t know the correct name of the feature; my wife and I call it “Thanksgiving Spring”, because we found it while hiking around one Thanksgiving Day. However, it’s not a spring (no water comes from it), but an opening to the water table. Nice and cool on a hot day. J

Continue reading

Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Shirley Kokidko 2022-01-07

River scout Shirley Kokidko went to investigate Mystery: Withlacoochee River Distributary 2021-01-01 and came back with these pictures from Friday, January 7, 2022.

Remember: it’s not safe to paddle in there.

[Distributary, Swallet, Sinkhole]
Distributary, Swallet, Sinkhole

Chitty Bend East Distributary

The Withlacoochee River was 57.9′ NAVD88 (11.4′) on the Pinetta gauge. Continue reading

KUR: M2 Blue cave system, Madison County, Florida

Update 2022-01-10: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Shirley Kokidko 2022-01-07.

What’s underneath the Mystery: Withlacoochee River Distributary 2021-01-01? The M2 Blue cave system in Madison and Hamilton Counties, explored by Karst Underwater Research (KUR).

There’s a “Gully / Swallet” marked on this KUR map of the M2 caves, very close to where the sinkhole at the end of the distributary. Both maps in this post are credited to KUR. Please follow the links for the rest of KUR’s descriptions, pictures, and videos. Continue reading

Pictures: Alapahoochee River, GA 135 to Sullivan Launch Sasser Landing 2021-06-05

Bird Chamberlain and others had been suggesting it for years, and we finally did it: the Alapahoochee River from GA 135 to Sasser Landing on the Alapaha River. We paddled over many deadfalls, across the GA-FL line, past the creek of shark teeth, under old abandoned steel Beatty Bridge, through Devil Shoal, right by Turket Creek Waterfall.

[Banners, Alapahoochee River, Deadfall, Beatty Bridge, Devil Shoal, Turket Creek Waterfall]
Banners, Alapahoochee River, Deadfall, Beatty Bridge, Devil Shoal, Turket Creek Waterfall

Many thanks to Bobby McKenzie for organizing this expedition, to the WWALS Outings Committee for planning it, and to all who paddled, including Suzanne Welander, author of Canoeing and Kayaking Georgia, who came down from Atlanta for this outing. Continue reading

Mystery: Withlacoochee River Distributary 2021-01-01

Update 2022-01-10: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Shirley Kokidko 2022-01-07.

Update 2021-12-28: KUR: M2 Blue cave system, Madison County, Florida.

Where exactly does Withlacoochee River water run into this creek, about three hundred feet into the woods, and disappear into a sinkhole? Left (east) bank, which is state land, or right (west) bank, which is private land? If it doesn’t have an observation platform, where is the one pictured? Maybe you can help us resolve this mystery.

One thing is clear: do not paddle into this distributary! When the river is high, the current is high, and you will have a hard time gettin back out. There are deadfalls and a sinkhole at the end.

[Platform, Distributary]
Platform, Distributary

Here’s where this mystery started:

“Some 7 miles downriver from CR 150, there is a 10- to 12-foot opening in the high banks on the east side where water comes rushing out of the river. If followed, this stream flows for 75 to 100 yards and then disappears under a high bank. In Florida, whole rivers disappear in this manner, but it is unusual to lose just part of a river.”

That’s from Canoeing & Kayaking Florida, Menasha Ridge Press; 2nd edition (November 11, 2007), by Johnny Molloy, Elizabeth F. Carter et al., Page 122, Georgia State Line to Suwannee River S.P. Hm, I see there’s now a third edition of November 11, 2016.

Helen Crowley says she and Shirley Kokidko and Don Crowley paddled past there on January 1, 2021. She sent this picture as of the distributary. Continue reading

Please deny second Adel wood pellet plant –WWALS to GA-EPD 2021-11-19

Let one pellet plant in, and another follows. WWALS asked GA-EPD to stop that second one in Adel, Georgia, on the divide between the Little and Withlacoochee River Basins, between Morrison Creek of the Little River and Bear Creek of the Withlacoochee River. Any contaminant spills could end up in one or the other. Deforestation could affect water flows and increase flooding.

[Tree cutting radius, plant location, letter]
Tree cutting radius, plant location, letter

WWALS Public Comments on Air Permit Application No. 28143 for Spectrum Energy Georgia, LLC

See also the PDF, and the permit application. Continue reading

Good Thursday, but big Friday rains probably will cause contamination, Withlacoochee River 2021-11-04

Update 2021-11-13: Clean rivers 2021-11-13.

All pretty clean for Thursday and Wednesday samples on the Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers, but there were big rains Friday, so expect the same kind of contamination today and tomorrow that happened a week ago after similar rains. I’d wait a few days before boating, swimming, or fishing in the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, Folsom, Hagan; Lakeland, Cleary Bluff; Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line; Swim Guide]
Chart, Folsom, Hagan; Lakeland, Cleary Bluff; Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line; Swim Guide

None of the WWALS results for Thursday were zero, but they’re all well below the 410 cfu/100 mL one-time limit.

We have Valdosta downstream results through last Friday. Once again Valdosta results corroborate WWALS results. It’s interesting that last Thursday’s rain contamination had reached Nankin but not State Line by last Friday morning. The Valdosta Okapilco Creek results indicates much of that contamination is probably the usual cattle manure runoff coming out of Brooks County. It’s still lower than the results from last year under similar conditions, so whatever the cattle farmers are doing seems to be working, with room for more improvement. Continue reading

Big rains and big contamination 2021-10-28

Update 2021-11-06: Good Thursday, but big Friday rains probably will cause contamination, Withlacoochee River 2021-11-04.

Our upstream tester got rained out at GA 122 Thursday, but downstream at Knights Ferry on the Withlacoochee River WWALS got way too high E. coli. That contamination is now running downstream.

[Chart + Alapaha River; Withlacoochee River; KF plates, Clearys Bluff; Swim Guide Map]
Chart + Alapaha River; Withlacoochee River; KF plates, Clearys Bluff; Swim Guide Map

Where did it come from? Chances are the usual cattle manure runoff out of Brooks County, Georgia, down Okapilco Creek. Probably plus wild hogs.

This is unfortunately what we’ve come to expect after big rains. And every gauge we follow got more than an inch of rain Thursday.

So I do not recommend river fishing, swimming, or boating this weekend. Continue reading

Pictures: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, Mayor’s Paddle 2021-03-27

Third scheduled time was the charm for the Second Annual Mayor’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River, Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge. In addition to the nice writeup in the Valdosta Daily Times, here are some pictures. Only two or three people capsized, nobody was mad, and everybody had a good time.

[Troupville Boat Ramp, WWTP Outfall, Spring Branch, Lunch banners, Spook Bridge Landing, VSU CORE, Ride]
Troupville Boat Ramp, WWTP Outfall, Spring Branch, Lunch banners, Spook Bridge Landing, VSU CORE, Ride

The 2022 version will be the Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle, coming up Saturday, January 29, 2021 2022. Stay tuned. Update 2021-10-28: Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, 2022-01-29.

Thanks to The Langdale Company for access at the lunch spot and at Spook Bridge. Thanks to the Boys and Girls Club for shuttling. Thanks to Steve Miller for his ATV for shuttling people up from the river at Spook Bridge to the road. Thanks to Bobby McKenzie for leading the outing.

We found some landmarks, such as where the Valdosta, Moultrie, and Western (VMW) Railroad used to cross the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading