Category Archives: Weather

No rain, clean Withlacoochee River 2021-05-27

No rain has produced a quite low but clean Withlacoochee River. It’s fortunate WWALS testers sampled Wednesday and Thursday, so it looks like the Withlacoochee River remains about as clean as we’ve ever seen it. Happy boating, fishing, and swimming!

[Bridges, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide]
Bridges, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide

The last results we have from Valdosta are for upstream on Wednesday. They got slightly higher results at US 41 than did WWALS tester Bobby McKenzie, yet lower at GA 133. Continue reading

All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-20

Update 2021-05-28: No rain, clean Withlacoochee River 2021-05-27 .

Good news: all clear on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers for this weekend! That’s as far as E. coli in numerous water quality samples. And the Alapaha River, too, from the one datapoint we have.

[All clear, many samples, three rivers, Swim Guide]
All clear, many samples, three rivers, Swim Guide

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for the GA 122 sites Tuesday: Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River. For Thursday, thanks to Bobby McKenzie for testing Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River and the pictures of the too-low Withlacoochee River at Langdale Park and GA 133. Thanks to Michael Bachrach and Jacob Bachrach in the bug suit for Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps Thursday. Thanks to Gus Cleary for Cleary Bluff Monday and Thursday. Thanks to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for wrangling review of results.

Thanks to Madison Health for State Line, Sullivan Launch, and FL 6 Thursday.

Valdosta was again asleep at the wheel.

Here’s the chart: Continue reading

Good upstream, bad down, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-13

Update 2021-05-22: All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-20.

There’s good water quality news upstream for tomorrow’s Withlacoochee River paddle from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and the Salty Snapper.
https://www1.wwals.net?p=55532

Yesterday (Thursday) Bobby McKenzie sampled Langdale Park Boat Ramp and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, and Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River. His results today for all three were well within the single-sample limit for E. coli.

Eyeballing the Withlacoochee at GA 133, he decided the level was too low for that stretch of the paddle. However, Bobby paddled from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and up it, and except for a couple of portages as you get to Sugar Creek, there’s plenty of water. Bring mud boots and you can stand up in the river there and drag your boat across. And 10% off lunch for each paddler at the Salty Snapper!

[Results, Plates, River, Swim Guide]
Results, Plates, River, Swim Guide

Also for Thursday, there’s bad news from Knights Ferry Boat Ramp downstream to the state line, and by now that contamination has probably washed farther down the river. WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach got horrendous results at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, and above the single-sample limit at State Line Boat Ramp. Nankin Boat Ramp was barely within that limit. If I were you, I would stay off the Withlacoochee River below US 84 for a few days. Continue reading

Pop-up Paddle, Okefenokee Swamp, and Songwriting Contest on Scott James radio 2021-05-11

Update 2021-05-14: There’s good water quality news upstream for tomorrow’s Withlacoochee River paddle from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and the Salty Snapper. Not so good downstream.

The Salty Snapper pop-up paddle this Saturday may be a bit truncated, due to water levels getting low. We may paddle only from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to the Salty Snapper, because the second leg on to Troupville Boat Ramp is getting too low. Expedition leader Bobby McKenzie will post updates on the facebook event and the meetup, and we’ll blog final status before the paddle. Bobby’s out paddling the route right now.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1136633426809951/
https://www.meetup.com/Withlacoochee-Alapaha-Suwannee-RIvers-WWALS-Outings/events/278008951/

Follow this link for other details on this outing:
https://www1.wwals.net?p=55532

Looks like you can shuttle by scheduling with the new Valdosta on-demand minibus transit service for a $2 ride back from the Salty Snapper to Langdale Park Boat Ramp.
https://www.valdostacity.com/public-works/valdosta-demand

[Movie: Pop-up paddle, no fee, at Langdale Park, Saturday, 2021-05-15]

Tuesday morning, Suwannee Riverkeeper was talking about this paddle with Scott James on his 92.1 FM radio show.

Here’s a WWALS video playlist:

Continue reading

Cancelled due to weather: BIG Little River Paddle Race

Adel, Georgia, April 25, 2021 — Because of predicted water level rise and dirt shuttle roads being too muddy and treacherous to drive, the BIG Little River Paddle Race is cancelled.

Yesterday, due to predicted heavy rain, Bret Wagenhorst postponed BLRPR to this afternoon. But today, after still more rain last night, and despite a nice sunny day today, conditions are still not favorable, as described above.

So Dr. Wagenhorst says: “I am officially and finally cancelling this year’s BIG Little River Paddle Race. I hate to do this but paddler safety is paramount.”

[USGS Folsom Bridge Little River gauge near Hahira 2021-04-25 09:15]
USGS Folsom Bridge Little River gauge near Hahira 2021-04-25 09:15
USGS Folsom Bridge Little River Hahira Gauge 2021-04-25 09:15

I think we can all agree safety first. For next year, WWALS and FORB and the park will be evaluating how best to handle this sort of situation.

However, so decisions can be made, One person is in charge of rescheduling or cancelling BLRPR, and all three organizations involved support his decision.

Tomorrow, Monday, April 26, 2021, WWALS has the Banks Lake Full Pink Moon Paddle, to watch the sun set and the moon rise, and maybe see bats. To join us for this leisurely paddle on a flat lake, please be there by 7:15 PM, at Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635.

Friends of Reed Bingham State Park (FORB) is Continue reading

Little Rain, Still Clean, Withlacoochee River 2021-04-01

Update 2021-04-10: Clean week, Withlacoochee River 2021-04-08.

The rain came gently Wednesday, and the Withlacoochee River was still clean Thursday, April 1, 2021, no joke.

[Clean results, Withlacoochee River down and up, Swim Guide]
Clean results, Withlacoochee River down and up, Swim Guide

Thanks to WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach for testing Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps, and to Gus Cleary for testing at Cleary Bluff below Allen Ramp. All came out zero or within one E. coli colony of zero. Can’t ask for much better than that.

We have no new results from Madison Health since Thursday a week ago, and nothing new from Valdosta since Monday.

So according to the data we have, all from WWALS, happy boating, swimming, and fishing in the Withlacoochee River this weekend, at least if you don’t mind a bit of chill! Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee River 2021-03-25

Update 2021-03-29: Still clean last week, filthy Friday before, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-26.

Clean everywhere, according to five WWALS testers who sampled spots on 80 Withlacoochee River miles Thursday, plus two on the Little River and one on the Alapaha River.

The latest we have from Madison Health is for Tuesday, and from Valdosta is for Friday a week ago, but those were clean, too. There’s been little to no recent rain, so probably nothing bad has washed into the rivers.

Good news for this morning’s paddle from Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge that Scott James calls the Mayor’s Paddle.

Laissez les bon bateaux rouler! Continue reading

Withlacoochee River flood paddle 2021-02-27

Some of us paddled anyway back in February, after we first rescheduled the Mayor’s Paddle, which is coming up next weekend, Saturday, March 27, 2021. Two months earlier, it was smooth sailing for experienced paddlers. The overhanging branches would have been a problem for novices, and there were very few places to get out if you did capsize.

But the Withlacoochee River should be just right by this Saturday, so come on along!
https://www1.wwals.net?p=54923

You’ll get to see the Little River Confluence, future site of Troupville River Camp, when it’s not underwater, as well as the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant Outfall (of clean treated water), Millrace Creek and other creeks, as well as three bridges, including our takeout just below Spook Bridge. Thanks to The Langdale Company for access there and at the lunch stop.

WWALS is happy to have Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson as our guest. He will speak before we paddle, as will Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter. We are inviting nearby county and city officials in Georgia and Florida, as well as statehouse and Congress members. Each elected official will get three minutes to speak.

[Left: Smooth paddling, Mayor at WWTP Outfall, Sunny overhanging limbs, Buzzards, Lunch stop with Russell's turtle, Spook Bridge]
Left: Smooth paddling, Mayor at WWTP Outfall, Sunny overhanging limbs, Buzzards, Lunch stop with Russell’s turtle, Spook Bridge

[Need a bigger boat, Mayor?, 09:06:29, 30.8515344, -83.3478232]
Need a bigger boat, Mayor?, 09:06:29, 30.8515344, -83.3478232

I will say a few words about advocacy, especially water quality testing. Expedition leader Bobby McKenzie will give the safety lecture. Then we will paddle!

Click on any small picture to see a larger one. Continue reading

Clean week despite rain, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-18

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.

[Good chart, clean plates, green Swim Guide]
Good chart, clean plates, green Swim Guide

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 Continue reading

Spring Reschedule: Adams Tract River Camping, Suwannee River, Hardenbergh Boat Ramp, 2021-04-10

All the river camps are closed due to high water for the Spring Equinox weekend, so we are rescheduling the Adams Tract Camping paddle for Saturday and Sunday 10-11 April, 2021.

Join us for our first spring paddle, on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail in Florida!

We will paddle 8 miles on the Suwannee River the first day, and 10 miles on the second day, after camping at Adams Tract River Camp. There are many springs along the way.

We will check temperatures with an infrared thermometer, and everyone will be expected to keep their distance from people not in their party, and to wear masks when closer than six feet. Self shuttle if you can (have a close friend or relative shuttle you), or join the team shuttle from the takeout back to the put-in; see below.

To be sure you have a spot at the camp, please say you’re going on the meetup.
https://www.meetup.com/Withlacoochee-Alapaha-Suwannee-RIvers-WWALS-Outings/events/276407283/
River Camp platforms are available on first-come first-serve basis, so plan for primitive camping.

When:
Gather 9:30 AM, launch 11 AM, end overnight, Saturday, April 10, 2021
Gather 8 AM, launch 9 AM, end 2 PM, Sunday, April 11, 2021

Put In: Hardenbergh Boat Ramp. From Mayo, travel east on US 27 to NE CR 361; turn left; travel north to NE CR 354; cross over to NE Pecan Avenue; turn right on NE River Road and follow to the boat ramp, in Lafayette County.

GPS: 30.0903, -83.111903

Take Out: Ivey Memorial Park Ramp, in Branford on the south side of US 27 at the Bridge in Ivey Memorial Park, in Suwannee County.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the $10 at the outing, or online:
https://www1.wwals.net/donations/#outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://www1.wwals.netdonations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

[Adams Tract River Camp, Spring lily, map, Suwannee River Wilderness Trail]
Adams Tract River Camp, Spring lily, map, Suwannee River Wilderness Trail

Continue reading