Category Archives: Weather

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

Boat Motor Tryouts, Troupville Boat Ramp, Little River 2024-02-18

Update 2024-02-26: Pictures: Chainsaw cleanup from Troupville up to Sugar Creek and back 2024-02-25.

Successful boat trials at Action Stage on the Little River!

Five of us went down to Troupville Boat Ramp, just west of Valdosta, Georgia, to test out some new boat motors.

[9.9hp outboard and 86lb thrust trolling motor (thanks, Wild Green Future) and jon boat (thanks, Flint Riverkeeper) and Bass Fisher (WWALS)]
9.9hp outboard and 86lb thrust trolling motor (thanks, Wild Green Future) and jon boat (thanks, Flint Riverkeeper) and Bass Fisher (WWALS)

Here’s a WWALS video playlist:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKwQ5xfKf-QznYIX_GRvlK7Rc4P_Ms5DG&si=ll_y4evyoJbmxSgu


Successful boat trials at Action Stage on the Little River!
Videos by John S. Quarterman and Russell Allen McBride for WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS).

Thanks to Laura D’Alisera for transfering the new WWALS 9.9hp Mercury fourstroke 20-inch shaft electric start outboard motor ten miles from West Marine in Jacksonville Beach to a shipping location, where Phil Hubbard received it Saturday. Thanks to Wild Green Future (WGF) for the generous grant that bought it.

Sunday evening, Russell Allen McBride, Shawn O’Connor, Bobby McKenzie, and I unboxed it, connected it to its fuel supply, and tried it out. Thanks to Flint Riverkeeper for the jon boat.

With that outboard, the jon boat will indeed go upriver easily under these conditions. It took only ten minutes to haul Russell in his kayak up the third of a mile from the Little River Confluence to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Also due to WGF, we received an 85lb-thrust Goplus 8 Speed, 36 inch shaft, trolling motor, two Power Queen LiFePO4 12.8V 100Ah, lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, and a Power Queen 14.6V 10A LiFePO4 Battery Charger. Those we put on the WWALS bass fisher chainsawing boat, plus the old WWALS 40lb-thrust mounted on the front. Shawn and I demonstrated that the new motor alone will push that boat upstream in these conditions, and both motors will troll it upstream at a walking pace. Which is all we need to get back to the ramp from the Confluence during chainsaw cleanups.

You’ve already seen the chainsaw WGF paid for from a week ago, Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-11.

We are awaiting a couple more items via the WGF grant. Stay tuned.

This is more preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Saturday, March 2, 2024, starting at Langdale Park. One hopes that the water level will be well below Sunday’s 148′ NAVD 1988 level, or we may have to reschedule for later.

And also preparation for more chainsaw cleanups on other stretches of this and other rivers.

Next: 9AM Sunday, February 25, 2024, we will take the jon boat from Troupville Boat Ramp down around the Confluence and up the Withlacoochee River to Langdale Park, chainsawing any remaining paddle obstacles along the way. That one will be a bit hard to participate in by paddling.

The day before that, Saturday, February 24, please join us for in the morning for Knights Ferry to Nankin on the Withlacoochee River and in the evening for Banks Lake Full Snow Moon Paddle.

There are more pictures below. Continue reading

Pictures: Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek –Phil Royce 2024-02-03

Thanks to Shawn O’Connor for leading this chainsaw cleanup, Saturday a week ago, from Langdale Park to Sugar Creek on the Withlacoochee River.

This is in preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, March 2, 2024.
https://wwals.net/?p=64095

Phil Royce drove an hour from Live Oak, Florida, and Gary Koch drove two hours from Ocala, Florida, saying it was better to stop trash upstream. In addition to regulars Russell Allen McBride and Bobby McKenzie, Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson came to see us off; he’s second from left in the banner picture. More on that in a later post.

These pictures are by Phil Royce. Phil had to leave early, so his portage pictures are before we came along and sawed a river passage.

[Banners, bass fisher, chain saws, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek 2024-02-03]
Banners, bass fisher, chain saws, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek 2024-02-03

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

Pictures: Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Withlacoochee River Chainsaw Cleanup 2024-01-27

We got some deadfalls out of the way of canoe and kayak paddling, between Langdale Park Boat Ramp and Sugar Creek on the Withlacoochee River, January 27, 2024.

Thanks to Phil Hubbard for leading and doing the most sawing, to Shawn O’Connor for sawing, to Russell Allen McBride for collecting trash, and I also sawed, although I did not video myself doing it.

The weather was sunny and warm. The water level was about 119.3 NAVD 1988 on the US 41 (North Valdosta Road) USGS gauge.

[Got some deadfalls, more to do, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek, 2024-01-27]
Got some deadfalls, more to do, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek, 2024-01-27

Join us tomorrow, February 3, to get more. The water level is down to 118.4, so it should be about a foot lower tomorrow than last Saturday, which should make our job easier.

Or join us February 11 for the Sugar Creek to Troupville chainsaw cleanup.

These chainsaw cleanups are in preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, March 2, 2024, which will run from Langdale Park three miles to the early takeout at Sugar Creek, then another four miles to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Here’s a WWALS video of last Saturday’s chainsaw cleanup:
https://youtu.be/4hrVr93KQnw

Don’t try this at home.

Continue reading

Finish: Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2024-02-03

Update 2024-02-18: Pictures: Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek –Phil Royce 2024-02-03.

We got quite a few deadfalls last Saturday, now to finish the rest.

Come help us remove some deadfalls that are impeding canoe and kayak paddling.

You do not have to use any kind of saw to join us. You can take pictures, or help move sawed limbs aside, or collect trash.

Bring a chainsaw if you really know how to use it. Or a handsaw, or sawzall.

Phil Hubbard led the last one. Thanks to Shawn O’Connor for leading this one.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 1 PM, Saturday, February 3, 2024

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, off I-75 Exit 22.

GPS: 30.88747, -83.32395

[We got some easy and hard deadfalls last time; finish this time. Photo: John S. Quarterman 2024-01-27]
We got some easy and hard deadfalls last time; finish this time. Photo: John S. Quarterman 2024-01-27

Continue reading

Try again: Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2024-01-27

Update 2024-02-02: Pictures: Got some deadfalls, more to do, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-01-27 2024-01-27.

Rescheduled again due to water too high and temperature too cold.

Come help us remove some deadfalls that are impeding canoe and kayak paddling. There are probably also new ones after Hurricane Idalia.

Bring a chainsaw if you really know how to use it. Or a handsaw, or sawzall.

But you do not have to use any kind of saw to join us. You can take pictures, or help move sawed limbs aside, or collect trash.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 1 PM, Saturday, January 27, 2024

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602

GPS: 30.88747, -83.32395

[IG: Easy and hard deadfalls 2021-05-15 for 2024-01-27]
Easy and hard deadfalls 2021-05-15 for 2024-01-27

Continue reading

Dirty Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers 2024-01-11

Update 2024-01-19: Three Clean Rivers 2024-01-17.

We got bad results for Thursday for one Alapaha River site and horrible results for one Withlacoochee River site.

Russ Tatum’s Holly Point site went from zero E. coli for Wednesday to 5,000 for Thursday. We don’t know whether this is related to Valdosta’s Wednesday 100,000-gallon sewage spill into Three Mile Branch to the Withlacoochee River, but it could be. In the last week, no other pollution spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia, and none at all in Florida.

The most recent City of Valdosta Withlacoochee River results we have are for Monday, and they are all too high after last Saturday’s rain. There was more rain Tuesday, and a bit more yesterday (Friday).

If I were you, I would avoid the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers this weekend. Maybe even the Ichetucknee and Santa Fe Rivers.

We shall see whether the Withlacoochee is clean enough and low enough Sunday week for the Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-01-21.

[Chart, Rivers, Map 2024-01-11]
Chart, Rivers, Map 2024-01-11

WWALS tester Kimberly Godden Tanner tested the Alapaha River at Lakeland Boat Ramp @ GA 122 and at Naylor Park Beach @ US 84. She wrote, “Both locations were clean [of trash]. The only additional item of note was a couple a dead fish on the ground at the boat ramp in Lakeland. I am not a fisher, so I am unaware of why this might be.” Continue reading

Three Clean Rivers 2024-01-04

Update 2024-01-13: Valdosta sewage spill, Three Mile Branch, Withlacoochee River 2024-01-10.

We got excellent results for eleven sites on three rivers for Thursday: Alapaha, Withlacoochee, and Santa Fe. Valdosta’s Wednesday results on the Withlacoochee River in Georgia concurred. Even Valdosta’s weekly test results on Knights Creek concurred.

However, there was almost an inch of rain upstream this Saturday morning, so that may have washed E. coli into the rivers, but probably not a lot.

More rain is predicted starting tomorrow. Meanwhile, the rivers are back down to reasonable levels. So if you don’t mind being chilly, happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend, and once again Happy New Year!

Please join us on zoom this Thursday as Fannie Gibbs kicks off the new WWALS Webinar series.

Please join us in two weeks for a Sunday Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-01-21.

[Chart, Rivers, Map 2024-01-04]
Chart, Rivers, Map 2024-01-04

In the last week, no pollution spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida.

And no new ones in Georgia. But GA-EPD corrected the December 11 Valdosta major spill location on December 28 to 1850 E Park Ave. That’s better, since that is where the problem sewer line is. I still don’t know why latlong GPS coordinates cannot also be included. Florida requires them for every report.

On January 2, GA-EPD corrected the December 17 Quitman wastewater plant lift station spill to Quitman instead of DeKalb County.

Thanks, GA-EPD, for the corrections, after Suwannee Riverkeeper asked you to look into it. Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers, dirty Sugar Creek 2023-12-28

Update 2024-01-06: Three Clean Rivers 2024-01-04.

We got good results for two sites on the Santa Fe River for Wednesday, and bad results on Sugar Creek of the Withlacoochee River, plus excellent results for two Withlacoochee River sites for Thursday. All the other WWALS testers are off for the holidays, but Valdosta’s Wednesday results on the Withlacoochee River in Georgia were good.

There has been no significant rain in a week, so the E. coli washed into the rivers by the previous big rains has gotten diluted or washed downstream.

No more rain is predicted until Thursday, and the rivers are back down to reasonable levels. So if you don’t mind being chilly, happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend, and Happy New Year! Continue reading

Bad water quality, Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers 2023-12-21

Update 2023-12-28: Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers, dirty Sugar Creek 2023-12-28.

We got bad results for three sites on two rivers in Florida for Wednesday, Withlacoochee and Santa Fe. Plus Valdosta’s Wednesday results at US 84 in Georgia on the Withlacoochee were also bad.

Last weekend’s rain was much more than the previous weekend, and the E. coli washed into the rivers did not get diluted or wash downsgtream nearly as quickly.

There’s been no more rain since Sunday, and no more predicted until Monday. And it’s cold and the rivers are near flood.

So I’d suggest staying off the rivers until maybe Sunday. All of the rivers: they all got 2 or more inches of rain. And we have never seen a too-high result for the Santa Fe River until this week, nor for the downstream Holly Point Withlacoochee River site. Continue reading