Sponsors: WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia to Florida and back 2021-10-23

Thanks to all our sponsors of the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, this Saturday, October 23, 2021, down the Withlacoochee River from Georgia three miles into Florida, and back.

Thank you Adel Outfitters, Azalea City Music Academy, Banks Lake Outdoors, B’s Backporch BBQ, Dry Pocket Apparel, Madison Outpost Adventures, Okra Paradise Farms, Olympia Shooting Range Paintball, Sunbelt Running CLub, and Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA),

[Sponsor Banner]
Sponsor Banner

Tickets are $30 online or at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2021-tickets-168646372841

You could be the winner of the $100 First Prize, or win in one of the many categories.

Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 23, 2021, to be on the water by 10:45 AM. There will be prizes, and food, and drink.

You do not even have to bring a boat, if you reserve soon and let us know what type of boat you need: kayak or canoe, single or tandem. Free boat rental is provided by Madison Outpost Adventures of Lee, Madison County, Florida, and VSU CORE of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.

Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie says, Continue reading

Agenda: WWALS Quarterly Board Meeting 2021-10-17

The public is invited to the WWALS Quarterly Board Meeting, where we will be discussing the WWALS Boomerang Paddle Race, Songwriting Contest, cleanups, outings, water quality testing, opposition to mines, water withdrawals, coal ash, and pellet plants, promotion of solar power, and of course finances.

[Board, Staff, Committees]
Board, Staff, Committees
PDF

We will be meeting online by zoom, so you don’t even have to go anywhere.

When: 2-4 PM, Sunday, October 17, 2021

Where: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89308028204?pwd=VmwyMzVTMVR6WGJxbUFUSlFXWFRWQT09
ZOOM Meeting ID: 893 0802 8204 Password: 392346
One tap mobile: +19294362866,,89308028204#,,,,,,0#,,392346#
Dial In: +1 929 436 2866 Meeting ID: 893 0802 8204 Meeting Password: 392346

Event: facebook

Agenda: Please have a copy of the Agenda so you can follow along.

WWALS advocates for the Continue reading

Good Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, bad Alapaha River 2021-10-14

Something we’ve never seen: the only too-high result is on the Alapaha River for Thursday. We’ve never seen a reading at Lakeland Boat Ramp that high.

The Little and Withlacoochee Rivers tested good for Thursday, which is what we expected since there has been no rain for days.

So in the reverse of what we often say, avoid the Alapaha River and swim, fish, and paddle on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers this weekend, according to the best data we have.

Still looking good for the WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and back, coming up in one week at State Line Boat Ramp.

[Chart + Little + Alapaha River, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide]
Chart + Little + Alapaha River, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide

You can also see in the charts that Valdosta’s upstream results for last Friday showed extremely high Fecal coliform for US 41 (upstream from Valdosta), GA 133, and US 84, and way-too-high E. coli for GA 133. That somewhat helps explain why our plates for that Thursday (October 7th) for Knights Ferry Boat Ramp showed high background Fecal coliform colonies.

No, we don’t know what it is. There have been no sewage spills reported this past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia. Most likely it is some sort of manure runoff, this time coming from far upstream on the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading

Okefenokee Camp, Paddle, and Cast Iron Campfire Cooking 2021-12-03-05

Two nights of camping at Griffis Fish Camp, with a paddle back down there on the Suwannee River Saturday from Stephen C. Foster State Park, and an optional paddle upstream to Billys Island in the Okefenokee Swamp Sunday, plus cast iron campfire cooking each night.

We have the Red Top Shelter reserved for the group, you can pitch your tent anywhere in that vicinity. Everyone is responsible for paying Mr. Griffis on site for camping and launch fee: $5 per person per night and $2.00 launch fee. Reservations not required for tent camping. There are restrooms and showers. There is one electrical outlet for everyone to share, and one water spigot. This is rustic camping. If you’re bringing a camper, call and get a reservation for hookup.

When: Gather before dark if you can, camping, Friday, December 3, 2021
Gather 8:30 AM, launch 9 AM to paddle from SCFSP to Griffis Fish Camp, Saturday, December 4, 2021
Gather 8 AM, launch 9 AM to paddle upstream from SCFSP to Billys Island, Sunday, December 5, 2021

Camping: Griffis Fish Camp, 10333 Ga Highway 177 Fargo, Georgia 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and travel 10 miles northeast; Griffis Fish Camp is on left. Clinch County. Call in advance to reserve pavillions: 229-415-9601; pay tharges on site.

GPS: 30.78246, -82.443594

No paddle is planned for Friday so come and set up camp anytime that afternoon. Mr. Griffis will probably come around Saturday evening to collect from campers. We’ll have a campfire Friday and Saturday nights, bring firewood if you can. It’s going to be chilly.

It gets dark early, the sun sets at 5:26 p.m., we’ll get the fire going and prepare for cast iron/campfire cooking. Show us what you can do with your old cast iron pan! There is no menu and anything goes, including hot dogs on a palmetto stick. Or even S’mores. Bring your own drinks, plate, bowl, utensils, etc. to help reduce waste. The more the merrier but cooking is completely optional. Come enjoy the campfire.

Put In: Stephen C. Foster State Park Ramp, 17515 GA-177, Fargo, GA 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and travel to Stephen C. Foster State Park. Charlton County.

GPS: 30.826833, -82.361333

Saturday morning we leave Griffis at 8:45 and drive to Stephen C. Foster State Park. Be prepared to help with shuttling vehicles. Park fees apply if you don’t have a Ga. State Park, or Federal pass. Parking passes are free to borrow at any Ga. library. We launch at the park marina and enjoy a 7.5 mile downstream paddle in the Okefenokee, going past Mixon’s Hammock, on though the Narrows, over the Sill, and back to Griffis. There can be swift, twisting currents, depending on water level. PFD required at all times on the water. We’ll take a break after we get through the Sill.

Sunday morning there will be an optional paddle to historic Billy’s Island. There is no specific checkout time so you can pack up before or after the paddle.

Take Out: Griffis Fish Camp Landing, 10333 Ga Highway 177 Fargo, Georgia 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and travel 10 miles northeast; Griffis Fish Camp is on left. Clinch 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://wwals.net/outings

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Griffis Camp sign]

Continue reading

One week to WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia to Florida and back 2021-10-23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, October 15, 2021 — We have a group coming three hours from Dublin, GA, to paddle down the Withlacoochee River from Georgia three miles into Florida, and back upstream, in the WWALS Boomerang, one week from now, Saturday, October 23, 2021. Last year’s winner came from Tallahassee, FL. In one week, you could be the winner of the $100 First Prize! Or win in one of the many categories.

Today is the last day for the $20 early bird tickets. Later it’s $30 online or at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2021-tickets-168646372841

Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 23, 2021, to be on the water by 10:45 AM. There will be prizes, and food, and drink.

You do not even have to bring a boat, if you reserve soon and let us know what type of boat you need: kayak or canoe, single or tandem. Free boat rental is provied by Madison Outpost Adventures of Lee, Madison County, Florida, and VSU CORE of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.

Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie says, “Water levels were steadily dropping and now they are rising slightly.” We have a plan if the Withlacoochee River is running too fast to paddle up; we’ll just straighten out the course to go to Sullivan Landing.

“This is a great way to bring the outdoors community together and showcase the recreational opportunities we have to offer locally,” Bobby McKenzie added. “This event caters to all ages and skill levels, you can either blaze ahead and take first place overall, or push yourself for a personal achievement on the main course or one of the modified routes. You can even just come do a leisurely paddle with like minded outdoor enthusiasts. Just remember to make your way back before the time expires, at most will be 2.5 hours.”

[Flyer]
Flyer
PDF

State Line Boat Ramp is at Continue reading

GA-AL Land Trust walks Land Between the Rivers 2021-10-14

Helen Tapp sent Georgia-Alabama Land Trust to look at her Land Between the Rivers for a conservation agreement. Their Regional Stewardship Manager, Rachel Mingea, came and got the full experience, from the wildest areas near the Withlacoochee River to Old Broad Street to the Little River Confluence viewscape.

[Little River Confluence, possible landing for Troupville River Camp, Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and Rachel Mingea of GA-AL Land Trust, Oak clearing at Withlacoochee River]
Little River Confluence, possible landing for Troupville River Camp, Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and Rachel Mingea of GA-AL Land Trust, Oak clearing at Withlacoochee River

She even met Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter at Troupville Boat Ramp. They were both enthusiastic about getting something worked out and moving on to the county or Valdosta or some combination purchasing those 74 acres to add to the 49-acre park around Troupville Boat Ramp to make a Troupville River Park nature preserve, with a Troupville River Camp on it, all at the site of Troupville, the former county seat of Lowndes County.

Here are a few pictures. Continue reading

Videos: Wells Road remains open, Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River 2021-10-12

Good news: the Lowndes County Commission yesterday unanimously denied the request to close Wells Road. This means the road stays open, and with it access to Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River, and to the Mary Turner Lynching Site memorial.

[Folsom Bridge Landing 2021-05-18]
Folsom Bridge Landing 2021-05-18

Here are videos courtesy of Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE). Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Harvest Moon Paddle 2021-10-20

Leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle, and the last full moon paddle before the time change in November, after which we will have to meet earlier.

When: Gather 6 PM, launch 6:30 PM, moonrise 7:12 PM, sunset 6:54 PM, end 8 AM, Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County, on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

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.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

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://wwals.net/outings

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Passing the fishing pier]
Passing the fishing pier, 2021-09-20. Photo: John S. Quarterman.

Continue reading

Don’t close Folsom Bridge Landing, Little River, Wells Road –WWALS to Lowndes County, GA 2021-10-12

Update 2021-10-13: Videos: Wells Road remains open, Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River 2021-10-12.

October 12, 2021

To: Chairman Bill Slaughter
Commissioner Joyce Evans
Commissioner Scottie Orenstein
Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall
Commissioner Clay Griner

Cc: Chad McLeod, Director of Engineering Services
Belinda C. Lovern, County Clerk

Re: Please don’t close Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River at Wells Road

[Wells Road closed, Folsom Bridge Landing, Mary Turner Lynching Site memorial]
Wells Road closed, Folsom Bridge Landing, Mary Turner Lynching Site memorial

Dear Chairman, Commissioners, and Director,

Related to your agenda for this evening:

6.a. Abandonment of a portion of Salem Church Road (CR #68) and Wells Road (CR # 68 & CR #69)

According to the description and map in the board packet, the intent is to close Wells Road completely. That would also close access to Folsom Bridge Landing, which turns off of Wells Road. That is one of only two public access points on the Little River in Lowndes County. Please do not close it. Continue reading

WWALS at Brooks County Skillet Festival 2021-10-16

Get some fresh-fried food at the Skillet Festival, and come by the WWALS booth, in Quitman, Georgia, this Saturday. Yes, we will have the raffle kayak, the $950 value Vibe Yellowfin 120. And what will NextEra be up to this year?

When: 9AM-5PM, Saturday, October 16, 2021

Where: Brooks County Courthouse, 100 Screven Street, Quitman, Georgia 31643

What: Brooks County Skillet Festival is an artisan craft fair, food festival and vintage market, all tied up in a pretty burlap bow.

Volunteer: You can help at the WWALS booth. Send us email to contact@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

Event: facebook

Froggy toss was very popular, WWALS booth
WWALS at the Skillet Festival in 2018.

Continue reading