Tag Archives: Alapaha River

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

Update 2024-02-27: Navigable stream additions to GA HB 1397 2024-02-27.

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 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

Nashville, Georgia, resolution opposing strip mining in or near the Okefenokee Swamp

Thank you, Nashville, Georgia, Mayor and Council, for passing a resolution supporting the Okefenokee Swamp against the proposed strip mine.

[City of Nashville Resolution and Okefenokee NWR sign]
City of Nashville Resolution and Okefenokee NWR sign

For the increasing number of these resolutions, see:
https://wwals.net/?p=57248

Please ask your Georgia statehouse members to pass HB 71. Floridians, ask your friends and relatives in Georgia to do that. And ask your city or county in Florida to also pass a resolution.

For more about this issue, see:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/

The resolution

Continue reading

Training: Water Quality Testing 2024-02-10

Update This class will be ALL in person at John W. Saunders Park, Pavilion #3.

You can learn how to help test water quality in the Suwannee River Basin.

WWALS testing trainer Gretchen Quarterman will do the classroom portion of the course by zoom, followed by hands-on practical training at a waterway with physical distancing. will teach both chemical and bacterial training in person. There is a classroom portion with demonstration, followed by practical and test for each class. Classroom materials will be provided. The tests are on paper and are to be taken on-site.

This is both Chemical and Bacterial training by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) methods.

Yes, we can and do use this in Florida as well as Georgia, and we have testers based in Florida.

[WWALS Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Testing Training 2024-02-10]
WWALS Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Testing Training 2024-02-10

We currently have testers on the Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers.

We need more of those, and also for the Alapahoochee River, as well as Cat Creek, Beatty Branch, Sugar Creek, Okapilco Creek, and others.

For more, see: https://wwals.net/testing/

Sign up: https://forms.gle/37DawiGAJYoyqtPKA Continue reading

Four more Valdosta sewage spills 2023-12-17

Update 2024-02-22: Some Knights Creek plans in Valdosta Boone Drive and Knob Hill small sewage spills 2024-02-20.

Update 2024-01-31: Spill from Chemours Trail Ridge South TiO2 mine SE of Starke, FL 2024-01-30.

Four small Valdosta sewage spills appeared in the January 26, 2024 GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report, all listed as happening December 17, 2023, and as “Did not enter State waters”.

[Four small Valdosta sewage spills 2023-12-17]
Four small Valdosta sewage spills 2023-12-17

However, Valdosta Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes confirms that these spills did happen. Which you can see for yourself in the pictures I took on January 23 of the Mile Street spill locations.

The most unusual part of these spill reports is that bit for “WATERWAY IMPACTED”: “Did not enter State waters”. That means these spills were stopped and contained before they could reach Knights Creek or Cherry Creek. Which is impressive considering that Sunday, December 17, 2024, saw more than an inch of rain at every gauge we follow, after more than half an inch the previous day. (See below for one reservation about one of these spills.)

Nobody is going to be happy until the number of Valdosta sewage spills is zero. And WWALS continues watching closely.

However, watching also includes complimenting Valdosta Utilities when things go right. So, congratulations, Valdosta Utilities, for catching these spills before they did any damage.

Curiously, these spills did not appear in the next day’s Sewage Spills Report, or in any later days. Considering recent typos in those GA-EPD Sewage Spills Reports, I’m assuming those later omissions are due to EPD’s problems with lack of staffing and funding.

Let’s look at each of these spills. Continue reading

Five clean rivers and a clean creek 2024-01-25

Update 2024-01-28: Four more Valdosta sewage spills 2023-12-17.

We got good results for Wednesday and Thursday for five rivers: Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe, and Suwannee, plus Mud Swamp Creek, a tributary of the Alapaha. Valdosta’s Wednesday upstream Withlacoochee River results concur.

There is a 50% chance of rain on Sunday, but you can get on the water before then.

So happy fishing, paddling, and swimming this weekend.

Or join us tomorrow (Saturday) for Try again: Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2024-01-27.

[Chart, Clean Rivers and Creek, Map 2024-01-25]
Chart, Clean Rivers and Creek, Map 2024-01-25

Sewage Spills

One sewage spill was reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia last Thusrday: Ashburn spilled 100,000 gallons of raw sewage into Ashburn Creek, which ends up in the Little River far above Reed Bingham State Park.

In Florida, Lake Butler reported a spill at its airport, which apparently wasn’t enough to get into any waterway, much less the New River of the Santa Fe. 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

Fishing Access in Georgia: House Committee Report 2023-12-01

Here is the Final Report with Recommendations after four public input meetings and a decision meeting of the Georgia House Study Committee on Fishing Access to Freshwater Resources.

[Chair Rep. James Burchett and GA House Fishing Access Study Committee 2023-11-30, plus fishing, fish, boating, and trash]
Chair Rep. James Burchett and GA House Fishing Access Study Committee 2023-11-30, plus fishing, fish, boating, and trash

Basically, they want to preserve both fishing rights (and private property rights) while preserving boating right of passage. The Study Committee found right of passage tied to navigability, so its key recommendations are to determine and delineate which parts of which rivers and streams are navigable.

If you know Committee Chair Rep. James Burchett or any of the committee members, please contact them asking for maximum navigability while preserving private property rights. Or contact your Georgia state house member.
http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/ Continue reading