Tag Archives: Alapaha River

Bad Water Quality, Creeks and Rivers 2023-01-26

Avoid the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers this weekend.

All three rivers tested worse for E. coli than the one-time test limit of 410 cfu/100 mL. The worst river result was at Nankin Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River, of 6,567. That contamination has probably washed past State Line Boat Ramp to Florida by now.

I’d also avoid fishing in Beaverdam Creek, Cat Creek, and especially Beatty Branch this weekend.

If you do want to fish, swim, or paddle this chilly weekend, I’d recommend the Suwannee or Ichetucknee Rivers.

But not the chainsaw cleanup tomorrow: we postponed that until February 19th.

[Chart, Creeks and Rivers, Swim Guide Map 2022-01-26]
Chart, Creeks and Rivers, Swim Guide Map 2022-01-26

All this contamination was washed into the creeks and rivers by big rains Wednesday.

No sewage spills have been reported in the last week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

So what is the contamination? Continue reading

Pictures: Many deadfalls, shark teeth, and rapids: Alapachoochee Adventure 2022-07-09

So many deadfalls, seeps, and things in the Alapahoochee Adventure 2022-07-09 that I’m posting pictures in several parts.

First, here is from GA 135 across the GA-FL line to Beaty Bridge. And it turns out we’ve been spelling it wrong for years: it’s Beaty Bridge with one letter t.

Thanks to Shirley Kokidko for organizing this outing, and for the small but intrepid crew who drove as much as two and a half hours to get there.

[Collage, Alapahoochee Adventures 2022-07-09]
Collage, Alapahoochee Adventures 2022-07-09

Next: Devil Shoal and Turket Falls. Continue reading

Mostly Clean Rivers 2023-01-19

Update 2023-01-27: Bad Water Quality, Creeks and Rivers 2023-01-26.

WWALS results for Thursday and (most of) the recent Valdosta results agree: clean rivers, and happy boating, fishing, and swimming this weekend.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide Map]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide Map

No new sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

There’s been no rain to speak of, so nothing much has washed from creeks into the rivers, apparently not even Cat Creek.

Valdosta did get too-high E. coli for GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River for Wednesday. So avoid near there.

Other than that, Valdosta’s results for the past week corroborate WWALS’ results reported last week. Continue reading

PFAS in fish in Alapaha River 2023-01-17

Largemouth bass caught in the Alapaha River at Statenville Boat Ramp had high concentrations of PFAS forever chemicals.

EWG summarizes the risk:

Eating just one PFAS-contaminated freshwater fish per month could be the equivalent of drinking a glass of water with very high levels of PFOS or other forever chemicals.

[Map and data: PFAS in fish in Alapaha River --EWG 2023-01-17]
Map and data: PFAS in fish in Alapaha River –EWG 2023-01-17 Sample taken: 2014. Source: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO), PFAS National Datasets, Ambient Environmental Sampling for PFAS. Available here.

EWG, January 17, 2023, ‘Forever chemicals’ in freshwater fish: Mapping a growing environmental justice problem EPA data reveal high levels of PFAS in fish and human exposure risks,

What does this map show?

From coast to coast, and in almost every state in the U.S., high levels of the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS contaminate freshwater fish. The potential harm is not limited to fish, but the pollution poses health risks to communities that catch and eat the fish.

This map, based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency, confirms the detection of PFAS at alarming levels Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2023-01-12

Update 2023-01-20: Mostly Clean Rivers 2023-01-19.

All three rivers tested clean in WWALS results for Thursday. And no new sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

However, it also rained later Thursday, more than half an inch at almost every gauge we follow.

So, by the test results, happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend. If you like cold.

But remember that rain of more than half an inch often washes contamination into the rivers, such as happened from Beatty Branch, Cat Creek, and Sugar Creek last Friday.

Personally, I’d pick the Alapaha or the Suwannee River for this weekend. Although with the predicted freeze, I’m not paddling this weekend.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2023-01-12]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2023-01-12

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are from Friday a week ago. Continue reading

Pictures: Statenville & Sasser Cleanup, Alapaha River 2023-01-07

We took advantage of a rapidly warming winter day to clean up two Alapaha River Water Trail boat ramps Statenville in Georgia, and Sasser in Florida.

Thanks to Echols County, Georgia, Bailiff Bill Rogers and four probationers for cleaning up before we even got to Statenville Boat Ramp, and for disposing of the trash. We moved along pretty quickly.

Two of our number stayed behind to boat downstream a bit from Statenville and bring trash back up.

[Statenville, Sasser, trash, banners 2023-01-07]
Statenville, Sasser, trash, banners 2023-01-07

The rest of us went on down to Sasser Landing, near Jennings, Florida. I asked a Hamilton County Deputy where we could take that trash, and he said in the dumpster at the jail in Jasper.

Thanks to everyone who came and helped clean up, to Will Hart for leading this outing, to Amy Meyers, Suzy Hall, and Russell Allen McBride for pictures, and to Bobby McKenzie for hauling the Sasser trash to the jail. Russell remarked that most of the Sasser trash was from illegal dumping.

I noted that the Alapaha River was in general much cleaner than the Withlacoochee, and lacking the obvious signatures of Valdosta trash: for example we found no Zacadoo’s in the Alapaha. Continue reading

Bad Upstream: Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2023-01-05

Update 2023-01-07: Bad Creeks and Withlacoochee River 2023-01-06.

Avoid the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers this weekend.

WWALS got too high and way too high E. coli on the Little River at Folsom Bridge (GA 122) and Troupville Boat Ramp.

And almost as much too high at Hagan Bridge (GA 122) on the Withlacoochee River.

The Alapaha River still seemed OK. For boating this weekend, I’d pick the Alapaha or the Suwannee, or the Ichetucknee or the Santa Fe.

Or come to our on-land cleanup tomorrow, on the Alapaha River at Statenville Boat Ramp in Georgia and Sasser Landing in Florida.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

No new sewage spills were reported this week in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for upstream before the Wednesday rain that washed this contamination into the rivers. The most recent downstream Valdosta results are for last week.

WWALS collected many more water samples today, including on Cat Creek, Beaverdam Creek, Beatty Branch, and Sugar Creek, which we will report tomorrow. Valdosta presumably also tested today, but we and the public won’t see any updated Valdosta results until probably Tuesday. Continue reading

Two new VLPRA trash cans for Naylor Beach on the Alapaha River 2022-12-29

Kimberly Tanner wrote three days ago, “Looks like there are two new cans; one close to parking and one on the beach. Great news!”

[Trash cans at entrance to and on Naylor Beach --Kimberly Tanner 2022-12-29]
Trash cans at entrance to and on Naylor Beach –Kimberly Tanner 2022-12-29

This is speedy action by Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA). And of course these two new cans at Naylor Beach are in addition to the one at the nearby Naylor Boat Ramp. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-12-29

Update 2023-01-06: Bad Upstream: Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2023-01-05.

WWALS tests for Thursday upstream and downstream, and Valdosta upstream tests for Wednesday agree: clean Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers.

There was some rain last night, but probably not enough to wash much contamination into the rivers.

So happy swimming, fishing, and boating for New Years!

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide, 2022-12-29]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide, 2022-12-29

Two pollution spills have been reported this week.

On Sunday, December 18, 2022 (reported more than a week later on December 27), Ashburn, Georgia, spilled 3,000 gallons of sewage from their MLK Lift Station into Ashburn Branch, which flows into the Little River. But that’s too little and too far upstream to affect the river. Ashburn’s excuse: power failure. Maybe they should invest in a backup generator.

On Monday, December 26, 2022, the Chemours Trail Ridge South Mine southeast of Starke, Florida, spilled some unknown amount of not exactly sure what, at the top edge of the Santa Fe River Basin. Their excuse? Cold weather.

More on those spills later in separate posts. Continue reading

Trash can missing at Naylor Beach, Alapaha River 2022-12-24

Update 2023-01-01 Two new VLPRA trash cans for Naylor Beach on the Alapaha River 2022-12-29.

Suzy Hall checked on the trash can at Naylor Beach on the Alapaha River at US 84 yesterday. It’s not there.

[2018, 2020, and 2022: Naylor Beach]
2018, 2020, and 2022: Naylor Beach

It was put there by Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) in 2018, after WWALS asked for it.

The last record we have of that Naylor Beach trash can was in January 2020.

We’re asking VLPRA again: could we have a trash can at Naylor Beach? Continue reading