Tag Archives: FL 6

Ellaville Westlake & Jennings RR Bridge and Lee Bowstring Bridge, Withlacoochee River @ FL 141 2022-11-26

Ken Sulak, retired from USGS, is a bubbling spring of information about old bridges and ferries in Florida. Here’s what he sent recently about three Withlacoochee River bridges: a railroad bridge and two road bridges.

[EWJ RR Pillar and Lee Bowstring Bridge Lally column; Photos: Ken Sulak]
EWJ RR Pillar and Lee Bowstring Bridge Lally column; Photos: Ken Sulak

You can see two of them on the WWALS paddle from Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee River to Suwannee River State Park, 2023-02-04. Continue reading

Roline to Hunter Creek, Suwannee River 2022-09-17

New route: Roline Boat Ramp to Hunter Creek Launch, Suwannee River, Hamilton County, Florida. Join us for this sunny five-hour paddle on the world-famous Suwannee River, led by Practicing Geologist Dennis Price.

Dennis has moved us upstream, due to our previous put-in being closed due to high water. The new route goes by the lally column remains of Turner Bridge.

[Roline to Hunter Creek, Suwannee River]
Roline to Hunter Creek, Suwannee River

Continue reading

US 41 Little Alapaha River Bridge

Actually, there is a US 41 Little Alapaha River bridge, and it may even be historic. So that’s five bridges across the Little Alapaha River, four above the Swallet, and one below, before its Confluence with the Alapaha River.

[Composite US 41 Little Alapaha River Bridge]
Composite US 41 Little Alapaha River Bridge

The US 41 bridge is the first bridge listed by bridgereports.com for Hamilton County, mislabled as “US-41 (SR-6 & 25) over ALAPAHA RIVER OVERFLOW”. But at 30.52389, -83.01550, it’s much closer to the Little Alapaha River.

At more than a mile east of the Alapaha River, that’s a bit far to be overflow. Continue reading

Video: Turner Bridge to FL 6, Suwannee River 2021-12-16

Here’s a video of the mid-December 2021 Ken Sulak Suwannee River paddle, the part from Turner Bridge to Cypress Creek South Launch at FL 6.

FL 6 bridge, Suwannee River 2021-12-16

The images are ten seconds apart. You can see Mike Byerly’s canoe parked over one of the Lally columns of Turner Bridge in the river. You can see Ken Sulak drop a magnet to confirm that it is metal. Continue reading

Withlacoochee River still clean, Florida bacterial advisory lifted 2021-03-23

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

Update 2021-03-27: Clean Withlacoochee River 2021-03-25.

Better than expected! Madison Health not only found clean Withlacoochee River water at State Line, Sullivan Launch, and FL 6, they lifted the health advisory from back in February!

This is good news for the Mayor’s Paddle this Saturday, March 27th, from Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge. Very little rain is predicted before then, and river levels are also good. We will test again Thursday (tomorrow) just in case.

[Alert Lifted, Madison Health WQ Data]
Alert Lifted, Madison Health WQ Data

Apparently we were too cautious last week. If the rains last Thursday had any effect on the river, it all got diluted or washed downstream by Tuesday.

After the clean results from the Bachrachs and Madison Health Thursday, we also got for Friday the cleanest result from Gus Cleary downstream from Allen Ramp: zero E. coli. Also Friday, Valdosta’s upstream results for US 41, GA 133, and US 84 were pretty clean. Continue reading

Very clean Thursday, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-25

Update 2021-03-05: More contamination after big rains, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-04.

The Bachrachs got something we haven’t seen for a long while on the Withlacoochee River: zero E. coli in their water samples at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps, for Thursday, February 25, 2021. Madison Health got almost as low numbers for the same day at State Line, Sullivan Launch, and FL 6. Madison Health got almost as low numbers for Tuesday, and new WWALS testers Gus Cleary got even lower at NE Withla Bluffs Way downstream from Allen Ramp.

[Clean chart, clean plates, State Line, Nankin, Swim Guide]
Clean chart, clean plates, State Line, Nankin, Swim Guide
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida water quality results, rainfall, and spills, see:
https://wwals.net/issues/testing/

Valdosta got clean upstream for last Monday and Friday a week ago, and Michael and Jacob Bachrach and Gus got clean downstream for that Friday.

So this has been a clean week, the cleanest we’ve seen in a long while. Apparently all that rainwater has finally diluted and washed downstream any previous contamination.

Happy boating, fishing, and swimming!

But beware: with the rivers in flood stage, if you’re not an expert, avoid them still. Even if you are an expert, wear your PFD and don’t go alone. Continue reading

Clean downstream Friday Withlacoochee River 2021-02-19

Update 2021-02-26: Very clean Thursday, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-25.

Good news downstream on the Withlacoochee River!

Madison Health reported good downstream numbers for Thursday, February 18, 2021, despite more than an inch of rain at every gauge we follow. WWALS testers confirmed that for Friday, with good results from Nankin Boat Ramp to below Allen Ramp. It looks like rainwater from upstream is finally diluting and washing down the contamination downstream rain put into the river.

[Good downstream, shoals now underwater, Swim Guide red and green]
Good downstream, shoals now underwater, Swim Guide red and green

We also see no obvious signs of contamination from the last Sunday and Monday Tifton sewage spills, which is not unexpected since they were so far upstream. We don’t know what effect the one upstream of the Little River might have had on Reed Bingham State Park, because we have no volunteers to test that stretch.

The weather is looking good for the Mayor’s Paddle from Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge on Saturday, February 27, 2021. It didn’t rain yesterday, and the only rain predicted for the next week is for Monday. So risks of contamination are low. However, the rivers are very high, still expected to be ten feet higher than we’ve ever paddled that stretch before. That’s not necessarily a problem for paddling, because it’s a long wide stretch with no real risks of getting lost in the floodplain, no deadfalls, and few overhanging branches. However, we will have to check to see if we can even get in by land at Spook Bridge and the midpoint, not to mention at Troupville Boat Ramp. The US 84 gauge prediction is 107 feet NAVD 88 for Thursday, which is about 27 feet higher than when we rescheduled Thursday three weeks ago. We will go look and let you all know. Continue reading

Not looking good, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-16

Update 2021-02-21: Clean downstream Friday Withlacoochee River 2021-02-19.

As usual, heavy rains washed contamination into the Withlacoochee River, first detected by Madison Health Tuesday at State Line and FL 6, although oddly Sullivan Launch @ CR 150 was within the one-time sample limit for E. coli.

[Chart, Gauges, Swim Guide map]
Chart, Gauges, Swim Guide map

The good news: with so much rain, the contamination will probably be diluted and washed downstream rapidly.

The bad news: more rain likely coming. And there’s more cattle manure that can wash down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River. Plus with the Withlacoochee River rising in Valdosta, and more rain falling on Valdosta and Quitman, will we see manhole sewage spills?

We hope to have WWALS results for today ready by tomorrow (Friday), and most likely FDEP will publish Madison Health results, as well. Possibly even Valdosta will publish their Wednesday results by Friday.

We also have a surprising spot check in Drexel Park, and Valdosta’s last week results, which fit with the Madison Health and WWALS results. Continue reading

Very bad, GA-FL line and downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-11

Update 2021-02-13: Better, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-12.

I’d avoid the Withlacoochee River for a few days if I were you. Apparently the Tuesday rains did wash more manure out of Brooks and Colquitt Counties down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River.

Valdosta’s Wednesday results upstream of Okapilco Creek were only slightly elevated, but Madison Health’s Thursday downstream results were very high. The WWALS Thursday samples had a technical glitch, so we don’t know about Knights Ferry or Nankin Boat Ramps, but they were probably pretty bad. We hope to have Friday results soon.

Meanwhile, I would not want to get that river water on me until the upstream rainwater dilutes and washes down the contamination, which will probably take a few days. Unless, of course, it rains harder and washes more in.

[Chart, Swim Guide map]
Chart, Swim Guide map

Yesterday afternoon FDEP posted Madison Health results for Thursday, February 11, 2021, and they were very bad: Continue reading

Much better Withlacoochee River water quality 2021-01-09

Update 2021-01-12: Contaminated Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Suwannee Rivers 2021-01-04; cleaner 2021-01-09.

Friday results by Madison Health and Saturday results by WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach show much improved Withlacoochee River Water Quality, from Nankin Boat Ramp through State Line Boat Ramp and Sullivan Launch down to FL 6.

Madison and Hamilton County Health Departments will probably wait until they get another good result of their own, probably for today or tomorrow, before they lift their health advisory.

However, WWALS already sees two good results in a row, so happy boating, swimming, and fishing on the Withlacoochee River!

We have no new Alapaha River results since the clean WWALS result for Sasser Landing Wednesday, but since there’s been no significant rain since then, the Alapaha is also probably clean for swimming, fishing, and boating.

[Ramps, Plates, Chart, Map]
Ramps, Plates, Chart, Map

We have no new results from Valdosta since Monday a week ago, when all of three upstream locations were still bad. Chances are those locations have also cleared up, but we don’t know. Continue reading