Tag Archives: Florida Campsites

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

Pictures: Withlacoochee Springs, Shoals, Slough, Sullivan Launch 2023-07-15

Seven shoals, one with a boat, Coffee Spring, second magnitude Hardee Spring, and several islands, and Chitty Bend East Distributary, where some of the Withlacoochee River runs into the woods into some swallets: we saw all of those on our Withlacoochee River paddle from Sullivan Launch to Florida Campsites on a fine July day.

The entire paddle was in north Florida, between Madison County on the right (east) bank and Hamilton County on the left (west) bank, starting in Madison County, ending in Hamilton County.

[Rapids, Spring, Distributary, Withlacoochee River 2023-07-15]
Rapids, Spring, Distributary, Withlacoochee River 2023-07-15

Thanks to Gee Edwards for leading this paddle.

Thanks to Gretchen Quarterman, Karen Lehnart, and Shirley Kokidko for additional pictures.

Pictures are below. Click on any small picture for a bigger one. Latlong links go to the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

The pictures are also on facebook.

See also the facebook video, Seven shoals on the WWALS WIthlacoochee River paddle from Sullivan Shoals to Florida Campsites Ramp, 2023-07-15.

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

Withlacoochee Springs and Slough, Sullivan Launch 2023-07-15

Update 2023-08-27: Pictures: Sullivan Launch to Florida Campsites, Withlacoochee River 2023-07-15.

Join us for a leisurely paddle by second magnitude Hardee Spring and other springs, as well as Fennels Funnel, a sinkhole leading to the extensive M2 Blue cave system, and Chitty Bend East Distributary, where some of the Withlacoochee River runs into the woods into some swallets.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 2:30 PM, Saturday, July 15, 2023

Put In: Sullivan Launch, The first public access point in Florida to the blackwater Withlacoochee River, Sullivan launch is a narrow concrete launch with free parking and a picnic area, but no picnic tables. It is in the Sullivan Tract of Twin Rivers State Park. From Pinetta, Madison County, FL, travel east on CR 150; turn right at the bridge and follow road to the launch south of the river bridge. Downstream it’s 8.8 miles or about 4.4 miles to paddle to Florida Campsites Ramp. First thing you’ll see is the twisted remains of the old Bellville Bridge, and on the right bank the Pinetta gauge.

GPS: 30.595667, -83.26

[Hardee Spring, 2015-10-24]
Hardee Spring, 2015-10-24 on the WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT)

Continue reading

Filthy GA-FL Line, Withlacoochee River 2021-06-26

Update 2021-07-02: Clean Rivers after Tuesday blip and before Thursday rains 2021-07-01.

Sewage spills were reported last week, but not from Georgia: Florida State Prison Tuesday into the New River (of the Santa Fe), and Starke WWTF Saturday above the Santa Fe River. I must commend FDEP for sending out pollution notices on a Sunday, and Starke WWTF for reporting on a weekend. We don’t know what effect those spills had on those rivers, because so far as we know nobody tests there.

Floridians, please ask SRWMD and FDEP to test water quality frequently on all the rivers, all the way to the Gulf, instead of wasting money on water pipe boondoggles.

Meanwhile on the Withlacoochee River for Saturday, Suzy Hall found State Line Boat Ramp filthy, yet Florida Campsites downstream pretty clean. Gus Cleary found Cleary Bluff below Allen Ramp spotless for Friday and with only one spot for Saturday.

How can it be dirty upstream but clean downstream? With all this recent rain, the rivers are moving fast, and a glob of E. coli can flit right past in a few hours.

We can also hope much of the cattle manure has already been washed off. See also Cattle and hogs: Withlacoochee River water quality status 2021-06-27.

We have no data from Valdosta more recent than for Monday, and nothing from Madison Health more recent than Tuesday. Meanwhile, WWALS testers wanted to know, so you could know.

I’d still be wary of the Withlacoochee River until we see repeated clean State Line results. Continue reading

Valdosta sewage from Sugar Creek to Florida 2019-01-01 2020-01-01

Update 2020-01-03 Valdosta Sewage Public Meeting, Valdosta City Hall Annex, 2020-01-08.

You can see Valdosta’s sewage going down the Withlacoochee River as the high red numbers in these composite tables WWALS has cobbled together from various data sources (all acknowledged below).

Early on, the sewage apparently mostly sat in Sugar Creek downstream from the spill site, due to low water and no rain.

[Early (12/10-12/18)]
Early (12/10-12/18)

Most of the Georgia numbers in above table are from Valdosta Utilities data. The ones marked with a W are WWALS data using the Georgia Adopt-a-Stream 3M Petrifilms method.

Fecal coliform numbers started dropping in Sugar Creek at Gornto Road on December 14, and were much more acceptable by December 15 and 16th. Where did the sewage go? Continue reading

Valdosta sewage at GA 133 on Withlacoochee River? 2019-12-17

Update 2019-12-19: Still dirty at GA 133 Bridge, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-19.

It looks like Valdosta’s record raw sewage spill may finally be washing downstream after the recent small rains.

[Sugar Creek via Ga 133 to US 84]
Sugar Creek via Ga 133 to US 84, Withlacoochee River with the GA 133 bridge highlighted,
on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

Valdosta’s numbers went way down at Gornto Road on Sugar Creek on Sunday, December 15 and Monday, December 16, in this table the Valdosta City Clerk sent this data today in response to my open records request: Continue reading

WWALS Water Quality Testing US 84 & FL Campsites, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-16

Update 2019-12-18: Valdosta sewage at GA 133 on Withlacoochee River? 2019-12-17.

There’s good news from the recent WWALS water quality tests that fill in the gap between Valdosta’s water quality testing inside Valdosta and at US 84 in Lowndes County, Georgia, and SRWMD’s testing in Florida. Valdosta’s sewage had not even reached US 84 as of 5 PM yesterday, Monday, December 16, 2019.

[Looking down]
Looking down onto the rapids above US 84 bridge.

You can donate to the WWALS water quality testing program and help pay for the Petrifilms and other equipment.

For Sunday, December 15, Suzy Hall found 100 cfu/100 ml E. coli at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, 33 at Nankin Boat Ramp, and 100 at State Line Boat Ramp. Those numbers are higher than the zeros I got for Wednesday, December 11, at Knights Ferry and Nankin, and the zero Sara Jay got for that Wednesday at State Line. However, Suzy’s Sunday numbers are Continue reading

A fine day on the Withlacoochee River from Sullivan Landing to Madison Blue Spring 2017-06-24

Nineteen paddlers had a good time on a breezy summer Withlacoochee River Saturday from Sullivan Launch to Madison Blue Spring. The water was a foot higher (41.27 feet) than two years ago (42.56 feet at the USGS Madison (FL 6) gage), but there were still plenty of rapids, which gained us three new Fallers!

Banners picture, Say water bottle! No, don’t, you’ll fall in! Hm, but then you’ll win a Fallers Award.

Every WWALS outing is also a cleanup, and we collected Continue reading