Tag Archives: GA 135

WWALS Watershed Coalition thanks Atkinson Commission for support –WFXL TV 2021-07-09

Alapaha River Water Trail and GA-EPD Recreational redesignation of the Alapaha River at Atkinson County Commission last Thursday made the news.

Typhani Gray, Fox 31 WFXL, 9 July 2021, WWALS Watershed Coalition thanks Atkinson Commission for support,

[Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135, Alapaha River Water Trail, Suwannee Riverkeeper at Atkinson County Commission, Reporter Typhani Gray and Tester Valerie Folsom, ARWT road sign]
Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135, Alapaha River Water Trail, Suwannee Riverkeeper at Atkinson County Commission, Reporter Typhani Gray and Tester Valerie Folsom, ARWT road sign

WWALS Watershed Coalition was started after organizers were concerned about sewage spills, and roads being closed because of trees being down in the river.

Most of that was in the Withlacoochee River around 2009, but the Alapaha River did have water quality issues back then.

The organization came to the Atkinson County Board of Commissioners to thank them for the Alapaha River Water Trail contribution.

In 2018 commissions passed a resolution supporting the water trail.

Here is that Atkinson County Commission resolution of 18 January 2018 supporting the Alapaha River Water Trail.

This trail runs for more than 100 miles on the Alapaha River all the way down to Florida.

Atkinson County has one landing on Georgia 135 that’s called Willacoochee [Landing].

According to John Quarterman, the Watershed Coalition has expanded its organization and is now tests waters to make it safer for people to swim and fish.

Valerie Folsom, who tests in Atkinson County at Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135, also spoke to the Atkinson County Commission about the latest test results. Continue reading

Filthy at Knights Ferry, Withlacoochee River 2021-06-24

Update 2021-06-27: Cattle and hogs: Withlacoochee River water quality status 2021-06-27.

Going by WWALS water quality testing results for Thursday, it’s best to stay off the Withlacoochee River, and maybe the Alapaha River, for a few more days.

[Bad Knights Ferry and Willacoochee Landing]
Bad Knights Ferry and Willacoochee Landing

Very unusual: too-high E. coli on the Alapaha River, at Willacoochee Landing on GA 135 in Atkinson County, Georgia. Thanks to WWALS tester Valerie Folsom. There was a lot of rain upstream in the previous few days, which make me wonder about the city of Alapaha’s wastewater treatment plant.

Unfortunately expected: way-high E. coli on the Withlacoochee River, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, downstream of Okapilco Creek, with many thousand cattle in Brooks County, Georgia. Thanks to WWALS tester Michael Bachrach. Don’t be surprised if Quitman had a spill and gets around to reporting it about a week later.

Somewhat puzzling: downstream on the Withlacoochee results range from acceptable to clean as a whistle at Cleary Bluff, between Allen Ramp and the Suwannee River. Thaks to WWALS tester Gus Cleary. Even with the river high and fast after the recent rains, it takes a little while for the contamination to wash downstream. Three inches of rain fell in Brooks County Thursday, so don’t be surprised if things get dirty downstream.

We have no new data upstream of Knights Ferry, because we had a technical glitch with upstream WWALS tests.

Meanwhile, Valdosta has posted nothing newer than for Monday. They did catch up to last week with the downstream data, which corroborated what we already knew from WWALS tests.

The Tuesday too-high Madison Health result for the state line still has not appeared on the FDEP website. Continue reading

Clean eleven sites: Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers 2021-06-17

Update 2021-06-23: Health Advisory, Withlacoochee River, bad at GA-FL line after rains 2021-06-22.

All clear up and down the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, for Thursday, June 17, 2021. Happy swimming, boating, and fishing!

Rains are predicted for this weekend, so of course conditions could change rapidly, but that’s what we know now.

[Chart, Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha Rivers, Swim Guide

Thanks to WWALS testers, we have results from eleven locations on three rivers.

  • Valerie Folsom (Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 in Atkinson County, GA),
  • Elizabeth Brunner (GA 122: Little River @ Folsom Bridge Landing, Withlacoochee River @ Hagan Bridge Landing, Alapaha River @ Lakeland Boat Ramp
  • Bobby McKenzie (Little River @ Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River @ US 41 and GA 133)
  • Michael and Jacob Bachrach (Withlacoochee River @ Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps)
  • Gus Cleary (Withlacoochee River @ Cleary Bluff, below Allen Ramp, almost to the Suwannee River)

And of course thanks to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for organizing and to WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman for training and supplying the testers. Continue reading

Four weeks of fecal coliform 2018-10-09 2018-09-19 to 2018-10-09

This is why we alway say “as near as we can tell” or “according to the latest data” or words to that effect. The last data we had last week said fecal coliform at GA 133 on the Little River was below the state limit. But the actual most recent data, from last Tuesday, just received today, shows 610, which is three times the state limit of 200 cfu per 100 mililiters.

Graph, Withlacoochee Basin

Meanwhile, on the Withlacoochee River, the count went up at US 41 and down at GA 133, with both still well above the state limit. But downstream of Valdosta and its Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP), at US 84 and at Horn Bridge at the GA-FL line, counts that were already within the limit Continue reading

Valdosta water quality testing data 2018-09-12

Here is most of a year’s river water quality testing data from the city of Valdosta, on a Water Reporter map:

Valdosta stations, Map

Click on any of the colored diamonds for graphs. Scroll right to see more graphs. Click on any graph to see every datapoint. Clearly fecal coliform (FCOLI) and E. coli (ECOLI) have significant spikes way beyond the Georgia state limit of 200 cfu/100 ml.

However, as we already saw on the spill followup data map, often, even usually, FCOLI and ECOLI are just as bad or worse upstream Continue reading

Alapaha Quest, Naylor Boat Ramp @ US 84, 2018-09-15

Update 2019-09-14: We’ve moved downstream, to put in at Naylor Boat Ramp and take out at Mayday Landing. This section does have some rough rocky spots with rapids for a short distance. The takeout at Mayday is a little difficult due to soft sand to climb up to the parking area. Bring plenty of water to drink and food for the day. Bring a PFD to wear. Plan to arrive early enough to unload gear and begin the shuttle to the take out.

Experience the wilderness of the Alapaha River Water Trail. The water is barely above our recommended low, so bring a rope in case we have to drag boats.

When: 8 AM, September 15, 2018

Put In: Naylor Boat Ramp @ GA 84, 6955 US 84 E, Naylor, GA 31641. Lowndes County hasn’t actually built the boat ramp yet, but they have bought the park and we can put in there, just west of the Alapaha River off of the north side of US 84.

GPS: 30.92507, -83.03867

Take Out: Mayday Landing @ Howell Road, 749 Howell Road, Stockton, GA 31649, in Echols County. We will all help each other drag boats up the steep sand slope.

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. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

With trash can Gretchen asked for, 2018:05:16 11:10:37,, Beach
Naylor Boat Ramp beach with trash can Gretchen asked for, 2018-06-16.

Continue reading

Alapaha Quest, Rowetown to Willacoochee, Alapaha River, 2018-08-11

Bring a rope in case we need to drag the boats across deadfalls, and expect low-hanging branches, as we experience the wilderness from Rowetown Church Landing to Willacoochee Landing, on the Alapaha River Water Trail, continuing Alapaha Quest.

When: 8 AM, Saturday, August 11, 2018

Put In: Rowetown Church Landing, 1291 Rowetown Church Road, Alapaha, GA 31622, River bank on private road back of cemetery, we have permission.

Take Out: Willacoochee Landing, GA 135, Atkinson County side, 2.8 miles south of Willacoochee, GA, Atkinson County.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit, and don’t forget the rope. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

600x450 Movie: Under branches (1.0M), in Alapaha deadfalls, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 17 January 2015
Movie: Under branches (1.0M), in Alapaha deadfalls, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 17 January 2015.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: Continue reading

Canoeing the Alapaha, April 2018

Received April 21, 2018. I’ve added some links. -jsq

Seven of us drove down from north Georgia to the Alapaha for a long weekend paddling trip starting April 12. I had long thought of making this trip, especially because the Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to Georgia rated it as one of the state’s most scenic rivers, “A+.”

We chose the upper stretches, between Willacoochee and Lakeland. One of our group arranged, through extended family, to “camp” the night before putting in, at a house in Lax, just a few miles from the GA-135 bridge where we we started out the next day.

We launched with four boats, three canoes and a kayak, and found the river every bit as scenic as the guide described. We enjoyed the forests of cypress, tupelo, pine, oaks, maples, birch and willow. And the wildlife was equally magnificent: ibis, geese, egrets, herons, buzzards, woodpeckers, beavers (evident through their marks on the trees), and deer and raccoon tracks on the beaches.

First Camp: a beach on a point, Pictures
First Camp: a beach on a point

The paddling was nice and easy, making about 3 mph without breaking a sweat. We had a few tight spots, including Continue reading

Sheboggy to GA 135, Alapaha Quest 2018-01-27

Update 2018-01-19: Rescheduled again, due to low water, to become a hike to the Dead River Sink, still on January 27, 2018.

Rescheduled to late January due to cold weather and low water: a long expert paddle to start the Alapaha Quest! Along the way we will pass Rowetown Church and the Willacoochee River Confluence as we paddle down the wild and exotic Alapaha River in the south Georgia winter. There will probably be many deadfalls, and unless the water is quite high, we probably will have to drag over or around them, so bring a rope for your boat.

When: 9AM Saturday, January 27, 2018

Put In: Sheboggy Landing at US 82, east of Alapaha, Berrien County, Georgia.

GPS: 31.386278, -83.191611

Take Out: GA 135 Atkinson near Willacoochee, GA in Atkinson County.

Price: This outing is free to all WWALS members, and $10 per vessel for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook meetup

Approaching the ramp
Photo by Bret Wagenhorst 2017-06-03, of improved Sheboggy Landing. Thanks to Berrien County Commission for funding the new concrete and road smoothing, and thanks to Ben Warren, Berrien County Roads Superintendent, for doing the work.

Bring: a rope for dragging your boat over deadfalls, cold weather gear, including clothes that will stay warm if wet, and a change of dry clothes in a waterproof container. That’s in addition to 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. The new outing date is after deer hunting season, so that’s a relief. Hunting will still be on for small game. That’s much less of a worry, but it wouldn’t hurt to wear hunting orange if you’ve got it.

Shuttle Distance: Continue reading

Sheboggy to GA 135, Alapaha Quest 2017-01-0627

Update 2018-01-19: Rescheduled again, due to low water, to become a hike to the Dead River Sink, still on January 27, 2018.

Update 2018-01-01: Rescheduled to January 27, 2018! Follow this link for the revised outing details.

A long paddle to start the Alapaha Quest! Along the way we will pass Rowetown Church and the Willacoochee River Confluence as we paddle down the wild and exotic Alapaha River in the south Georgia winter.

When: 7AM Saturday, January 6, 2018

Put In: Sheboggy Landing at US 82, east of Alapaha, Berrien County, Georgia.

GPS: 31.386278, -83.191611

Take Out: GA 135 Atkinson near Willacoochee, GA in Atkinson County.

Price: This outing is $10.00 for nonmembers, and free to WWALS members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook meetup

18.26 miles or 10 hours paddling, ARWT

Bring: Continue reading