Tag Archives: Ichetucknee River

Training: Water Quality Testing, 2022-09-10

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. 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.

[Map and table, Georgia AAS]
Map and table, Georgia AAS

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

We need more of those, and also for the Alapahoochee and Suwannee Rivers, as well as Cat Creek, Beatty Branch, Sugar Creek, and especially Okapilco Creek and Crooked Creek, plus others.

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

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

Five Rivers Clean 2022-07-07

Update 2022-07-15: Withlacoochee River OK, Cat Creek bad 2022-07-14.

According to ten WWALS Thursday test sites on five rivers, and Madison Health lifting their Withlacoochee River Health Advisory, five rivers tested clean Thursday.

There was substantial rain yesterday, but since previous rains probably washed off the worst stuff, most likely there won’t be much effect on the rivers.

Happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

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

The most recent Valdosta data Continue reading

Five Rivers Clean 2022-06-09

2022-06-17: WWALS Thursday tests clean, but Valdosta bad Wednesday results for US 41 and GA 122, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-16.

All tested clean: Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers, for Thursday. Sure, those were only a few test sites on each river. But there’s been little rain, none predicted, and no sewage spills reported. So happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide]
Chart, River, Swim Guide

Thanks to Continue reading

Clean All Rivers 2022-05-26

Update 2022-06-03: Clean Rivers 2022-06-02.

All tested sites Thursday were clean on five rivers: Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers. No sewage spills have been reported in Georgia or Florida in the Suwannee River Basin for the last week. It hasn’t rained much, and no rain is predicted for the weekend.

So happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

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

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for Monday upstream and Wednesday of last week downstream. Those were all clean, too. Continue reading

Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe all clean 2022-05-12

Update 2022-05-20: Clean Rivers again 2022-05-19.

WWALS got good results on five rivers from samples Thursday. No significant rain is predicted. No sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia. So happy swimming, boating, and fishing on the Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers!

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

These samples are of course only from a few locations, so they cannot give the condition of the entire rivers. Still, they’re a pretty good indication.

The only red thumb sticking out is at GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, where for Monday Valdosta got way too high E. coli. Since there was no rain recorded upstream, that looks like the old problem of somebody dumping something in the river. Probably it has washed away and gotten diluted by now. But we have no more recent tests at that location to tell. Some time next week Valdosta will publish the rest of their results for this week, and then we’ll know. Continue reading

All rivers bad water quality 2022-04-07

Update 2022-04-15: Clean Rivers 2022-04-15.

Best to avoid the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers this weekend. In very unusual results, all three were too high in E. coli at GA 122, and the Withlacoochee was way too high at Nankin Boat Ramp.

The Ichetucknee tested clean for Tuesday at TREPO’s Hodor Park.

You might try lakes that are not downstream from likely rivers, such as Banks Lake and Grassy Pond, and maybe Reed Bingham State Park, but we have no data on those lakes.

In good news, no sewage spills have been reported in Georgia or Florida. Of course, certain cities (Quitman, Ashburn) almost always report a week or more late, so stay tuned on that.

[Chart, rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, rivers, Swim Guide

The most recent data we have from Valdosta is for Monday upstream, which was before the Wednesday and Thursday rains. So WWALS data is what we have to go on, and the WWALS results are pretty bad. Continue reading

Books: Suwannee River Basin 2022-01-31

What books do you know about rivers, swamps, creeks, spings, sinks, or ponds in the Suwannee River Basin? Or movies, TV shows, etc.? Send them in and we’ll add them to the list.

Below is a sampler to start.

[Some books]
Some books

Update 2022-07-01: Book: Canoeing and Kayaking Georgia, Third Edition 2022-06-30

[Cover and inside]
Cover and inside

Okefenokee Swamp

There are probably more books about the Okefenokee Swamp than about any of the rivers in the Suwannee River Basin, but let’s start with this one.

Suwannee River: Strange Green Land (The Rivers of America), by Cecile Hulse Matschat

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Worse than Falling Creek: SRWMD wants to pipe Suwannee River water twice to Ichetucknee Springs 2021-06-08

Four years ago SRWMD proposed to pipe Suwannee River water from near White Springs to a sinkhole near Falling Creek to replenish the Ichetucknee River. Now the District has come up with something worse: not one, but two pipelines, adding one from Branford, both to spread water on the ground nearer the Ichetucknee headspring. SRWMD told reporters these were just tentative plans, but SRWMD’s own slides lay out a process just like four years ago when a plan was rubberstamped by SRWMD and SJRWMD despite numerous objections. Head it off now!

Here are some easier, less costly, and simpler methods than pipeline boondoggles: send pine plantation ditch water into the aquifer; three ways to limit water withdrawals, and Right to Clean Water.

[Map: Recharge %]
Map: Recharge % in SRWMD’s slides Prevention and Recovery Strategy for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and Priority Springs.

What we wrote four years ago applies twice as much this time:

“The Falling Creek project has very large up-front expense, involves environmental risk in running a large-diameter pipe through wetlands, and has high maintenance cost. In addition it only benefits the Ichetucknee Springs watershed. It is seasonal, for instance at the water levels now in the Suwannee, there is no water to pump to Falling Creek.”

Back then we included in our comments to SRWMD a much simpler and less costly proposal Continue reading

Ichetucknee up and back paddle 2021-01-02

A bit of TV coverage for conserving springs and the WWALS Ichetucknee upstream paddle.

Dylan Lyons, WJCB.com, January 2, 2021, Local environmental organization hits the springs for their first kayaking event of 2021 (follow the link for WCJB’s embedded video),

[WCJB, WWALS]
WCJB, WWALS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)—WWALS Watershed Coalition is an organization in North-Central Florida and South Georgia dedicated to conservation and education about natural springs. Their goal is to bring focus to problems like excessive water withdrawal. They do that by bringing people out to the springs to see the issues first hand and recognize the beauty of the natural waters.

“More exposure is great because the more people that see the rivers are there and that they are all great like they are and especially the people that get on them. The more they’ll help take care of them,” said John S. Quarterman, the Suwannee Riverkeeper.

Continue reading

Reroute: New Year Ichetucknee Upstream Paddle 2021-01-02

Update 2020-01-05 TV coverage.

Different entrance (South), different landing (Dampier’s)!

We’re going to paddle upstream and back, on this first paddle of 2021, all on the Ichetucknee River, within the Park. This is because we’re not doing a shuttle due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic spike, We will be checking temperatures with an infrared thermometer. If you feel at all sick with anything, please stay home. Wear masks on land (we will have extras) and keep your distance.

When: Gather 10:00 AM, Launch 10:30 AM, End 4:00 PM, Saturday, January 2, 2021

Put In: Dampier’s Landing, About a 10 minute walk from parking lot at South Entrance, 11627 SW Us Highway 27, Fort White, Florida 32071, in Columbia County.

GPS of South Entrance to Ichetucknee Springs S.P.: 29.9519915, -82.7753791

Bring boat wheels: otherwise that’s a long carry for a boat from parking to the landing.

Upstream: It’s only two miles up to the top spring. Ichetucknee Springs State Park tells us no Ichy Nippy Dip Day for 2021, also due to the virus pandemic. However, anybody who paddles all the way up can dip in the spring.
There will be current, but nobody has to paddle up any farther than they want to. There’s a good rest stop at Midpoint Landing, less than a mile up.

Take Out: Dampier’s Landing.
If you feel adventurous, you could paddle a mile farther downstrearm, all the way to the last takeout, South Landing. But if you do that, you need to get back more than half a mile by foot to your car. You’ll really need your boat wheels.

Bring: boat wheels and warm clothes! And 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.

NOTE: The Ichetucknee is a non-disposable river; do not have any food or drinks in disposable packaging. All liquids and foods should be in reusable type containers. This helps keep litter out of our rivers.

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!

Fee: There is a $5.00 park fee.

Event: facebook, meetup

[Map: Dampier's Landing in Ichetucknee Springs State Park]
Map: Dampier’s Landing in Ichetucknee Springs State Park,
in the WWALS map of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.

Continue reading