Tag Archives: LAKE

Pictures: Banks Lake Full Corn Moon 2021-09-20

Rain around Valdosta scared away many potential paddlers for the Full Corn Moon, but eleven came to Banks Lake Boat Ramp, where there was no rain. They saw a magenta sunset, a cloudy moonrise, and bats.

[banners, sunset, moonrise, bats]
banners, sunset, moonrise, bats

Thanks to expedition leader Bobby McKenzie for organizing. Thanks to Helen Crowley for pictures on the water (I was on dog duty).

There are more pictures on the WWALS website:
https://wwals.net/pictures/2021-09-20–banks-lake-full-moon-pictures

See also pictures on facebook by Helen Crowley and probably many others.

Thanks to the Lakeland-Lanier Chamber of Commerce for Continue reading

Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Suwannee Rivers in GA-EPD Triennial Review Update 2021-09-13

We appear to be the poster child for Recreational redesignation of waterbodies by GA-EPD.

[Prioritization of Nominated Waterbodies]
Prioritization of Nominated Waterbodies; blue marks prioritized waterbodies.

That’s a slide from today’s update meeting.

Not all our blue prioritized waterbodies were redesignated: not Banks Lake nor Grand Bay. But the Withlacoochee and Alapaha segments were redesignated. We may have gotten more river miles redesignated than anywhere else in Georgia.

[Stretches redesignated Recreational]
Stretches redesignated Recreational on the GA-EPD map.

As you can see, GA-EPD stuck to considering swimming as most important for what they call primary recreation, which is what they require for Recreational redesignation. Thanks to all of you who sent in swimming pictures and locations. You can keep sending those in, especially for the Suwannee River. Thanks to those cities and counties and Chambers of Commerce that sent in letters of support. Continue reading

More Recreational redesignation of waterbodies still possible –GA-EPD 2021-09-01

In addition to the Alapaha and Withlacoochee River segments GA-EPD has accepted to be redesignated Recreational, according to today’s update letter several others still could be considered with certain additional information, and still more can be nominated. This would be for the next Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards, which starts next year, 2022.

Read the whole thing here: PDF.

Excerpts related to the Suwannee River Basin are below. I’ve added a few comments in [square brackets].

The following waterbody segments are being proposed for designated use change to recreation for the 2019 Triennial Review. EPD has received complete nomination packages for each of these waterbody segments, including thorough documentation of year-round primary contact recreation throughout the length of the segment, current and planned investment data, and letters of support from community and stakeholders. A map of these waterbody segments can be found at
https://arcg.is/1i0ezv

[Stretches redesignated Recreational]
Stretches redesignated Recreational on the GA-EPD map.

  • Alapaha River – Cherry Creek to Stateline
  • Alapaha River – Willacoochee River to Dampier Branch
    [Those two Alapaha River stretches omit Sheboggy Boat Ramp downstream from Alapaha, and Lakeland Boat Ramp, Pafford’s Landing, and Rowetown Church Landing downstream from Lakeland.]
  • Withlacoochee River – Tiger Creek to State Line

[Plus Reed Bingham State Park Lake on the Little River was already Recreational, even though it does not appear on the above GA-EPD map. The rest of the Little River we can resubmit.]

Incomplete nomination packages were received for the following waterbodies. EPD will continue to solicit information from the nominators to complete these packages. If EPD receives complete nomination packages, EPD will review the complete packages and consider changing the designated use of these waterbodies to recreation as part of the 2022 Triennial Review:

Missing Documentation of year-round primary contact recreation:

Continue reading

Parts of Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers to be Recreational –GA-EPD 2021-08-11

Update 2021-09-01: More Recreational redesignation of waterbodies still possible –GA-EPD 2021-09-01.

GA-EPD picked a subset of the river stretches they previously said they would consider for Recreational designation: in the Georgia Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards: parts of the Alapaha River, and a smaller part of the Withlacoochee River.

There’s an online Update Meeting next month.

[Header, Suwannee River Basin]
Header, Suwannee River Basin

So that’s the Alapaha River from the Willacoochee River to Dampier Branch, and from Cherry Creek to the state line. I guess you can still paddle from Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 to Berrien Beach Boat Ramp @ GA 168 without getting into any non-Recreational stretches. But Lakeland Boat Ramp and Pafford’s and Burnt Church Landings are right out. But you can paddle from Hotchkiss Road Landing to Naylor Boat Ramp, Mayday Landing, Statenville Boat Ramp, and on to Florida.

Redesignated Recreational is the Withlacoochee River from Tiger Creek (at Spook Bridge, just below US 84) to the state line. So Knights Creek, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps can all be Recreational, even though they’re all downstream of Okapilco Creek and all those cattle in Brooks County, but Langdale Park Boat Ramp and Troupville Boat Ramp are not designated Recreational, despite the Valdosta Mayor’s letter of support.

However, the big win is that anything at all got redesignated. In previous cycles, GA-EPD declined to consider such a thing. And we can reapply next time.

Completely missing from this list are: Continue reading

Video: Banks Lake Full Sturgeon Moon Paddle 2021-08-22 –Suwannee Riverkeeper & Scott James 2021-08-12

This Sunday, paddle out with us to see the sun set and the moon rise, with bats, in the Banks Lake Full Sturgeon Moon Paddle!

It’s only $10 for non-members, and free to non-members, as Scott James reminded us on his radio show last week.

With free boat rental, thanks to the Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce.

And WWALS membership is only $25 for individuals or $40 for a family.
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

[Banks Lake Full Sturgeon Moon Paddle]
Banks Lake Full Sturgeon Moon Paddle

For more details of this evening paddle just west of Lakeland, Georgia, see: https://wwals.net/?p=56344

Here’s WWALS video of that radio interview: Continue reading

Calling for pictures of swimming, diving, rapids, tubing, water skiing, or surfing, Suwannee River Basin, Georgia

Update 2021-06-21: The real deadline is June 30, 2021.

Calling for pictures, personal experience, or other evidence of swimming or diving in lakes and rivers in the Suwannee River Basin, and evidence of investments in recreation.

[Candidate Recreational waterways, Georgia, legend, Suwannee River Basin]
Candidate Recreational waterways, Georgia, legend, Suwannee River Basin

For a waterway to be redesignated Recreational instead of Fishing, as we requested back in 2019, GA-EPD requires evidence of “Primary Contact Recreation,” which it says is “full immersion contact with water where there is significant risk of ingestion that includes, but is not limited to, swimming, diving, white water boating (class 3+), tubing, water skiing, and surfing.”

Recreational designation would mean tighter restrictions on contamination limits. That should be good for fish, fishing, people who swim, fish, and boat, and for eco-tourism.

Could everyone who has pictures, news reports, or other solid evidence of such activities in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia please send them in. That’s in the Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee River, Alapaha River, Banks Lake, Grand Bay, Withlacoochee River, or Little River.

Please use this form:
https://forms.gle/DipPgU2TP5atc2Rf9
If you have difficulties with that, please email them to wwalswatershed@gmail.com.

Also, please send any evidence of investments in recreation along any of these waterways, with dollar amounts, if you have them.

No rush. We thought we had until the end of June, but recently GA-EPD truncated the deadline to May 28th. That’s Friday of this week. GA-EPD has indicated that the end-of-week deadline may be flexible, but please send what you’ve got as fast as you can.

They also applied a bunch of criteria, some of which we were previously unaware of, and tossed out many stretches of the rivers. We asked for an appeal process, but they have not provided one. So feel free to send in pictures and other evidence about all stretches, and we’ll see what we can do with them.

The good news is that still on the candidate list for Recreational redesignation is all of the Okefenokee Swamp, the Suwannee River in Georgia, Banks Lake, and Grand Bay Creek and Trail within the Grand Bay WMA. Also included is most of the Alapaha River within the Alapaha River Water Trail, but not upstream from the Willacoochee River, and not for ten miles downstream from Lakeland.

But almost all of the Withlacoochee River is eliminated, except for Tiger Creek (at Spook Bridge) to the state line, and all of the Little River is eliminated. Also gone is Lake Irma, because Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Worm Moon Paddle, 2021-03-28

The bats should be flying again, as we amble by boat around our watery living room, Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, to watch the sun set and the moon rise.

First, we will use the WWALS infrared thermometer to check temperatures. If you’re ill in any way, please stay home. Once you get there, there is plenty of room on the boat ramp to distance, and on the water everybody is usually pretty far apart anyway. Wear a mask on land, and we will have some available. No shuttle is needed.

When: Gather 7 PM, launch 7:15 PM, end 9:30 PM, Sunday, March 28, 2021

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

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.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the $10 at the outing, or online:
https://wwals.net//donations/#outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

[Many]
Many boats, sunset, moonrise, 2020-02-27.

Continue reading

WWALS Vision for water quality and access in Lowndes County, Georgia 2021-03-01

Lowndes County, Georgia, already has much river, lake, and swamp access. More people need to know about that. Plus there is substantial room for improvement, in access and in water quality, health, and safety.

[Letter, Map]
Letter, Map

March 1, 2020

To: David Barth
Barth Associates
david@barthassoc.com

Cc: George Page, Executive Director
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Rec. Authority
gpage@vlpra.com

Re: WWALS vision for
Lowndes County waterways

Dear Dr. Barth and Director Page,

Thank you for the invitation to provide suggestions for resource protection and recreational access for the Rivers and other waterways of Lowndes County, including access, water quality, land acquisition, etc. Please see below a list of such suggested improvements.

For the rivers and the aquifer,
John S. Quarterman
Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
/s
WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.

Health and Safety

Continue reading

Video: Virus, Full Moon, Bacteria, Okefenokee, Mayor’s Paddle, Songwriting –Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James radio 2020-12-14

On the radio Monday I announced that the Solstice Light Parade for this Saturday is canceled due to worries about the audience during the virus pandemic resurgence, so come to the December 29, 2020, Full Moon paddle instead.

Please help get the candidates in the Georgia runoff elections to help get the state of Georgia to stop the strip mine proposed far too near the Okefenokee Swamp.

[Many topics]
Many topics

Valdosta Mayor Scott James gracefully conceded the M.C. spot at the August 2021 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest to Steve Nichols, who is also a radio host. We talked about what it will take to pull off the Mayor’s Paddle, February 6, 2020, from Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge on the Withlacoochee River.

For any paddles, it’s good to know the water is clean, so we talked about Valdosta’s sewer system progress, including how the outflow from the WWTP is clean now, and the new catch basin is good, but is it big enough? We asked listeners to report anybody seen dumping into the Withlacoochee River, and the general water quality testing situation, including in Brooks County.

Starting this weekend, WWALS volunteers will be planting the new at-water water trail signs.

Here’s a WWALS video playlist: Continue reading

Canceled: WWALS Solstice Light Parade 2020-12-19

Due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, the Solstice Light Parade is canceled. Better safe than sorry, and we don’t want a gathering of viewers to turn into a virus vector.

Light Parade organizer Shelby Miller asks for you to please come instead to the Full Cold Moon Paddle, same location, Banks Lake Boat Ramp, on Tuesday, December 29, 2020: gather 4:45 PM, launch 4:50 PM, end 6 PM. We will paddle out to watch the sun set and the moon rise. Dress warmly.

Follow this link for details:
https://wwals.net/?p=53995

You can decorate your boat and everybody paddling can see it. But we will not be offering prizes at the Full Cold Moon Paddle and we will not be encouraging spectators on shore.

There is plenty of room at Banks Lake Boat Ramp for everyone to stay apart, and on the water everyone is always far enough apart. We will be using an infrared thermometer to check temperatures, and we will be requiring masks at the boat ramp.

[Floating living room]
Floating living room, Banks Lake Full Moon paddle 2020-10-01.

If you already paid for a ticket to the Light Parade, you can roll it over to the Full Moon Paddle or another later outing. Or, if you prefer, we will refund your money.

We are aware that this is two outings in a row canceled, after the previous Full Moon paddle was called off because of weather. That is very unfortunate.

Still, we’d rather err on the side of caution than risk spreading that disease.

More: For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times monthly newsletter.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!