Tag Archives: sinkhole

Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Amanda Davis 2024-05-03

Update 2024-05-08: Sullivan Launch to Madison Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2024-06-08.

Usually, Withlacoochee River water flows into this distributary into a sinkhole. But last Tuesday water was coming out into the river from the Chitty Bend East Distributary. So this swallet changed from a sink to a spring, and the creek changed from a distributary to a tributary.

[Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River 2024-04-30, Pumping out a stream --Amanda Davis]
Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River 2024-04-30, Pumping out a stream –Amanda Davis

Amanda Davis sent these videos that she took on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, when the Pinetta gauge was about 55.8 NAVD88.

This is in Hamilton County, Florida, upstream from Florida Campsites Ramp and Madison Blue Spring.

WWALS last paddled in there Continue reading

Videos: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River, 2023-07-15

Update 2024-05-05: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Amanda Davis 2024-04-30.

Here is a video and some pictures of Chitty Bend East Distributary, on the Withlacoochee River, where some of the river runs into the woods into some swallets.

That’s between Sullivan Launch and Florida Campsites Ramp, in Twin Rivers State Forest, in Hamilton County, Florida.

Here is the video:

Or on facebook:

Or on instagram:

We were on a WWALS outing led by Gee Edwards. The water level was about 54.10 NAVD88 on the Pinetta Gauge.

Some pictures are below. Continue reading

Pictures: Waterkeepers Florida, Santa Fe River and springs 2024-02-08

We saw many springs, divers, entrances to two big sinkholes (Little and Big Awesome Sucks), many turtles, some alligators, a wood stork, a cattle egret, a hawk, a great blue heron, and some buzzards, as well as many gar and other fish, more cypress knees than you can count, and one very old cypress tree, just below some less than scary shoals.

Perhaps most importantly, nobody was in a hurry to get anywhere. Everybody paddles leisurely, took in the sights, and socialized.

At one of our Friday morning Waterkeepers Florida (WKFL) zoom calls, Jen Lomberk, the WKFL chair, asked Suwannee Riverkeeper to organize an outing while we would all be in Gainesville for an annual conference. The nearest Suwannee River Basin River is the Santa Fe, so I called on Doug Jipson of outfitter Rum 138 to shuttle us, and Merillee Malwitz-Jipson of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) to guide us. See also the pictures Merrillee sent.

[Waterkeepers Florida, Santa Fe River, Rum Island to FL 47 2024-02-08]
Waterkeepers Florida, Santa Fe River, Rum Island to FL 47 2024-02-08

Waterkeepers Florida consists of all 15 Waterkeepers of Florida,

Waterkeeper is the generic name that includes Riverkeepers, all licensed by Waterkeeper Alliance. Suwannee Riverkeeper and St. Marys Riverkeeper are Waterkeepers of both Florida and Georgia.

Eleven WKFL members showed up (some with more than one representative), which is about the usual percentage for the annual gathering. Some of them had never seen a blue spring before. We went to Gilchrist Blue Spring, Devil’s Eye Spring, Ginnie Spring, and numerous more, between Rum Island and FL 47 Ramp in Gilchrist County Santa Fe River Park.

Actually, we were going to put in at Rum Island County Park, but it was mysteriously closed that morning. So we put in at Merrilee’s private river access.

When we got to Rum Island, the work at the park was obvious: the incredibly ostentatious orange barrier at the swimming area.

Here are some video snippets:
https://youtu.be/8lzYtVt60ZU?si=Z6Ec8LaVkmM7XmlG Continue reading

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

Update 2024-05-04: Videos: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River, 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

Alapaha Swallets Dye Trace Project 2016-10-01

Down at the designation of the new Jennings Bluff State Geological Site with Dead River Sink 2023-03-17 the Florida Geological Survey (FGS) was giving out links to a report on the Alapaha Swallets Dye Trace Project.

That’s where FGS, FDEP, and SRWMD put fluorescent green dye in the Dead River Sink, back on June 22, 2016, and watched for it to come back up.

[Before and After]
Before and After

As you can see by the graph, the dye came back up four days later in the ALapaha River Rise, and eight days later in Holton Creek Rise.

The report is available 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

More materials: Hamilton County Planning Commission on Nutrien phosphate mine permit renewal 2023-03-28

Update 2023-04-17: No phosphate mine waste into recreational lakes, and more transparency –WWALS to Hamilton County BOCC 2023-04-17.

See also, from five years ago: Pictures: PCS Phosphate mine permit Public Hearings, Jasper, FL 2018-01-23.

Here are 78 more documents related to the Public Hearing at 6 PM this Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at the Hamilton County Commission in Jasper, Florida, about Nutrien’s phosphate mining permit renewal.

[Mining location, reclamation, flow, and areas]
Mining location, reclamation, flow, and areas

These documents, from a USB stick I picked up from Hamilton County today, are in addition to the documents I posted yesterday.

Ordinarily I would read everything first and post some analysis, but in the interests of time, here are the documents. Continue reading

Hamilton County Planning Commission wants conditions on Nutrien phosphate mine permit renewal 2023-03-28

Update 2023-04-13: More materials: Hamilton County Planning Commission on Nutrien phosphate mine permit renewal 2023-03-28.

Update 2023-04-12: The County Commission meeting will be April 18th.

The Nutrien Phosphate Mine in Hamilton County, Florida, is up for renewal by the Hamilton Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, April 28 18, 2023, at 6 PM. There will be a Public Hearing. Since time to speak will be limited, best to send written comments in advance.

The renewal request has already been reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Board (PNZ), on March 28, 2023. PNZ recommends renewal with some conditions.

Private landowners, a number of whose property is inside the mine boundary, object that some of Nutrien’s plans for disposal of waste such as clay will adversely affect those landowners’ businesses as well as wildlife and waters.

Dennis J. Price, P.G., of Hamilton County filed a page of questions.

Bienville Outdoors filed a a request to find other options for settling areas.

Maybe you would like to comment on effects of this mine on the Suwannee River, Swift Creek, the Floridan Aquifer, or public health.

[Private landowners, Clay flows, aerial: Nutrien Phosphate Mine, Hamilton County, FL]
Private landowners, Clay flows, aerial: Nutrien Phosphate Mine, Hamilton County, FL

On the WWALS website are Continue reading

Gibson Park to Suwannee River State Park, swim view Five Holes, 2022-08-13

A summer saunter on the iconic Suwannee River, with swimming in viewing the connected sinks and springs of Five Holes.

According to the Park, Five Holes is closed for renovation, but we have permission from Park Manager Matt Phifer to swim in view Five Holes on this outing.

There may or may not be swimming through some of the holes if you know what you’re doing. If the water is low like now, you can see through and it will be a walk through. But there are no dark spots; the main danger with swimming is banging your head.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 2 PM, Saturday, August 13, 2022

Put In: Gibson Park Ramp, 6844 SW CR 751, Jasper, FL 32052. Right bank, west side of the river. From Jasper, Hamilton County, FL, travel southwest on Right bank. SW CR 249 to SW CR 751; turn left and boat ramp is on the right in Gibson Park.

GPS: 30.437637, -83.094031

Take Out: Suwannee River State Park 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. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

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:

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Five Holes, Alapaha River Rise, Suwanacoochee Spring, Suwannee River swing]
Five Holes, Alapaha River Rise, Suwanacoochee Spring, Suwannee River swing

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