Tag Archives: State Line Boat Ramp

Withlacoochee River OK water quality except GA 133 2022-07-02

Update 2022-07-06: Withlacoochee River water quality good again 2022-07-03.

By WWALS samples Friday and Saturday, the Withlacoochee River appears clean from State Line Boat Ramp downstream, with tests also at Florida Campsites and Cleary’s Bluff between Allen Ramp and the Confluence.

Upstream at GA 133, it’s still bad. Possibly some of Valdosta’s Thursday sewage spill is still seeping into the river, or we’re just seeing residual contamination from that or from whatever got into the river from upstream of US 41 before that spill.

Around the corner at Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River, that’s OK.

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

There was quite a bit of rain in Colquitt County on Okapilco Creek, so more cattle manure may wash down from there.

Where all that previous contamination went is Continue reading

PFAS testing, Withlacoochee River, Georgia and Florida 2022-06-30

Update 2022-07-03: Withlacoochee River OK water quality except GA 133 2022-07-02.

WWALS Science Committee Chair Dr. Tom Potter and I took PFAS samples at four locations on the Withlacoochee River Thursday.

We shipped the samples to Cyclopure, a company with which Waterkeeper Alliance got a deal for test kits for all U.S. Waterkeepers.

We picked Thursday because it was after big rains Wednesday, reported in some places nearby as up to four inches. So if any of those forever chemicals were washing off of fields fertilized with biosolids, or coming out of Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, or just left over from Moody Air Force Base’s spills it documented in 2016, maybe we will detect them.

[PFAS testing and locations]
PFAS testing and locations

Suwannee Riverkeeper got two kits: for Georgia and Florida. Each kit has two test sets, for upstream and downstream of likely contamination sources. Continue reading

Location of Quitman sewage spill 2022-03-20

Update 2022-04-08: All rivers bad water quality 2022-04-07.

Quitman’s 48,000 gallon sewage spill on Sunday, March 20, 2022, was from the Quitman settling ponds, which are slightly uphill from Okapilco Creek. Which explains why Valdosta got too-high E. coli at US 84 on Okapilco Creek, and at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps downstream on the Withlacoochee River.

We know this location because of the response to the WWALS open records request to Quitman asking where is this “Influent Liftstation”:

GPS 30.793581, -83.544316
800 North Highland Dr

This has been going on for years. For example, the April 24, 2022 spill from the same location contaminated the Withlacoochee River and the Suwannee River probably as far as Running Springs, if not all the way to the Gulf.

The form Quitman’s contractor sent GA-EPD says the spill was not preventable. Well, according to Quitman’s permit from GA-EPD, “Power failure” is not an excuse, because the permitee is supposed to have backup power. It’s time for Quitman to find a way to prevent these spills from contaminating Okapilco Creek and the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers. This is a public health hazard.

What will the Georgia Environment Protection Division (GA-EPD) do to stop these spills from Quitman, and meanwhile to get much more timely reporting by Quitman to GA-EPD and to the public?

[Map and doc: location of Quitman sewage spill]
Map and doc: location of Quitman sewage spill

It’s only 1.10 creek miles to US 84, and 5 creek miles all the way down Okapilco Creek to the Withlacoochee River. Then 3.68 river miles more to Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, for 8.68 water miles total. At even two miles per hour, that’s less than five hours for contamination to travel. Continue reading

Videos: Boomerang paddle race, mine too close to Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James Radio 2021-10-19

On his radio show Monday morning, Scott James and I talked about the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, coming up this Saturday, 9AM, October 23, 2021, at State Line Boat Ramp, aka Madison Highway Boat Ramp or Mozell Spells or GA 31 Ramp or CR 145 Bridge Launch. We’ll paddle downstream into Florida and back up into Georgia! Food, drink, and a silent auction. Fun for the whole family.

The overall winner wins a $100 First Prize. Others will win in many categories.

[Radio, WWALS Boomerang paddle race]
Radio, WWALS Boomerang paddle race

Tickets for this WWALS fundraiser are available online or at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2021-tickets-168646372841

Registration opens at 9AM, where you can say whether you want to paddle 1, 2, or 3 miles downstream, and the same back up.

Everything about the Boomerang is here:
https://wwals.net/pictures/2021-10-23–boomerang/

Below are links to each of the video segments about the Boomerang on the radio, followed by a WWALS video playlist. Continue reading

Sponsors: WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia to Florida and back 2021-10-23

Thanks to all our sponsors of the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, this Saturday, October 23, 2021, down the Withlacoochee River from Georgia three miles into Florida, and back.

Thank you Adel Outfitters, Azalea City Music Academy, Banks Lake Outdoors, B’s Backporch BBQ, Dry Pocket Apparel, Madison Outpost Adventures, Okra Paradise Farms, Olympia Shooting Range Paintball, Sunbelt Running CLub, and Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA),

[Sponsor Banner]
Sponsor Banner

Tickets are $30 online or at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2021-tickets-168646372841

You could be the winner of the $100 First Prize, or win in one of the many categories.

Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 23, 2021, to be on the water by 10:45 AM. There will be prizes, and food, and drink.

You do not even have to bring a boat, if you reserve soon and let us know what type of boat you need: kayak or canoe, single or tandem. Free boat rental is provided by Madison Outpost Adventures of Lee, Madison County, Florida, and VSU CORE of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.

Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie says, Continue reading

One week to WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia to Florida and back 2021-10-23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, October 15, 2021 — We have a group coming three hours from Dublin, GA, to paddle down the Withlacoochee River from Georgia three miles into Florida, and back upstream, in the WWALS Boomerang, one week from now, Saturday, October 23, 2021. Last year’s winner came from Tallahassee, FL. In one week, you could be the winner of the $100 First Prize! Or win in one of the many categories.

Today is the last day for the $20 early bird tickets. Later it’s $30 online or at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2021-tickets-168646372841

Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 23, 2021, to be on the water by 10:45 AM. There will be prizes, and food, and drink.

You do not even have to bring a boat, if you reserve soon and let us know what type of boat you need: kayak or canoe, single or tandem. Free boat rental is provied by Madison Outpost Adventures of Lee, Madison County, Florida, and VSU CORE of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.

Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie says, “Water levels were steadily dropping and now they are rising slightly.” We have a plan if the Withlacoochee River is running too fast to paddle up; we’ll just straighten out the course to go to Sullivan Landing.

“This is a great way to bring the outdoors community together and showcase the recreational opportunities we have to offer locally,” Bobby McKenzie added. “This event caters to all ages and skill levels, you can either blaze ahead and take first place overall, or push yourself for a personal achievement on the main course or one of the modified routes. You can even just come do a leisurely paddle with like minded outdoor enthusiasts. Just remember to make your way back before the time expires, at most will be 2.5 hours.”

[Flyer]
Flyer
PDF

State Line Boat Ramp is at Continue reading

Graco Way illicit dump site, Madison County, Florida 2021-09-04

WWALS member Elizabeth Reynolds reported many tires and other trash on a lot at the corner of Graco Way and NE Pineapple Street in Madison County, Florida. That’s one mile south down CR 145 from State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River. She had picked up tires there several times, but had run out of places to take them.

We followed up and got her some answers.

You can also report trash or other problems related to our waterways in the Suwannee River Basin: https://wwals.net/report/

[Graco Way corner, tires, map]
Graco Way corner, tires, map. Photos: Elizabeth Reynolds

I called Madison County Code Enforcement, Gloria Randall, Code Enforcement Officer, code@madisoncountyfl.com, (850) 973-3641
https://madisoncountyfl.com/code-enforcement/

Turns out it’s a well-known problem. Cleaning it up is the responsibility of the property owner. Unfortunately, that’s a trust, which means there’s no single person in charge. Continue reading

Lowndes County Litter Control, rivers and highways 2021-06-10

WWALS Member Bobby McKenzie saw the Lowndes County Little Control truck in the wild, at Nankin Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River.

Gotta give mad props to Lowndes County, GA for the Litter Control crew!

The boat ramps in Lowndes have been surprisingly clean lately! I ran across these folks today while out testing water. If you’ve been paying attention to the trash we’ve been cleaning up out of the rivers and trashed local spots in other counties…this is a much appreciated sight!

These boat ramps have been notoriously trashed in the past. Glad to see Lowndes stepping up!

[Lowndes County Litter Control]
Lowndes County Litter Control at Nankin Boat Ramp. Photo: Bobby McKenzie, who was an intern for WWALS at the time.

You can help, too, at the big river and creek cleanup this Saturday, October 9, 2021, with WWALS sites downstream from Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River and on Sugar Creek at the Salty Snapper just upstream from the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading

Four miles an hour, Nankin to Sullivan, Withlacoochee River 2021-08-07

Update 2021-08-16: Two Withlacoochee River 360-degree transits by WWALS on Earthviews 2021-08-16.

Rain poured during the shuttle from Nankin Boat Ramp to Sullivan Launch, but the weather relented as we started to paddle, just as expedition leader and weatherman Bobby McKenzie predicted.

22 people paddled in 21 boats, entering Florida three times, past McIntyre Spring, Arnold Springs, the Valdosta Railway Trestle, and Horn Bridge. Only a few took out at State Line Boat Ramp, because they were musicians and they had a gig that same evening.

Almost all continued past PCA and Jumping Gully Creek to Sullivan Launch for a total of 14.22 miles in barely four hours. Subtract half an hour for the lunch stop at State Line Boat Ramp, and that’s 3.5 hours, for 4 miles per hour.

[Valdosta Railway Trestle in the middle]
Valdosta Railway Trestle in the middle

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman left her boat in the truck until the last minute, because she did not want to paddle in the rain. WWALS President Tom H. Johnson Jr. and Mary Carolyn Pindar drove four hours for this outing, so they were going to paddle anyway, as was I. Continue reading

Bad Upstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-07-02

Update 2021-07-06: Tropical Storm Elsa headed up Suwannee River Basin 2021-07-06

Valdosta has published its upstream results for Friday, which showed very bad water quality at US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, Map]
Chart, Map

There’s been even more rain since then, and more is coming straight at the Suwannee River Basin with Tropical Storm Elsa. Continue reading