Tag Archives: Sugar Creek

Digging at edge of Stafford parking lot, St. Augustine Road at Hightower Creek 2024-02-27

Who is doing this mysterious digging, and why?

Maybe to plant a fence?

That would be a good thing, to keep trash out of Hightower Creek, which flows into Sugar Creek, past the WaterGoat, into the Withlacoochee River, at the early takeout for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle.

[Digging in the Stafford parking lot, St. Augustine Road at Hightower Creek 2024-02-27]
Digging in the Stafford parking lot, St. Augustine Road at Hightower Creek 2024-02-27

It’s about time something happened there, where I videoed Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson in December 2022 saying something needed to be done. According to Valdosta City ordinances, it is the parking lot owner’s responsiblity to keep trash from escaping the property, no matter where it came from.

Thanks to Russell Allen McBride for spotting this digging.

Thanks to Gretchen Quarterman for photographing. She noted, “Enterprise guy was on parking lot. He knew nothing about it.”

It seems unlikely to be the City of Valdosta, considering how reluctant they are to do anything on private property.

Maybe it’s the parking lot manager, Stafford Development Company. Continue reading

Navigable stream additions to GA HB 1397 2024-02-27

Sent this morning.

[Navigable stream additions to GA HB 1397 --WWALS 2024-02-27]
Navigable stream additions to GA HB 1397 –WWALS 2024-02-27

February 27, 2024

To: Cc:

Rep. James Burchett (176), james.burchett@house.ga.gov

Rep. John Lahood (175), john.lahood@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Dexter Sharper (177), dexter.sharper@house.ga.gov,

Rep. John Corbett (174), john.corbett@house.ga.gov ,

Rep. Chas Cannon (172), chas.cannon@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Penny Houston (170), penny.houston@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Darlene Taylor (173), darlene.taylor@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Clay Pirkle (169), clay.pirkle@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Leesa Hagan (156), leesa.hagan@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Bill Yearta (152), bill.yearta@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Noel Williams (148), noel.williams@house.ga.gov,

Rep. Patty Bentley (150), patty.bentley@house.ga.gov

Re: Navigable stream additions to HB 1397

Rep. Burchett,

You are invited to the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle on the Withlacoochee River just west of Valdosta, this Saturday, March 2, 2024. Continue reading

Pictures: Chainsaw cleanup from Troupville up to Sugar Creek and back 2024-02-25

It’s a good thing we sent to see: yesterday we found a huge new deadfall completely across the Withlacoochee River, on the route of the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, coming up Saturday, March 2, 2024.

[Big new deadfall, chainsaw, trolling motor, outboard 2024-02-25]
Big new deadfall, chainsaw, trolling motor, outboard 2024-02-25

Here’s a WWALS video:
https://youtu.be/3-143xjW1pI?si=puDKyoATFhg6oqkq

The water level was back down to much more reasonable than at last week’s boat motor tryouts.

We trimmed more on quite a few deadfalls from last chainsaw cleanup two weeks ago and from previous ones.

Now kayaks should not have much trouble from Sugar Creek to the Little River Confluence. There they will find Phil Hubbard’s directional signs on a tree in the river. Go up the Little River to Troupville Boat Ramp to take out.

If you really can’t paddle up that last third of a mile, we can either haul with the Suwannee Riverkeeper jon boat and outboard, or you can go downstream another two miles to Paul Deloach’s private boat ramp.

Meanwhile yesterday, Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson, with Michael Smith of Valdosta United Way and others, paddled from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek. They did not find any major deadfalls until Sugar Creek, where we still need to get that one before Saturday.

Phil and I did get up as far as just above Sugar Creek yesterday, where we cleared the brush sticking out into the river that I always run into, and which would have capsized some paddlers Friday. Then it was getting dark, so we motored back around to Troupville Boat Ramp.

We also demonstrated the usefulness of several items paid for by a grant from Wild Green Future:

  • A 9.9hp Mercury 4-stroke outboard motor: yes, it will go upstream plenty fast for our purposes, it’s quiet, it uses little gas, and it is astonishingly resilient on hitting numerous underwater obstacles and getting choked down at least three times.
  • A prop guard: that thing paid for itself in the first half hour.
  • An 85lb-thrust Goplus trolling motor: it will pull the jon boat upstream, and it was very useful for holding the jon boat steady while I was tilting the outboard back down after the latest snag bumped it up.
  • A pair of Power Queen LiFePO4 12.8V 100Ah batteries: both of them weigh less than one lead-acid marine battery, and each holds more charge.
  • A Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-inch chainsaw: the only thing that can handle some of the bigger deadfalls.

And of course the 14-foot jon boat donated by Flint Riverkeeper.

Thanks to Phil Hubbard for doing most of the sawing, and for being patient with the amature boat driver.

I did saw some deadfalls, but Phil didn’t bring his phone and there was nobody else to take pictures, so you can believe it or not.

There are more pictures below.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

DSigns

[Phil Hubbard attaching directional signs, 10:11:02, 30.8471179, -83.3472358]
Phil Hubbard attaching directional signs, 10:11:02, 30.8471179, -83.3472358

HU

[Heading upstream, 10:14:59, 30.8469657, -83.3475407]
Heading upstream, 10:14:59, 30.8469657, -83.3475407

Batteries

[Phil and the Power Queen LiFePO4 12.8V 100Ah batteries (Wild Green Future grant), 10:18:54, 30.8452662, -83.3474455]
Phil and the Power Queen LiFePO4 12.8V 100Ah batteries (Wild Green Future grant), 10:18:54, 30.8452662, -83.3474455

TBefore

[Movie: Trimming before Mayor and Chairman's Paddle, 10:18:55, 30.8452662, -83.3474455 (84M)]
Movie: Trimming before Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, 10:18:55, (84M) 30.8452662, -83.3474455

16 – 20

[Movie: Phil with the 85lb Goplus trolling motor paid for by Wild Green Future, 30.8491526, -83.3404818 (15M)]
Movie: Phil with the 85lb Goplus trolling motor paid for by Wild Green Future, (15M) 30.8491526, -83.3404818

PDF

[Movie: Getting more of the pine deadfall from last time, 30.8511759, -83.3390244 (52M)]
Movie: Getting more of the pine deadfall from last time, (52M) 30.8511759, -83.3390244

I75

[Movie: I-75 bridge, 30.8545439, -83.3354269 (7.7M)]
Movie: I-75 bridge, (7.7M) 30.8545439, -83.3354269

BBI75

[Barrell by I-75, 11:32:10, 30.8548791, -83.3347540]
Barrell by I-75, 11:32:10, 30.8548791, -83.3347540

BoS

[Boat on shore, 11:34:01, 30.8546220, -83.3331136]
Boat on shore, 11:34:01, 30.8546220, -83.3331136

MDF

[Marple Deadfall from last time, 11:52:27, 30.8557031, -83.3293049]
Marple Deadfall from last time, 11:52:27, 30.8557031, -83.3293049

Oabm

[Movie: Open this a bit more, 11:52:33, 30.8557031, -83.3293049 (71M)]
Movie: Open this a bit more, 11:52:33, (71M) 30.8557031, -83.3293049

SuBC

[Movie: Standup boat chainsawing: don't try this at home, 30.8557031, -83.3293049 (48M)]
Movie: Standup boat chainsawing: don’t try this at home, (48M) 30.8557031, -83.3293049

SODF

[That looks better now, 12:09:59, 30.8578459, -83.3263282]
That looks better now, 12:09:59, 30.8578459, -83.3263282

ToL

[Tire on log, 12:14:06, 30.8600962, -83.3255324]
Tire on log, 12:14:06, 30.8600962, -83.3255324

ObJb

[Movie: Using the outboard to hold the jon boat in place for chainsawing, 12:14:06, 30.8600962, -83.3255324 (40M)]
Movie: Using the outboard to hold the jon boat in place for chainsawing, 12:14:06, (40M) 30.8600962, -83.3255324

NewDF

[New deadfall since last time, 12:23:24, 30.8590496, -83.3242330]
New deadfall since last time, 12:23:24, 30.8590496, -83.3242330

H460

[Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-inch chainsaw (WGF grant), 12:32:46, 30.8593130, -83.3241900]
Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-inch chainsaw (WGF grant), 12:32:46, 30.8593130, -83.3241900

LRC

[Little River Confluence, 14:16:13, 30.8469647, -83.3475877]
Little River Confluence, 14:16:13, 30.8469647, -83.3475877

WWTPO

[100-million-dollar waterfall: outfall of Valdosta, 14:44:53, 30.8361563, -83.3590838]
100-million-dollar waterfall: outfall of Valdosta, 14:44:53, 30.8361563, -83.3590838

WBranch

[Wetherington Branch from Valdosta WWTP, 14:51:39, 30.8370385, -83.3642845]
Wetherington Branch from Valdosta WWTP, 14:51:39, 30.8370385, -83.3642845

PDRamp

[Paul Deloach Private Boat Ramp, 15:00:59, 30.8378963, -83.3700346]
Paul Deloach Private Boat Ramp, 15:00:59, 30.8378963, -83.3700346

RtCS

[Retrieving the chainsaw, 16:28:55, 30.8591690, -83.3240020]
Retrieving the chainsaw, 16:28:55, 30.8591690, -83.3240020

SPB

[Small private bridge, 17:34:54, 30.8636051, -83.3225386]
Small private bridge, 17:34:54, 30.8636051, -83.3225386

NFSRRB

[Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge, 17:35:10, 30.8636051, -83.3225386]
Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge, 17:35:10, 30.8636051, -83.3225386

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Valdosta Boone Drive and Knob Hill small sewage spills 2024-02-20

Update 2024-02-22: Tifton 7,000-gallon sewage spill, Golden Road above Little River 2024-02-12.

This Tuesday, February 20, 2024, we learned of two small Valdosta sewage spills, each 100 gallons. That’s not enough to get down the creeks to affect the Withlacoochee River, but enough to stink up the neighborhood.

[Map, Boone Drive & Knob Hill 100-gallon sewer spills, Valdosta, GA, 2024-02-20]
Map, Boone Drive & Knob Hill 100-gallon sewer spills, Valdosta, GA, 2024-02-20

One was on Boone Drive at Baytree Road, next to Valdosta State University and One Mile Branch, which runs into Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

The other was at 215 Knob Hill Road on a ditch that runs into Three Mile Branch at the southeast corner of Langdale Park, then into the Withlacoochee River near the southwest corner of the park. That’s the same location as the much larger January 10 spill.

I learned about the Boone Drive spill when I called Valdosta Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes Tuesday morning about the Knob Hill spill.

Neither of these spills has yet appeared in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. Jason Barnes says he already sent a report on the Boone Drive spill to EPD, and he will send one soon about the new Knob Hill spill. Continue reading

Pictures: Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-11

Three of us cleared boating passage between the Sugar Creek WaterGoat on the Withlacoochee River behind the Valdosta YMCA and Wood Valley, around the future Troupville Nature Park and River Camp, past the Little River Confluence, then upstream on the Little River to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Thanks to Phil Hubbard for leading, and his Stihl chainsaw and electric chainsaw, to Shawn O’Connor for using his polesaw.

[Sawing Hurricane and other deadfalls, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, Troupville Boat Ramp 2024-02-11]
Sawing Hurricane and other deadfalls, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River, Troupville Boat Ramp 2024-02-11

I brought the new Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-inch chainsaw, paid for through a generous grant by Wild Green Future.

That grant also paid for some other things you will see in the near future. Today at Troupville Boat Ramp, at 4:30 PM, we will be trying out some of those things.

The big deadfall between GA 133 and I-75 was underwater, but there were plenty more to work on.

This is all in preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Saturday, March 2, 2024, starting at Langdale Park.

There are more pictures below.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations

Continue reading

Pictures: Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek –Phil Royce 2024-02-03

Thanks to Shawn O’Connor for leading this chainsaw cleanup, Saturday a week ago, from Langdale Park to Sugar Creek on the Withlacoochee River.

This is in preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, March 2, 2024.
https://wwals.net/?p=64095

Phil Royce drove an hour from Live Oak, Florida, and Gary Koch drove two hours from Ocala, Florida, saying it was better to stop trash upstream. In addition to regulars Russell Allen McBride and Bobby McKenzie, Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson came to see us off; he’s second from left in the banner picture. More on that in a later post.

These pictures are by Phil Royce. Phil had to leave early, so his portage pictures are before we came along and sawed a river passage.

[Banners, bass fisher, chain saws, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek 2024-02-03]
Banners, bass fisher, chain saws, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek 2024-02-03

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see Continue reading

Sponsored: Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2024-03-02

Georgia Power has pledged a substantial grant for the Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle on the Withlacoochee River, Saturday, March 2, 2024.

“Thanks to Joe Brownlee and Georgia Power, WWALS will not require any payment to paddle,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Just use the eventbrite free ticket to reserve a spot so we’ll have an idea of how many are coming.”
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mayor-and-chairmans-paddle-langdale-park-to-troupville-2024-tickets-799890352577

[Paddlers, Mayor, Chairman 2023-03-04]
Paddlers, Mayor, Chairman 2023-03-04

“However, if you want to support the advocacy and activities of WWALS, there is also a paid ticket through eventbrite. Or become a member or sponsor. Anyway, come down and paddle, see the sights, and have fun!”

For further information about the paddle, see:
https://wwals.net/?p=64027

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Pictures: Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Withlacoochee River Chainsaw Cleanup 2024-01-27

We got some deadfalls out of the way of canoe and kayak paddling, between Langdale Park Boat Ramp and Sugar Creek on the Withlacoochee River, January 27, 2024.

Thanks to Phil Hubbard for leading and doing the most sawing, to Shawn O’Connor for sawing, to Russell Allen McBride for collecting trash, and I also sawed, although I did not video myself doing it.

The weather was sunny and warm. The water level was about 119.3 NAVD 1988 on the US 41 (North Valdosta Road) USGS gauge.

[Got some deadfalls, more to do, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek, 2024-01-27]
Got some deadfalls, more to do, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek, 2024-01-27

Join us tomorrow, February 3, to get more. The water level is down to 118.4, so it should be about a foot lower tomorrow than last Saturday, which should make our job easier.

Or join us February 11 for the Sugar Creek to Troupville chainsaw cleanup.

These chainsaw cleanups are in preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, March 2, 2024, which will run from Langdale Park three miles to the early takeout at Sugar Creek, then another four miles to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Here’s a WWALS video of last Saturday’s chainsaw cleanup:
https://youtu.be/4hrVr93KQnw

Don’t try this at home.

Continue reading

Training: Water Quality Testing 2024-02-10

Update This class will be ALL in person at John W. Saunders Park, Pavilion #3.

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. will teach both chemical and bacterial training in person. There is a classroom portion with demonstration, followed by practical and test for each class. Classroom materials will be provided. The tests are on paper and are to be taken on-site.

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, and we have testers based in Florida.

[WWALS Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Testing Training 2024-02-10]
WWALS Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Testing Training 2024-02-10

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

We need more of those, and also for the Alapahoochee River, as well as Cat Creek, Beatty Branch, Sugar Creek, Okapilco Creek, and others.

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

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

Finish: Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2024-02-03

Update 2024-02-18: Pictures: Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek –Phil Royce 2024-02-03.

We got quite a few deadfalls last Saturday, now to finish the rest.

Come help us remove some deadfalls that are impeding canoe and kayak paddling.

You do not have to use any kind of saw to join us. You can take pictures, or help move sawed limbs aside, or collect trash.

Bring a chainsaw if you really know how to use it. Or a handsaw, or sawzall.

Phil Hubbard led the last one. Thanks to Shawn O’Connor for leading this one.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 1 PM, Saturday, February 3, 2024

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, off I-75 Exit 22.

GPS: 30.88747, -83.32395

[We got some easy and hard deadfalls last time; finish this time. Photo: John S. Quarterman 2024-01-27]
We got some easy and hard deadfalls last time; finish this time. Photo: John S. Quarterman 2024-01-27

Continue reading