Tag Archives: Sullivan Launch

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

Thanks to Courtney Gallagher of Earthviews.com and WWALS Intern Bobby McKenzie, you can navigate down the Withlacoochee River from the comfort of your laptop or mobile phone.

Here’s the start of our WWALS fast August 7, 2021, paddle from Clyattville-Nankin Boat Ramp in Georgia to Sullivan Lanuch in Florida.

[Clyattville-Nankin Boat Ramp]
Clyattville-Nankin Boat Ramp

To find this trip, go to https://www.earthviews.com/.

Then click on Atlas in the top menu, to get to https://arcgis.earthviews.com/home.html

In the map that appears, pan to south Georgia, and click on the blue dots on the Withlacoochee River that cross the state line.

That gets you to this first picture: https://arcgis.earthviews.com/public/withlacoochee-nankin-0821#6

But on Earthviews, you can pan 360 degrees around. And you can click on the forward or back arrows to move along. Or you can click on a location on the little map on the right to go there.

There’s even a play button down in the bottom left that animates the trip. You can press pause at any time and pan around.

Here’s a famous landmark in the middle of this trip, the abandoned Valdosta Railway Trestle. This still is panned around backwards, so you see Bobby McKenzie paddling the camera boat, with the trestle behind him. On his left is Georgia. On his right is Florida. The river bends right here, so we went back into Florida the second time.

If you click on the WWALS logo at the top left, that takes you to https://wwals.net/.

If you click on the logo next to it, for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail, that takes you to its web page. 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

All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-20

Update 2021-05-28: No rain, clean Withlacoochee River 2021-05-27 .

Good news: all clear on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers for this weekend! That’s as far as E. coli in numerous water quality samples. And the Alapaha River, too, from the one datapoint we have.

[All clear, many samples, three rivers, Swim Guide]
All clear, many samples, three rivers, Swim Guide

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for the GA 122 sites Tuesday: Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River. For Thursday, thanks to Bobby McKenzie for testing Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River and the pictures of the too-low Withlacoochee River at Langdale Park and GA 133. Thanks to Michael Bachrach and Jacob Bachrach in the bug suit for Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps Thursday. Thanks to Gus Cleary for Cleary Bluff Monday and Thursday. Thanks to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for wrangling review of results.

Thanks to Madison Health for State Line, Sullivan Launch, and FL 6 Thursday.

Valdosta was again asleep at the wheel.

Here’s the chart: Continue reading

Good upstream, bad down, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-13

Update 2021-05-22: All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-20.

There’s good water quality news upstream for tomorrow’s Withlacoochee River paddle from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and the Salty Snapper.
https://wwals.net/?p=55532

Yesterday (Thursday) Bobby McKenzie sampled Langdale Park Boat Ramp and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, and Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River. His results today for all three were well within the single-sample limit for E. coli.

Eyeballing the Withlacoochee at GA 133, he decided the level was too low for that stretch of the paddle. However, Bobby paddled from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and up it, and except for a couple of portages as you get to Sugar Creek, there’s plenty of water. Bring mud boots and you can stand up in the river there and drag your boat across. And 10% off lunch for each paddler at the Salty Snapper!

[Results, Plates, River, Swim Guide]
Results, Plates, River, Swim Guide

Also for Thursday, there’s bad news from Knights Ferry Boat Ramp downstream to the state line, and by now that contamination has probably washed farther down the river. WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach got horrendous results at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, and above the single-sample limit at State Line Boat Ramp. Nankin Boat Ramp was barely within that limit. If I were you, I would stay off the Withlacoochee River below US 84 for a few days. Continue reading

Withlacoochee River still clean, Florida bacterial advisory lifted 2021-03-23

Update 2021-03-29: Still clean last week, filthy Friday before, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-26.

Update 2021-03-27: Clean Withlacoochee River 2021-03-25.

Better than expected! Madison Health not only found clean Withlacoochee River water at State Line, Sullivan Launch, and FL 6, they lifted the health advisory from back in February!

This is good news for the Mayor’s Paddle this Saturday, March 27th, from Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge. Very little rain is predicted before then, and river levels are also good. We will test again Thursday (tomorrow) just in case.

[Alert Lifted, Madison Health WQ Data]
Alert Lifted, Madison Health WQ Data

Apparently we were too cautious last week. If the rains last Thursday had any effect on the river, it all got diluted or washed downstream by Tuesday.

After the clean results from the Bachrachs and Madison Health Thursday, we also got for Friday the cleanest result from Gus Cleary downstream from Allen Ramp: zero E. coli. Also Friday, Valdosta’s upstream results for US 41, GA 133, and US 84 were pretty clean. Continue reading

Very clean Thursday, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-25

Update 2021-03-05: More contamination after big rains, Withlacoochee River 2021-03-04.

The Bachrachs got something we haven’t seen for a long while on the Withlacoochee River: zero E. coli in their water samples at Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps, for Thursday, February 25, 2021. Madison Health got almost as low numbers for the same day at State Line, Sullivan Launch, and FL 6. Madison Health got almost as low numbers for Tuesday, and new WWALS testers Gus Cleary got even lower at NE Withla Bluffs Way downstream from Allen Ramp.

[Clean chart, clean plates, State Line, Nankin, Swim Guide]
Clean chart, clean plates, State Line, Nankin, Swim Guide
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida water quality results, rainfall, and spills, see:
https://wwals.net/issues/testing/

Valdosta got clean upstream for last Monday and Friday a week ago, and Michael and Jacob Bachrach and Gus got clean downstream for that Friday.

So this has been a clean week, the cleanest we’ve seen in a long while. Apparently all that rainwater has finally diluted and washed downstream any previous contamination.

Happy boating, fishing, and swimming!

But beware: with the rivers in flood stage, if you’re not an expert, avoid them still. Even if you are an expert, wear your PFD and don’t go alone. Continue reading

Not looking good, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-16

Update 2021-02-21: Clean downstream Friday Withlacoochee River 2021-02-19.

As usual, heavy rains washed contamination into the Withlacoochee River, first detected by Madison Health Tuesday at State Line and FL 6, although oddly Sullivan Launch @ CR 150 was within the one-time sample limit for E. coli.

[Chart, Gauges, Swim Guide map]
Chart, Gauges, Swim Guide map

The good news: with so much rain, the contamination will probably be diluted and washed downstream rapidly.

The bad news: more rain likely coming. And there’s more cattle manure that can wash down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River. Plus with the Withlacoochee River rising in Valdosta, and more rain falling on Valdosta and Quitman, will we see manhole sewage spills?

We hope to have WWALS results for today ready by tomorrow (Friday), and most likely FDEP will publish Madison Health results, as well. Possibly even Valdosta will publish their Wednesday results by Friday.

We also have a surprising spot check in Drexel Park, and Valdosta’s last week results, which fit with the Madison Health and WWALS results. Continue reading

Very bad, GA-FL line and downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-11

Update 2021-02-13: Better, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-12.

I’d avoid the Withlacoochee River for a few days if I were you. Apparently the Tuesday rains did wash more manure out of Brooks and Colquitt Counties down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River.

Valdosta’s Wednesday results upstream of Okapilco Creek were only slightly elevated, but Madison Health’s Thursday downstream results were very high. The WWALS Thursday samples had a technical glitch, so we don’t know about Knights Ferry or Nankin Boat Ramps, but they were probably pretty bad. We hope to have Friday results soon.

Meanwhile, I would not want to get that river water on me until the upstream rainwater dilutes and washes down the contamination, which will probably take a few days. Unless, of course, it rains harder and washes more in.

[Chart, Swim Guide map]
Chart, Swim Guide map

Yesterday afternoon FDEP posted Madison Health results for Thursday, February 11, 2021, and they were very bad: Continue reading

Much better Withlacoochee River water quality 2021-01-09

Update 2021-01-12: Contaminated Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Suwannee Rivers 2021-01-04; cleaner 2021-01-09.

Friday results by Madison Health and Saturday results by WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach show much improved Withlacoochee River Water Quality, from Nankin Boat Ramp through State Line Boat Ramp and Sullivan Launch down to FL 6.

Madison and Hamilton County Health Departments will probably wait until they get another good result of their own, probably for today or tomorrow, before they lift their health advisory.

However, WWALS already sees two good results in a row, so happy boating, swimming, and fishing on the Withlacoochee River!

We have no new Alapaha River results since the clean WWALS result for Sasser Landing Wednesday, but since there’s been no significant rain since then, the Alapaha is also probably clean for swimming, fishing, and boating.

[Ramps, Plates, Chart, Map]
Ramps, Plates, Chart, Map

We have no new results from Valdosta since Monday a week ago, when all of three upstream locations were still bad. Chances are those locations have also cleared up, but we don’t know. Continue reading

Lowndes County repairing collapsed manhole at Bevel Creek lift station 2020-09-02

Eagle-eye WWALS member Amy Hope Jackson spotted trucks next to Bevel Creek off of Loch Laurel Road near Lake Park, in Lowndes County Georgia, on GA 376, on September 2, 2020. This is upstream from Jumping Gully Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

[Location, Bevel Creek Lift Station, manhole collapse, trucks, RPI]
Location, Bevel Creek Lift Station, manhole collapse, trucks, RPI

Turns out they were implementing the $82,000.00 Bevel Creek Manhole Emergency Repair approved by the Lowndes County Commission on June 22, 2020.

This seemed likely since one of the trucks said RPI, and the winning bidder was RPI Underground. I confirmed with Lowndes County Utilities Director Steve Stalvey that this was indeed that repair.

Please remember Lowndes County has a separate sewer system from Valdosta, and Lowndes County has not spilled sewage in many months, apparently due to proactively upgrading the county sewer system. Continue reading