Tag Archives: Valdosta

Good Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, bad Alapaha River 2021-10-14

Something we’ve never seen: the only too-high result is on the Alapaha River for Thursday. We’ve never seen a reading at Lakeland Boat Ramp that high.

The Little and Withlacoochee Rivers tested good for Thursday, which is what we expected since there has been no rain for days.

So in the reverse of what we often say, avoid the Alapaha River and swim, fish, and paddle on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers this weekend, according to the best data we have.

Still looking good for the WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and back, coming up in one week at State Line Boat Ramp.

[Chart + Little + Alapaha River, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide]
Chart + Little + Alapaha River, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide

You can also see in the charts that Valdosta’s upstream results for last Friday showed extremely high Fecal coliform for US 41 (upstream from Valdosta), GA 133, and US 84, and way-too-high E. coli for GA 133. That somewhat helps explain why our plates for that Thursday (October 7th) for Knights Ferry Boat Ramp showed high background Fecal coliform colonies.

No, we don’t know what it is. There have been no sewage spills reported this past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia. Most likely it is some sort of manure runoff, this time coming from far upstream on the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading

GA-AL Land Trust walks Land Between the Rivers 2021-10-14

Helen Tapp sent Georgia-Alabama Land Trust to look at her Land Between the Rivers for a conservation agreement. Their Regional Stewardship Manager, Rachel Mingea, came and got the full experience, from the wildest areas near the Withlacoochee River to Old Broad Street to the Little River Confluence viewscape.

[Little River Confluence, possible landing for Troupville River Camp, Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and Rachel Mingea of GA-AL Land Trust, Oak clearing at Withlacoochee River]
Little River Confluence, possible landing for Troupville River Camp, Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and Rachel Mingea of GA-AL Land Trust, Oak clearing at Withlacoochee River

She even met Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter at Troupville Boat Ramp. They were both enthusiastic about getting something worked out and moving on to the county or Valdosta or some combination purchasing those 74 acres to add to the 49-acre park around Troupville Boat Ramp to make a Troupville River Park nature preserve, with a Troupville River Camp on it, all at the site of Troupville, the former county seat of Lowndes County.

Here are a few pictures. Continue reading

Pictures: Family fun cleanup, Sugar Creek, Onemile Branch, Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2021-10-09

Saturday’s River and Creek Cleanup went well. Here are pictures from Troupville Boat Ramp up from Land Between the Rivers on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers, from Sugar Creek at the Salty Snapper, and from Drexel Park on Onemile Branch.

[Troupville, Sugar Creek, Chairman and Mayor doing work, Drexel Park]
Troupville, Sugar Creek, Chairman and Mayor doing work, Drexel Park

Thanks to recent cleanups by Valdosta Stormwater, Sugar Creek wasn’t bad, but we found plenty of trash between the Salty Snapper parking lot and the creek, and Scotti and Sara hauled up from the woods a tire with rim and a satellite dish.

Thanks to Stafford, the owner of the parking lot on St. Augustine Road at Hightower Creek, keeping it much cleaner, there should be less trash coming down Sugar Creek.

Thanks to weeksly cleanups by Lowndes County Litter Control, Troupville Boat Ramp itself was pretty clean, but there was no shortage of trash to pick up downstream at Land Between the Rivers. Thanks to landowner Helen Tapp for getting her hunting lease to hold off for the day.

You don’t see this very often: Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and Valdosta Mayor Scott James doing actual work together.

Later, they told everyone they were working together to purchase Helen’s land to add to the existing park to form a bigger nature park with a Troupville River Camp. Continue reading

A trash source success: parking lot on St. Augustine Road, Valdosta

Valdosta, GA, October 7, 2021 — Other businesses can do what Stafford did, and our creeks and rivers will be a lot cleaner! That will make Valdosta, Lowndes County, and every place downstream, more attractive to new and existing businesses, and healthier for people who live here.

After many times cleaning up trash from Sugar Creek near the Withlacoochee River, WWALS member Bobby McKenzie went upstream in Valdosta, found some sources, and one of the big ones listened. Other businesses can follow this example: put trash cans in parking lots, empty them, and keep them swept.

[Parking lot, Hightower Creek]
Parking lot, Hightower Creek

Bobby tells the story:

We identified hundreds of pounds of trash being thrown into the tree line just feet from Hightower Creek. The parking lot owner is Valdosta Mall Corners c/o Stafford Development Company (Stafford). Continue reading

Sugar Creek Valdosta Stormwater bug-bitten cleanup 2021-09-30

Bobby McKenzie noticed somebody had been there, so I wrote to Valdosta Stormwater Director Angela Bray, “Thanks for another Sugar Creek logjam cleanup; Are we guessing correctly that it was you and Valdosta Stormwater?”

She answered:

You guessed right!

I only took a picture of the trash we picked up. We forgot mosquito spray so we had to get in and out as quick as possible! 🙂

The creek is definitely dropping but makes it super slippery.

[Bags of trash in boat]
Bags of trash in boat

Thanks to Valdosta Stormwater for cleaning up the Sugar Creek trashjam twice in one month! It’s good to see they’re having the full experience, like we have for more than a year now, cleaning up this repeating logjam of trash. For much more about the problem, its upstream sources, and how it can be fixed, see the post about their previous cleanup.

You are all invited to come help clean up Sugar Creek on Saturday, October 9, 2021, at this same location behind the Salty Snapper on Gornto Road, just upstream from the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading

All Clean, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2021-09-30

Update 2021-10-08: Clean rivers again 2021-10-07.

All clear for swimming, boating, and fishing on the Withlacoochee River, and also the Little and Alapaha Rivers, by all the water quality results we have available.

Of course, conditions could change, but no rain is predicted until Monday. So there’s nothing to wash any cattle manure down Okapilco Creek, or any trash down Sugar Creek (more on that in a later post). And no sewage spills have been reported.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

Valdosta results up through Wednesday concur with WWALS Wednesday and Thursday results: all well below the 410 one-time E. coli test result limit. Continue reading

All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-09-22

Update 2021-10-01: All Clean, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2021-09-30.

All WWALS test results for Wednesday were clean in Georgia and Florida, but Valdosta got bad results at US 84 on the Withlacoochee River.

Yet there has been no significant rain since Tuesday, so in the opposite of last time, I’m going to say that E. coli has probably washed downstream and gotten diluted by now.

Make your own decisions, but I would boat on the Withlacoochee River this weekend. And the Alapaha River yet again seems clean. The Little River, probably, according to the one site we tested.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

Valdosta results for last Friday corroborate what I said last time: because of the heavy rains, it would not be a good idea to boat, swim, or fish in the Withlacoochee River last weekend.

Valdosta even got too high results at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp for Monday, after heavy rains Sunday in Brooks County, presumably because of the usual cattle manure runoff down Okapilco Creek. Continue reading

Valdosta Stormwater cleanup at Sugar Creek 2021-09-17

Update 2021-10-05: They did it again at the end of September!

Great relief was felt by the WWALS Sugar Creek cleanup crew, because Valdosta Stormwater has taken a hand at the Sugar Creek trashjam!

[Trashjam Quartet by Angela Bray]
Trashjam Quartet by Angela Bray

You are all invited to come help clean up Sugar Creek on Saturday, October 9, 2021, at this same location behind the Salty Snapper on Gornto Road.

Meanwhile, thanks to Valdosta Stormwater for not just cleaning up, but starting some repeated steps to find out when this trashjam forms and where it’s coming from.

This is the same trashjam that was pictured in Valdosta’s 2010 Stormwater Master Plan, as discussed with Mayor Scott James on his radio show, August 12, 2021.

Finally, on Friday, September 16, 2021, Valdosta Stormwater Division got hands-on and cleaned up themselves! Continue reading

River and Creek Cleanup 2021-10-09

River and Creek Cleanup, WWALS, Lowndes County, Valdosta 2021-10-09 (PDF)

Hahira, GA, September 16, 2020 — WWALS has found some of the sources of the infamous trashjam on Sugar Creek, and at least one upstream property owner has made progress in stopping litter before it escapes. But there are other sources, and trash still collects back of the Salty Snapper.

Downstream on the Withlacoochee River, flood waters spread that trash all over the Land Between the Rivers at the Little River Confluence, where one day there will be a River Camp and a River Park. You are invited to join us at Troupville Boat Ramp to walk downstream and help clean up that property, too. Valdosta and Lowndes County also have cleanup locations that same day.

“If you are looking to help make a difference, these locations need the most help, 9AM, Saturday, October 9, 2021!” said WWALS member Bobby McKenzie, who has been on this trash case for a year now.

[Flyer]
Flyer

No boats necessary, although if you want to bring a boat, there are water cleanup opportunities. Please bring sturdy mud boots or shoes, long pants and clothes that can get wet or dirty, insect repellant, a refillable water bottle, and an emergency phone number. Trash bags and trash pickers will be provided, as well as drinking water and snacks, but bring your own if you can. Please maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from people not in your household. Please wear a mask when near people not in your household. We will have extra masks.

This event is part of the Georgia Rivers Alive cleanup program.

Also participating will be Current Problems from Gainesville, Florida.

Update 2021-09-17: facebook event.

Update 2021-09-20: meetup.

The WWALS locations are:

  • Salty Snapper (Sugar Creek)
    Address: Parking lot, Salty Snapper, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602.
    GPS: 30.861809, -83.318841
  • Land Between the Rivers (Little and Withlacoochee Rivers) @ Troupville Boat Ramp
    Address: 19664 Valdosta Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31602, west of I-75 exit 18.
    GPS: 30.851842, -83.346536
    It will be hunting season. Please wear hunting orange. Do not cross the river. WWALS will have sign-in sheets that are also event waivers so our insurance will cover you.

The Valdosta Locations are:

Continue reading

Bad Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, good Alapaha River 2021-09-09

Update 2021-09-17: Good water quality results, then hard rain, Withlacoochee River 2021-09-16.

Like last week, but worse: the Alapaha River would be a better choice for boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend than either the Little or Withlacoochee Rivers.

[Chart, Awful Plates, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Awful Plates, Rivers, Swim Guide

Yes, Madison Health today lifted its Health Advisory for the Withlacoochee, because they got good results for Tuesday and Thursday. But WWALS has more recent upstream data, and it’s not pretty. Continue reading