Tag Archives: Valerie Folsom

Clean rivers still 2021-11-20

Update 2021-12-03: Good Withlacoochee River water quality except GA 133 2021-12-02.

The Withlacoochee still tested clean for Saturday. No rain is expected for the next ten days except possibly a bit on Friday. So the rivers will probably stay clean.

Have fun fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend and week.

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

Jacob and Michael Bachrach tested at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps Saturday, and got clean results at all three.

This confirms our clean report from Wednesday and Thursday WWALS test results.

Also, it’s great that people love our water trail signs, but please stop shooting at them, painting on them, and stealing them. They’re there to help people enjoy the rivers and keep them clean. Continue reading

Clean rivers again 2021-11-18

Update 2021-11-21: Clean rivers still 2021-11-20.

Another clean week! Have fun fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend. Well, swimming if it warms up.

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

The most E. coli WWALS testers found was 200 cfu/100 mL for Thursday at Folsom Bridge Landing @ GA 122 on the Little River. That’s well below the 400 cfu/100 mL one-time sample limit. Thanks to Elizabeth Brunner for that location and for zeroes at Hagan Bridge Landing on the Withlacoochee River and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, both also on GA 122.

Valerie Folsom also got zero for Wednesday at Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River.

Gus Cleary got a very low 33 for Wednesday at Cleary Bluff, downstream from Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee River.

Thanks to the WWALS testers and to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for herding the cats.

Valdosta’s Monday upstream results were also clean. Continue reading

Big rains and big contamination 2021-10-28

Update 2021-11-06: Good Thursday, but big Friday rains probably will cause contamination, Withlacoochee River 2021-11-04.

Our upstream tester got rained out at GA 122 Thursday, but downstream at Knights Ferry on the Withlacoochee River WWALS got way too high E. coli. That contamination is now running downstream.

[Chart + Alapaha River; Withlacoochee River; KF plates, Clearys Bluff; Swim Guide Map]
Chart + Alapaha River; Withlacoochee River; KF plates, Clearys Bluff; Swim Guide Map

Where did it come from? Chances are the usual cattle manure runoff out of Brooks County, Georgia, down Okapilco Creek. Probably plus wild hogs.

This is unfortunately what we’ve come to expect after big rains. And every gauge we follow got more than an inch of rain Thursday.

So I do not recommend river fishing, swimming, or boating this weekend. Continue reading

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

Update 2021-10-22: All clean: Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2021-10-21.

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

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

Good water quality results, then hard rain, Withlacoochee River 2021-09-16

Update 2021-09-24: All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-09-22.

All the water quality samples WWALS collected Wednesday and Thursday tested good for all three rivers: Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha.

However, later Thursday hard rains fell. As hard as those last Thursday that washed E. coli into the rivers. So there’s a good chance the same thing has already happened, with contamination from livestock manure washing into the rivers.

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

So according to the results we have, I have to say all clear for boating, swimming, and fishing.

But according to experience, I’m not going on the Little or Withlacoochee Rivers this weekend.

FYI, no sewage spills have been reported. The contamination sources are most likely agricultural.

The Alapaha River is probably still good. And we have a paddle coming up Monday evening on Banks Lake, which is not downstream from anything, so it should be clean as usual. https://wwals.net/?p=56630 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

Filthy upstream Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, clean downstream 2021-09-02

Update 2021-09-10: Bad Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, good Alapaha River 2021-09-09.

In a very unusual configuration, the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers at GA 122 showed too much E. coli in Thursday samples, while everywhere downstream tested clean, also clean on the Alapaha River.

Whatever got into the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers upstream is no doubt washing downstream. Probably it will pass by in a day or two.

The Alapaha River would be a better choice for swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend.

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

The Folsom Bridge Gauge on the Little River at GA 122 showed very heavy rain Wednesday, 2.74 inches. Probably the same storm also rained on or above GA 122 on the Withlacoochee River at Hagan Bridge. Something washed into both rivers. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2021-08-26

Update 2021-09-02: Bad at GA-FL Line: Health Alert, Withlacoochee River 2021-08-31.

In a lull between rains, the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers showed clean for all our WWALS Wednesday and Thursday test sites.

You could also become a WWALS water quality tester. There’s a testing training coming up September 11, 2021.

[Chart, Little, Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Green Swim Guide]
Chart, Little, Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Green Swim Guide

This is even though Valdosta found results for Wednesday at US 41 too high. We don’t know where that contamination came from. That’s upstream from Sugar Creek, so not from there.

Valdosta also got way too high for Monday at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp. Curiously, Valdosta’s Monday result for Okapilco Creek was within range, so if that contamination came out of Okapilco Creek, it had already washed downstream into the Withlacoochee River. Notice Nankin Boat Ramp not as high but still too high on E. coli for that Monday, as the contamination was reaching it. Continue reading

Red US 41, clean downstream 2021-08-12

Update 2021-09-19: Advisory lifted, Withlacoochee River 2021-08-18.

Bad water quality for Thursday at US 41 on the Withlacoochee River, presumably because of the almost 3 and a half inches of rain just upstream at Skipper Bridge. However, still below the 1,000 cfu/100 mL alert limit, and all downstream results were below the 410 one-time test limit. So apparently no bad E. coli washed out of Valdosta’s Sugar Creek. That’s good news for tomorrow morning’s Pop-up Sugar Creek Cleanup.

Plus, since Troupville Boat Ramp at the bottom of the Little River tested zero, that water should dilute anything coming down the Withlacoochee. So chances are the good results for Thursday farther downstream will hold.

Happy fishing, boating, and swimming!

Of course rains from Tropical Storm Fred could change things rapidly, but that’s what we know now.

[Chart, upstream plates, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide 2021-08-12]
Chart, upstream plates, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide 2021-08-12

Despite significant rain Wednesday on both sides of Brooks County (Dixie on the west and Withlacoochee River @ US 84 on the east), apparently nothing bad came down Okapilco Creek, and Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps all tested good for Thursday. Continue reading