Tag Archives: Weather

Clean rivers 2023-02-02

Happy paddling, fishing, and swimming (if you like cold) this weekend!

Yes, we are paddling tomorrow (Saturday) on the Withlacoochee River from Allen Ramp to Suwannee River State Park. If you like high water including a quarter mile paddle upstream, join us!

All the WWALS water quality tests were well within the one-time test limit.

The rains promised for yesterday mostly did not happen, so most likely not much contamination washed into the rivers.

The only sewage spill was small and at the top of the Alapaha River watersheds, and it did not appear to affect downstream water quality.

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

The city of Rochelle, Georgia, at least took less than a week to report its sewage spill. Continue reading

An hour later: Allen Ramp to SRSP, Withlacoochee River 2023-02-02 2023-02-04

Update 2023-02-03: High and fast: Allen Ramp to SRSP, Withlacoochee River 2023-02-04.

Due to predicted cold weather Saturday, please gather an hour later, at 9 AM.

[Melvin Shoals, Allen Ramp, Ellaville Landing --Will Hart 2023-02-02]
Melvin Shoals, Allen Ramp, Ellaville Landing –Will Hart 2023-02-02

Water levels are high, so Melvin Shoals is underwater. But if you don’t want to run the shoals, expedition leader Will Hart is offering an early takeout just upstream at Ellaville Landing, on Twin Rivers State Forest land.

Double Door Spring is an awesome thing to see for those who haven’t seen this part of the wild and beautiful Withlacoochee River. We will pass numerous rocky shoals requiring some skills so this outing may not be appropriate for beginners and young children. There are many other clear springs to explore.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10:30 AM, end 4 PM, Saturday, February 4, 2023

Put In: Allen Ramp, 2726 SW 64th Way Jasper, FL 32052, in Hamilton County, Florida.

GPS: 30.449167, -83.221328 Continue reading

Valdosta needs more trash traps, but can’t expect volunteers to clean them 2023-01-26

Just to see if Russell Allen McBride had changed his mind since December, I asked him again as he waded in to clean out the Sugar Creek WaterGoat: if Valdosta finally buys more trash traps like they’ve been promising for many months, will he clean them out?

Answer: not unless the city makes that his full time job.

[Russell waist-deep in the trash]
Russell waist-deep in the trash

He also mentioned that the recent big rain washed some trash over the current WaterGoat, so Valdosta needs a better model for this location, which is on Sugar Creek just upstream from the Withlacoochee River.

See the video on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Wwalswatershed/videos/941601463886544

Or on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/y5Zi8es3nLI


Video by John S. Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc., 2023-01-26

For much more about the trash situation, see:
https://wwals.net/issues/trash Continue reading

Bad Water Quality, Creeks and Rivers 2023-01-26

Update 2023-02-03: Clean rivers 2023-02-02,

Avoid the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers this weekend.

All three rivers tested worse for E. coli than the one-time test limit of 410 cfu/100 mL. The worst river result was at Nankin Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River, of 6,567. That contamination has probably washed past State Line Boat Ramp to Florida by now.

I’d also avoid fishing in Beaverdam Creek, Cat Creek, and especially Beatty Branch this weekend.

If you do want to fish, swim, or paddle this chilly weekend, I’d recommend the Suwannee or Ichetucknee Rivers.

But not the chainsaw cleanup tomorrow: we postponed that until February 19th.

[Chart, Creeks and Rivers, Swim Guide Map 2022-01-26]
Chart, Creeks and Rivers, Swim Guide Map 2022-01-26

All this contamination was washed into the creeks and rivers by big rains Wednesday.

No sewage spills have been reported in the last week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

So what is the contamination? Continue reading

Mostly Clean Rivers 2023-01-19

Update 2023-01-27: Bad Water Quality, Creeks and Rivers 2023-01-26.

WWALS results for Thursday and (most of) the recent Valdosta results agree: clean rivers, and happy boating, fishing, and swimming this weekend.

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

No new sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

There’s been no rain to speak of, so nothing much has washed from creeks into the rivers, apparently not even Cat Creek.

Valdosta did get too-high E. coli for GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River for Wednesday. So avoid near there.

Other than that, Valdosta’s results for the past week corroborate WWALS’ results reported last week. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2023-01-12

Update 2023-01-20: Mostly Clean Rivers 2023-01-19.

All three rivers tested clean in WWALS results for Thursday. And no new sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida or Georgia.

However, it also rained later Thursday, more than half an inch at almost every gauge we follow.

So, by the test results, happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend. If you like cold.

But remember that rain of more than half an inch often washes contamination into the rivers, such as happened from Beatty Branch, Cat Creek, and Sugar Creek last Friday.

Personally, I’d pick the Alapaha or the Suwannee River for this weekend. Although with the predicted freeze, I’m not paddling this weekend.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2023-01-12]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2023-01-12

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are from Friday a week ago. Continue reading

Bad Creeks and Withlacoochee River 2023-01-06

Update 2023-01-13: Clean Rivers 2023-01-12.

WWALS found very bad results in Friday samples of upstream creeks and river sites.

Worse than the Thursday river test results.

Except Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River is back well within limits.

If I were you, I would still avoid the Withlacoochee River for a few days, at least as far down as the Little River Confluence.

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

Beaverdam Creek showed too high E. coli at Main Street (US 129), but green again at Park Street. What’s between Ramblinwood Road and Main Street to produce that contamination?

Beatty Branch showed mysteriously too high at Continue reading

Bad Upstream: Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2023-01-05

Update 2023-01-07: Bad Creeks and Withlacoochee River 2023-01-06.

Avoid the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers this weekend.

WWALS got too high and way too high E. coli on the Little River at Folsom Bridge (GA 122) and Troupville Boat Ramp.

And almost as much too high at Hagan Bridge (GA 122) on the Withlacoochee River.

The Alapaha River still seemed OK. For boating this weekend, I’d pick the Alapaha or the Suwannee, or the Ichetucknee or the Santa Fe.

Or come to our on-land cleanup tomorrow, on the Alapaha River at Statenville Boat Ramp in Georgia and Sasser Landing in Florida.

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

No new sewage spills were reported this week in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida.

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for upstream before the Wednesday rain that washed this contamination into the rivers. The most recent downstream Valdosta results are for last week.

WWALS collected many more water samples today, including on Cat Creek, Beaverdam Creek, Beatty Branch, and Sugar Creek, which we will report tomorrow. Valdosta presumably also tested today, but we and the public won’t see any updated Valdosta results until probably Tuesday. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-12-29

Update 2023-01-06: Bad Upstream: Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2023-01-05.

WWALS tests for Thursday upstream and downstream, and Valdosta upstream tests for Wednesday agree: clean Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers.

There was some rain last night, but probably not enough to wash much contamination into the rivers.

So happy swimming, fishing, and boating for New Years!

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide, 2022-12-29]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide, 2022-12-29

Two pollution spills have been reported this week.

On Sunday, December 18, 2022 (reported more than a week later on December 27), Ashburn, Georgia, spilled 3,000 gallons of sewage from their MLK Lift Station into Ashburn Branch, which flows into the Little River. But that’s too little and too far upstream to affect the river. Ashburn’s excuse: power failure. Maybe they should invest in a backup generator.

On Monday, December 26, 2022, the Chemours Trail Ridge South Mine southeast of Starke, Florida, spilled some unknown amount of not exactly sure what, at the top edge of the Santa Fe River Basin. Their excuse? Cold weather.

More on those spills later in separate posts. Continue reading

Mostly clean rivers 2022-12-22

Update 2022-12-31: Clean rivers 2022-12-29.

All the recent WWALS test results are quite clean, for the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers. There was some rain Tuesday, but not enough on the drought-dry ground to wash much E. coli into the rivers, not even from Cat Creek, Sugar Creek, or Okapilco Creek.

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for Wednesday a week ago, but they are bad for US 41 and GA 133. There’s not enough water to be boating there anyway, and it’s too cold for fishing or swimming.

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

So if you do want to brave the freezing weather and paddle, I recommend below the Little River Confluence on the Withlacoochee River, or the Alapaha, Alapahoochee, Suwannee, Santa Fe, or Ichetucknee Rivers. Continue reading