Tag Archives: Withlacoochee River

Bad US 84 Wednesday, good Withlacoochee River Thursday 2022-01-13

Rains last weekend got contamination into the Withlacoochee River upstream at US 84, still showing up Wednesday in Valdosta results. But all the WWALS results for Thursday and downstream Wednesday showed acceptable low levels of E. coli.

So I’d paddle and fish in the Withlacoochee River today. Not so sure about swimming: it’s cold.

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

As you can see, Valdosta got bad results at US 84 for both Monday and Wednesday. Continue reading

Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Shirley Kokidko 2022-01-07

River scout Shirley Kokidko went to investigate Mystery: Withlacoochee River Distributary 2021-01-01 and came back with these pictures from Friday, January 7, 2022.

Remember: it’s not safe to paddle in there.

[Distributary, Swallet, Sinkhole]
Distributary, Swallet, Sinkhole

Chitty Bend East Distributary

The Withlacoochee River was 57.9′ NAVD88 (11.4′) on the Pinetta gauge. Continue reading

Bad upstream Withlacoochee, Little Rivers, Ashburn Spill Alapaha River 2022-01-06

Update 2022-01-14: Bad US 84 Wednesday, good Withlacoochee River Thursday 2022-01-13.

Water quality is not looking good upstream on the Little or Withlacoochee Rivers. But not much sign of contamination downstream Thursday. I’d avoid those rivers upstream for a few days.

Downstream, chances are the E. coli will get diluted before it reaches the state line. But of course we can only go by the test results we have. I would paddle downstream this weekend, but you have to make your own decisions.

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

WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner got too-high results at Folsom Bridge on the Little River and Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, both on GA 122. There was much rain upstream Sunday at Sylvester and Moultrie, and probably Tifton, so what Elizabeth found may have washed down from far upstream.

Ashburn had a 40,000 gallon sewage spill Monday, which showed up today in the daily GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. The Ashburn spill went into Hat Creek, which runs into the Alapaha River. Elizabeth’s third GA 122 test site, Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, was OK. This is not unusual: Ashburn is so far upstream we’ve never detected effects of one of its spills downstream.

Valdosta got a bad result at GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River for Monday. That could have been something washing downstream, or it could be the notorious suspected dumper. All three of US 41, GA 133, and US 84 tested OK for Wednesday.

WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach got OK results at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps for Thursday.

And WWALS tester Gus Cleary got OK for Cleary Bluff, downstream of Allen Ramp, for Wednesday. Continue reading

Mostly good, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-30

Update 2022-01-07: Bad upstream Withlacoochee, Little Rivers, Ashburn Spill Alapaha River 2022-01-06.

Better than last week. Michael and Jacob Bachrach spotted one blob of E. coli at Nankin Boat Ramp, but not at Knights Ferry or State Line on the Withlacoochee River. Gus Cleary tested both Sunday and Wednesday at Cleary Bluff downstream from Allen Ramp, and his results are very good. Elizabeth Brunner saw slightly elevated numbers at GA 122 on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, but all within bounds.

More rain fell since all these tests, and more is expected, so there could be more contamination. Meanwhile, no new sewage spills have been reported.

So far, I’d risk it, if I was wanting to boat on the Withlacoochee River this weekend. Here’s the data, so you can make your own decisions.

Happy New Year, and thanks to the WWALS testers for testing on this holiday weekend.

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

Thursday’s rain was quite spotty. The only two gauges we follow that got more than half an inch were in Moultrie upstream on Okapilco Creek, and at Folsom Bridge on the Little River between Barney and Adel. Continue reading

KUR: M2 Blue cave system, Madison County, Florida

Update 2022-01-10: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Shirley Kokidko 2022-01-07.

What’s underneath the Mystery: Withlacoochee River Distributary 2021-01-01? The M2 Blue cave system in Madison and Hamilton Counties, explored by Karst Underwater Research (KUR).

There’s a “Gully / Swallet” marked on this KUR map of the M2 caves, very close to where the sinkhole at the end of the distributary. Both maps in this post are credited to KUR. Please follow the links for the rest of KUR’s descriptions, pictures, and videos. Continue reading

Bad upstream, watch out below, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-23

Update 2021-12-31: Mostly good, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-30.

Not looking good. The recent rains washed E. coli into the Withlacoochee River, starting way upstream at Hagan Bridge on GA 122 on Thursday, down through US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on Wednesday. We did not see it at Cleary Bluff for Wednesday, downstream from Allen Ramp. Maybe it’s gotten diluted before it got that far. Or maybe it just hadn’t gotten that far by Wednesday.

I’d stay off the Withlacoochee River this weekend.

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

We almost never see high numbers at Hagan Bridge, but that’s what Elizabeth Brunner got for Thursday.

Valdosta results were bad for US 41 for last Friday, even before the rain, much worse there and for GA 133 for Monday after the rain, and bad for all three of US 41, GA 133, and US 84 for Wednesday. Apparently the contamination is traveling downstream.

There have been no sewage spills reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida. Most likely the E. coli came from cows or horses near the river or its creeks: there are quite a few of those even upstream of Hagan Bridge. Plus possibly wild hogs. Continue reading

Mystery: Withlacoochee River Distributary 2021-01-01

Update 2022-01-10: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Shirley Kokidko 2022-01-07.

Update 2021-12-28: KUR: M2 Blue cave system, Madison County, Florida.

Where exactly does Withlacoochee River water run into this creek, about three hundred feet into the woods, and disappear into a sinkhole? Left (east) bank, which is state land, or right (west) bank, which is private land? If it doesn’t have an observation platform, where is the one pictured? Maybe you can help us resolve this mystery.

One thing is clear: do not paddle into this distributary! When the river is high, the current is high, and you will have a hard time gettin back out. There are deadfalls and a sinkhole at the end.

[Platform, Distributary]
Platform, Distributary

Here’s where this mystery started:

“Some 7 miles downriver from CR 150, there is a 10- to 12-foot opening in the high banks on the east side where water comes rushing out of the river. If followed, this stream flows for 75 to 100 yards and then disappears under a high bank. In Florida, whole rivers disappear in this manner, but it is unusual to lose just part of a river.”

That’s from Canoeing & Kayaking Florida, Menasha Ridge Press; 2nd edition (November 11, 2007), by Johnny Molloy, Elizabeth F. Carter et al., Page 122, Georgia State Line to Suwannee River S.P. Hm, I see there’s now a third edition of November 11, 2016.

Helen Crowley says she and Shirley Kokidko and Don Crowley paddled past there on January 1, 2021. She sent this picture as of the distributary. Continue reading

Good up and down water quality, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-16

Update 2021-12-25: Bad upstream, watch out below, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-23

There’s been no rain to speak of, and all the tests show no river contamination.

So, happy swimming, fishing, and boating this weekend.

[Chart, Rivers, Map]
Chart, Rivers, Map

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for Folsom Bridge Landing @ GA 122 on the Little River. Continue reading

Weird upstream, clean downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-09

Update 2021-12-18 Good up and down water quality, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-16.

Odd bad results upstream, at GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, and at Folsom Bridge (GA 122) on the Little River Clean downstream, though. Last time we saw high Valdosta results for GA 133, they never showed up downstream.

So I’d swim, fish, or boat on the Withlacoochee River this weekend, although not at GA 133, and I’d avoid Folsom Bridge on the Little River.

[Chart, Rivers, Map]
Chart, Rivers, Map

Valdosta’s Wednesday results for GA 133 are way too high, and Fecal coliform was also high for US 41.

Elizabeth Brunner’s Thursday results for Folsom Bridge on the Little River were above the 410 one-time E. coli limit, which is very unusual for that location. But her other two GA 122 sites, at Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River and at Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, were well within limits.

Downstream, Jacob and Michael Bachrach got good Thursday results at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps, and Gus Cleary the same for Wednesday at Cleary Bluff below Allen Ramp, all on the Withlacoochee River. Gus also tested last Friday, and got nothing out of the ordinary, after Valdosta last saw high results at GA 133 for Wednesday a week ago. Continue reading

Good Withlacoochee River water quality except GA 133 2021-12-02

Update 2021-12-10: Weird upstream, clean downstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-12-09.

All clear again, except something got into the Withlacoochee River at GA 133 Wednesday, according to Valdosta water quality data. Whatever it was hadn’t reached Knights Ferry, Nankin, or State Line Boat Ramps by Thursday, according to WWALS data by Michael and Jacob Bachrach. No sewage spills have been reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida. According to Gus Cleary’s three tests in seven days at Cleary Bluff, downstream of Allen Ramp, all is good even at the river bottom (the Saturday November 27th test). Whatever the GA 133 contamination is, experience indicates it will get diluted or at least it will go by swiftly. Looks like the old GA 133 mystery is back. Somebody is going to catch whoever it is sooner or later.

Meanwhile, happy swimming, fishing, and boating on the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, river, map]
Chart, river, map

Oh, yes: and please stop shooting up and taking our signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. Those things cost money and time to replace, and people do use them to plan paddling on the river.

You may have noticed there was no water quality post last week. That was because the skeleton crew over the Thanksgiving holiday got down to just Gus, who got clean results. Plus with no rain, there was no reason to expect contamination. Valdosta’s data, now available thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Becton, shows the Withlacoochee River was indeed clean last week. November 24th looks odd, because Valdosta’s downstream contractor tested that day, while their in-house tester tested on the 23rd. It’s all in the WWALS composite spreadsheet. Continue reading