Tag Archives: Withlacoochee River

High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23

The City of Valdosta says “a fuel spill may be a contributing cause” of the One Mile Branch fish kill.

Meanwhile, WWALS finds E. coli counts too high even upstream of the fish kill, but more than doubling in the fish kill.

WWALS rescheduled our Chainsaw cleanup, which was supposed to be this morning, on the Withlacoochee River downstream from Sugar Creek, which is downstream of One Mile Branch.

I recommend everyone else also avoid One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek, and the Withlacoochee River from Sugar Creek at least down to the Little River Confluence, until there is some resolution of this fish kill, the high E. coli counts, and the alleged fuel spill.

[One Mile Branch sites]
One Mile Branch sites

Scotti Jay collected water samples Friday and Sara Jay plated them. The results are:

Drexel Park Bridge: 966 cfu/100 mL
One Mile Branch Waterfall: 1,100 cfu/100 mL
West Gordon Street: 2,566 cfu/100 mL

The Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (GA-AAS) one-time sample limit for E. coli is 410. The GA-AAS alert limit is 1,000. Continue reading

Rescheduled: Chainsaw Cleanup Withlacoochee River, 2022-10-16

Rescheduled due to fish kill.

We need volunteers to pick up trash while a few people chainsaw some deadfalls.

We aim to collect the trashjams we didn’t have room for last time, and to chainsaw the remaining Withlacoochee River deadfalls between Sugar Creek and the Little River Confluence. Then we’ll paddle up the Little River to take out at Troupville Boat Ramp.

Unlike last time, we’re scheduling seven hours for the shuttle, for chainsawing and trash collecting, and for the four-mile paddle. With luck, nobody will get stuck this time.

All dependent on the weather, of course. Could be hurricane season finally by then, or could be plenty low to make this easy.

When: 9 AM, Sunday, October 16, 2022

Put In: Meet at the back of the Salty Snapper parking lot, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602.

GPS: 30.861764, -83.318854

[Trashjam, deadfall, chainsaws]
Trashjam, deadfall, chainsaws, 2022-07-30; Photos: John S. Quarterman.

Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee River water quality test results then One Mile Branch fish kill 2022-09-22

Update 2022-09-25: High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23.

Thursday WWALS test results are very good. The most recent Valdosta test results from Valdosta are for Monday, and they are also good.

But Friday WWALS found a fish kill in One Mile Branch starting at Valdosta State University. That is upstream from Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River. Later today we should have some E. coli test results from One Mile Branch.

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

Ashburn had yet another sewage spill a week ago into Hat Creek upstream on the Alapaha River, and High Springs had a spill Thursday a week ago near the Santa Fe River. Both were so small they probably had no detectable effect on river water quality.

So I would swim, boat, and fish in the Withlacoochee River downstream from the Little River Confluence. But I would avoid the Withlacoochee River from there up to Sugar Creek. Continue reading

Ashburn sewage problem and Moultrie 2022-09-16

Update 2022-09-23: One Mile Branch Fish Kill 2022-09-23.

Ashburn needs to get a grip on its sewage problem.

This summer, in five separate incidents, Ashburn spilled 1,229,000 gallons of raw sewage into Hat Creek, which runs into the Alapaha River.

Moultrie has a much tinier sewage problem, spilling 500 gallons into Okapilco Creek, which runs into the Withlacoochee River.

And no, we haven’t forgotten about Tifton’s spill or Valdosta’s five summer spills or the spills by Starke and High Springs, Florida. Those we have reported separately, and all of them together (plus the Moultrie spill) do not add up to Ashburn’s 400,000 gallon August 19th spill, much less Ashburn’s 800,000 gallon August 25th spill.

[Summer 2022 Ashburn and Moultrie sewage spills]
Summer 2022 Ashburn and Moultrie sewage spills

Ashburn’s excuses varied: Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-09-15

Update 2022-09-19: Ashburn sewage problem and Moultrie 2022-09-16.

Good news: all clean in all the WWALS water quality tests on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers for Thursday. Happy fishing, swimming, and boating!

Maybe see you tomorrow morning on the Roline to Hunter Creek Suwannee River paddle. The Suwannee River is usually clean upstream anyway.

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

Thanks to WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner for her usual three GA 122 sites, on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, all results good. Thanks to WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach for testing their usual three downstream Withlacoochee River sites at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps.

There’s no update from Valdosta after its dire Monday results for GA 133 and US 84. But first Continue reading

Bill Gates responds on MSNBC to my criticisms of his farm policies 2022-09-13

Last night Bill Gates again pretended to be an expert on farming, while avoiding mention of water, soil, ecology, environment, or community. Many of the assertions he made about farming in the U.S. and Africa don’t match documented research.

He did seem to be familiar with my criticisms of his policies, and by his expressions he doesn’t like them much.

[Question and three Gates expressions]
Question and three Gates expressions

He says “all these areas, they evolve, they understand how to say use less fertilizer, which is both good economically and good environmentally.”

Well, his landholdings in Florida and Georgia did not evolve. And he’s now sold off many of them, so maybe they weren’t good economically for him.

Meanwhile, he has driven the size of farm landholdings up, Continue reading

Bad GA 133 and US 84, Withlacoochee River 2022-09-12

Update 2022-09-16: Clean Rivers 2022-09-15.

Bad news in Valdosta’s upstream Withlacoochee River water quality results.

Too high E. coli at both GA 133 (St. Augustine Road) and US 84.

Best to avoid the Withlacoochee River for now in those stretches.

[Chart, Swim Guide]
Chart, Swim Guide

We also see high Fecal coliform for Monday at US 41 (North Valdosta Road), but OK E. coli. That is usual for after a big upstream rain, and you can see 0.61 inches on the Skipper Bridge gauge for the previous day.

But at GA 133 and US 84, Continue reading

Add Santa Fe River to Suwannee Riverkeeper territory 2019-07-17

Back in 2019, after one final calibration with Our Santa Fe River, WWALS asked WATERKEEPR® Alliance to add the Santa Fe River Basin to the territory of Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®. They approved that request on September 26, 2019. Since then, Suwannee Riverkeeper territory has included the entire Suwannee River Basin and Estuary.

[Request letter and expanded territory approved 2019-09-26]
Request letter and expanded territory approved 2019-09-26

Apparently we never published this addition, and lately we’ve needed to refer to it. So here is the request that WKA approved. Plus a current map of the entire Basin and Estuary. Continue reading

Georgia National Hunting and Fishing Day at Paradise PFA 2022-09-24

This is not a WWALS event, but it sounds fun and we support it. Of the many specific events by GA-DNR Wildlife Resources Division, one is at Paradise Public Fishing Area in our Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. That’s east of Tifton on US 82, near Enigma, in Berrien County, Georgia.

[Logo, Map]
Logo, Map

Since the voters approved it in 2006, Georgia has a right of hunting and fishing, in the state Bill of Rights, up there with freedom of speech:

Georgia Constitution, Article I, Section 1, Paragraph XXVIII, The tradition of fishing and hunting and the taking of fish and wildlife shall be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good.

Now we can add a Right to Clean Water so fish and wildlife (and people) will have a healthy environment in which to live.


NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY IN GEORGIA
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2022
Continue reading

Clean river water quality tests, but heavy rains 2022-09-08

Update 2022-09-13: Bad GA 133 and US 84, Withlacoochee River 2022-09-12.

By all the recent water quality test results we have, all is clear for boating, swimming, and fishing on the Withlacoochee and other rivers this weekend.

The Tifton 2,000 gallon spill Sunday is very unlikely to affect anywhere anyone is testing on the rivers.

But by all our experience with heavy rains such as fell far upstream Thursday and are falling today, contamination is likely to wash into the Withlacoochee River: most likely cattle or hog manure.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-09-08]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide 2022-09-08

The WWALS upstream Thursday samples by Elizabeth Brunner on GA 122 were all clean at Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River.

The WWALS downstream Thursday samples on the Withlacoochee River by Jacob and Michael Bachrach at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps were also clean.

And the Valdosta upstream results for Wednesday were also pretty clean, at US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on the Withlacoochee River. The most recent downstream results Valdosta has publlshed are for Monday a week ago. WWALS already tested downstream twice since then. Continue reading