Category Archives: Springs

When the water was really high at Spook Bridge 1928-08-19

The Withlacoochee River is higher this morning than yesterday, so conditions are fine for Paddle Georgia!

Those people on Spook Bridge during the 1928 flood were crazy:

[During flood of-1928 with Blue Springs sign]
During flood of-1928 with Blue Springs sign

Don Davis of the Lowndes County Historical Society, who sent these old pictures, wrote:

Constructed in 1921? the bridge in the 1928 flood photo is the old US84 (GA38) bridge that the group will paddle under as “Spook Bridge.”

According to the USGS Quitman (US 84) gauge, that flood crested on August 19, 1928, which actually wasn’t quite as high as in 2013, 1948, or 2009.

Historic Crests
(1) 118.17 ft on 04/05/2009
(2) 115.20 ft on 04/04/1948
(3) 114.98 ft on 03/01/2013
(4) 114.80 ft on 08/19/1928
(5) 114.29 ft on 02/13/1986

Gauges

Right now the USGS Quitman (US 84) gauge reads 86.15 feet NAVD 88, which is well above the 85.9 feet Joe Cook wanted for Paddle Georgia. And it has been rising since yesterday morning. The fellow who left his kayak at the bottom of Troupville Boat Ramp may be in for a surprise….

[Quitman]
Quitman

Upstream, the gauges are even higher, and that water is coming downstream.

Hahira at Continue reading

Florida Algal Bloom Maps 2019-06-01

What’s this about cyanobacteria blooms in Florida?

Florida, Maps

It’s a big problem, although no so much in the Suwannee River Basin. However, there is a yellow-green (not cyanobacteria) bloom at Manatee Spring Run on the lower Suwannee River.

Suwannee River Basin, Maps

FDEP provides Weekly Updates and Subscription to Algal Bloom Monitoring, including maps in Algal Bloom Sampling Status, from which these maps come.

Here’s the detail on the one algal bloom in the Suwannee River Basin. Continue reading

Shoals and Springs, Allen Ramp to SRSP, Withlacoochee River 2019-06-01

This Saturday, four shoals (Battery, Wipe-Out, Deer, and Melvin) and four springs (Powerline, Fairy, Corbett, and second-magnitude Suwannacoochee), all on the Withlacoochee River, from Allen Ramp to Suwannee River State Park.

[Shoals and springs]
Shoals and springs

Location of shoals from Chris Mericle, Blackwater River Guide. River mile calculations for them by Shirley Kokidko, both in the interactive map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

For outing details, see: Continue reading

Allen Ramp to SRSP, Withlacoochee River: Paddle Georgia Preview, 2019-06-01

Update 2019-05-30: Map of shoals and springs along the way.

Wild and beautiful Withlacoochee River to the Confluence. We will pass numerous rocky shoals requiring some skills so this outing may not be appropriate for beginners and young children. There are clear springs to explore, such as Suwannacoochee Spring at Ellaville. This is a preview of part of Paddle Georgia 2019. #PaddleGA2019

When: Gather 8:00 AM, launch 9:30 AM, Saturday, June 1, 2019

Put In: Allen Ramp, From Jasper, travel north on US 41 to SR 6; turn left; travel south on SW CR 141 to SW CR 143; turn right and follow SW CR 143 to SW 64 Way and follow to ramp. Also known as CR 143 ramp (SRWMD).

GPS: 30.449167, -83.221333

Take Out: Suwannee River State Park Ramp, 3631 201st Path, Live Oak, FL 32060, in Suwannee County.
Taking out requires a very brief paddle upstream on the Suwannee River.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Don’t forget a rope in case you need to drag your boat across shoals. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Park: Remember to have $5 cash for the state park fee, for each vehicle that will be shuttled to the take out at Suwannee River State Park.

Event: facebook, meetup

Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Allen Ramp, 2014-09-21
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Allen Ramp, 2014-09-21.

Continue reading

Opening: J.H. Anderson Jr. Park at Rock Bluff Springs, Suwannee River 2019-05-31

Second magnitude Rock Bluff Springs has been accessible only by boat up its 700-foot run from the Suwannee River, but SRWMD has acquired 175 acres around the spring that is opening as J.H. Anderson Jr. Park, at the end of this month.

When: 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM, Friday, May 31, 2019
10:30 AM – Opening Ceremony & Ribbon Cutting
11:30 AM – Guided Hikes, Swimming, & Plant Walks followed by refreshments

Where: 6560 Co Rd 340, Bell, FL 32619

Event: facebook

[Photo: Edwin McCook]
Photo: Edwin McCook, of Rock Bluff Springs, in SRWMD Tentative Budget, Fiscal Year 2018-2019.

This new park and Rock Bluff Springs are in the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT), and the park is now on our WWALS SRWT Map and on our map of all landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

To find maps of this new J.H. Anderson Jr. Memorial Park, I looked in some older working documents, including SRWMD’s 2018-2019 budget, which also says:

1. DEP Springs Protection and Restoration Grants FY 2017-18 Continue reading

Deese-Howard Ramp to Gibson County Park, Suwannee River, 2019-06-01

Update 2019-05-22: Moved by the Outings Committee to Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee River to Suwannee River State Park.

This is a 12 mile paddle on the Suwannee River. We will meet at Deese-Howard Public Boat Ramp at 8:30 to unload kayaks and gear before the 12 mile shuttle to Gibson County Park begins at 9 a.m. You will probably need to use the Lat/Long coordinates with your GPS to find the ramp easier.

We will pass Holton Creek River Camp, where we will stop for a break and a swim.

Just before the takeout this section of the river also includes the Alapaha Rise, an interesting natural feature that is worth the short side trip.

When: Gather 8:30 AM, Launch 10AM, Saturday, June 1, 2019

Put In: Deese Howard Boat Ramp, 107th Road, Live Oak, FL 32060, Suwannee County.

GPS: 30.41439, -82.96292

Take Out: Gibson Park Ramp, 6844 SW CR 751, Jasper, FL 32052. From Jasper, Hamilton County, FL, travel southwest on SW CR 249 to SW CR 751; turn left and boat ramp is on the right in Gibson County Park, in Hamilton County.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Alapaha Rise,
Photo: Beth Gammie, of Alapaha River Rise, on Southwings flight for WWALS with pilot E.M. Beck, 2016-11-23.

Continue reading

Florida buys Hardee Spring on the Withlacoochee River

Florida bought second magnitude Hardee Spring, with its karst window and 1.6 miles of Withlacoochee River frontage!

Map: River Error Farms Inc., Hardee Spring, Hamilton County, FL
Map from SRWMD PARCEL ASSESSMENT SUMMARY.

The new Florida state administration has done some surprising things, such as revoking dozens of appointments by the previous governor, but this one is really surprising. I’m pretty sure I’ve recommended this purchase to the Suwannee River Water Management (SRWMD) Board. SRWMD had written up a property assessment on it years ago, but I thought the asking price of $8.5 million for River Error Farm was prohibitive. Apparently the state got Hardee Spring for less than a quarter of that price.

DeSantis, Florida Cabinet approve $2.54 million in Florida Forever land acquisition, Samantha J. Gross, Tampa Bay Times, 26 February 2019,

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet Tuesday voted to spend Continue reading

Paddle Georgia, Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers, into Florida 2019-06-15-21

Update 2019-06-08: Reroute due to lack of rain.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, February 13, 2019 — From next to the largest Suwannee River Basin city, Valdosta, to between some of the smallest, Mayo and Luraville, Paddle Georgia brings 300 people this summer to venture for the first time across the state line from Georgia to Florida, on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Suwannee Rivers, June 15 through 21, 2019.

Banners picture,
WWALS Withlacoochee River outing 2017-06-24

“Five years ago I suggested our Withlacoochee River to Joe Cook for Paddle Georgia, and he went one better, adding the Suwannee River, past two of the few second-magnitude springs in Georgia, McIntyre and Arnold, and two of the famous first-magnitude Florida Springs: Madison Blue and Lafayette,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Plus Spook Bridge and the orphaned railroad trestle near Madison, with many shoals and rapids at the GA-FL line! Special thanks to The Langdale Company for permission to take out just below Spook Bridge. Personally, I like that this paddle starts at my birthplace in Valdosta, Georgia and ends at my grandmother’s birthplace at the ferry site for Luraville, Florida.”

This event is organized by Paddle Georgia, with catered dinners and buses to and from the rivers. WWALS is assisting, for example by organizing the Spook Bridge takeout, and by pointing out many sites that non-locals might miss, ranging from springs, and Withlacoochee River agates, and the halberd-leaf rosemallow, whose blooms last only one day, to perpetual bothers such as Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Continue reading

Waterkeepers Florida signs Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida 2018-12-19

In one of its first actions at its first official board meeting, WATERKEEPERS(R) FLORIDA voted to sign the Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida, December 19, 2018.

This opposition throughout Florida to phosphate mines anywhere in the state is especially timely, with public hearings and a vote coming up in January soon in Bradford County on the HPS II phosphate mine application.

A dozen of its thirteen members had already signed for their individual organizations. According to its bylaws, all members of WATERKEEPERS Florida are now signed on with the organization. Besides, the thirteenth member, Continue reading

State geologist Greenhalgh says BMPs don’t work to solve BMAPs

Someone inside FDEP has been brave enough for years to say the emperor has no clothes regarding contamination in the Suwannee River Basin.

Suiting up, Thomas Greenhalgh
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, of Thomas Greenhalgh suiting up at the Alapaha Dye Test, 2016-06-22.

Dinah Voyles Pulver, The Daytona-Beach News-Journal, 24 November 2018, State geologist challenging springs action plan raised questions before, Continue reading