Category Archives: Springs

A week on the Withlacoochee River in June?

Somebody asked recently whether it is possible to paddle a week on the Withlacoochee River in Georgia in June. Sure, as long as you start not too far upstream on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT), you can paddle past shoals and little-known Georgia springs into the Florida springs heartland, and then continue a day or two on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT). WWALS has paddled many of the most interesting stretches multiple times, often in June.

Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous
Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous

Here’s some history of the Withlacoochee River: fishing weirs, shoals, ghost towns, and springs.

Here is a list of access points on the Withlacoochee River with recommended water levels.

Troupville Boat Ramp, Hahira GA 122 Little River Gauge, 137-144′ NAVD88

Your first put in will actually be on the Little River, slightly upstream from its confluence, at Troupville Boat Ramp.

27 April 2016, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 70.9′ (140.6′ NAVD88).
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) fixed the Troupville access road back in April 2016.

Boatramp
Photo: Julie Bowland

21 April 2018, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 7.2′ (140′ NAVD88).
WWALS did a cleanup at Troupville, in which you can see our water trail signs. See also some history of Troupville, the previous county seat of Lowndes County, Georgia.

Scouts and all, Sign
At Troupville Boat Ramp, by the signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) that Phil Hubbard planted yesterday (2018-04-20).

Georgia Springs on the Withlacoochee River

Three of the six second-magnitude springs in Georgia used to be in Brooks County, Georgia, before somebody apparently tried to Continue reading

Running Springs painting by Julie Bowland for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest today 2018-06-23

WWALS Scout and VSU Art Professor Julie Bowland donated this painting of Running Spring for auction 1-5PM this afternoon at The Salty Snapper, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602, in the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

Springs, painting by Julie Bowland

Come on down to hear new songs about our rivers, with a buffet and cash bar! Plus you could get this painting, maybe even for Continue reading

Final Suwannee River BMAP 2018-05-22

Did you know the Final Suwannee River BMAP was released last week? Apparently not many others did, either. Here’s the letter I sent FDEP about that.

Suwannee River BMAP and PFA boundaries, The Problem


PDF

 June 4, 2018

Nitrate above and below ground, Pages Mr. Noah Valenstein, Secretary
Dept. of Environmental Protection Continue reading

Help stop two bad Florida water bills: HB 1149 and SB 1308

Remember the Florida bill with the bad amendment, withdrawn because you called? Well, the bill itself, HB 1149, is bad enough, and near to a vote.

Please sign Margaret Tolbert’s petition against that and another bad bill, HB 1308.

Saturday crowd at Madison Blue Spring,
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, from the Suwannee River, of Saturday crowd at Madison Blue Spring, 2017-06-24.

According to a March 1, 2018, Tampa Bay Times article:

“Cynthia Barnett, the author of three books on water and an environmental fellow in residence at the University of Florida’s Bob Graham Center for Public Service, said the bills are based on a faulty assumption concerning how much water Florida needs for its future growth.

The bills say that Florida will need Continue reading

Call Florida House today to stop bad springs amendment 2018-03-01

Update 2018-03-02: The amendment was withdrawn, thanks to all of you who called!

They’re going to vote tomorrow (Friday), so call today or very early tomorrow and ask your state rep to vote against Amendment 246447 by Rep. Ingoglia on HB 1149. That amendment would force septic tanks to be installed near springs while putting off useful actions for years during further “review” and “study”.

Contact numbers for them are here: http://myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx

Or here are all the ones in the Suwannee River Basin listed on a web page.

2015 onsite sewage final report
Illustration from the “2015 final report written as part of the study originally authorized in Specific Appropriation 1682 of chapter 2008-152, Laws of Florida”.

On House Bill 1149, a general environmental regulation bill, Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R-35) this afternoon introduced Amendment 246447 which includes for example:

(3) As part of the pilot program, the department, in coordination with the Department of Health, must:

(a) Review and build upon Continue reading

Five Holes Cleanup and Site Exploration, Suwannee River 2018-02-10

Update 2018-02-10: It’s a Go!.

Join us to clean up and scout a chain of springs and sinks next to the Suwannee River. If it looks good, we may plan a bigger outing later in the year.

No boat required; we’re going by land.

This 5 Holes site exploration is immediately after the Organizing Committee meeting for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest; you can come to either or both.

When: 3PM, Saturday, February 10, 2018

Where: CR 141 Boat Ramp, aka Florida Campsites Ramp, in Suwannee River State Park.

GPS: 30.414, -83.159167

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members. For non-members, it is $10.00, per decision of the WWALS board at its 14 January 2018 meeting for all WWALS outings scheduled since then. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today! If you want to pay for membership or the outing at the site, please bring cash.

Event: facebook meetup

The waters fine! at Five Holes
Photo by John S. Quarterman for WWALS, along with many more, from August 15, 2015.

Bring: swimming gear (suit, goggles, etc.), and a change of warm clothes. A rope wouldn’t hurt. Trash pickers and trash bags: this is a cleanup. Most of us do not plan to paddle, but if you want to, you can put in at the boat ramp and paddle upstream to 5 Holes; in that case bring Continue reading

Manatee Springs State Park Public Meeting 2018-01-09

Received from FDEP yesterday afternoon (not much notice), Manatee Springs State Park to Host Public Meeting,

CALENDAR ANNOUNCEMENT

CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us

Manatee Springs State Park to Host Public Meeting
~The public is invited to provide comments on the draft plan~

WHAT: Public Meeting

WHEN: Jan. 9, 2018
5:30 — 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Chiefland Women’s Club
825 E. Park Ave.
Chiefland, FL 32626

DEP’s Florida Park Service is in the process of updating the unit management plan for Manatee Springs State Park. Citizens are invited to attend a public meeting to learn about the proposed plans for the state park and provide their comments.

Manatee Spring Run

Continue reading

Dead River Sink and Iche Nippy Dip Day 2018-01-06

Reminder: the first leg of the Alapaha Quest has been rescheduled for Saturday, January 27, 2018, so see you at Sheboggy Landing then, not tomorrow.

However, if you want to get out in the cold this Saturday, January 6, 2018, other groups have two outings scheduled in the Suwannee River Basin: Alapaha Dead River Hike and Iche Nippy Dip Day.

Iche Nippy Dip Day

Ichetucknee Springs State Park says: Continue reading

Manatee Springs to Fowlers Bluff, Suwannee River, 2018-02-24

The manatees come in from the cold in February, to Manatee Springs; we’ll paddle from there 8.3 miles down the very wide Suwannee River to Fowlers Bluff, where we plan a water quality testing demo and possibly an oyster roast.

When: 9 AM, Saturday, February 24, 2018

Put In: Manatee Springs State Park, 11650 NW 115 St, Chiefland, FL 32626

Directions: at the end of S.R. 320, off U.S. 98, six miles west of Chiefland.

GPS: 29.4894572,-82.9769455

Take Out: Fowlers Bluff Ramp, 15597 NW 46th Lane, Chiefland, FL 32626. 29.396410, -83.026030

Free: This outing is Free! And we recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Manatee, Manatee Springs
Photo: Scotti Jay

Continue reading

Arnold Springs, Mozell Spells, Withlacoochee River 2017-10-14

A fine fall day with diving and landowners at Arnold Springs, Old Clyattville Road Bridge, exotic invasive Japanese Climbing Fern, Horn Bridge, and Mozell Spells (State Line Ramp): on the Withlacoochee River with WWALS Watershed Coalition, Suwannee Riverkeeper. Thanks to all who came to paddle from as far as two hours from Gainesville, Florida and four hours from Pine Mountain, Georgia.

Clear spring water, 15:13:01,, Arnold Springs
Blue-green Arnold Springs water meets tea-colored Withlacoochee River water.

The Quitman Gauge (US 84) read 2.17 feet (85.67 NAVD88), which was slightly above our recommended low level, and just fine for Arnold Springs. Here are some pictures and a Google Map. A few videos will follow.

This part of the outing was all in Georgia, but we paddled downstream from Florida to get there; see Continue reading