Tag Archives: Madison County

Winners: WWALS Boomerang 2018-11-03

Here are the winners of the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, from Georgia at State Line Boat Ramp in Lowndes County past Brooks County, into Madison and Hamilton County, Florida and back again. Everybody had fun and wants to do it again next year. We’re thinking of billing it also as a Georgia-Florida contest. Lots more pictures and videos are being posted.

Winners cropped, Winners
WWALS Boomerang Winners, by Jay Blanton of Georgia Photography Fanatic

Thanks to everybody who paddled and who helped, especially to our sponsors and vendors: Continue reading

Karen and Tom Johnson Collage

Karen and Tom Johnson travelled many a time three or four hours from Pine Mountain, Georgia, to paddle with WWALS on our outings. Some of us are planning to go to Pine Mountain this Saturday:

HEAR YE! HEAR YE!
Memorial Service/Funeral for Karen Toms Johnson:

11:00 A.M., Saturday, September 22, 2018.
1st UMC Pine Mountain, Georgia.
Rev. Liza Marler, officiating pastor.
Luncheon to follow with Karen Storytelling emcee’d by T3.
Memorial Service attendees are STRONGLY encouraged to attend the luncheon.

When: Tuesday-Friday 18-21 September 2018

Where: Post your pictures online here.

Event: facebook, meetup

Here is the obituary Tom wrote for Karen.

We would like to take with us a collage of pictures of Karen and Tom on WWALS outings (or elsewhere). Please post your pictures here (on this blog post, facebook event, etc.) or email them to wwalswatershed@gmail.com.

Here are some examples:


Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, of Tom and Karen Johnson, winners, farthest, BIG Little River Paddle Race 29 April 2017.

Continue reading

Madison County meeting about Valdosta sewage, plus Tom Potter of WWALS 2018-08-21

Valdosta sewage discussed yesterday morning in Madison, and in the evening on TV and in the WWALS Water Quality Testing Committee meeting in Valdosta, and again this evening at the Madison BOCC. Emma Wheeler, WCTV Eyewitness News, 21 August 2018, Sewage spills prompt concern over Withlacoochee River safety,

Sewage spills in Valdosta polluting the Withlacoochee River, Screenshots

MADISON, Fla. (WCTV) — A North Florida community is fighting for cleaner water.

Community members in Madison are pushing for safer waterways. It stems from concerns over sewage spills at Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Treatment Plant. The most recent of the spills happened in June.

Many of those concerned said their goal is to have no sewage spill into the river.

“These are public resources, they belong to us,” said Thomas Potter with the WWALS Watershed Coalition. “It’s our duty and our responsibility to make sure that they remain clean.”…

Emma Wheeler shot some footage Continue reading

Judge rules Florida Amendment 1 funds must be used for land acquisition 2018-06-14

Acquiring lands in a springshed is one of the best ways to protect springs and rivers, and a judge just said the Florida legislature can’t divert funds from that purpose of Florida Amendment 1, which was passed by 75% of the people of Florida.

St. Johns Riverkeeper, blog, 14 June 2018, Legal Victory for Conservation Lands,

On June 15, 2018, Florida Circuit Judge Charles Dodson ruled in favor of environmental organizations that the land conservation constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2014 requires funding to be used for land acquisition, restoration and management, not for other purposes.

Map of county vote ranges on Florida Amendment 1

Earthjustice, Joe Litte of Florida Defenders of the Environment and the plaintiff organizations— Continue reading

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west. You do know the Ockolocoochee River as the Little River, of the Withlacoochee, of the Suwannee. Here is news from 1889 that also includes the boat that didn’t survive from Troupville to Ellaville, which was apparently not a paddlewheel steamer.


Irwin County, 1885a, GeorgiaInfo, Rand McNally Map of Georgia, 1885

Atlanta Constitution, January 29, 1889, Pg 12., quoted in Ray City History Blog, 18 October 2010, More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River,

THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER.

VALDOSTA, Ga., January 19. -[Special.]- Away up near the northern limit of the great wiregrass section there is a big cypress swamp. They call them bays there. From this bay emerges Continue reading

Cleanup and outing, Nankin, Mcintyre and Arnold Springs, Mozell Spells, Withlacoochee River 2017-10-14

Tires and trash cleaned up at Nankin Boat Ramp, swimming and diver tales at McIntyre Spring, a creek, karst, shoals, and rapids, into Florida and back to Georgia all downstream, Valdosta Railway Trestle, Madison County Four Freedoms Trail, and exotic invasive Japanese Climbing Fern, all on a fall day 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.

A free diver, 12:47:33,, McIntyre Spring

The Quitman (US 84) Gauge was at about 2.6′ (86′ NAVD88).

Here are some pictures.

This post is just the first part; more pictures will follow are posted with diving and landowners at Arnold Springs, Old Clyattville Road Bridge Horn Bridge, and Mozell Spells (State Line Ramp). and a Google Map, and a few videos are still to come.

These are some of our many favorite spots on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

Watch wwals.net for more outings are they are announced, or see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. We have outings at least once a month.

Banner and fourteen picker-uppers, 09:55:21,, Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Cleanup 30.6749200, -83.3939200

Continue reading

Four Freedoms Trail, Madison, FL to Withlacoochee River

Paddling down the Withlacoochee River from Nankin to Mozell Spells, the remains of the Valdosta Railway Bridge mark on the right bank the north end of the Four Freedoms Trail, one of the few hiking trails on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT):

Valdosta Railway trestle
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, 9 July 2016.

The Four Freedoms Trail in Madison County was constructed as a joint effort between Continue reading

Twin Rivers State Forest

The center of the very extensive Twin Rivers State Forest, near the confluence of the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers at Ellaville.

Great Florida Birding Trail, Entrance

The Florida Wildlife Commission says about Twin Rivers Wildlife Management Area:

Twin Rivers consists of more than 9,000 acres in 14 noncontiguous tracts in Madison, Hamilton, and Suwannee counties. Most of the land is in Continue reading

Valdosta WWTP manned 24/7 with backup generators before Hurricane Irma 2017-09-09

Don’t spill, Valdosta. Don’t leak, Sabal Trail. Hurricane Irma is bad enough already.

Valdosta announced its WWTP would be “manned around the clock”, so I called down there before 8AM this Saturday morning, and somebody did answer immediately. I told him as Suwannee Riverkeeper I was concerned for people downstream who don’t want any spills during the upcoming rains, so I was glad to see it was true they were there. I asked him if they had backup generators. He said yes. Of course, that doesn’t handle every manhole cover. We shall see. Don’t spill, Valdosta! (Or Lowndes County, or Tifton, or anybody else.)

NOAA NHC Rain Prediction, Hurricane Irma, 9 Sep 2017
Currently expecting somewhere between 4 and 10 inches of rain on Valdosta. Map from National Hurricane Center, 2017-09-09 8AM.

City of Valdosta, PR, 8 September 2017, Valdosta-Lowndes County Hurricane Irma Update, Continue reading

FL Sen. Nelson to EPA about Valdosta sewage and response

Here is a letter from Florida Senator Bill Nelson to the EPA about the Valdosta wastewater situation, and the EPA’s response, which was underwhelming.

A suggestion: say what it is you’d like the EPA, GA-EPD, FDEP, etc. to actually do. And what I’d suggest is get them all to fund and implement regular, frequent, closely spaced, water quality monitoring along all the rivers in the Suwannee River Basin. That way we’d know where pollution is coming from, we’d be able to calibrate what cities including Valdosta say from their own monitoring, and we’d have baselines to compare to.

Sen. Bill Nelson to EPA

Continue reading