Suwannee Democrat

Suwannee Democrat

June 5, 2014

FWC deactivates Zone 4 boating restrictions on Suwannee River

Live Oak —

Suwannee River floodwaters at the Wilcox gauge fell below 9 feet Wednesday, allowing deactivation of boating restrictions in effect since April 12.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) lifted the idle-speed, no-wake restriction on this area, Zone 4, which runs from the County Road 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff to 1 mile below the Fowler Bluff Boat Ramp. This 51-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, no wake-zone when the Suwannee River reaches 9 feet or more at the Wilcox gauge, where flood stage is 11 feet.

“The only zone still active is Zone 5 on the Santa Fe,” said Maj. Andy Krause, regional commander at the FWC’s Lake City office. “All the zones on the Suwannee River have been lifted.”

Zone 5 runs from River Rise in O’Leno State Park west to the confluence of the Suwannee River. This 32-mile segment is an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Santa Fe River reaches 17 feet, as indicated on the Three Rivers gauge, where flood stage is 19 feet. This zone was activated March 19.

An idle-speed, no-wake restriction means a vessel must proceed at a speed no greater than what is required to maintain steerageway and headway in that river zone. At no time is any vessel required to proceed so slowly that the operator is unable to control it or anything it may be towing.

The Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers are divided into five flood zones. The other three zones are:

  • Zone 1 – from the U.S. 90 Bridge at Ellaville south to the State Road 51 Bridge at Luraville. This 39-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River is at 47 feet, as indicated on the Ellaville gauge, where flood stage is 54 feet. The restrictions in this zone were deactivated May 14.
  • Zone 2 -- from the S.R. 51 Bridge at Luraville to Little River Spring. This 18-mile segment will be an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River is at 26 feet or more above mean sea level as indicated on the Branford gauge, where flood stage is 29 feet. This zone was deactivated May 22.
  • Zone 3 -- runs from Little River Spring to the C.R. 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff. This 23-mile segment is an idle-speed, no-wake zone as long as the Suwannee River is at 24 feet or more at the Branford gauge. This zone was deactivated May 28.

For more information about the flood zones, please call 386-758-0525. To report violations, please call 888-404-3922.

To obtain real-time river level information, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com.

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