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March 19, 2014

Idle-speed, no-wake zone activated on stretch of Santa Fe River

Live Oak —

Due to recent large amounts of rainfall, a 32-mile segment of the Santa Fe River is now an idle-speed, no-wake zone, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.

Zone 5, which runs from River Rise within O’Leno State Park west to the confluence of the Suwannee River, was activated today as an idle-speed, no-wake zone.

This area of the river becomes 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.

An idle-speed, no-wake zone means a vessel must proceed at a speed no greater than that required to maintain steerageway and headway. 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.

FWC officers will be patrolling this area of the river to ensure compliance with the temporary idle-speed, no-wake zone, according to Maj. Andrew Krause, regional commander.

“With these higher water levels, there may be navigational hazards, such as floating debris, rocks, stumps and shoaling conditions for unsuspecting boaters. We want everyone to stay safe,” Krause said.

The idle-speed, no-wake zone will stay in effect until the water level recedes below 17 feet.

The other four 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 reaches 47 feet or more above mean sea level at the Ellaville gauge, where flood stage is 54 feet.
  • Zone 2 – from the S.R. 51 Bridge at Luraville to Little River Spring. This 18-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River reaches 26 feet or more above mean sea level at the Branford gauge, where flood stage is 29 feet.
  • Zone 3 – from Little River Spring to the County Road 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff. This 23-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River reaches 24 feet or more above mean sea level at the Branford gauge.
  • Zone 4 – from the C.R. 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff to 1 mile below the Fowler Bluff Boat Ramp. This 51-mile segment will be an idle-speed, no wake-zone when the Suwannee River reaches 9 feet or more above mean sea level at the Wilcox gauge, where flood stage is 11 feet.

Current water levels do not indicate zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 will activate.

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 levels, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com/.

 

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