FWC restricts boating on Suwannee River’s Zone 4
Monday, March 11, 2013
Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525
When Suwannee River floodwaters at Wilcox rose above 9 feet Sunday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) activated boating restrictions on Zone 4.
This section is from the County Road 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff to one mile below the Fowler Bluff Boat Ramp. This 51-mile segment will be an idle-speed, no-wake zone as long as the Suwannee is at 9 feet on the Wilcox gauge, where flood stage is 11 feet.
All five idle-speed, no-wake zones along the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers are now activated.
FWC officers are patrolling swollen rivers to ensure boaters comply with the idle-speed, no-wake rule, said Capt. Marty Redmond, area supervisor at the FWC’s Lake City office. The FWC encourages boaters to stay off the Suwannee-Santa Fe river system until conditions improve.
An idle-speed, no-wake zone means a vessel must proceed at a speed no greater than what is 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.
- 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 went into effect March 4.
- 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. This zone was activated March 8.
- Zone 3 – from Little River Spring to the County Road 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff. This zone was activated March 5. The 23-mile segment is an idle-speed, no-wake zone as long as the Suwannee River is at 24 feet or more, as indicated on the Branford gauge.
- Zone 5 – 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 is at 17 feet, as indicated on the Three Rivers gauge, where flood stage is 19 feet. This zone was activated March 3.
To obtain real-time river level information, visit MySuwanneeRiver.com.