News Releases

Suwannee, Santa Fe divided into new idle-speed, no-wake zones

News Release

Monday, February 15, 2016

Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-754-1294

Four independent idle-speed flood zones on the Santa Fe River and the removal of restrictions on two remote stretches of the lower Suwannee River have been approved, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.

On the Santa Fe, there are now four zones:

  • Zone 5: From the Santa Fe River at the River Rise in O’Leno State Park downstream to the center line of the U.S. 27 Bridge when the river is 35 feet or higher on the High Springs gauge.
  • Zone 6: From the centerline of the U.S. 27 Bridge downstream to ½ mile upstream from the S.R. 47 Bridge when the river is 24 feet or higher on the Fort White gauge.
  • Zone 7: From ½ mile upstream of the S.R. 47 Bridge, downstream to an unnamed island located at 29° 54.527’ N, 82° 46.074’ W when the river is 19.5 feet at the Three Rivers Estates gauge.
  • Zone 8: From the unnamed island located at 29° 54.527’ N, 82° 46.074’ W downstream to the confluence of the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers, to include the Ichetucknee River upstream to the U.S. 27 Bridge when the river is 17 feet or higher at the Three Rivers Estates gauge.

Suwannee River change:

For the Suwannee River, the change is in Zone 4, which extends from C.R. 340 downstream to Fowlers Bluff. Approximately 10 miles of remote, uninhabited stretches of the lower Suwannee River, normally a boating-restricted area activated during high-water events, have been deactivated. It is expected to improve the boating experience while maintaining safety in the area.

  • Zone 4: From the centerline of the C.R. 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff to approximately 300 feet southwest of the New Clay Landing Boat Ramp; from approximately 6,000 feet north of the Camp Azalea Boat Ramp to approximately 1,300 feet south of the Yellow Jacket Landing; and from approximately 2,000 feet northeast of the Fowler’s Bluff Boat Ramp to approximately 1 mile southwest of the Fowler’s Bluff Boat Ramp when the river level is 9 feet or higher on the Wilcox gauge.

The other three zones on the Suwannee River are:

  • Zone 1: From the U.S. 90 Bridge at Ellaville south to the S.R. 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 C.R. 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.

The purpose of the changes are to improve the boating experience while still maintaining the boating safety speed restrictions in the appropriate areas. The zone changes were adjusted based on hydrologic river diversity, the different types of flooding events, use density and congestion.

NEW-SANTA-FE-ZONESweb

NEW-SUWANNEE-ZONE-4web

Zones -1,-2,-&-3web



FWC Facts:
Boats less than 16 feet long must carry at least 3 visual distress signals approved for nighttime use whenever they are on coastal waters from sunset to sunrise.

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