All idle-speed, no-wake zones now activated on Suwannee, Santa Fe rivers
All eight of the idle-speed, no-wake zones are now active, with four on the Suwannee River and another four on the Santa Fe, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.
On the Suwannee, the activated zones are:
- Zone 1 was activated Dec. 10 on the Suwannee and runs 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 46.25 feet or more above mean sea level at the Ellaville gauge. Today, the gauge was at 51.49 feet.
- Zone 2 runs from the State Road 51 Bridge at Luraville to Little River Spring. This 18-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River reaches 25.25 feet or more at the Branford gauge. Today, the gauge is at 26.14 feet.
- Zone 3 runs 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 23.25 feet at the Branford gauge. Today the gauge is at 26.14 feet.
- Zone 4 runs From the centerline of the County Road 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 one mile southwest of the Fowler’s Bluff Boat Ramp when the river level is 8.35 feet or higher on the Wilcox gauge. Today, the gauge was at 9.51 feet.
The active zones on the Santa Fe are:
- Zone 5 runs 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 34.2 feet or higher on the High Springs gauge. That gauge is reading 34.37 feet today.
- Zone 6 starts at the centerline of the U.S. 27 Bridge downstream to .5 mile upstream from the State Road 47 Bridge when the river is 23.25 feet or higher on the Fort White gauge. Today, that gauge was at 24.29.
- Zone 7 on the Santa Fe runs from .5 mile upstream from the State Road 47 Bridge, downstream to an unnamed island at 29° 54.527’ N, 82° 46.074’ W and becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Three Rivers gauge reaches 18.75 feet. This zone activated on Dec. 13. Today, the gauge was at 21.61 feet.
- Zone 8 was activated on Dec. 10. This zone begins at an unnamed island approximately 4.25 miles upstream from the confluence of the Santa Fe and Ichetucknee rivers (coordinates: 29° 54.527’ N, 82° 46.074’ W) and ends at the confluence of the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers. This includes the Ichetucknee River upstream to the U.S. 27 Bridge. This zone activates when the Three Rivers gauge reaches 16.25 feet. Today, the water level was 21.61 feet.
The zones will remain activated until the water level recedes below their activation points.
“With the amount of rainfall the area has been receiving recently, the river water levels have been steadily increasing,” said Capt. Clay Huff, area supervisor. “The higher water levels can create navigational hazards, such as floating debris, rocks, stumps and shoaling conditions for unsuspecting boaters. We want everyone to be safe.”
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.
To obtain real-time river level information, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com.
Photo: A dock at O’Leno State Park. FWC photo by Karen Parker