FWC activates idle-speed, no-wake restrictions on Suwannee River’s Zone 1
The Suwannee River reached flood stage at Ellaville today, prompting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to activate idle-speed, no-wake restrictions for the area of the river from U.S. 90 in Ellaville south to State Road 51 in Luraville.
This 39-mile segment of the river becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River reaches 47 feet above mean sea level on the Ellaville gauge, where flood stage is 54 feet. The gauge is now at 48.31 feet.
Zone 8 was activated April 6. This zone begins at an unnamed island located 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.
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.
FWC officers will be patrolling this area of the river to ensure the idle-speed, no-wake rule is enforced, said Maj. Andy Krause, FWC regional commander.
The FWC is encouraging boaters to stay off the river system until conditions improve.
“Water levels on the Suwannee River can fluctuate rapidly, creating navigational hazards for unsuspecting boaters, such as floating debris, submerged rocks and stumps and new shoaling conditions. We want everyone to be safe,” Krause said.
The idle-speed, no-wake rule will stay in effect in this zone until the water level recedes below 47 feet.
The other zones on the Suwannee River are:
- 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 centerline of the C.R. 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff to approximately 300′ southwest of the New Clay Landing Boat Ramp, from approximately 6,000′ north of the Camp Azalea Boat Ramp to approximately 1,300′ south of the Yellow Jacket Landing, and from approximately 2,000′ 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 nine feet or higher on the Wilcox gauge.
The other zones on the Santa Fe are:
- 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 State Road 47 Bridge when the river is 24 feet or higher on the Fort White gauge.
- Zone 7: From ½ mile upstream from the State Road 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.
For more information about the flood zones, please call 386-758-0525. To report violations, please call 888-404-3922.