On March 17, 2016, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission” <[email protected]> issued the following notification regarding river and flooding zones.New flood zones on Santa Fe, Suwannee to be posted
The new idle-speed, no-wake zones that activate during flooding on the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers will be posted this spring, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.
The work includes the replacement and relocation of several existing markers and installation of new markers posting the revised zones. The project is expected to begin late March and be completed by the end of April.
The new zone on the Suwannee eliminates unnecessary zones along approximately 10 miles of remote, uninhabited stretches of the river.
The affected section on the Suwannee River is Zone 4, which now is 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 one 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 remain unchanged. They 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.
Instead of regulating the entire river from River Rise to its confluence with the Suwannee as one zone, the Santa Fe is now divided into four zones. Each zone will activate and deactivate independently, which more accurately reflects the public safety needs during various high water events.
The four new zones on the Santa Fe are:
- Zone 5: From 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 (about 1.5 miles downstream of the Wilson’s spring boat ramp) 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.
The zones will be marked to reflect these changes.
In addition, the marker work will complement existing boating safety regulations adopted by the respective local governments that affect the waterway at the confluences of the Ichetucknee and Suwannee rivers with the Santa Fe River.
“This work will improve the boating experience in the area,” said Maj. Andy Krause, FWC regional commander.
Boaters are urged to use caution in the areas where marker construction is taking place.
For more information about the flood zones, call 386-758-0525. To report violations, call 888-404-3922.
To obtain real-time river levels, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com.