The Suwannee River dropped below 47 feet at Ellaville today, prompting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to deactivate 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.

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.

“In the five zones, idle-speed, no-wake restrictions are driven by Suwannee River Water Management District gauges situated within these segments,” said Capt. Martin Redmond, FWC area supervisor. “When the specific gauge reaches the identified water level, idle-speed, no-wake restrictions will be imposed. When water recedes below the specified level within a specific segment, the restrictions are lifted.”

The four other zones are:

  • Zone 2– from the S.R. 51 Bridge at Luraville to Little River Spring. This 18-mile segment will be an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River is at 26 feet or more above mean sea level as indicated on 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 23-mile segment, activated March 5, 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 4– from the C.R. 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 when the Suwannee River is at 9 feet, as indicated on the Wilcox gauge, where flood stage is 11 feet. This zone was activated March 11.
  • 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.

For more information about the flood zones, please call 386-758-0525. To report violations, please call 888-404-3922.

Logo courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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