When Suwannee River floodwaters at Wilcox fell below 9 feet Saturday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) deactivated boating restrictions in Zone 4.
Zone 4 is the section from the County Road 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff to one mile below the Fowler Bluff boat ramp. This 51-mile segment falls under the boating restrictions as long as the Suwannee is at 9 feet or more at the Wilcox gauge, where flood stage is 11 feet.
The FWC activated restrictions in this zone March 11.
“We verified with the Suwannee River Water Management District that the water level has fallen below the required 9 feet at Wilcox,” said Capt. Martin Redmond, area supervisor at the FWC’s Lake City office.
“Zone 5 on the Santa Fe River is still idle-speed, no-wake,” Redmond said, “and we still have officers patrolling that area to enforce the zone.”
Zone 5, a 32-mile segment from River Rise in O’Leno State Park west to the confluence of the Suwannee River, was activated March 3, when the Santa Fe River reached 17 feet on the Three Rivers gauge, where flood stage is 19 feet. Restrictions in that zone remain in effect.
An idle-speed, no-wake restriction means a vessel must proceed at a speed no greater than what is required to maintain steerageway and headway in that river zone. 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.
The Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers are divided into five flood zones.
- Zone 1is 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 is at 47 feet or more, as indicated on the Ellaville gauge, where flood stage is 54 feet. This zone was deactivated March 12.
- Zone 2stretches 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 is at 26 feet or more at the Branford gauge, where flood stage is 29 feet. This zone was deactivated March 13.
- Zone 3runs from Little River Spring to the C.R. 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff. This 23-mile segment is an idle-speed, no-wake zone as long as the Suwannee River is at 24 feet or more at the Branford gauge. The FWC deactivated this zone March 15.
- Zones 4 and 5are described above.
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