FWC restricts boating on Suwannee River's Zone 4
Friday, February 19, 2010
Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525
When Suwannee River floodwaters at Wilcox rose
above 9 feet Friday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) activated boating restrictions on Zone 4.
This section is from the County Road 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 as long as the
Suwannee is at 9 feet or more above mean sea level, as indicated on
the Wilcox gauge, where flood stage is 11 feet.
Boating restrictions on two other zones have
already been activated. Zone 5, a 32-mile segment from River Rise
in O'Leno State Park west to the confluence of the Suwannee River,
was activated Jan. 29, when the Santa Fe River reached 17 feet on
the Three Rivers gauge, where flood stage is 19 feet. That zone
remains in effect. Water in the Suwannee River rose to 24.05 feet
at Branford Monday, so Zone 3, from Little River Spring to the CR
340 Bridge at Rock Bluff, was activated. This 23-mile segment will
be an idle-speed, no-wake zone as long as the Suwannee River is at
24 feet or more, as indicated on the Branford gauge. It's also
still in effect.
"FWC officers are patrolling swollen rivers to
ensure boaters comply with the idle-speed, no-wake rule," said
Capt. Roy Brown, area supervisor at the FWC's Lake City office.
"The FWC encourages boaters to stay off the Suwannee-Santa Fe river
system until conditions improve."
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.
The Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers are divided into
five flood zones. The two remaining zones that aren't restricted
- 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
is at 47 feet or more above mean sea level, as indicated on the
Ellaville gauge, where flood stage is 54 feet.
- Zone 2 stretches 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 above mean sea level, as indicated on the Branford
gauge, where flood stage is 29 feet.
For more information about the flood zones, please
call 386-758-0525. To report violations, please call
To obtain real-time river level information, visit