FWC activates idle-speed, no-wake zone on Santa Fe River
Friday, January 29, 2010
Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525
A 32-mile segment of the Santa Fe River is now an
idle-speed, no-wake zone, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.
The FWC applied the boating restrictions to Zone 5,
which runs from River Rise in O'Leno State Park, west to the
confluence of the Suwannee River, because of rising water
This area of the river becomes an idle-speed,
no-wake zone when the Santa Fe River reaches 17 feet above mean sea
level at the Three Rivers gauge, where flood stage is 19 feet.
"The Santa Fe reached that level today," said Capt.
Roy Brown, area supervisor at the FWC's Lake City office.
An idle-speed, no-wake zone means a vessel must
proceed at a speed no greater than 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
FWC officers will patrol this area of the river to
ensure the idle-speed, no-wake zone is enforced, Brown said.
"Water levels on the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers
can fluctuate rapidly, creating for unsuspecting boaters
navigational hazards, such as floating debris, submerged rocks and
stumps and new shoaling conditions. We want everyone to be safe,"
The idle-speed, no-wake zone stays in effect until
the water level recedes below 17 feet.
The other four zones 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
- 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 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 reaches
9 feet or more above mean sea level at the Wilcox gauge, where
flood stage is 11 feet.
To obtain real-time river level information, visit