FWC lifts restrictions on Suwannee River's Zone 3
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525
When Suwannee River floodwaters at Branford fell
below 24 feet, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) deactivated boating restrictions in Zone 3.
Zone 3 runs from Little River Spring to the County
Road 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 above mean sea level at the Branford gauge.
The FWC activated restrictions in this zone Feb.
"This morning, we verified with the Suwannee River
Water Management District that the water level there has fallen
below the required 24 feet at Branford," said Capt. Roy Brown, area
supervisor at the FWC's Lake City office.
"Zones 4 and 5 are still idle-speed, no-wake,"
Brown said, "and we still have officers patrolling that area to
enforce the boating restrictions."
Zone 4 runs from the C.R. 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff
to one mile below the Fowler Bluff boat ramp. Zone 5 is a 32-mile
segment, extending from River Rise in O'Leno State Park west to the
confluence of the Suwannee River. The FWC activated the zone on
Jan. 29, when the Santa Fe River reached 17 feet on the Three
Rivers gauge, where flood stage is 19 feet.
"The water levels on both rivers are going down
slowly," Brown said. "But it may take a while longer before we can
deactivate these zones."
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 other three 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 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
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