FWC lifts Santa Fe boating restrictions
Monday, March 29, 2010
Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525
Santa Fe River floodwaters at the Three Rivers
gauge fell below 17 feet, allowing regulators to deactivate boating
restrictions that have applied on the river since Jan. 29.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) lifted the idle-speed, no-wake restriction on Zone
5, which runs 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 as long as the Santa Fe River is at 17
feet, as indicated on the Three Rivers gauge, where flood stage is
"The Suwannee River Water Management District
verified the water level has fallen below the required 17 feet at
Three Rivers," said Capt. Roy Brown, area supervisor at the FWC's
Lake City office.
"There are now no active idle-speed, no-wake zones
on the river system," Brown said.
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.
The other four zones are:
- Zone 1. It runs 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. It 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 reaches 26 feet
or more above mean sea level at the Branford gauge, where flood
stage is 29 feet.
- Zone 3. It 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 at the Branford gauge.
- Zone 4. It 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 when the
Suwannee River reaches 9 feet or more at the Wilcox gauge, where
flood stage is 11 feet.
To obtain real-time river level information, visit