News Releases

FWC restricts boating on Suwannee’s flooded Zone 2

News Release

Friday, April 18, 2014

Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525

Flood waters in theSuwanneeRiverrose to more than 26 feet above mean sea level at Branford, so the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) activated boating restrictions on a portion of the river. All five zones on the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers are now active.

The area, Zone 2, stretches from the State Road 51 Bridge at Luraville to Little River Spring. This 18-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when theSuwanneeRiveris at 26 feet or more above mean sea level, as indicated on the Branford gauge, where flood stage is 29 feet.

FWC officers will be patrolling the rivers to ensure boaters comply with the idle-speed, no-wake rule, said Maj. Andy Krause, regional commander at the FWC’s Lake City office. The FWC encourages boaters to stay off the 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.

There are five flood zones on the Suwannee and the Santa Fe rivers. The other four zones are:

  • Zone 1 – from the U.S. 90 Bridge at Ellaville south to the S.R. 51 Bridge at Luraville. This 39-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River is at 47 feet, as indicated on the Ellaville gauge, where flood stage is 54 feet. The restrictions in this zone went into effect April 15.
  • Zone 3 – from Little River Spring to the County Road 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff, was activated April 12. This 23-mile segment is an idle-speed, no-wake zone as long as the Suwannee River is at 24 feet or more, as indicated on the Branford gauge.
  • Zone 4 – from the C.R. 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff to 1mile below the Fowler Bluff Boat Ramp. This 51-mile segment will be an idle-speed, no wake-zone when the Suwannee River is at 9 feet, as indicated on the Wilcox gauge, where flood stage is 11 feet. This zone was activated April 12.
  • Zone 5 – 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 when the Santa Fe River is at 17 feet, as indicated on the Three Rivers gauge, where flood stage is 19 feet. This zone was activated March 19.

For more information about the flood zones, please call 386-758-0525. To report violations, please call 888-404-3922.

To obtain real-time river level information, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com.



FWC Facts:
Seagrasses are the principal food for endangered manatees and green sea turtles, help purify the water, and provide a suitable environment for a wide variety of marine life.

Learn More at AskFWC