Idle-speed, no-wake restrictions were activated today for Zone 5 on the Santa Fe River, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.
Zone 5 runs from the Santa Fe River at the River Rise in O’Leno State Park downstream to the centerline of the U.S. 27 Bridge when the river is 34.2 feet or higher on the High Springs gauge. Today, the gauge is at 34.28 feet.
“With the rainfall the area has been receiving recently, the river water levels have been steadily increasing,” said Capt. Clay Huff, area supervisor. “FWC officers will be patrolling this area of the river to ensure the idle-speed, no-wake zone is enforced. The higher water levels can create navigational hazards, such as floating debris, rocks, stumps and shoaling conditions, for unsuspecting boaters. We want everyone to be safe,” Huff said.
The zone will remain activated until the water level recedes below 34.2 feet.
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.
Other idle-speed, no-wake zones on the Santa Fe are:
- Zone 6: From the centerline of the U.S. 27 Bridge downstream to .5 mile upstream from the State Road 47 Bridge when the river is 23.25 feet or higher on the Fort White gauge.
- Zone 7: This zone runs from .5 mile upstream from the State Road 47 Bridge, downstream to an unnamed island at 29° 54.527’ N, 82° 46.074’ W. It becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Three Rivers gauge reaches 18.75 feet.
- Zone 8: Begins at an unnamed island at approximately 4.25 miles upstream from the confluence of the Santa Fe and Ichetucknee rivers (coordinates: 29° 54.527’ N, 82° 46.074’ W) and ends at the confluence of the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers. This includes the Ichetucknee River upstream to the U.S. 27 Bridge. This zone activates when the Three Rivers gauge reaches 16.25 feet.
The other idle-speed, no-wake zones are on the Suwannee River:
- 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 46.25 feet or more above mean sea level at the Ellaville gauge.
- 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 25.25 feet or more at the Branford gauge.
- Zone 3: Runs 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 23.25 feet at the Branford gauge.
- Zone 4: From the centerline of the C.R. 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff to approximately 300 feet southwest of the New Clay Landing Boat Ramp, from approximately 6,000 feet north of the Camp Azalea Boat Ramp to approximately 1,300 feet south of the Yellow Jacket Landing, and from approximately 2,000 feet northeast of the Fowler’s Bluff Boat Ramp to approximately 1 mile southwest of the Fowler’s Bluff Boat Ramp when the river level is 8.35 feet or higher on the Wilcox gauge.
For more information about the flood zones, call 386-758-0525. To report violations, call 888-404-3922.
To obtain real-time river level information, visit MySuwanneeRiver.com.