FWC lifts Santa Fe boating restrictions

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Santa Fe River floodwaters at the Three Rivers gauge have fallen below 17 feet, allowing for the deactivation of boating restrictions that have been in effect on the river since July 12.

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 19 feet.

“The Suwannee River Water Management District verified the water level has fallen below the required 17 feet at Three Rivers,” said Capt. Martin Redmond, area supervisor at the FWC’s Lake City office.

“There are now no active idle-speed, no-wake zones on the river system, but we would request that boaters be aware that there is still quite a bit of debris on the rivers,” Redmond 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.