Everglades Exploration Network

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xrepository/sfwmd_repository_pdf/ops_update_2016_0215.pdf

 

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/environment/corps-of-engineers-approves-request-to-divert-lake-okeechobee-water-south-to-the-everglades-2bd4af1d-368882091.html

 

The stage in WCA-3 is at record levels. So much so that the Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District have agreed to move water into the Shark River Slough without regard to water quality and control elevation concerns. Approximately 2500 CFS (1,122,000 GPM) is currently flowing from WCA-3 via S12C and S12D into the Slough where the tailwater stage is about 10.7 feet NGVD. The closest station downstream of S12C and S12D (NP-201) is currently at 8.6 feet NGVD and rising. I’ve checked the historical record for this station, and the highest stage recorded here in the past 10 years is about 9.3 feet NGVD, which occurred in October 2008. Given the high probability that discharges will continue, it seems that a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the Slough at wet season water levels with dry season temperatures is occurring right now.

Where is the best place to launch from Tamiami Trail? Based on the aerials there is thick vegetation, probably willows, along the southern burrow canal between S12C and S12D, that looks impenetrable with a 17-foot Grumman canoe. Additionally, it looks like there is better or easier entry into the Slough from L-67 about a mile south of S333. Has anyone ground-truthed or verified this point of entry?

Cheers!

Joe

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I hope everybody has been going down the slough this season, I don't remember any better opportunity.

Entering the slough is well documented on this website, look for 'Shark Slough'.

The whole issue of paddling the slough is to get to Main Street is quick as possible, once you are

on Main Street it's just straight paddling to Bottle Creek.    Main Street / Bottle Creek intersection

to Canepatch can be paddled after sunset.  Main Street starts at the ramp at Shark Tower but there's

an airboat trail that runs east and north to NP202 Hammock, that is the closest you can get to the

airboat trail.  NP202 is the frontdoor.   NP202 is close to L-67 but you are on your own to get there.

To get there start in L-67 and go down the canal before dawn, plan it so you get to Cattail Route at dawn.

In these conditions and with no mistakes it should only take about an hour to paddle to NP202, the airboat

trails are clear on GE the rest of the way.   You can also break out of L-67 up close to Tamiami and take

High Route but you need daylight to negotiate the spike rush channels, which means you are getting into

the grass at a later time....time you need to get to Bottle Creek.   The closest connection to NP202 from

L-67 is Outlaw Route but that's a difficult route, this high water might make it better but I'd still shy away.

Do not go to the end of L-67.

My son and I did it in a 17 Grumman and got to Canepatch about an hour after dark, 34 miles.

You can easily paddle one day trips out and back to NP202, not bad practice for first time slough

paddlers.   Pack a picnic basket and do a one day survey before the through trip.   Again, the 'big deal'

to paddling the slough is getting to NP202, it's brainless once you get on the airboat trails.

If you can't find the maps on this website I can put them up again.

Awesome, thanks for the insight. I was able to find details for the Cattail Route from a previous thread.

The shortest route out of the backcountry from Canepatch is via Whitewater Bay, but when considering the time spent shuffling vehicles and negotiating Miami-Dade traffic it seems that any savings in effort/time you earn paddling (about 5 - 6 miles less) to Coot Bay would be squandered. Is it possible to obtain a permit for Canepatch in EC? I think spending 2 or 3 nights at Canepatch and retracing the route back to Tamiami Trail would be ideal. Any thoughts?       

You can pull permits for any back country campsite from either ranger station. Broad river is the dividing line. EC calls Flamingo for any campsites south of Broad river, and Flamingo calls EC for campsites North.

Did you find the KMZ for NP202 and L-67?   I know the image is on this site but let me know if you

can't find the KMZ, I'll send it to you.   The KMW has detail down to the individual spike rush channels.

With this water level only amateurs would use tourist crowded Coot Bay Pond, as a portal for the WW.

Roberts River Chickee is only 4 hours of casual paddling from Mahogany Hammock.

How about this?   No need for permits, one-day, NP202 down Shark Slough and come out at Pahayokee.

Definitely do-able, already proven.

A round trip that I haven't heard of anyone doing yet would be to go down Shark Slough to Canepatch, take the

off-the-brochure routes to either Hells Bay Trail or Noble Hammock Trail then jump over the highway and take the

off-the-brochure route up to Nine Mile Pond.   From there Craigheads Pond Trail over to Taylor Slough go up

Taylor Slough to the canal take the canal north to Tamiami Canal then Tamiami Canal west to your car at the L-67

parking lot.   Just to pick up the first-to-do-trophy,  plan the trip to spend a night at Ernest Coe Campsite

along Taylor Slough....right now plenty of water to find your way over there.

The closest I've heard of doing this was when the Slough King started the Wilderness Waterway through trip at

Royal Palm Hammock and came down Taylor Slough....very unique way to start the WW.   From Royal Palm

Hammock to Lane Bay Chickee in one day!  That same trip he took, of course, the Lost Portage. 

We've been planning probes to locate Smugglers Run - from somewhere around Willy-Willy to Coconut Hammock.

When Smugglers Run is mapped it will provide a semi-loop down Shark Slough and up Lostmans Slough

coming out at Mitchells Landing.   However, this one is yet to be documented, a jewel of a 

route waiting to be discovered.



Joseph Schmidt said:

Awesome, thanks for the insight. I was able to find details for the Cattail Route from a previous thread.

The shortest route out of the backcountry from Canepatch is via Whitewater Bay, but when considering the time spent shuffling vehicles and negotiating Miami-Dade traffic it seems that any savings in effort/time you earn paddling (about 5 - 6 miles less) to Coot Bay would be squandered. Is it possible to obtain a permit for Canepatch in EC? I think spending 2 or 3 nights at Canepatch and retracing the route back to Tamiami Trail would be ideal. Any thoughts?       

Terry,

I did not find the KMZ file. I just copied coordinates from the image showing the three routes from L-67.

Wow, there is a lot of excellent backcountry hype here. If I had a week to spend out there this super loop would be epic. Connecting SSU4 with the WW would be great. It is unfortunate that Little Maderia Bay is closed because it seems there is a very real path from Taylor Slough to Florida Bay via the Taylor River. I have also considered putting an inflatable SUP on my back and exploring during the dry season with some home-made cross-country slough skis or slough shoes.

Please send me any off-the-brochure details you have for those routes.

I took the family and went on a day long "recon" trip in Shark Slough last Saturday. Water was 6.75 feet NAVD at NP-202, and it took us about 3 hours to get there from the start of the L-67 Extension via "Cattail Route". Water will continue flowing from WCA-3 into ENP for the time being, and the stage should hold a little while longer before ET really picks up in the next month or two.

FYI, this is a great site for monitoring operations for the C&SF System: 

http://fla-inc.com/readings/wca

Attachments:

Sorry I didn't get back, attached is the KMZ for the start of Shark Slough.

Photo_2 is the perfect slough paddling - find and connect the sparse spike rush channels.

Glad you made it to NP202 Hammock, did you find the water station in the tall cattails?

From there down to Bottle Creek is all marked airboat trail.

Attachments:

Yes, and the structure is in need of repairs. Most of the wood has been eaten up by carpenter ants.

The path out of the canal was much more worn and defined than I expected. Besides the several hard turns it was relatively easy to navigate. I charted a great route thereafter, and we only pushed across the sawgrass ridges in a few places for short distances.

Thanks again.   

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