Stella area roads and rivers, Saturday, March 12, 2005, Clean UP

This is a f irst! All local residents have been alerted and asked to join us. Everybody else, please help too!
This has been published in The Daily News, The Tideland News, The Carteret News-Times and The Jones Post.

We need everyone to participate to make The White Oak River the cleanest in the State. What is discarded on the roads is washed into the rivers.

North Carolina Coastal Federation has graciously notified all recipients by US MAIL in The Stella PO District.

The plan is we will clean up all roads in the morning from 9:00 to 12:00. We will meet at Boondocks on the White Oak River at Stella. This is also next door to the Post Office. We will have bags, pick up sticks, gloves and orange safety vests for you provided by NCDOT.

We will ask all to volunteers to sign up with NCDOT in their Adopt-A-Highway Program to keep the roads clean in the future. Remember; “If no one litters, there will be no litter”. That is our goal.

We will picnic at 12:00. Courtesy of Scott Grafton of Boondocks. Bring your own food and drinks please.
Weather prediction is sunny, 51 degrees.

In the afternoon, about 1:00 we will launch our canoes and kayaks and clean up Webb Creek and the White Oak River. Motor boats are welcome too and can take the trash from the kayakers. Canoes and kayaks can launch from Boondocks but there is no ramp for trailer launching here. You will have to come up from down river or down river from Haywood Landing.

The Izaak Walton League, White Oak River Chapter, is the main sponsor of this event joined by Stewards of The Whte Oak River Basin and The Young Marines of Swansboro. We also have members of The New River Foundaton coming up from Jacksonville to join us. Keep Onslow Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful are also participating and have furnished anti litter material. All fishermen and hunters are invited also. Come one, come all, if you love the White Oak River.

Please, everyone, come and join us and help us make the White Oak River watershed trash free and beautiful as Mother Nature has made it.

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Cypress Drain, Northwest Prong, Newport River, March 1,2005

The Carteret County Commissioners participated in and obtained a Grant to remove blown down trees laying across these sections of the Newport River along with the Newport River it self and the Southwest Prong. We thank them no end for this as it has opened two wonderful new canoe trails for us to paddle. (See our web site for report on the Southwest Prong.) We need more rivers opened like this.

A lady we met on Lake Road joked, “I now have waterfront property!”. We speculated the value has skyrocketed!.

On February 22nd we put-in at the bridge over Cypress Drain on Lake Road. The water level was 56 inches below the bottom of the concrete bridge. On this paddle we found out that this water level was too low for a clear, free paddle. We bottomed out on sand bars and cypress knees.

We returned on March 1, to paddle it again after a good rain which raised the water levet to 50 inches below the bridge. We are pleased to report a clear, free paddle with no bottoming out at this level. We recommend 50 inches below the bridge as the minimum water level to paddle here.

It is a delightful creek to paddle. It twists and turns through heavily forested land with extra large trees. One feels the sensation of being in a wilderness. The rapid flow of water produces near rapids in places. Wild ducks continually flew up in front of us.

There is a low bridge, apparently made by hunters, just below the confluence of Cypress Drain and Northwest Prong. It is an easy carry over. Another foot of water and this bridge will not be an obstruction.

From the Lake Road Bridge to the Nine Foot Road Bridge was a one hour paddle. We went on to the confluence with the Southwest Prong in 15 minutes and paddled back upstream to Nine Foot Road where our shuttle car was in 15 minutes.
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One could paddle up the other branch, Southwest Prong, and take out at Nine Mile Road Bridge if they left their shuttle vehicle there. This would require climbing over two beaver dams which is not difficult. Usually one would paddle down to the Wildlife Ramp in Newport.

The first picture is of Tom Fineco of New Bern beside of a huge stump whose tree blocked the river. The second is of Joanne Somerday of Kinston and Dale Weston of Jacksonville paddling on a beautiful section of the river in the forests which line the river all the way. Pictures are courtesy of Bob Welden of Morehead City who sat up front in a canoe with Elmer Eddy of Swansboro so he could get good pictures.

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