2006-02-01 and 2006-01-31 Starkys Creek

Participants were Julia Miner from Arapahoe, Dale Weston from Jacksonville and Elmer Eddy from Swansboro.

#1 is Julia navigating the sluice we made in the beaver dam by removing the sticks one a time like the beavers built it.
#2 is the jug for others who may need to get out of the river here.
#3 is Dale towing Julia’s Loon back upstream to the closest take out to my truck.
#4 is the newest of the two very large beaver lodges just downstream from the jug below another dam.

Now back to the morning of the last day in January and the purpose of this trip. It was to scout and explore
Starkys Creek to determine if a paddle trail is possible from our new Deppe Onslow County Park of 886.7 acres to The White Oak River. Estimated distance is about 6 and 1/2 miles.

It was misty and light rain alternating. I arrived at the Deppe Loop Road bridge early to go upstream and open up the large beaver dam to give us more water flow as we paddled downstream. About twenty pieces of rip-rap have been placed in the bottom of the creek just below the bridge in the very narrowest place in the entire creek between two small trees that our canoe just fit through.

We knew from our earlier upstream paddle that our boats would scrape on these basketball size rocks. The overnight rain had raised the New River from 3.70 feet to 4.80 feet. It also raised Starkys Creek so there was no need to open the dam. But, those rocks should be removed. We see no reason for them to be there.

The water was swift flowing and we made good progress down stream encountering several obstructing trees which we cut through or maneuvered under or around. This continued well past the Route 17 bridge. The fast flow abated and we knew we were approaching our first beaver dam.

The sun came out and we marvelled at how the beavers had completly taken over this creek and adapted it to fit their needs. In all we must have humped over or torn apart the tops of 25 dams.

The question now arises: What do we do about the beavers? Some say kill them all. Others are dead against this.
We say let’s leave them alone on this creek as we have all these many years. They have already done all the damage they can do. We probably can’t ever kill them all anyway.
So let’s share the river with them. They add a lot of interesting aspects to the scenic beauty of this creek. A leisurely paddle from the new park to the White Oak River or Belgrade-Swansboro Road will provide access to view their dams and lodges and lovely lakes they created. .
The two lodges close together are the biggest we have ever seen. The series of dams go on for miles twisting and turning and are absolutely amazing. The lakes they create are lovely. The Google Image shows the one very, very large lake.
These lakes not only support the beavers, they provide a home for lovely wood ducks and other ducks and we also saw a gaggle of Canada geese, huge deer, a wild turkey and a rabbit and squirrels and many more kinds of birds.
All this will provide a wonderful adjunct to our new park for our visitors to enjoy.
All JR Batchelor and his crew have to do is to the clear all obstructions from the main river bed channel and leave the beaver dams alone.
Paddlers can remove a few sticks from the top of the larger dams and do what Julia did in her very light Loon kayak.
It is very important to be sure to clear the main channel only. The next day, 2006-02-01, Dale and I found ourselves in the middle of a swamp off the main channel. We had to go back up over a dam to get into that very large lake and then we found the main channel again.
We arrived at our take out point, the bridge on Belgrade-Swanboro Road, at 3:00 PM as originally planned but 24 hours later!
We previously have paddled from here to The White Oak River. Yes, there is more of the same to enjoy. You can do this right away if you want to and take out at Haywood Landing with a minimum of obstructions to over come.
Paul Ferguson estimates the total trip to the White Oak River at 6.4 miles. Add another 3 & 1/2 miles to get to Haywood Landing. He reports the total drop in gradient is 36 feet. This accounts for the more rapid flow than most of our coastal rivers.
Conclusion: Yes, by all means open the entire lenght of Starkys Creek to paddling from our new Deppe County Park to The White Oak River and let us all enjoy and share the wonders of nature together with our industrious beaver friends. Elmer
The White Oak River Trashman, Stewards of The White Oak River Basin, http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/

The sun came out and we marveled at how the beavers had completely taken over this creek and adapted it to fit their needs. Wecould paddle along up on top next to the beaver and look down into the swamp below. It was fantastic.


2006-02-15 Bogue Sound from Goose Creek to Broad Creek

Subject: 2006-15-06, Goose Creek to Broad Creek 002.jpg, 2006-15-06, Goose Creek to Broad Creek 003.jpg, 2006-15-06, Goose Creek to Broad Creek 004.jpg, 2006-15-06, Goose Creek to Broad Creek 005.jpg, 2006-15-06, Goose Creek to Broad Creek 006.jpg, 20
The pictures, 002 to 007, tell the story of a very enjoyable paddle on a lovely day in February. Many large groups of shore birds were seen along the way. The construction pictures are at Cannonsgate Marina, the new subdivision where our Governor has bought a lot. The old bridge comes from no-where and goes to no-where now. It is off Sanders Creek. The white cottage with the red barn faces you as you enter Sanders Creek. It is impressive!

We ate lunch on a sandy beach in Bogue Sound across the ICW. Some of us tasted oysters we picked up on the way.

We reached our take-out a Osprey Oaks Marina on Broad Creek at 1:30. We went up Broad Creek to a point blocked by fallen red cedars. We paddled 1/2 hour upstream and saw herons, cormorants and an osprey and enjoyed an entirely different scenery from the Sound. There was hardly a lot without a house along the Sound.
We got into the wilds of Croatan Forest quickly as we paddled up Broad Creek.

We had the waters to ourselves. We encountered four other boats all day. Elmer

The participants were: Dale Weston from Jacksonville, NC, Tom Fineco and Cal Hansen from New Bern NC, Julia Miner from Arapahoe, NC, Jim Morris from Morehead City NC and Elmer Eddy from Swansboro, NC.

Elmer, The White Oak River TrashmanStewards of the White Oak River BasinPlease visit: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
Cell Phone 910-389-4588
‘If no one litters, there will be no litter”

Shore birds in flight
Cannonsgate Marina under construction
A bridge from nowhere to nowhere
A cottage by the sea


2006-02-08 Hadnot Creek

Subject: 2006-02-08, Hadnot Creek
Dale Weston of Jacksonville, Ed Gruca of Emerald Isle and Elmer Eddy of Swansboro met at the bridge on Old Church Road over Hadnot Creek at 9:30. The main purpose of this trip was to clear a way through blown down trees blocking the creek downstream so we would have a clear paddle trail to the White Oak River.
Ed Gruca took off by car to the White Oak River where he launched his kayak and paddled upstream to meet us. His car was to be our shuttle transportation back to Old Church Road.
Dale and I started upstream to scout the posssiblilty of extending a clear navigable trail upstream into Croatan Forest for about two miles. It became apparent that this needed to be a complete separate project in itself and we turned around and went downstream to be sure we could open a passageway to The White Oak River.
The blocked section was less than a mile. About the time we got through it Ed Druca showed up paddling up stream from the White Oak. Julia Miner of Arapahoe called and said she was at the bridge on Old Church Road as planned. We told her to launch her kayak and start downstream to join us.
We paddled back upstream to meet her and improved on our clearing as we did. It was not long before Julia came into view and we all turned around and started back down again clearing still more as we went.
Our mission accomplished we relaxed and had a very enjoyable paddle down to the White Oak River. On our way down we went past Pat Mathews house. She was out there on the dock to greet us. She had returned from California and plans to go back as soon as she sells her house. Pat and other members of the White Oak Bluff Homeowners Association are to be thanked for keeping Hadnot Creek litter free. Pat has also paddled with us on many other streams picking up all litter along the shores.
Except for the goat who came out on the whole length of a fallen tree to greet us all pictures are by Ed Gruca. A you can see we saw many domesticated animals on this trip . But we also saw great blue herons, an otter, an eagle, and a racoon.
One can now launch his canoe or kayak in Hadnot Creek on Old Church Road and paddle downstream to the White Oak River and from there continue on down to the Atlantic Ocean. As water levels change up or down more obstructions can appear but, we paddled it today without getting out of our boats. This is definetly a new paddle trail which can be paddled downstream all the way from Old Church Road to The White Oak River.
Thursday I drove into Croatan Forest to check out Hadnot Creek bridge 2 miles upstream from Old Church Road. An otter greeted me at the bridge on North Gulley Branch Road. There was plenty of good water here so this 2 miles can be cleared to make a fine wilderness canoe trail from here to the White Oak River.
How can we get this done? It will be a great asset to our National Croatan Forest and give the public and Craven County a new Canoe and Kayak Trail they can proudly advertize by Tourism Development Association. Elmer

Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman,Stewards of the White Oak River Basin,Please visit: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/ Cell Phone 910-389-4588-

These are the horses we saw as we paddled down stream We ate lunch here. —————————————————————————————————-

This is the goat that came out on that log and greeted us. He actually talked to us.

These are today’s paddlers. Dale Weston from Jacksonville, NC on the left, Julia Miner from Araphoe, NC next, Elmer Eddy from Swansboro, NC next and Ed Gruca from Emerald Isle, NC on the right

This is Hadnot Creek as seen from North Gulley Branch Road 2 miles up into Croatan National Forest from Old Church Road. Plenty of water here. An otter greeted us as we drove up. Hadnot Creek should be opened to paddling this additional two miles. All that is necessary to be done is to clear out the blown down trees blocking navigation. Who is going to help us do this? It will be a wonderful wilderness trail.

A pretty prancing filly who entertained us at lunch.