Croatan Marshes Paddle Trail on TheWhite Oak River

This write-up is courtesy of Ed Gruca.

Croatan Forest Marshes and the Dubling Creek

June 16, 2006

Osprey nest

We launched our boats at 11:00 AM from the boat ramp at the Cedar Point Wildlife Ramp in the Croatan Forest on the White Oak River. The stated high tide at Bogue Inlet was 12:00 noon and this provided enough water to easily paddle this marsh trail. We knew there was enough water as soon as we approached the first bridge on the nature trail.
Martha Ahlquist, reporter for the Tideland News, and her father, Bill, were off on their first novice paddle in a brand new red canoe. They had a good lesson in mastering steering the canoe through the narrow, twisting marsh channels.
The weather was perfect. Not too warm and with a slight breeze and no bugs.
We paddled through the marsh to Pettiford Bay and back on the White Oak past Jones Island with a view of Swansboro in the home stretch. It was only 3.8 miles and a good introduction to paddling eastern North Carolina style.
See Martha’s article as it appeared the June 21, 2006
Tideland News

One of the straight stretches in the marsh.




2006-05-12-Southwest Creek

2006-05-12-Southwest Creek-flea beetle 001.jpg, 2006-05-12-Southwest Creek-flea beetle 002.jpg, 2006-05-12-Southwest Creek-flea beetle 003.jpg, 2006-05-12-Southwest Creek-flea beetle 004.jpg, 2006-05-12-Southwest Creek-flea beetle 005.jpg, 2006-

Dear Commissioners and all:

RE: Dispersal of Flea Beetles to control the growth of the noxious alligator weed.

These pictures will take you with us down Southwest Creek from Haws Run to Route 17. We put in at 10:52 and reached Rte. 17 at 4:30.

Ken Court had four bags and I had five bags of the beetles. Ken took the left and I took the right side of the river. We put out a few beetles wherever we observed the presence of alligator weed. Future trips will have to be made to observe and report the success of this effort.

Dr. Diana Rashash wrote as follows: “The section of Southwest Creek between Hwy 53 and Haws Run Rd. is absolutely beautiful….and full of blowdowns! Melissa and I got quite a workout today. Let me know if your group plans to attack it with chain saws. A couple of the trees were covered with poison ivy, but I’d be willing to help with the rest! There were also a lot of bottles. I removed all the glass ones that I saw.”

Jim Crownover, a visitor from Pennsylvania paddled a scouting trip with Dale Weston and I from 53 to 17 on the 10th. He said he would never do it again.

Commissioners, it is essential and imperative that these trees blocking all our streams be removed. Your Boards saw the importance of this in 2,000, 2001 and 2002. JR Batcheor did this then. We had some of the best paddling we ever had when we could paddle where he had cleared.

Ophelia and Isabel have made it necessary it be done again.

Please do what ever is necessary to get these fallen trees removed on every creek in Onslow County.


2006-05-04, White Oak River from the Quarry Lakes to Haywood Landing

White Oak River Paddle: Quarry Lakes to Haywood Landing


Just click on the above. This is our report of this most enjoyable paddle. If you can’t do it yourself we hope this presentation will enable you to enjoy it with us. Ed Gruca took all the pictures and prepared this presentation. Thank you Ed. You did an excellent job.

For next week the following is from Brian Wheat. If you wish to help please let them know. Elmer

“On Friday May 12th MCAS New River, North Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Onslow County and the City of Jacksonville will be disbursing alligator weed flea beetles on Southwest Creek in a cooperative effort to reduce the growth of alligator weed in this waterway and help is needed.

There is a very real need for folks able to paddle a canoe or kayak (MCAS New River will provided boats to those who need them) and maybe do a bit of portaging. We need two groups on Friday with one group checking in at the MCAS New River marina at 8 AM and the second group checking in the parking lot of the Onslow County Multipurpose Complex (Cooperative Extension/Senior Citizens) at 9 AM. Individuals should bring a cooler with some ice (this will be used to transport the beetles), drinking water and a lunch.

Those interested in working from the air station should contact Bianca Klein 449-4293 or via email ( no later than Monday afternoon or at

(910) 381-6613 after Monday.

Those interested in working with the group meeting at the County Multipurpose Complex should contact Dale Weston at 459-2977 or via email at

Both groups will be paddling on Southwest Creek; just starting from different locations

Your help in this effort will go a long way toward reducing the growth of alligator weed in our waters.

Thank you in advance,

Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
101 River Reach Drive West, Swansboro, NC. 28584


2006-04-29 Swansboro Harbor Clean Up

We took students of Swansboro High School over to Sharks Tooth Island to clean up this island for our visiting tourists who are attracted to it for picnics and swimming because of the nice sandy beaches.

The students also received credits toward scholarship funds for participating. .

We had a very successful clean up as far as it went. We could only cover the first few hundered feet of Sharks Tooth Island because the trash was so thick and heavy.

We hope some other groups will get together and clean up the rest. Its a shame for us to have this trash where our tourists want to swim or picnic. It makes a mockery out of our advertising clean waters and beaches to get them here!

The students did an excellent job as you can see from the pictures. I apologize for not writing down their names for this article. They will have their names at school in the Guidance Dept. .

Stewards coming to help out were Tom Delaroderie of Morehead City, Joanne Somerday of Kinston, and Wil Stanley of Hubert and Jennifer Lisowski of Swansboro who is a teacher at the school.

2006-04-29, Swansboro Harbor Clean UP 002.jpg –getting ready to go,
2006-04-29, Swansboro Harbor Clean UP 003.jpg — ” ” ” “, Tom on the left, Joanne on the right
2006-04-29, Swansboro Harbor Clean UP 004.jpg — ” ” ” “, Tom on the left, Elmer on the right
2006-04-29, Swansboro Harbor Clean UP 005.jpg –snack time on a cleaned beach
2006-04-29, Swansboro Harbor Clean UP 006.jpg –one pile of trash on the beach
2006-04-29, Swansboro Harbor Clean UP 007.jpg –Jennifer and Jessica and John Eddy at the boat and Wil & Tom in the rear
2006-04-29, Swansboro Harbor Clean UP 009.jpg –the litter and trash piled up on the lawn in front of the High School.

We hope this pile of trash, displayed in this manner, will graphically depict just what litterers are doing to our waters and beaches and access points at bridges and shore lines and roads.We hope this will motivate the general public to simply stop littering!

“If no one litters, there will be no litter.” This will not only give us clean waters and roads but will save our State millions and free up those who do pick up the stuff to do other more constructive and valuable accomplishments. Volunteers time is valuable too!

Ted Simpson of Towboat USA and his wife, Jane, picked up a boat load of trash from the island and transported and unloaded it at the Wildlife Ramp. Jane is in the Administratve Dept. at the school and helped us organize this clean up.

John Eddy provided the snacks and cold drinks and also took a boat load of trash to the ramp. His sons, Jack and Sam helped Elmer load the trash into his truck and take it to the school. It took two trips.

We thank all the above for making this a very successful trash pick up and we thank Lamar Hudgens of Barrier Island Kayaks for supplying the extra kayaks we needed to get the students over to the island.

This week, Thursday, May 4th, we will meet at 9:00 at Gibson Bridge and do from Enmmets Lane to Gibson on The White Oak River. We will check out the large blue heron rookery and the egret rookery we saw last time. Elmer

Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
101 River Reach Drive West, Swansboro, NC. 28584
910-389-4588 e-mail:
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