2008-01-30 Trent River north of Trenton

There were 11 of us that showed up today to observe the Trent River where it has been cleared of fallen trees in accordance with the Grant Jones County Commissioners have obtained to make this lovely river navigable and usable again.

This is the group that put-in at the Thomas Waller farm. This is a very steep natural access.
That is Ronnie Dale on the left who escorted us and Joanne Somerday of New Bern and Ken Court of Jacksonville and Jim Niedermeyer of Hubert and John Clecker of New bern.

This is view going down the river showing the very
high banks and the open woods.

That is Joanne taking our picture as we came down stream.
In back of her is one the the fallen trees cut off to open passage.


2007-01-22 Trent River, from Rte 58 to Wilcox Bridge on Middle Road

This is the group who met at the Jones County Offices on Rte 58 north of Trenton. L/R, Joanne Somerday from New Bern, Julia Miner from Arapahoe, Jim Neidermeyer from Hubert, Jim Dunn from Maple Hill, Scott Brown from Morehead City and Dale Weston from Jacksonville.

These are part of the men with J & J Construction &

Environmental LLC who we ran into at the Rte 58 bridge

and who helped us launch our boats on the steep banks.

They are the folks who opened up the river to navigation
and made this trip possible.
That is Jim Dunn on the left, Dale Weston is taking the picture and Jim Niedermeyer is looking for me to come and get in the canoe which one of the gentlemen clearing the river of blown down trees is holding for us for a safe launch. We all are very much indebted to them for assisting us to get off to a safe start. It is not an easy access due to the high steep banks, but well worth it.

That is beautiful heavy, thick green moss. The picture does not do it justice.

Yes, those are icicles. We have never seen any thing like this before.

A beaver dam along a side creek.
More icicles, and look at the precipitous high banks.

Who lives there?

One of the trees they removed.

We questioned why they left this one. At
higher water levels it could be a problem.
Fascinating, isn’t it? The icicles are formed by water dripping out of the beautiful, heavy green moss over hanging the rock ledges.

A closer view. This river is full of surprises around every bend and it is always bending and twisting
and turning. The trip was 5.5 miles long but as the crow flies only 2 miles.

Joanne getting a closer look. Joanne and Terri Rich are having their christening’s of their homemade kayaks January 26 in New Bern.
Julia going by some more.

How do you like this for a shore line? It is fascinating!

And this too.

Another shot further down the river. Something different around every bend. We even saw a deer.

The above pictures by Dale Weston and Elmer Eddy and arranged by Ed Gruca.

It was 65 degrees and sunny when we reached Wilcox Bridge on Middle Road. This is one of the best paddles we ever had.
Thanks to Jones County for making it possible.

Next Wednesday, the 30th, we will meet again at 9:30 at The Jones County offices on Rte 58 North of Trenton and paddle the next section down stream from Wilcox Bridge. Join us if you can. All are welcome.

The trash we picked up on this trip was about one third of what we encountered on the 7 miles below Trenton. It should be zero!
Please do not litter!

Reserve February 5 for Southwest Creek in Jacksonville. More later. Elmer

Elmer Eddy
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:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”

2008-01-15 Trent River

2008-01-15 Trent River Trenton to Quaker Neck Country Club

Trent river guage at Trenton 3.15 feet and falling.This is very low and the river at the put in has almost no perceptible flow. You may be fooled and paddle to the right in the direction of the sun, since the paddle trail is ESE but you will soon realize after a mile or so that you have paddled to Trenton. Our wonderful Joanne Somerday,(aka Swifty) did just this.

While we were messing around like the above, Swifty put her boat in the water and headed back up
stream to Trenton. She became a real wrong way Carrigan! Tom Fineco had to paddle after her.

The high banks were beautiful even in winter.

Elmer, rear, and Jim Niedermeyer up front.
Some of the Jones County folks who came upstream to check on our progress after only 3 miles.

They are Larry Meadows up front and Steve Ward in the rear.

Elmer and Jim again.
Example of river cleaning below.

This shows the 15 foot clearance the Grant specifies. We all feel it would be best to cut all the way to the bank without disturbing the bank in any way. As the water rises and falls what is left here can become a hazard. Also the 15 foot clearance can become obstructed by floating debris of all lenghts which will quickly close up these narrow openings and become a major obstruction to navigation. Larry Meadows indicated that maintenance provision may be included in the Grant. We hope so as even thunderstorms bring down trees and block the river. Waterways need maintenance just like highways.
Hugh Passingham up front and Dale Weston in the rear, below.

Lunch Stop.

Another example of river cleaning.
And another.
Beavers do eat red cedar.

Joanne. She captured a hen and a duck later. What a hunter!

Lovely palmettos along the way.
Below: A beaver dam near the golf course. Even in the severe drought, these beavers has managed to retain water behind the dam.

We suggested to Larry that Jones County install signs on each bridge. Some people are trashing this lovely river at the bridges. The fines for this illegal littering are severe. The judge usually assigns litterers to 100 hours of community service picking up litter. We must stop this illegal littering at the source. Please, everybody, do what the letters on the canoe says. The total picked up by the 11 of us today filled Steve Ward’s pick-up truck. That is Jim Morris of Morehad City on the left , Steve Ward and Larry Meadows on the right.

Today’s participants were: Brian Wheat, our New River Keeper from Jacksonville, Dale Weston and Hugh Passingham from Jacksonville, Jim Dunn from Mapleville, Tom Fineco and Joanne Somerday from New Bern, Jim Morris and Scott Brown from Morehead City, Jim Neidermeyer from Hubert and Elmer Eddy from Swansboro.

Larry Meadows asked us to make this paddle to review the removal of obstructions to navigation. We are pleased to report that The Trent River is now navigable from the Wildife Ramp in Trenton to our take out at the Quaker Neck Country Club Ramp. We had clear sailing! We had an excellent paddle which all can now enjoy.

We thank Jones County for making this possible and look forward to paddling each section as it is cleared by the professionals working in accordance with the Grant.

The water level gauge at Chinquapin Bridge and two aborted trips of our own and Larry Meadows own observations and the reports of the men clearing the river all indicate we need a long soaking rain for the riv
er to become navigable. But, this is an excellent time for the men removing the fallen trees to do their work.

We Stewards of The White Oak River Basin always pick up all litter as we paddle. So this section of the Trent is free of all litter for all to enjoy as well as being navigable again. These paddlers today also are members of Twin Rivers Paddle Club, Crystal Coast Canoe and Kayak Club, Coastal Carolina Kayakers, Carolina Canoe Club and The New River Foundation.

Missing from all these wonderful pictures is Ed Gruca, our photographer, from Richmond and Emerald Isle, who took them. He usually also gets the whole group together sets lhis canera ad then runs around to get in them. This what we should have done at the Country Club.

Please call on us again Larry when the next Section of the Trent is opened to paddling and Mother Nature has provided ample water for and we will come a paddling. Thanks, Elmer

We will be paddling the next section up stream on Tuesday, January 22nd. Come join us. We meet at the Jones County Offices on Rte 58 north in Trenton.

Elmer Eddy
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:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”


2007-01-08 Blue Creek Jacksonville,NC

Our plan was to paddle to the 24/258 bridge over
Blue Creek. We were unable to get there!

This was due to the low water level in Blue Creek, due to the drought.
There was very little if any flow to the river itself. We will need
substantial rain fall before we can paddle the upper reaches of all our
lovely creeks. Our lack of hurricanes this year has had its downsides
but I guess we can live with it if we do get some very good springs rains.

We saw evidence of cuttings of fallen trees. This allowed us to get to
the point of no water flow. We thank Onslow County for obtaining the
Grant Money to make this possible. We understand this cutting has been
done far upstream and we look forward to paddling it when Mother Nature
gives us the water to do so.

The trip plans called for going up Little Creek and circling around
the lakes of the old water treatment plants of Jacksonville and coming
back to the New River along Maple Street. Low water prevented this
also. But, the alligator weed is gone!. But now we know we have to have
high water to make this paddle. It wasn’t just the alligator weed that
stopped us last time. Winter weather killed the alligator weed! Let’s
hope is stays dead!

We headed home to the Marina Cafe Ramp a whole hour early. Brian Wheat
loaded our trash in his pick-up truck. Thanks Brian! The trash was
surprisingly light. The usual cans and bottles occasionally and plastic
bags. The big items were a trash can, 3 five gallon buckets, a cooler
and one tire. Lance Goodrum loaded the tire on his kayak and then
unloaded it into our canoe We had to pass up another tire just short of
starting out. Could not lift it into our canoe.

We all had a great and most unusual day on our waters. It was
obviously enjoyed by all. Many thousands more could and would enjoy them
if the City of Jacksonville and The County of Onslow and
Camp Lejeune would designate and mark Canoe Trails. They exist. They are
provided my nature. They are there. Let’s make them usable and bring in
tourist dollars in doing so.

This paddle today was initiated by Stewards of the White Oak River
Basin. This Basin exists from Pender County line to the outer banks.
Everyone who has ever paddled with us is automatically a Steward. These
folks today came from The New River Foundation, The Crystal Coast Canoe
and Kayak Club, Coastal Carolina Kayakers and Twin River Rivers Paddle
Club of New Bern.

This pelican, aka Boss Hawg, was perched just outside the marina.

Boss Hawg is wondering what happened to #2. Is this his harem?

The group assembled at the start of the paddle. The one without the beard is Elmer. Dale Weston has his paddle in the vertical. We will keep this in mind for the next group shot!

George and Jennie.

Joanne in front and Tess in back.

Elmer and Jim trashing on the New River.
A juvenile blue heron that was fairly cooperative. He allowed us to approach and we could have gotten closer. He won’t be that friendly when he matures. They usually don’t allow humans to get very close and so they are difficult to photograph.
An eco friendly clothes dryer. Solar powered! Anyone remember those??
Want to go swimmng? Try standing in a canoe! The camera was waiting but they remained dry.

The low water level is visible along the bank. This is in the tidal area. The water level is a function of the
drought and the recent winds.
The group picture is courtesy of Ed Gruca of Emerald Isle and Richmond. It was
taken along the banks of Blue Creek where we stopped for lunch on the
way back. They all spread out and laid down on the grass like it was the
4th of July. They grumbled about having to get up for the group photo.

L/R Elmer Eddy of Swansboro, Joanne Somerday of New Bern, Hugh Passingham of Jacksonville, Dale Weston of Jacksonville, Jim Morris of Morehead City, Julia Miner of Arapahoe, Jim Niedermeyer of Hubert, Jennie Goodrum of New Bern, Jim Dunn of Jacksonville, Bill Murray of Pine Knoll Shores, Lance Goodrum of New Bern, George Speth of Wilmington, Ed Gruca, kneeling, of Emerald Isle and Richmond, Tess Sanders of Jacksonville, and Brian Wheat our New River Keeper of Jacksonville. Our thanks to Dale Weston for helping with all of the names.
As far as we know, no one went swimming on this paddle. This is Lance and Dale.

Elmer and Jim on the home stretch.

We paddle for fun. We pick good weather days before planning a trip. We try to paddle at least once a week.
We pick up all litter as we paddle. We play leap frog from one piece of litter to the next. This keeps our group together. It also leaves the waters clean for others to enjoy

Please do not litter. Please, everybody, make that your New Year’s Resolution. Can you imagine
America with out litter! Thanks, Elmer

All pictures are courtesy of Ed Gruca of Emerald Isle and Richmond. Thanks Ed.

Elmer Eddy
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:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”

Video from Great Lake, Dec 27, 2007

Here is a video that I (Doug Toltzman) shot on the Great Lake, on the morning of December 27, 2007. The video opens at the put-in and ends when we stop for lunch. See the earlier blog entry from the 2007-12-27 trip on Great Lake for more details about the trip.

[Video Link]

You’ll need Quicktime (version 6 or higher) to play this video.