2009-05-27,Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

2009-05-27 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC.

Here we are back at the trestle, S-879. The high water from the three inches
of rain we enjoyed is back to normal. The high water that was covering the
the alligator weed at our launch sight here is gone. Jim Niedermeyer is standing
on it. Chemical spraying is needed here. Unfortunately those who can spray
this refuse to do it. They are miffed at us and what we are doing. This lack of
cooperation favors nobody except the alligatorweed! Had they cooperated
with us all winter long when there was no growth above the water all alligator-
weed would have been down stream and killed by salt water. Now we are
having to deal with 3 feet of new growth above water.

Unwittingly they are now partners with the alligatorweed by providing perfect
nurseries for it to grow and prosper. The alligatorweed has taken full advantage
of this as you can see.

This is something new! Alligator weed on top of the pipes across the river.
How did it get there? Did the water really rise that high ?
The last remaining opening is clogged up again!

This view is upstream from the bridge when we got here this morning. We
loosened the first mass on the left but could not budge the large mass. We
had this entire area cleared several times earlier. The obstructions in the
water here need to be removed to prevent this in the future.

A view from under the bridge .
These are masses of alligator weed we have set free upstream coming down
with the current only to get stopped at the bridge.
Looking down from the bridge on the west side of the island.
It has reached the bridge and we are packed up to go home.
Today we made it up to our usual lunch stop. The tide got there about the
same time we did. This is no time to set alligatorweed free to float downstream!
We paddled back to our take-out loosening what we could as we went.

Next week we will leave a shuttle vehicle at the MCAS ramp and launch our
boats at the trestle, # S-879. This will be a surveillance trip to assess where
we stand. We desperately need another good rain. Charlotte area got 7 inches!

That would have moved the alligatorweed out in a hurry!

We will probably do it on Wednesday. We hope all those who are opposing
what we are doing will come and see for themselves. We will be looking for
those 10 crab pot floats we placed on top of floating mats of weeds. This
will indicate were the salinity kills the alligator weed. You can come upstream
by motor boat if you prefer.
.

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

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2009-05-22, Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

2009-05-22 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC
This is Scott Brown of Morehead City. He is preparing to launch his kayak
at the “Old Wooden Bridge” being the first bridge downstream of Rte 17.
He and his kayak and the truck are all where it was covered with water.
The heavy rains we just enjoyed had raised the water level to cover the
bridge floor itself. This was a blessing as it also raised large masses of
alligatorweed downstream from here off of whatever it was holding it up.
This enabled it to continue its journey downstream to salt water where it dies.

Below is alligatorweed at our launching point at the Trestle being # S-879.
This is growing up through crushed rocks on shore. These crushed rocks
were bare all winter. This new growth on land will have to be
sprayed. This is where we left our shuttle vehicle today

Here we are at our lunch stop. What alligatorweed was not flushed out and
carried downstream we dislodged and got it floating again as we paddled
downstream. This is Theresa Ellerman of Jacksonville. That large floating
mass of alligatorweed behind her is on its way to death in saltwater. We
got the picture just before it disappeared from site. The river still had a
very fast current. This carried the floating weed downstream at a rapid rate.
This is Paul Donald of Holly Ridge. He and Theresa had dislodge many
masses like the above on their way down

This is Theresa and Paul. They could stand up in that boat and pull the weed
very easily. On Thursday they had opened up a channel through bridge S-879.
This enabled us to get back to our shuttle vehicle at the bridge today. Prior
to this the entire length of the bridge was closed off by alligatorweed stacked
up by the old pilings left in the water and cut off at normal water level.

If we are ever going to get rid of alligatorweed in Southwest Creek these
old pilings must be cut off four feet below the surface of the water to allow
the free flow of floating alligatorweed to pass though under the bridge.

Camp Lejeune has a proposal from a reputable, qualified firm to do just this.
We hope they will give this firm the green light to proceed as soon as possible.

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

.

2009-05-18 &19 Alligatorweed in Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

After over three inches of rain reported at Jacksonville we made the following observations:

At 2:30 PM, EDT, May 18, tide on low side, floating Alligatorweed over two feet above water was completely blocking all openings under the old railway bridge, S-879. The combination of low tide and the broad expanse of the river at this point and a strong northerly wind did not permit but very little rise in the water level at this location. The current was slow but steady. All of this Alligatorweed is new growth above water level. We had the entire bridge area cleared of all Alligator weed at and below the water level last winter at this bridge.

Whereas the gauge on the New River at Gum Branch showed a 5 foot rise. This dropped off quickly as the New River is channelized. At 2:58 AM on the 19th the New River had dropped from 7.5 to 6.1 feet. Southwest Creek will not drop fast like this.

On 05-19 At 9:30 AM we found a drastic change at S-879. The tide was on the high side. The river had risen about 1 and 1/2 feet. The stub in front of our launching area was within three inches of being under water. We walked across the bridge to the west side past the island. The current was rushing through the very first opening only. It was clear of alligator weed. It had been flushed out and was all gone downstream. Apparently the full volume of new water from the rain reached this bridge over night.

On the 18th we drove up to the old bridge, the first bridge below Rte 17 on Southwest Creek and found the water level to be less than one foot below the bridge itself. This was on the 18th at 3:30 PM. The current was very swift and strong. There was no alligatorweed in sight above or below the bridge. Usually we can sit upright in our canoe and pass freely under this bridge.

On the 19th, on the way home at 4:00 PM, to our amazement, we found the water up in the parking area. It was obvious that the water had risen up over the bridge surface itself as it was littered with duck weed. It had already dropped down about 2 inches still completely filling the entire openings under the bridge.

There was NO ALLIGATORWEED IN SIGHT ABOVE OR BELOW THE BRIDGE!

This is definite proof that all of the huge mass of weeds that has existed for years at the Rte 17 bridge has all gone downstream.

On an earlier trip, back in the winter, after a similar trip when the alligatorweed was floating but with no new growth above the water we found all sections of this bridge blocked by large mats we had dislodged earlier at the Rte 17 bridge. They were very easy to break up and get through the bridge supports at that time due to the absence of any growth above water. Now, May 19, the above water growth is over two feet and falling back down over itself in an entangled thick mass!

On the 18th we drove up to Rte 17 bridge where the largest single mat or mass on the whole river existed last spring. It was then we applied two treatments of flea beetles. One was by Bianca who came upstream with her group and the other was by us as we came downstream from Haws Run.

Last winter we spent two days at this bridge dislodging alligatorweed to float downstream in the current. The whole south side of the river at and above the bridge was a an eddy filled completely will alligatorweed. The first day we were able to get about 1/2 of it floating away downstream. On the next visit we loosened all of it from around the bank. It was very difficult to get it out into the current as the eddy kept moving it back. We had to leave it.

We went to other sections of the river where our efforts were more successful. Several weeks later we were assisted by a similar rainfall like we just had. We were delighted to find when observing from the top of the bridge that all of it was swept downstream by the current.

May 18 at 4:00 PM we found no Alligatorweed as we observed the area looking down from the roadway. Today, May 19th, as previously reported, we go back to the railway bridge, S-879 and will dislodge all mats we find in the main channels south of the bridge. Elmer

This is now May19th. We were delighted to be able to launch our boats in water completely covering the crushed rocks which were bare all winter. Yesterday alligatorweed was growing up through these crushed rocks. It will be there when the water recedes to normal level. Spraying will be necessary to kill this alligator weed.

We were also delighted to find how easy it was to dislodge the new mats of alligatorweed that
had hung up on snags on both side of the river. Today we were able to get them moving downstream with us. They even went ahead of us with the strong fast current which must be
about 2 miles per hour.

We almost reached the lst concrete barrier by lunch time. Scott Brown, our scout, reported a few mats had made it almost to Maple Landing.

After lunch at the concrete barrier we worked our way back upstream and home.

We hope this report will convince those who have been opposing this new approach to controlling alligatorweed will finallly get out on the river and do what we have been doing since last November 26th.

Right now is the time to do it while this high water exists. Thanks, Elmer

2009-05-13, White Oak River, Gibson Bridge to Quarry Lakes @ Maysville/Belgrade, NC

2009-05-13 White Oak River
Gibson Bridge to Quarry Lakes @ Maysville/Belgrade, NC
Here we are where we set up our shuttle for the day at the QUARRY LAKES fishing ramp.
John Taylor runs the concession stand here. He charges per boat but allows us to use
his facilities free as we pick up trash.

Left to right are today’s participants: Elmer Eddy from Swansboro, Melissa McGaw
from Raleigh, Jim Morris from Morehead City, Jim Niedermeyer from Hubert, Hugh
Passingham from Maple Hill, George Speth from Wilmington, Connie Morris, Jim’s wife,
Scott Brown from Morehead City and Ed Gruca from Emerald Isle. Ed took this picture.

It was the beginning of a most enjoyable day. Come and take the trip with us.

Elmer and Melissa on the water below Gibson Bridge. Melissa is the Staff
Photographer for Wildlife in North Carolina magazine.

Tom Fineco with the Twin Rivers Paddle Club of New Bern. He lives in River Bend.
He was at our put-in at Gibson Bridge waiting for us.
Melissa saw something she wanted to photograph. Please look at those cut-off
trees. We wish the authorities administrating these grants would cut trees like
this close to the banks. They are an unnecessary hazard left like this. They are
not contributing to the woody debris in the river for the micro and macro
invertebrates to feed on!

It is a lovely river to be enjoyed by all.

This story will break your heart. That is Jim Niedermeyer towing, by its electrical
cord, a 27 inch very heavy TV! This TV was thrown off Emmetts Lane bridge over
seven miles upstream of Gibson Bridge. Jim and Elmer paddled it in our 17.4
Discovery, by Old Town down to Gibson Bridge. This was no easy task going over
numerous beaver dams and blown down trees. We left it by the bridge with
several bags of trash and other debris.

We called NCDOT and asked them to pick up this trash as they usually do for us.
Apparently vandals picked up the TV and threw it in the river again before
NCDOT got there!

Towing was slow and difficult. Jim with the help of others got it in his canoe.
Elmer and Melissa with her camera in hand and ready.
Jim Morris and Connie.

Another new hazard. It will be all the way down soon.

Melissa at work.

He was lethargic with a full stomach. Usually they are gone before we get close.

Melissa saw something to record. We’ll see it later.
She retrieved her first piece of trash! She was disappointed at the lack of
trash! We were very happy to find the river so clean!

Another one of those fellows.

The water grasses are waving in the current.

Along the shore behind Mike Bank’s Family Camp Ground on Route 17. We
enjoyed our lunch around one of his picnic tables. Thank you Mike and thank
you again for cutting out the new fallen tree for us Monday.

These are beauitful cypress trees. Upstream of Emmetts Lane Bridge are huge
ones. One measures 24 feet circumference an eight feet diameter. It probably is
2,000 years old and a site to behold.

On the way down to the lakes. There are 11 lakes. The White Oak River runs
through eight of them. One can spend a whole day on them alone.

A class one rapid at certain water levels. This is under the old Atlantic Coast
Railway bridge.
Scott is the only peron who ever went through this rapid this way.

Not enough water for the next set of rapids.

We finally got enough trash to satisfy Melissa. We put it all in the big trash barge
for this picture. Ninety percent of this trash came into lake #2 down a small
stream originating in Maysville. She was busy getting all the trash pictures she
wanted. You will see some of them soon in “Wildlife in North Caolina” when it is
published.

The story is already written by Elizabeth Brownrigg and today’s pictures by
Melissa will accompany her story.
Thank you Melissa. We all enjoyed your company. Please join us again whenever
you can. All these pictures today were taken by Ed Gruca. 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:
elmer@whiteoakstewards.org
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”

Kill Alligatorweed Day, Friday, May 8th, 2009

Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

This Friday we continue our attack against the very invasive, imported, foreign
Alligatorweed. It is now growing in leaps and bounds both above water and below!

We want to reclaim this river for the use of the public. It has become a
virtual nursery for alligatorweed. I you do not believe this please visit our
web site.

Our put-in is Maple Landing ramp off of Verona Loop Road in Camp Lejeune. This
road goes east at Verona on Rte.17. Motor boats are welcome to join us. If you
have a Base Pass for your vehicle you can go directly to the ramp. For all
others we will meet at 9:00 in the Food Lion Parking Lot on Rte 17 south of
Jacksonville. This is opposite the Main Gate to the Air Base. We will get passes
for those that need them and then caravan to Maple Landing.

We will be returning to where we discovered, on November 26, 2008, that
alligatorweed disappears when it reaches salt water.We were elated at this
discovery. We got every bit of it all the way up to the Old Atlantic Coastal
Railway Bridge moving downstream. All of it disappeared that went down past the
2nd concrete barrier on the eastern shore of North Run. This was winter and all
green growth above water had already been killed by freezing weather. What we
moved was stems under water up to 5 to 8 feet long and brown hair like roots at
the bottom on some.

Much to our surprise others who had been spraying with chemicals and
introducing foreign flea beetles for three years, instead of being elated as we
were, vigorously opposed what we were doing. So, instead of joining us, as we
did them, with the flea beetles, (we have not seen a live one yet this year)
their opposition has turned off many of our best volunteers.

Had they joined us instead of opposing us, the entire Southwest Creek watershed
could be clear of alligatorweed today. This is unfortunate indeed.

We were not able to get it all to salt water before spring growth began again.
So, now we are going back to where we started and dislodge this vicious weed
where ever we find it. It now has already grown a foot or more high above water.
Tons of it has come downstream. It broke through with the current and high water
fro rains on the western end of the railroad bridge. Unfortunately it did not on
the eastern end. It is over a foot high above water here now and is a beautiful
green carpet solidly interwoven above and below water and hung up here by the
old pilings that were left in the river between the new pilings in the openings
under the new bridge.

These pilings obstruct the free flow of this river. They must be removed or cut
off. A visit to this bridge will make this very evident to all. .

This Friday we will repeat our float test by placing a crab pot float on each
mass as we dislodge it. When the weed mass sinks the crab pot floats are left on
shore where the wind blows them. They are left there when the tide recedes.
This indicates roughly where the alligatorweed mass sank. Because of the new
growth both above and below water it will take a lot longer and the masses will
make their way further downstream than on our winter tests. However we feel sure
they too will eventually sink and disappear never to be seen again. In short
they will be killed!

All those who continue to oppose us or question this are invited to come and
see for yourself.

The public is welcome to come and join us and participate too if you would
like. Motor boaters can dislodge these floating mats of weed much easier than
we can in canoes and kayaks.
Bring a rake or garden cultivator with you. We would love to get the entire
main channel weeds floating again downstream all the way up to the railroad
bridge as we did last winter.

You can come any time you want and leave any time you want or go fishing as you
observe. We plan to be off the water by 3:00.

See you on the river. The weather prediction is excellent. Elmer




-- ________________________________

For our latest trip write-up go to
http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/blogger.html

________________________________

ELMER EDDY

ELMER@WHITEOAKSTEWARDS.ORG

STEWARDS OF THE WHITE OAK RIVER BASIN

WWW.WHITEOAKSTEWARDS.ORG

910-389-4588

2009-04-29 Southwest Creek , Camp Lejeune, NC

2009-04-29 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejuene, NC
2009-04-29 Southwest Creek. Here we are at our launching site being “The Old Wooden Bridge”,
the first bridge below Rte 17. Please note there is no alligatorweed in sight. Also please note the
water level has dropped between three and four feet.
As we paddled downstream we came to this obstacle. We call it a strainer. Notice the bright green
foliage at the bottom left. That is alligatorweed hung up in this strainer. It makes a perfect place
alligatorweed to prosper and grow. This strainer needs to be removed.
Here is another strainer. On previous paddles since Nov. 26th we have been able
pull the floating alligatorweed out of these strainers and get it floating downstream with
the current. Unfortunately with this very low water there is practically no current. Also this
low water level has exposed numerous new strainers. So much so that we had all we could
do to get our kayaks and canoes downstream.

We made it down out of the forest into tidal waters where we did have the main river channel
cleared of all alligator weed growth at one time. This particular spot solidly blocked the whole
river except for a small opening on the right as we are looking at it. A fallen pine tree on the left
bank was the principal hold up. Doug Toltzman took a hand operated chain saw and stood up in
his canoe and dropped the main trunk. We had already cut most of the branches. After about
three trips later we had all alligatorweed gone only to find what you are looking at today!

It is all gone again now. It was very difficult to pull apart and get it floating away. It got hung up
here again on some branches below the surface. It had grown a foot deep above the water. Below
the water the stems sprouted new growth at every nodule and the resulting entangled practically
solid mass was extremely difficult to pull apart. We broke our rakes trying to do it.
We had a visitor during all this.
We are cutting those few underwater branches that held up this entire mass.
We are just about done.
There it all goes downstream. Wherever it gets hung up again it will grow and prosper.
Every little hang up becomes a virtual alligator weed nursery.
Where is the river! It is there under two feet of new growth above water and only the Lord knows
how much under water. We do know it has five to eight foot underwater stems with nodules every
few inches sending out about four side chutes and growing fast twenty four hours a day! We did
have this area cleared of all alligatorweed back in December and January. Our opponents who don’t
like our new method have successfully stopped us by scaring away our volunteer workers. We only
have about two to five now. We used to have ten to twenty.

These “opponents” have teamed up with the alligator weed to defeat us.

Congratulations! You have won! Whenever you are ready to help us with grapple hooks and motor
boats we can still win working together. We cannot do it now with a few canoes and kayaks.

Another birthday party on the river. Ed Gruca’s wife sent us a bag of chocolate chip cookies!
Heading home back upstream picking our way around all the strainers that need to be
removed from the river.
We had a great but very discouraging day on the river. Ed Gruca is back to Emerald Isle
from Richmond. These are his pictures. Bill Murray from Pine Knoll Shores, Jim Niedermeyer
from Hubert and myself from Swansboro were today’s participants.

We hope to go back to picking up trash and litter where we left off in the New River near Mill Creek next
week. 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:
elmer@whiteoakstewards.org
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”

2009-04-29 Southwest Creek , Camp Lejeune, NC

2009-04-29 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejuene, NC
2009-04-29 Southwest Creek. Here we are at our launching site being “The Old Wooden Bridge”,
the first bridge below Rte 17. Please note there is no alligatorweed in sight. Also please note the
water level has dropped between three and four feet.
As we paddled downstream we came to this obstacle. We call it a strainer. Notice the bright green
foliage at the bottom left. That is alligatorweed hung up in this strainer. It makes a perfect place
alligatorweed to proper and grow. This strainer needs to be removed.
Here is another strainer. On previous paddles since Nov. 26th we have been able
pull the floating alligatorweed out of these strainers and get it floating downstream with
the current. Unfortunately with this very low water there is practically no current. Also this
low water level has exposed numerous new strainers. So much so that we had all we could
do to get our kayaks and canoes downstream.

We made it down out of the forest into tidal waters where we did have the main river channel
cleared of all alligator weed growth at one time. This particular spot solidly blocked the whole
river except for a small opening on the right as we are looking at it. A fallen pine tree on the left
bank was the principal hold up. Doug Toltzman took a hand operated chain saw and stood up in
his canoe and dropped the main trunk. We had already cut most of the branches. After about
three trips later we had all alligatorweed gone only to find what you are looking at today!

It is all gone again now. It was very difficult to pull apart and get it floating away. It got hung up
here again on some branches below the surface. It had grown a foot deep above the water. Below
the water the stems sprouted new growth at every nodule and the resulting entangled practically
solid mass was extremely difficult to pull apart. We broke our rakes trying to do it.
We had a visitor during all this.
We are cutting those few underwater branches that held up this entire mass.
We are just about done.
There it all goes downstream. Wherever it gets hung up again it will grow and prosper.
Every little hang up becomes a virtual alligator weed nursery.
Where is the river! It is there under two feet of new growth above water and only the Lord knows
how much under water. We do know it has five to eight foot underwater stems with nodules every
few inches sending out about four side chutes and growing fast twenty four hours a day! We did
have this area cleared of all alligatorweed back in December and January. Our opponents who don’t
like our new method have successfully stopped us by scaring away our volunteer workers. We only
have about two to five now. We used to have ten to twenty. Our opponents have teamed up with the alligator
weed to defeat us.

Congratulations! You have won! Whenever you are ready to help us with grapple hooks and motor
boats we can still win working together.

Another birthday party on the river. Ed Gruca’s wife sent us a bag of chocolate chip cookies!
Heading home back upstream picking our way around all the strainers that need to be
removed from the river.
We had a great but very discouraging day on the river. Ed Gruca is back to Emerald Isle
from Richmond. These are his pictures. Bill Murray from Pine Knoll Shores, Jim Niedermeyer
from Hubert and myself from Swansboro were today’s participants.

We hope to go back to picking up trash and litter in the New River near Mill Creek next
week. 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:
elmer@whiteoakstewards.org
Please visit our
website:
http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”