All posts by elmer

We are Waterway Stewards. We strive for clean waterways while paddling for fun. We try to paddle at least once every week year around. Anyone is welcome to join us. Just e-mail elmer@waterwaystewards.us We paddle eastern North Carolina, mainly Jones, Onslow, Carteret, Craven, and Pamlico Counties. Formerly Stewards of the White Oak River Basin.

Trip Planned: 2013 -03-21 and 22, this Thursday and Friday Trent River, Jones County, Middle Road to Trenton at Wildlife

Here is a report of our trip in the year 2009 on this section of the Trent:

2009-12-16 Trent River

We did it one day but we had fast high water at 8.5 feet on the gauge.

Now the gauge is just above 4 feet. We plan to take two days to do it now.  We just did it it by motor boaters this Sunday and thanks to them we will not have all this trash to pick up!

Jimmy Ddroze cut 8 foot openings through the blown trees. Should de be an enjoyable two days of paddling with spring busting out all over. The weather for both days is sunny and in the high fifties.

Donnie Brown, my driver, and I will  meet you all at the put-in at Middle Road at 10:00 AM. This is State Road # 1300 and is also known as Wilcox Road. It is a loop road paralleling Rte 58 and  takes
takes off 58 just north of Trenton where Rte  41 and 58 meet.

Your Thursday take-out is off Ayers  Road. Donnie and I will mark it on the river be be there to greet you as you come downstream. It is shown as the red line on the map in the 2009 write up article below.

 2009-12-16 Trent River

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2011-03-02 Trent River Jones County NC

Tropical Storm Nichole and the preceding several days of continuous rain caused the Trent River and all tributaries to rise into the flood stage. We have tried to paddle the Trent since then and are
blocked again and again. So much so that the upper reaches of the Trent are not navigable even with canoes and kayaks.

This is a crying shame to have this beautiful river be unusable. It should be a clear open Canoe Trail its entire length  in Jones County.

But more importantly it should be kept open and clear of all strainers and blown down trees to reduce the flood levels by a foot or more. The Trent rose by twenty feet in places! Every blown down tree and resulting strainer creates a partial dam!

Today we saw one very clear evidence of this. We put in at Kenny Mett’s Family Camp ground on Rte 41 between Rte 58 and Comfort. At very short distance upstream we came upon a huge strainer. It was clear to all present that this one strainer alone raised the level of the river by two inches!  In short, the river level above the strainer was 2 inches higher than the river level below the strainer. We picked a bag of trash out of this one strainer alone.

Now, multiply this by the thousands of such blockages (partial dams) on the Trent and all tributaries and you come up with a higher flood level of one to two feet more than necessary.

Imagine the savings in flood damages to homes and businesses and crops this lower flood level would incur.

It is extremely important  therefor that our Jones County Commissioners take immediate action to clear the Trent River and all tributaries and make them free running streams unobstructed by fallen trees and the resulting strainers acting as partial dams.

While taking this action they should also include provisions that will be intact to immediately remove future obstructions as they occur so this extremely high flood level will never occur again.

We are asking Franky Howard, Jones County Manager, to present this proposal to the Commissioners for their immediate consideration.

We moved further up stream and encountered  what you see below. This was at N 3502.19 and W  07728.039. Thanks to Wayne Ryan of Cape Carteret we were able to paddle further upstream.

Al Pace of Swansboro helped Wayne and here is the result.

We were able to paddle further upstream to N 3502.1265 W 07728.406 where we encountered another very bad strainer forcing us to turn around.

We made good fast progress downstream where we had cleared past our launching point and were delighted to get all the way to the Chinquapin Chapel Road where the “near Trenton” river gauge is located. A short way past the bridge the river was blocked again and our trip came to and end.

The guage read 4.48 feet at morning of Feb 28th, rising to 4.50 morning of March 01, and 5.00 feet at morning of our paddle and peaked at 5.25 midday on the 3rd.

At flood stage during Nichole the river rouse to over twenty feet in places!!

Al Pace if Swansboro accompanied Wayne in his boat. Al will have more pictures for us soon. Elmer Eddy of Trenton rode with Leo Schmidt of Emerald Isle in his motorboat. Leo took three full bags of trash to the dump on his way home.  Bill Murray of Pine Knoll Shores and Scott Brown of Morehead City paddled along with us in their kayaks. Our thanks to all of you.

Anther note to the Jones County Commissioners. The Federal Government has charged the US Coastguard to keep all navigable rivers open to navigation. The Trent River and all its tributaries are considered to  be  navigable waters Please list every reason why The Trent should be kept open to navigation. They may just ask the Core of Engineers to do this.

Hopefully,  Elmer

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11-01-01 Alligator Weed Southwest Creek

Alligator weed is still  here in this New Year!

Bill Norris thinks we have made good progress in

2010 and we  have but we need to do better in 2011

to get rid of it.

Bill has contracted with Jimmy Droze who does excellent

work in clearing our rivers of fallen trees.  This alone will be a giant step

forward too, as it will free hung up alligatorweed to float down with the

current to reach salt water where it will be killed.

Another Giant Step forward  was Hurricane Nichole and the long period

of rain preceding it.  If this fallen tree had been removed before Nichole

all this dead and dying alligator weed have been gone too.

This floating alligatorweed is hung up on on small brush along the shore.

This small batch is hung up on a single stob!

The picture on the left is of small brush hanging up alligatorweed along the shore.

The one on the right is of alligatorweed hung up on the railroad  bridge on the three support piers

on the east end of the bridge. This area is blocked by a huge stump which has been there for years

and two large logs  too.

We found green alligatorweed  on the road surface of this bridge  on earlier paddles after Nichole. .

This is both fallen trees and alligatoweed hung up

around the first bend in the river upstream of the bridge.

In 2010 we did get all floating alligatorweed moving down stream with the current

as far upstream as Rte  17 bridge.

We came close to getting it all down to salt water where it would have  been killed.

In 2011 we plan  to reach that goal befor March 15  when Bill will begin spraying again.

All he will have to spray in the main channel is what is routed on land.

We will  be playing  games to do this.  All with canoes and kayaks and small john boats can participate too.

Larger motor boats and fisherman can  participate too as far upstream as they care to operate.

Stay tuned. Elmer

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2010-10-25 Trent River, NC – ELMER

Quaker Neck Country Club to Pollocksville, NC

Pictures by Joanne Somerday. Thank you again, Joanne. Joanne is from
River Bend and is one of our very first Stewards. Her lilting laughter carries
a long way over the waters when we are paddling. She adds much pleasure
to our trips.

This is Scott Brown of Morehead City and Elmer Eddy of Trenton at our put-in
at the County Club ramp. If you use these facilities which are private, please
identify your selves as being Waterway Stewards and that you are picking up
all trash as you paddle. Or you can pay the fee if you wish to.

Leo Schimdt, one of our new great Stewards with a motor boat, launched
his boat at the Pollocksville ramp. Leo resides in Emerald Isle. That is Dale
Weston from Jacksonville up front. They arrived to meet us even before we,
paddling, reached the Quaker Bridge Road #1121 a distance of about 2 miles.

Leo and Dale continued motoring up strem to almost Trenton. So we feel sure
one can put in there and paddle without obstructions all the wasy to New Bern.

The foliage is becoming prettier and prettier on every trip.

Things like this should de removed bank to bank. They are a hazard to
navigation.It is not hard to imagine what the hazards are as the water rises
and falls as it just did with our prolonged rains and then Nichole on top of all
that. More importantly, there are thousands of these in all different shapes and
sizes. Right now, the trees are still covered with leaves to make matters worse.

Collectively, all this mass slows the natural flow of the river and causes our
floods to rise a foot or so higher than is necessary.

This extra foot or so of water causes many a farmers field to become flooded
and damage his crop and also floods many a home and business unnecessarily.

FEMA money should be used immediately to clear our streams and let them
flow naturally. We are still in the Hurricane Season! This will also put a lot of
people to work immediately and save FEMA funds in the future.


The very high flood waters flushed 90% of the trash
downstream into the Neuse River. (A freind told us about his fishing trip out
of the New River Inlet. He said the trash was visible for miles out into the ocean.
With the changing winds and the tides a lot of it will end up on our beaches!)
This is a small statue of a Boy Angel. It was found in the water right at the
shore. It was a wilderness area. It would sink in deep water. The flood must
have left it here.
A closeup of the Boy Angel.
More lovely foliage.
And some more.
It can’t match New England but it is pretty. We have enjoyed a good current.
These leaves are caught on an incoming tide in a very slow moving eddy.
One single reddish colored tree. Must be a acer palmatum rubrum. Notice
the reflection in the water too.
Another one. Observe the reflection of our canoe in the water
Another blown down tree causing a strainer and a slowing down of the exciting
flood waters. There are thousands of existing obstructing things like this all the
way up to the origin of the Trent River up near Kinston.

Now add inumerable more on all of the tributaries and we have a very
signifacant slowing down ot the natural drainage of this entire watershed.

Without all of these partial obstructions in the watershed, the natural open,
free flowing clear channels, bank to bank, could have drained the entire
watershed to much lower levels in the period between the days of prolonged
rains and the arrival of Tropical Storm Nichole.

We believe this would have reduced the flood damages considerably!

This reasoning and logic applies equally to all rivers and streams in our
Coastal Plains.

Some more beautiful foliage.

Thanks again, Joanne.

This was a most unusual trip. The weather report for this area said 20%
chance of rain after 2:00. Intermittent slight sprinkles began off and on at
12:00. We did not darn our rain gear. Then, of course is when the heavy rain
came about half way thru the Air Base area. We had planned to eat our lunch
at the Air Base ramp.

With the heavy rain Joanne had already climbed into Leo’s motor boat and

got under his roof shelter. Joanne secured our canoe to the side of Leo’s
boat and we cruised at about 5 miles per hour down to the Pollocksville ramp.
The rain stopped long before we got there at 2:00 . It was a very warm rain.

We know it was raining along the coast in the morning and that this is probably
why so few showed up. For any of you who did not make this trip you can begnnning
on this Friday and continuing through the following mext five days with excellent
weather. We did pick up all trash until the heavv rains came about halfway trough
the Air Basse property. Good paddling and thanks, Elmer

The following is from Matt Rosso:  (dated 2010-10-25)

Elmer,
Just went to Queens Creek and Picked up the inland end Sunday. Beautiful
area and now clean. No trees down where we were, the river is cleared of debris.
Matt

Thanks Matt and congratulations. Elmer

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2010-11-08 Rachel Carson Reserve, Beaufort, NC

We launched our canoes ans kayaks and one motorboat at the Wildlife ramp at
the end of Front St on Taylor’s Creek at Lenoxville, The trip was planned to be
at the high tide cycle for ease in retrieving trash which  comes to rest at the
high tide lineup in the marshes.

It requires getting out of our boats and walking in the marsh grass to find the
man made trash and litter. It is blown in here from the Morehead Channel by
the prevailing Southwest winds.

Boaters could reduce this litter tremendously by securing it in their boats and
preventing it from blowing out or bouncing out in the rough waters of the inlet.

Below is Dale Weston from Jacksonville int the rear and Jim Morris from
Morehead City cleaning up the shoreline.

Bob Stokes from New Bern took these six pictures. This is the skeleton remains
of a shorebird.
This one of the many horses on Carrot Island.
Dale again out in the wide open waters. That in Schackleford Banks
in the distance.
A group of shore birds on a grassy spit.
Thus is another horse in the distance. Two came galloping
along a horse trail between Dale and me. Very close!

Thanks for the fine pictures, Bob.

And thanks to Leo Schmidt who came with his motorboat
carried our trash for us.

Scott Brown and Elmer Eddy were the other members on
this trip on this gorgeous day.

More to follow soon.  Elmer

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2010-11-01 Trent River

These pictures are by Joanne Somerday.

This is at the Wildlife Ramp on Landfill Road in Trenton
That is Scott Brown form Morehead City in the foreground
and Leo Schmidt in the the rear.
These are our newest Stewards. Jon Park, the son, and Wade, ‘
his father, on the right. They moved down here from upper New York
‘State. They live on the shores of Brock Mill Pond in Trenton. They
each have brand new Wilderness kayaks.
Dale Weston from Jacksonville launching Leo’s motor boat.
The water at the ramp and parking lot has returned to
normal levels.
Wade out on the river. The leaves are falling fast.

Father and son again. They are avid Stewards already.
Elmer Eddy from Trenton up front and Scott Brown in the
rear. We are paddling upstream today due to the numerous
fallen trees blocking the river. This way we are sure we can
get back to our cars.
This is upstream around the big bend but below the bridge.
The owner here raises goats.
Here is the Rte 41 bridge over the Trent River. The water
from Nichol was up to the bottom of the bridge. That must
a rise of close to 20 feet! It inundated homes and other
buildings in the area.

That is all from Joanne this trip. She had to leave early
for a meeting. Thanks for the pictures Joanne.  Elmer

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2010-10-25 Trent River Quaker Neck to Pollocksville

Pictures by Joanne Somerday. Thank you again, Joanne. Joanne is from
River Bend and is one of our very first Stewards. Her lilting laughter carries
a long way over the waters when we are paddling. She adds much pleasure
to our trips.

This is Scott Brown of Morehead City and Elmer Eddy of Trenton at our put-in
at the County Club ramp. If you use these facilities which are private, please
identify your selves as being Waterway Stewards and that you are picking up
all trash as you paddle. Or you can pay the fee if you wish to.

Leo Schimdt, one of our new great Stewards with a motor boat, launched
his boat at the Pollocksville ramp. Leo resides in Emerald Isle. That is Dale
Weston from Jacksonville up front. They arrived to meet us even before we,
paddling, reached the Quaker Bridge Road #1121 a distance of about 2 miles.

Leo and Dale continued motoring up strem to almost Trenton. So we feel sure
one can put in there and paddle without obstructions all the wasy to New Bern.

The foliage is becoming prettier and prettier on every trip.

Things like this should de removed bank to bank. They are a hazard to
navigation.It is not hard to imagine what the hazards are as the water rises
and falls as it just did with our prolonged rains and then Nichole on top of all
that. More importantly, there are thoseand of these in all differnt shapes and
sizes. Right now, the trees are still covered with leaves to make matters worse.

Collectively, all this mass slows the natural flow of the river and causes our
floods to rise a foot or higher than is necessary.

This extra foot or so of water causes many a farmers field to become flooded
and damage his crop and also floods many a home and business unnecessarily.

FEMA money should be used immediately to clear our streams and let them
flow naturally. We are still in the Hurricane Season! This will also put a lot of
people to work immediately and save FEMA funds in the future.

We found scastterd trash. The very high flood waters flushed 90% of the trash
downstream into the Neuse River. (A freind told us about his fishing trip out
of the New River Inlet. He said the trash was visible for miles out into the ocean.
With the changing winds and the tides a lot of it will end up on our beaches!)
This is a small statue of a Boy Angel. It was found in the water right at the
shore. It was a wilderness area. It would sink in deep water. The flood must
have left it here.
A closeup of the Boy Angel.
More lovely foliage.
And some more.
It can’t match New England but it is pretty. We have enjoyed a good current.
These leaves are caught on an incoming tide in a very slow moving eddy.
One single reddish colored tree. Must be a acer palmatum rubrum. Notice
the reflection in the water too.
Another one. Observe the reflection of our canoe in the water
Another blown down tree causing a strainer and a slowing down of the exciting
flood waters. There are thousands of existing obstructing things like this all the
way up to the origin of the Trent River up near Kinston.

Now add inumerable more on all of the tributaries and we have a very
signifacant slowing down ot the natural drainage of this entire watershed.

Without all of these partial obstructions in the watershed, the natural open,
free flowing clear channels, bank to bank, could have drained the entire
watershed to much lower levels in the period between the days of prolonged
rains and the arrival of Tropical Storm Nichole.

We believe this would have reduced the flood damages considerably!

This reasoning and logic applies equally to all rivers and streams in our
Coastal Plains.

Some more beautiful foliage.

Thanks again, Joanne.

This was a most unusual trip. The weather report for this area said 20%
chance of rain after 2:00. Intermittent slight sprinkles began off and on at
12:00. We did not darn our rain gear. Then, of course is when the heavy rain
came about half way thru the Air Base area. We had planned to eat our lunch
at the Air Base ramp.

With the heavy rain Joanne had already climbed into Leo’s motor boat and

got under his roof shelter. Joanne secured our canoe to the side of Leo’s
boat and we cruised at about 5 miles per hour down to the Pollocksville ramp.
The rain stopped long before we got there at 2:00 . It was a very warm rain.

We know it was raining along the coast in the morning and that this is probably
why so few showed up. For any of you who did not make this trip you can begnnning
on this Friday and continuing through the following mext five days with excellent
weather. We did pick up all trash until the heavv rains came about halfway trough
the Air Basse property. Good paddling and thanks, Elmer

The following is from Matt Rosso:  (dated 2010-10-25)

Elmer,
Just went to Queens Creek and Picked up the inland end Sunday. Beautiful
area and now clean. No trees down where we were, the river is cleared of debris.
Matt

Thanks Matt and congratulations. Elmer

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2010-10-20 White Oak River, Rock Quarry Lakes, Maysville, NC

This is what I found as I drove down the dirt road to John Taylor’s fishing concession on The Rock Quarry Lakes at Rte 17 in Maysville, NC.  This is just before you turn left into to the road to the ramp. The road is completely washed out leaving a deep ravine!

The Lakes were completely filled up and flooded and the water backed up to as high as the eves on the bathroom in The White Oak Family Campground. The water coming down the White Oak River had no place to go so it went into the woods and across the field and the road to the Lakes and dug this ravine in the process. In fact it also dug another larger and deeper one before you get to the concession buildings. It did not get into his buildings.

Those are John Taylor’s concession buildings in the back ground with the larger ravine in the middle. I took eight more pictures but they did not take.

That is John Taylor fishing at his favorite spot. He caught a string of very large shell crackers yesterday. He said the people
who own the land will fill in the roads and get him back in business right away.

On my way home from our trip Wednesday I stopped at the Quarry Lakes office. Fortunately the local quarry headman was there and also is the headman of Martin-Marietta in Raleigh. I asked them if we could use an access on their premises to clean up the trash on the lake shores. They said we could but asked us to wait until they stopped pumping water out of the huge new lake in which they are now working.They will let us know when they stop pumping.

John drove me down to the ramp and everything looked ok there. Looking across the lake you could see the mud line on the trees about 8 feet above the existing lake level.

We have got to find a way to stop the water from building up like this. Apparently the exit from the lakes is too narrow and clogged up with debris of all kinds.

John and I were saying our goodbyes when two Maysville policemen drove up. I took advantage of this meeting to tell them about the canal along Maple Street. This canal is the largest single source of trash in the White Oak River. The canal empties into a creek which in turn empties into Lake #2. They will talk to the Mayor to see what can be done about it. Elmer

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2010-10-19 1 White Oak River, Stella to Swansboro, NC

It was a gorgeous day on the water. We hope this map and pictures
by Ed Gruca will help you to enjoy some of the pleasures of paddling
the White Oak River with us.

The plan was to paddle the western shore on this trip. as you can see
by the second arrow we cut off the very first horseshoe bend through
a canal.

Here we all are at Scott Grafton’s new docking facilities at the Stella Bridge
Ed willl have to tell us where this was taken. I do not rcognize it.
Another shot at the same location
Scott Brown in the rear and Elmer Eddy in front. in open water. It must be a mile
across here.
Heading for the western shore.
This is a triple or double retaining wail being buil in White Oak Landing.
We had a brief but enjoyable consversasion with them.
Stopping for lunch at a sandy beach below Mill Holland Creek.
A patch of spartina grass. We understand it is good in salads.
The participants today were Scott Brown and Jim Morris from Morehead City,
Joanne Somerday from River Bend on the Trent, Harry Patterson from Jacksonville,
Bill Murray from Pine Knoll Shores, Ed Gruca from Emerald Isle and Elmer Eddy
from Trenton.

We were sheltered from a west wind by the western shore for most of the trip.
A pretty strong wind developed about a mile out of Swansboro. I guess that’s
why Ed did not take any more pictures.

We will have some more from Joanne later. It was a most enjoyable day on the water.

Elmer

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