Quick Facts about the River
· The Ochlockonee River Basin is located in southwest Georgia and northern Florida, and drains approximately 6,330 square miles. Approximately 1,460 square miles of the basin are in Georgia. The basin lies within the Coastal Plain physiographic province, which extends throughout the southeastern United States.
· The headwaters are located in Worth County and the river flows in a southwesterly direction into Florida and eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico. One of the unique features of the Ochlockonee River is the presence of two smaller watersheds, the Aucilla River and Wards Creek watersheds, each of which discharge their waters separately into the Gulf of Mexico without ever merging with the waters of the Ochlockonee River.
· Principle tributaries of the Ochlockonee River are the Little Ochlockonee River, Tired Creek, Little River, Telogia Creek and Crooked River.
· The 1988-90 land cover interpretation showed 41 percent of the basin in forest cover, 8 percent in wetlands, 2 percent in urban land cover, and 44 percent in agriculture. In 1997, there were some 384,436 acres devoted to agricultural production. All major commodities that are grown in Georgia (peanuts, corn, cotton, oats, rye, sorghum, soybeans, and tobacco) are produced in the Ochlockonee River Basin.
· The Ochlockonee River is similar to other unregulated coastal plain streams in that it possesses a high percentage of game fish species, including redbreast sunfish, largemouth bass, and channel catfish.
· Although not a game fish, spotted suckers are prevalent.
· Grayfin redhorses are also present, but not as numerous as spotted suckers.
· Several species, including the Suwannee bass, Bannerfin shiner, and Spotted bullhead that occur in the Ochlockonee River Basin are listed as rare in Georgia.
· Municipal and Industrial Uses
o NPDES Discharges: As of 2008, there were approximately 19 facilities, including industries and municipalities, authorized to discharge wastewater into the Ochlockonee River Basin pursuant to NPDES permits.
· Agricultural Uses
o As of 2013, the EPD had issued 1,213 agricultural water withdrawal permits in the Ochlockonee River Basin.
o In 2014, Grady County began construction of a dam on Tired Creek to create a fishing lake.
· More than 51 percent of the basin is covered by forests and forestry-related activities account for a major part of the basin’s economy.
· Agriculture is also a significant land use activity supporting a variety of animal operations and commodity production.
o Cotton, which requires intensive irrigation, is grown within 70% of the drainage basin in Georgia.
· GRN has compiled a complete list of watershed groups in Georgia online: http://www.garivers.org/protect-your-river/discover-a-local-river-group.html
· 305(b)/303(d) Listings
o In the Ochlockonee River Basin, there are approximately 22 rivers and streams listed on the 2012 integrated 305(b)/303(d) list as waters not supporting their designated uses. These impaired waters include roughly 192 miles of rivers and streams in the Ochlockonee River Basin.
Fish Consumption Advisories: View EPD’s “Guidelines for Eating Fish from Georgia’s Waters” online: http://epd.georgia.gov/fish-consumption-guidelines