Riverkeeper Report: No trash, water quality issues on Nottoway

Published 8:04 am Friday, February 25, 2011

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 15th through the 17th on the Nottoway below the Bronco Club.

The water was tinted, 45 degrees and 5.60 feet on the U.S. Geological Survey gauge in Sebrell. Air temps ranged from 26 to 65 degrees.

This was certainly one of the most pleasant trips I have been on in some time. No trash to pick up, no water quality issues and no ice on the river! Just the way I like it.

The fishing was just kinda OK, though. I picked up my dad on day two, and between the two of us, we caught like eight different species of fish, which just goes to show you what a great river the Nottoway is.

Caught were a few nice yellow perch, two speckle, including one that weighed a pound, a white catfish, a channel catfish, several blackfish, a largemouth, a white perch and three stripers. All were caught on either a blade bait or a small jig. Two of the stripers were over the minimum 18 inches.

Nothing really happened on this trip. The first night something hung around the campsite all night in the woods just out of lantern range. I would hear a stick break or it walking in the swamp.

Kinda made for a hateful evening as I had to keep looking all around and keep one hand poking the fire and keep the other on hog-leg Hanna. To top that off, every 10 minutes a beaver would swim past and slap the water with its tail making Moonpie and me jump.

We looked like we were doing a mini-wave as I would jump first and then her a split second after me.

Never figured out what it was, but speaking of beavers, whew, the river down below the Bronco Club has a serious beaver infestation. I took Dad to see all the trees they have cut, and he could not believe it. It looked like somebody had outfitted the giant swimming rodents with axes.

I mean there is heavy tree damage in that swamp. I located two huts that I reckon the furry lumberjacks reside in.

If anybody is interested in seeing that, just go downriver past the Bronco Club and look on the right side of the river; you can’t miss it.

Well, spring will soon be here, and with that there will be a lot of people fishing on the river. If you go on the river this spring, please remember that a lot of people fish anchored in the middle of the river this time of year.

So, please slow down around those blind curves and don’t wake people hard when they are fishing.

At the boat ramps, don’t prepare your boat to put in on the ramp or prepare your rig for going home on the ramp. That’s what the parking lot is for.

Be courteous and respectful of others; after all, we all want a safe and enjoyable trip on the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.

JEFF TURNER is riverkeeper for the Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper Program, an environmentally conscious organization that focuses on keeping local waterways healthy. BNRP’s parent organization is The Waterkeeper Alliance. Contact Turner at his website, www.blackwaternottoway.com.