Riverkeeper report: Nottoway nest produces baby eagle

Published 10:11 am Friday, June 6, 2014

A baby eagle hanging out in a nest on the Blackwater River. -- FILE PHOTO

A baby eagle hanging out in a nest on the Blackwater River. — FILE PHOTO

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 31st through the 2nd on the Nottoway below Courtland.

The water was 5 ft. on the USGS gauge in Sebrell, clear and 70 degrees. Air temps ranged from 49 to 78 degrees. My main mission on this trip was to check on the eagles upriver from Courtland. I’m happy to report there is one baby in the nest. I did not see the parents.

Also of course I was in that part of the river to clean up and man did I. Two very full bags of trash were collected over two days. I just can’t figure why there is so much trash on that part of the river.

There was also a bunch of limb lines not being fished, but hanging in the trees. That’s okay, but I do ask if folks are not going to fish them for months, to please remove them. Hanging your lines up in the trees still causes problems especially if we have a high water event. When that happens nearly always those hanging lines end back up in the water where they can snag or catch and kill wildlife. Plus, if they are hanging in the water and you’re not checking them daily, you are in violation of state regulations for fishing that device. So take’em down when you’re done. I take mine home every time I finish fishing them.

The fishing on this trip was pretty good. I caught 15 largemouths. Lures used were the mini-Snagless Sally, Smithwick Rogue and the Bagley Spintail. I also caught a bunch of really nice bream on the mini Snagless Sally. That is such a great lure. Weedless through the toughest cover and will catch bream, bass and ‘bout everything else. However don’t waste your time trying to find any, they stopped making that size years ago.

It was a really nice trip this outing, temperatures were really nice, but man — the bugs were something the first night. I had not long lit the lantern when I got popped in the head by some kind of flying beetle. Soon after that they were all over me. I mean big as the end of your thumb beetles. I finally grabbed my Bowie knife sheath, yelled “death to the beetles” and started killing as many as I could. Moonpie woke up and said, “Dude, what’s this I hear about death to the Beatles, I thought you like them? What, did you hear a bad song or something?”

“No,” I said as I grabbed one out of my ear and one out of my mouth and threw them in the fire, “Wrong beetles, dog lips. Now grab something and help me eradicate these things. “

“No thanks,” replied Moonpie, “It’s 10 p.m., I’m tired and plus I have lots better things to eat than bugs out here on the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.”