Riverkeeper report: Moonpie, Riverkeeper find surprise on the Blackwater
Published 9:56 am Friday, August 15, 2014
Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 8th through the 9th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was running good and was 76 degrees. Air temps ranged from 82 to 66 degrees. The trip started off with an Eco-Cruise for the P3 Franklin Recycling group. Also onboard that day was Franklin City Manager Randy Martin. It was a great trip with me getting to show the group some of the challenges I face in regard to trash inflow to the rivers and stormwater problems.
Mr. Martin was a wealth of knowledge on stormwater issues and did an excellent job explaining to the group the problems the city faces with litter and stormwater/litter related issues. Trash on this trip was kinda bad, which actually helped to demonstrate to the group what I see out there on the river and have to deal with. I think it was one of the most productive Eco-Cruises I have ever captained. These young adults are on the ball, and I think they are going to make a difference. Maybe the county schools will get a team like this together.
I picked up one full VDOT bag full and had to leave another bag full, a large tire and rim and a propane tank because I could not get to it up in the Franklin canal that feeds the river.
Fishing was kinda slow for some reason on this trip. I managed to catch five largemouths from very small to a nice 3-pounder, but it took like a million casts to accomplish that. The fish I caught were caught on topwater and I had lots of weak strikes. The fish just would not commit to the strike. It was strange indeed. That night I fished for catfish, but only hung a couple of gar and caught one bowfin that was about 5 pounds.
Strangeness once again came upon us on this trip though of course it was after everybody else left the boat. Amongst the trash I pulled from the Franklin canal was a creepy-looking mannequin head. I must say, finding a head was a new one for us. Anyway I tossed it in the front storage box of the boat where I keep life preservers, etc.
From the get go Moonpie just did not like that thing. Every time I would get busy doing something in the back of the boat, Moonpie would start freaking out and claiming the head (which she named Headward) was peeking out of the box at her. I would be tying on a lure or something and Moonpie would (under her breath) go, “Daddy, daddy, daddy, look, loooook, it’s doing it again.”
Of course I would look and of course there would be nothing there. This went on and on all that day. I finally got tired of that and threw Moonpie the camera and said, “Look, dimwit, I’m going to take a nap. Take all the pictures you want. This camera can take like a million, but stop talking about this dead head playing peek-a-boo.”
I never heard another thing about it, but upon returning home I was downloading the camera and almost fell out of my chair in horror at one of the images I saw. Sure enough, on one of the pics there is an image of Headward peeking out of the dry box. It was pretty creepy, however, I have a good idea as to how Moonpie got “Ahead” of the story and me this time on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.