Riverkeeper report: A delicate balancing act

Published 11:41 am Friday, February 13, 2015

A one-inch long Tupelo berry balancing on a limb. -- Jeff Turner | Tidewater News

A one-inch long Tupelo berry balancing on a limb. — Jeff Turner | Tidewater News

by Jeff Turner

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 3rd through the 5th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was fast and a very cold 36 degrees. Air temps ranged from 26 to 55. It was a cold trip on that first day, as it did not even make it to 40 degrees. Then on the last day there were 30 mph winds. That was not pleasant.

Trash was pretty heavy on this trip from all the rain I’m sure. I picked up what I could reach but there was a lot deposited up on shore in a few places. Also on the way home on the THIRD day I noticed a lot of sawdust on the river near Franklin.

The fishing on this trip was just so so. I managed to catch a few yellow perch and one little bass jigging, but that was about it. I do not know if I missed the bulk of the perch run because I was ahead or behind the main run. I’m guessing behind.

Well, soon it will be time for the shad run and I imagine there are already some striped bass in the river. I’m ready for that! Catfish will be firing up also. Just remember if you set limb-lines/trotlines etc, that there is a new law this year that demands you remove those lines if you’re not going to fish or check them daily.

Twice I heard an eagle while I was out there, but never saw it. They are supposed to be on the nest now, and with it so cold I assume they have to pretty much stay on those eggs.

I glassed the nest near Franklin, but I guess the mommy eagle was hunkered down in there so far I could not see her. I reckon if the mother eagle left to go get something to eat and stayed too long, that would be the end of that next generation of eagles.

Hopefully, the daddy eagle takes over for a while when the female has to eat.

It’s like that out there on the river. Every thing is so interconnected, everything so dependent on a certain set of conditions or parameters to be met to get the next good result. It’s like that everywhere, but I really get to see and over many years understand that delicate balancing act of Mother Nature on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

JEFF TURNER is the Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper. He can be reached at blknotkpr@earthlink.net.