Riverkeeper Report: Join the Blackwater Flotilla

Published 10:37 am Friday, March 20, 2015

Trash is gathering at the Franklin canal, which feeds into the Blackwater River. -- Jeff Turner | Tidewater News

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 15th through the 17th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was high, fast and 50 degrees. Air temps ranged from 39 to 75 degrees.

I ventured on this trip hoping to find no trash and lots of shad. Unfortunately, just the opposite was the case. I only caught one shad the two days I fished. I did catch one 20-inch striped bass jigging a blade bait, but that was it. I did not try for any other species.

For those of you that have read the Moonpie book, you will be happy to know Snickers the mouse is still alive and well. The first night Moonpie and I were sitting beside the fire marveling at how nice it was to be camping and not freezing to death. All of a sudden from behind the fire pit out jumped Snickers. Moonpie and I were so stunned (and I guess that was the plan) that we just froze with our mouths hanging open.

And at that, Snickers started doing a dance in front of us like the frog in the cartoon with the top hat. Snapping out of it at this crazy scene, I grabbed my camera, but just as I hit video record, just like the frog in the cartoon Snickers stopped dancing, got back on all fours, grinned at us and promptly disappeared back into the inky darkness of the Blackwater.

Moonpie, said, “You knew that was going to happen, right?”

“Duhhh,” I replied, “How many times have you done me that way?”

Anyway, it was good to see the little critter again, even though it did goof on us pretty hard. I’m sure the whole Snickers family got a big laugh out of that.

Now, yes! Join the Blackwater Flotilla. March 28, a Saturday, is Clean Rivers Day. This year, our 15th CRD, we REALLY need a flotilla of canoes, kayaks or any kind of watercraft to launch from the Franklin boat ramp and clean up downriver from Franklin. It’s important to have the land teams, but this is a special call to arms for this part of the river. That section of river is trashed really badly from the city stormwater canal that ties into the river about a mile downriver (South) from the boat ramp. If you contact me before the 28th I can get you trash bags and extra length ‘litter getters.’ The trash collected can be stacked up in a pile at the boat landing.

So don’t be a Magilla Gorilla, join the Blackwater Flotilla, Clean Rivers Day on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

To join the Flotilla, contact Riverkeeper Jeff Turner at 562-5173 or blknotkpr@earthlink.net.

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