Riverkeeper Report: Petrified beaver found on Nottoway River
Published 10:05 am Friday, June 19, 2015
Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 11th through the 13th on the Nottoway below Delaware.
The water was high, fast and 78 degrees. Air temps ranged from 72 to 92 degrees and it was HOT out there! Trash was light and I saw no water quality issues on this patrol.
The fishing on this trip was not too great. I only caught one four-pound catfish in two nights of fishing. I just don’t get it. There are a million catfish in the Nottoway. I fished shallow, deep, in the middle, next to shore, in current, out of current and using fresh-cut bait (bream) that they eat all the time. Yet I only catch one fish?
Moonpie said I should try something they are not used to like pizza, and I gotta tell ya, I’m inclined to try it next time. Heck, I couldn’t do much worse!
I did catch a few bass casting topwater late in the day, and the bream were hitting just so-so. It was just about too hot to fish, anyway, unless you could stay in the shade. Heck, I did not even see that many other people on the river the whole three days.
I did hear though of a group that I would like to meet: the Nottoway Pirates. I have never heard of the group, but was thinking it might be nice to take them out on the pontoon boat for a tour. So if you are a part of that group, or know how to contact them, please let me know or tell them to contact me.
Yes, now for that exciting find we made on the river. I do not know how I have missed this before in the past 50 years of me being on the river. I have been by this location hundreds of times.
Anyway, as you can see by the picture, it is obviously a beaver protruding from this 200-year-old cypress tree. I’m guessing many, many years ago this beaver was swimming through the swamp and got stuck in the fork of this tree, died and the tree grew around it.
Then the complex and mysterious chemical make up of the dark swampy waters in this gut mummified or petrified the little feller.
In any event it’s quite a find. Moonpie thought it was on the creepy side and did not want to get up close to investigate, but we had to in the name of scientific discovery.
The rigid rodent resides just inside the mouth of a skinny gut near Monroe Bridge if you want to go see it.
Its just another one of those phenomenal wonders one can see on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.
JEFF TURNER is the Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.