Riverkeeper report: Rivers a risin’
Published 1:29 pm Saturday, October 3, 2015
With all the recent rain from the perpetual low that has decided to seemingly permanently attach itself to the East Coast, the local rivers are finally getting a good flush.
As of this writing it looks like we will not get any additional water from Hurricane Joaquin, which is a good thing. We don’t want another Dennis/Floyd scenario plopping down on us. Also remember, the second-highest river crest on record for Franklin was not even a hurricane, but a bad low-pressure system (similar to the one on us now) that flooded Franklin with a crest of 21.6 ft on Oct. 10, 2006.
We do not have anything like that, thankfully, going in presently and, in fact, this extra water in the rivers right now is good. River levels prior to our climate change with this persistent low had been way down to the point I was getting worried about possible fish kills in the upper Blackwater because of low-dissolved oxygen levels.
The river gauges right now, as of Friday, Oct. 2, are running at 7.88 ft at the Sebrell USGS site with a predicted crest of 13.8 ft on Wednesday.
On the Blackwater, the gauge at Burdette is 6.27 with a crest of 8.9 ft on Sunday predicted. I expect those figures will have changed a lot by the time this goes to print. I’m thinking both rivers will top out a little higher than those predicted crest. I actually should not even put my predictions in here as predicting river levels not knowing how much more rain we are going to get is like trying to predict when the fish will bite.
Which brings me to the whole point of the article. The rivers will be nice and flushed out after all this wet weather. Dissolved oxygen levels will be up, nasty sewage treatment plant and pent–up industrial outflow stagnation will be diluted and sent on its way. That translates into some great fishing coming up the rest of this Fall. I know I’m a itchin’ to get out there, so just hold tight for about another week and then let’s get out there on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway and catch some fish!
JEFF TURNER is the Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper. He can be reached at email@example.com.