Riverkeeper report: Cold snap freezes frogs
Published 10:10 am Saturday, May 28, 2016
Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 15th through the 16th on the Blackwater below the Route 603 Steel Bridge. That’s upriver from Burdette, in case you don’t know. The water was high at 7 feet on the Burdette USGS gauge, fast and 65 degrees. Air temps ranged from 40 to 72 degrees.
Trash on this trip was light and I saw no water quality issues or derelict limb lines or anything bad thank goodness. It was the first-stress free trip I have had in quite some time and that was very nice.
I was surprised the fishing was as decent as it was. I caught right many nice bream, some speckle, bass and chain pickerel. All caught on a Mepps Minnow. Most of the fish were up in the woods with the high water, so I just fished in the woods!
The only issue I had on this trip was the fact I had to for the fourth time come in like six weeks come home a day early due to rain. This time I cannot blame it on NOAA. They had forecasted rain for the third day; I was just hoping it would come later in the day allowing me to pack down dry. However, that ended up not being how it was, so I left the second day and was glad I did. It rained hard and early the next day and I hate breaking camp in the rain. I guess I have just got soft in my old age … NOT!
On the one night we got to enjoy, I was surprised early on to hear the frogs in the little beaver pond at base camp still vocalizing because it was right chilly. Moonpie made mention that as the night progressed and it got colder and colder (into the 40s), we heard less and less frog talk.
Finally around 11 that night it was down to one hard-core frog speaking. Thereafter, about every 30 minutes until we went to bed that one frog would barely eek out an eeeeerrrrrr. After we hit the sack Moonpie even said, “Is that frog saying eeeerrrr or is it saying bbrrrrrrrr?”
“I imagine it was BBRRRRR,” I replied as I slid deep into my barely adequate 45-degree sleeping bag and proceeded to hibernate for the night once again on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.
P.S. If you want to read the Riverkeeper Reports before they make it into the paper, go to www.blackwaternottoway.com There you can see all the great pictures of the rivers in the gallery also.
JEFF TURNER is the Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper. He can be reached at email@example.com.