Riverkeeper report: Why dumber?

Published 12:41 pm Saturday, August 27, 2016

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 23rd through the 25th on the Blackwater. The water was low, stagnant and 81 degrees. Air temps ranged from 60 to 85 degrees, a welcome break from the high heat and humidity.

I was very impressed this trip with the lack of trash on the river, I only picked up two plastic bottles. I do not think I have EVER seen less trash. Maybe the city is doing a better job at maintaining the ditches etc., if so, GREAT JOB, CITY OF FRANKLIN!

The fishing on this trip was kinda weak. I only caught one cat the second night. The water was just dead at night, no movement in or out and the fish prefer moving water in the river when they dine. I caught a few very small bass casting and a large blackfish that put up a nice fight. The bream fishing was the only thing that was happening out there and I caught plenty of those using anything I threw.

I managed to get in right much flying time on this trip. Conditions were right to start getting footage of some key places. I got great footage of the sewage treatment plant, Barrett’s Landing/Boat ramp area, the I.P. wet log facility and their ASB pond.

I tried to break up a log jam upriver from Franklin, but I could not get it to bust loose with the water so low. The jam is not yet blocking the river in that curve, but unless somebody goes up there and saws a couple of those logs in half, eventually that jam will span the river. If somebody would cut those and let me know, I can go back and most likely push them loose with the pontoon boat.

Now to the business of dumb. I thought as we get older, we are suppose to get smarter? Well, that does not seem to be the case with me for some reason. I have a check list I check just before I lock the door to the house when I head for the river. Yet, still I left half of my food at home in the refrigerator this trip. The first evening ‘bout 7, I got my grill all fired up, the cast iron grate was hot, hot and smelling of all the yummy giblets of steak fat mixed with the aromas of teriyaki pork chops from a prior trip. I looked in the cooler for my steak that I had meticulously marinated the day before and … no steak! The plan was to cook the giant ribeye and have half of it for supper and eat the other half for supper the next night, but NOOOO.

So Moonpie and I, after sitting there and smelling that hot grill and drooling all over ourselves, had to wipe off our chins, turn off the grill and go to plan No. 2.

“Well,” I told Moonpie, “we have a hamburger bun, a can of potted meat and a box of raisins, so it looks like potted meat and raisin sandwich for tonight, dearie.”

The next thing I heard was a splash and I looked and Moonpie was headed upriver swimming fast as she could go.

“Where yee goin’?” I hollered.

Never missing a stroke she replied, “I put up with a lot of things from you out here, but I’ll be damned if I’ll ever eat a potted meat and raisin sandwich on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.”

Update: When I got home two days later, Moonpie was cooking a steak on the back porch grill.

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