Riverkeeper report: Mnnnn, motorboatin’

Published 10:16 am Monday, May 8, 2017

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 29th through the 1st on the Blackwater below Franklin. Air temps ranged from 65 to 87 degrees and the water was 75 degrees.

This had to be one of the windiest trips I have ever been on. For all three days it was pretty tight. Still, it was nice to be back on the river after 26 days because of dental issues, which I’m still suffering through. I just said the heck with it; it’s going to do what it’s going to do whether I’m at home or on the river. Plus, I found some new dental tools in my tackle box. The diamond-embedded hook file worked really good filing down; the bone coming through my jaw!

The Riverkeeper said he found this cow pelvis — which he calls “the Face of Evil” — in the Blackwater River near the Pretlow Farm. — Submitted | Jeff Turner

The forecast was for it to be so hot, that I decided to go ahead and take the pontoon boat out for the first time of the year and see if there were any new problems. There was: the wiring for the lighting of the boat had rotted finally after 33 years. Luckily, I found a bunch of speaker wire in the boat and was able to run a temporary fix so I had overhead and navigation lights at night.

Trash was very light on this trip and I saw no water quality issues other than the cows in the river at the Pretlow Farm. For y’all that follow me on Facebook, that is also where I found the “Face of Evil.” So yes, that was a cow pelvis that I found

I want to thank International Paper, The Franklin Lions Club and The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia for doing a cleanup in April. They picked up a bunch of trash in our community, and our world is a better place because of them.

This was not for our annual Clean Rivers Day event, ‘cause we have discontinued that. I decided every day should be Clean Rivers Day all year around. So if any group at anytime wants to do a clean up that will benefit our riverine environment, have at it and if you need litter getters and trash bags just get in touch with me and I will try to get you that equipment.

The fishing on this trip was good. I did not fish for bass, but caught plenty of bream on spinners. The first night I caught one cat that was 14 pounds and the second night caught three in the 3-to-7 pound range. All caught on cut bait suspended at 6 feet on a milk jug on the end of my line 50 feet from the boat.

Moonpie was very busy this trip keeping track of the critter patrol database.

We saw some beavers, one of which came out to greet us one night, plenty of Great Blue Heron, and a hummingbird that visited us in the boat. An owl flew right across the bow of the boat and the tops of the heads of the eagles in their nest.

We also saw plenty of snakes, some of which were trying to visit us in the boat. We also heard a whippoorwill right at dark the second night that was very close and trying to compete with the boat stereo or sing along; I’m not sure. So, except for the constant mouth pain, it was a pretty nice trip.

I know its comin’ fast, but I’m not ready for summertime weather yet. I hope we can get at least one more land-based trip in this year on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

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