RiverGuard nets 200 pounds

Published 4:56 pm Friday, February 8, 2019

By Jeff Turner

Trash on the Blackwater River

The RiverGuard picked up 200 pounds worth of trash during a recent trip on the Blackwater River. Much of what he collected was heavy half-gallon glass liquor bottles.

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 4th through the 6th on Blackwater above Burdette. The water was 38 degrees (when we arrived) 6.82 on the USGS gauge at Burdette, clear and fast. Air temps ranged from 32 to 70 degrees, it was very nice on the river.

It was so nice in fact that I called my dad to see if he wanted to try for blackfish once more before they dispersed for the year. He did and we had a ball. I guess we caught about 20. We each caught an 8 pounder and several 7’s and then right on down the scale. All were caught of course on a half-ounce silver buddy type lure jigged off of the bottom. I lost something huge that I could not get off the bottom. I imagine it was a big carp. When you hook one of those it’s like being hooked to a bulldozer. It just would not budge and I think I had it scale-hooked, which eventually pulled out, and I lost the monster. I did not fish for any other type of fish. I saw people fishing for raccoon perch, but were having no luck. I did see some folks catching a goodly amount of speckle.

Sad part of this trip was that I picked up 200 pounds of trash. Yea, trash, not fish like the title hints at hhhaaaa! I knew it was probably going to be like that when I headed downriver from the pump station the first day because I have not been there in several months.

There were two different logjams I worked. I got most of the first one completely clean, but the second logjam spanned the entire river and was deep. In fact that second logjam is blocking the river. There is a blow-through just upriver from it where the river is working on making a new channel so you can get through right now and continue downriver … emphasis on “for now.”

Oddly most of this trash was glass. HEAVY glass half-gallon liquor bottles and glass pop bottles that they don’t even make anymore. I also collected 28 more plastic bobbers that I keep and now have a trash can full. Moonpie is the keeper of those. Not the cork ones mind you, just the plastic round red and white bobbers.

This was an odd trip temperature wise for me. I trusted the weatherman when he predicted the first night to be 41 degrees so I took my mid-weight sleeping bag. That was a mistake as it got to 32 that night and I ’bout froze. I had to get up in the middle of the night and put on clothes. Grrrrrr. Then the second day it got so hot, I thought I was going too have to fish naked in the boat. Seriously, I first took off my bibs to try to cool off. That was not enough so I removed my 17-inch boots. That helped but within 30 minutes I was sweating again. The only thing I had left was my new hi-Tec Kokatat union suit. It is a seriously nice garment and seriously warm. I eventually had to even unzip that and expose my lily white upper fatness for the riverine world to behold. Not a pretty sight!

So I will have to try to plan my wardrobe more carefully on these weirdo cold/hot trips. Maybe the RiverGuard should have a backup plan instead of wearing just a onesie on the two Rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

To contact Jeff about river issues email him at blknotkpr@earthlink.net