No No Wake

Published 12:46 am Saturday, June 1, 2019

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 22nd through the 24th on the Nottoway below Delaware. The water was low and had that weird color to it like the Blackwater has right now. Water temp data for some reason is missing from the USGS gauge at Riverdale, and actually for the Franklin gauge on the Blackwater as well. I sent a message to USGS asking for an explanation. Shaun Wicklein told me, “The temperature data previously being served for this site was not collected using USGS-approved methods or standards. As such, we will no longer be able to serve this data to the public.”

That’s strange to me. It took 10 years for the USGS to come to that conclusion. I’m not buying it either. The air temps widely ranged from 56 to 91 degrees on this patrol.

Trash on this trip was practically nonexistent. I did however remove four untagged limb lines that were just downriver from the Hercules ramp. Whoever keeps hanging these and leaving them over and over I appreciate the many pounds of free lead sinkers and hooks, but I have a plenty now so please stop.

The fishing on this trip was poor. I only caught one cat each night with the biggest going 10 pounds. I also had a difficult time catching bream the first day and had to revert to the flyrod to eventually catch some for bait. I only cast for bass a couple hours the entire trip. Using topwater I only hung one fish and lost that one because my left arm stopped working at that moment. Grrrr.

Something is going on with the No Wake Zone (NWZ) markers on the Nottoway. As of this writing, at first I thought one or two had been washed out of place by previous high water, but there are too many missing. The NWZ at Checkerboard Corner/Edwards Sein Beach is gone. The NWZ at Bronco Club is missing a buoy, which has now made its way to Dockside. The NWZ at the Hunter Darden Curve is gone. The NWZ at 258 Ramp has been wrecked, the buoys are side by side. The NWZ at Smiths Ferry is missing a buoy. The No Wake Zones at Sheriff Stutts and Dockside are in the correct place

So I don’t know if someone is removing the buoys or what. I find it hard to believe so many buoys broke their steel cables and floated away or floated away dragging 25 feet of steel cable and a 50-pound weight. NWZs that are not maintained per their original approved location by the Southampton County Board of Supervisors are not enforceable.

State Code 29.1-744 section “D” and “E” in part are stated below: In the below text “Board” is referring to the County Board of Supervisors. “Department” is referring to VDGIF.

Section D: The markers and buoys designating a no wake zone shall conform to the requirements established by the Board. Any marker or buoy which is not placed in conformance with the regulations of the Board or which is not properly maintained shall be removed by the locality.

Section E: Any marker or buoy which is not placed in conformance with the regulations of the Board or which is not properly maintained may be removed by the Department.

So stay tuned for the continuing mystical saga “Tales of the Nottoway No Wake Zones” on one of the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater … from the Nottoway Twilight Zone!

To contact Jeff about river issues, email him at