Bountiful babies

Published 3:44 pm Friday, April 22, 2022

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent April the 19th through the 21st on the Nottoway below Delaware. The water was clear, 57 degrees and normal level until the wind blew it all out of the river by the end of the first day. Air temps ranged from 32.5 to 68 degrees. I saw some strange frothy scum in a couple of places up near the boat landing, but I am attributing that to the hard rain we had the night before as it didn’t smell or look oily or anything. Other than that, I saw no water quality issues.

The trash on this trip was as bad as I have seen it on that part of the river in a long time. I believe most of it is from people fishing off of the pier at the boat landing when the shad were running. Some of it also, I’m sure, is from the bridge work that is ongoing. 

I want to thank Edwin Cutchins and his group for helping clean up out there also. 

Fishing from that pier at the boat landing is prohibited. However, I’m told (by people who fish from it) that they don’t pay the “No Fishing” signage any attention because nobody ever gets a ticket for fishing from it. Whether that’s true or not, I do not know. 

Speaking of fishing, it was FANTASTIC! I caught several bass, with one going 5.3 pounds. I also replenished my supply of jack for the freezer. In fact, I caught so many fish this trip that the river level dropped a foot by the second day! All the fish were caught on a Smithwick Rogue that looked kinda like a herring. I think that was the reason that lure was so hot. AND, speaking of herns, on the second night at camp, I heard them on shore — a sound you don’t hear very often these days. That was pretty cool. I even turned my tunes down and just sat there and listened to them beating up the water all around the cypress knees. Maybe one day that sound will come back day and night like it was many moons ago.

Well it’s definitely baby season on the river. Everybody is having little ones it seems, or are about to. Baby owls, baby beavers, baby otters, baby ospreys, baby fishes and baby ducks. I also came across a little racoon that was in a cypress tree up in the Narrows surrounded by water. The coon was in a fork about six feet off the water. It did not look like it was feeling good. It was real lethargic acting and just sat there looking at Moonpie and I. Moonpie said, “Daddy, why don’t you clean one of those fish and give it to the little feller?” So, I did and placed it up there right beside the little ball of fur. We sat there for a while to see if it would eat on it, but the little coon only hid its face in a nook in the tree. I sure hope it got that fish and got to feeling better. 

It was pretty cool to see so much wildlife by this old man on this old river. But it was especially nice to see such a plethora of rebirth and bountiful babies coming along on the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.

Jeff Turner is the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard. To contact him about river issues, send him an email at He can also be followed on the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard Facebook page. Just type in “Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard” in the search field on Facebook.