RIVERGUARD REPORT: Chilly on the Nottoway

Published 7:23 pm Thursday, June 23, 2022

Spirit of Moonpie, Whispering Bear and I spent June the 18th through the 20th on the Nottoway below Delaware. The water was 82 degrees and clear. Air temps ranged from a very chilly 53 to 82 degrees, and it was right windy. 

Trash was about nonexistent this trip — very nice. Also, I collected only two derelict limb lines. We did, however, remove about a hundred feet of fishing line in total, due to people who, for some reason, do not have sense enough to do that when they get hung up in a tree??? I also came upon a fellow setting limb lines and not tagging them. I explained the regulations to him and then aided him in coming up with some makeshift tags so he could continue with his catfish quest. I saw no other water quality issues other than the river is getting pretty stagnant. A big rain is needed to flush it out.

The fishing on this trip was fair. I had a hard time catching a jack for bait and didn’t cast for bass very much since my remaining good arm is no longer good thanks to a rotator gone again, I reckon. But we did catch three catfish the first night. The biggest was 13 pounds. The 11-pounder we caught had something wrong with it. The fish was all head and sickly looking. The third cat was really small.

We did see right much wildlife on this trip. Especially the beavers. We even watched one industrious beaver tow a bush for a quarter of a mile, even taking it underwater to go past logs. It let us just cruise beside it the entire trip. And I believe it was that same beaver that let us film it up close eating the lily pads. We saw right many prothonotary warblers also. I also saw a cormorant dive off of a log straight underwater. Never seen that before. AND, I was chasing around some baby wood ducks, trying to get close enough to film, and they dove underwater. I did not know they, that small, could do that either!

So, it was a good trip even though it was kinda cold at night sitting on the pontoon boat. At least the skeeters weren’t too bad, and I’ll never complain about that 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 blknotkpr@earthlink.net. He can also be followed on the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard Facebook page. Just type in “Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard” in the search field on Facebook.