Chilly cool on the Blackwater

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2022

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent November the 13th through the 15th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was a little better looking as far as being stagnant is concerned. It was also normal level, clear and 57 degrees. Air temps ranged from a chilly, breezy 34 to a chilly, breezy 52 degrees. I saw no water quality issues except the trash. 

I do have good news, though, that affects water quality on that part of the river. I noticed that River Road Farms has fenced the cows out of the river. That is GREAT, and I want to acknowledge their stewardship here. Also, I enjoyed listening to the music coming from the farm Sunday when I was upriver from Franklin cleaning up. Sounded like a great band!

The fishing on this trip was fair. I did not fish but like an hour the first day because of the fact there was so much trash to pick up. However, I did catch a total of four bass and two chain pickerel eventually. All were caught on a fat crankbait. I tried for speckle for about 30 minutes but did not catch a single one. I also jigged a little bit for stripers but didn’t have a hit.

I was surprised at the amount of trash I picked up on this patrol. I didn’t think we’d had enough rain to flush out the local ditches. But yet the Franklin stormwater canal that feeds into the river had most of the trash I picked up all over both shores. And once again I’m finding all these basketballs. I wonder why so many get into the stormwater system.

Anyway, slowly, little by little, the rivers are getting over the drought. More rain and falling water temps will help the low dissolved oxygen values eventually. And that will mean a healthier river and better fishing on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

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.