No fish for you

Published 4:31 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent February the 14th through the 16th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was clear, 50 degrees and a little high. Air temps ranged from 41 to 73, very pleasant indeed. It was nice enough Whispering Bear came out for a few hours on day two and helped pick up trash.

The trash on this trip was horrendous. The recent rains cleaned out the ditches in the city of Franklin. I picked up 60 pounds worth, including a hunting chair full of un-shot shotgun shells. That did not come out of the city ditches. I have no idea how that got into the river. If it fell out of a boat or off of a duck blind, why was it not recovered? Unfortunately, the shotgun shells were already rusted, so I could not use them… darn it! I also picked up a bunch more balls and several buckets. It was a real mess out there this time. 

I also encountered a water quality issue on the water. The film/sheen ran from the Franklin area way downriver past Route 189. It pretty much covered the entire river. There was no smell that I could detect from the sheen. It is an ongoing investigation. 

The fishing on this trip was… nonexistent for me. I fished only for stripers but caught nary a fish. HOWEVER, in my defense I didn’t get to fish where I wanted to because of being occupied with the water quality issue and the trash. But I fished enough that I should have caught something for sure. I talked to a couple of people that had caught some largemouth, and one guy told me they had caught a smallmouth. That’s pretty rare in the Blackwater. I caught one several years ago, and I know of only a few other instances of them being caught there. 

I got one of the best flying turtle shots I have ever taken on this trip. Be sure to check out the pic of it. Also I’m pretty sure there are a few shad in the river, but I have not heard of any being caught yet. I’ll let you know when I know about that and the outcome of the possible pollution issue 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.