RIVERGUARD REPORT: Beaver whisperer

Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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Spirit of Moonpie and I spent May the 24th through the 26th on the Nottoway below the Bronco Club. The water was low from a north wind, slightly dingy and 70 degrees. Air temps ranged from 51 to 72 degrees. I thought my patrol last week was going to be the final one on land for the spring/summer, but the weather turned cool, so I took advantage of that and went one more time. It was very nice ’cept the wind was right tough, as were the skeeters.

The trash on this trip was worse than normal thanks to two people in a boat fishing and throwing their beer cans in the water all over the place. Hopefully I will eventually find out who they were. Littering from boaters doesn’t happen that often anymore around here. Most new trash in the river comes from people fishing on shore, bridges, etc. I was stunned that these people were doing that, knowing I was out there. Which leads me to believe they were not from here. 

The fishing on this trip was pretty good despite the windy conditions. I caught seven bass, four chain pickerel (missed a bunch again) and some big bream. All were caught on stick baits and #3 Mepps spinners. I talked to two different folks who were catfishing limb lines, but neither did very good. 

I had the most interesting beaver encounter up in Mill Creek. I was eating lunch when I heard this odd sound. At first, I thought it was Moonpie’s stomach, but then I remembered that Spirits don’t eat, so I knew it was not her. I finally remembered the sound as little beaver noises. Then I saw what I thought might be a hut, so I went over and started making baby beaver noises. Much to my surprise a little beaver came swimming out and started crying. I asked the little beaver what was wrong and offered it a bite of my hamburger, to which it replied, “I don’t know what that is.” I explained that it was cow meat, to which it exclaimed, “That sounds nasty, whatever a cow is.” I asked the little friendly critter what was it crying about, and it told me it was lonely because its brothers and sisters had just moved away. Well I said, “I camp right outside of this creek. Anytime we are there you are welcome to come hang out with Moonpie and I, and we will be your friend.” That seemed to make the little beaver very happy, and much to my surprise it swam off singing the Beatles song “I Am the Walrus.” 


And that is just another example of the amazing things that happen to Moonpie and I 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.