January 19th Through the 20th Blackwater Trip

20 Jan
January 20, 2010

Spirit of Moonpie & I spent the 19th through the 20th on the Blackwater below the Steel Bridge VDGIF boat ramp on Rt. 603.  We had planned on our typical 3-day adventure but the threat of rain and a fast rising river drove us off the river early.

The water was muddy, fast and 44 degrees.  When we put in the 19th the river was at 8.1 on the USGS gauge which is already high and by the time we took out at 11 the next morning it was 9.18.  On Saturday the 16th the river was at 7ft.  Sunday upriver according to NOAA in Wakefield it rained 1.20 inches.  Granted it rained hard and fast but that just shows how bad us humans are contributing to the flood problems this river has.  1.20 inches of rain should not jump the river 2 feet and that is just how high it had risen as of this writing on the afternoon of the 20th.   This trend will only continue to get worse unless we change the way we develop the land around here.  The trash on this trip was not too bad and I picked up only a small bag.  I saw no other water quality issues.  However there is now a huge logjam at the City of Norfolk’s pump-house.  It is forcing the high river waters against the shore where the pump house sits and is eating away at that structures foundation.  If the jam is not removed and we continue to have high fast water, that building could end up with some serious damage.  Fishing on this trip was not great, at least for me.  I caught 9 blackfish, two nice largemouth and a catfish.  All were caught on a ½ oz. blade bait jigging off the bottom in water from 14 to 23 ft.  Usually the blackfish are really hittin’ in this part of the river right now.  I did see my buddy Dean and a friend do pretty good with the speckle.  Moonpie saw them coming up the river and said, “ that’s the same guy that was where we were fishing last trip out.  Yea, so what? I replied. Well I think he is following us around or stalking us or something.  Look Moonpie I said, I like talking to him, he’s an interesting fellow so chill out.  Besides I think there is way-a-plenty room for us all out here on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

2 replies
  1. Flashgordon says:

    I put in the Nottoway with a friend of mine, Andy on Tuesday January 19Th. outside of Courtland on Old Bridge Road, State Route 742. The day started out a little cool at 42 degrees at put in yet warmed up to a respectable 55 degrees shortly thereafter. We planned on paddling up-stream towards the Route 58 Bridge, about 1/2 mile upriver past the old concrete bridge post we encountered a large Pine tree on the left bank and an Oak on the left blocking the river. The only portage was on the left bank, there was a depression in the Oak tree that allowed a canoe to barely get by, I had to step out and pull my canoe over the log. We paddled up river to approximately 1/2 mile from the bridge and decided to call it a day, great exercise paddling up stream. The water was muddy from the previous rains. No fishing on this trip, but my fishing pole will be at my side next journey!

    My concern is with the swift current anyone traveling downstream could definitely take a dip not knowing about the log jam.

    Good Paddling!!

  2. Riverkeeper says:

    Hopefully somebody will take a chain saw to it this spring. It will likely happen because folks like to shad fish up there.
    Jeff

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