August 24 Blackwater Patrol

07 Sep
September 7, 2017

Back Out To The Blackwater
Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 24th through the 26th on the Blackwater below Franklin. Air temps ranged from 62 to 88 degrees and the water was 79 degrees. The water was still pretty stagnant and nasty. Before I forget, there is a newly installed fishing line receptacle at the Franklin ramp and one at VDGIF ramp Rt. 603 that Will Haas and Zuni Ruritans installed. These receptacles are for disposing of discarded fishing line and hopefully will be used for that purpose. Great job Will!
Trash on this trip was bad; I easily collected one full bag. I also collected three Styrofoam blocks. These are the same (larger than a cinder block) blocks that in 2015 I collected over 20 of them out of the river. Those blocks came from Tractor Supply in Franklin. I am hoping the three I collected this time are some of those left over from 2015 and not the beginning of another problem of the same magnitude as in 2015.
Moonpie Critter Patrol was weak this trip. I should have known as much as I had a brand new camera with me that I wanted to try out on the river critters. So of course everybody wanted to play hide and seek this trip and me doing all of the seeking. We did see an eagle, beaver a few great blue Herons, some turkeys and an Osprey. Of course I did not get pics of many of these because the camera was set up wrong or the critter too fast. Typical photographic challenges out there. I was reduced mostly to filming a butterfly that for some reason really liked licking my catfish pliers! Oh, well, it was good camera practice. I did catch an interesting pic of the Cherry Grove Eagles nest. If you look at the pic you will notice it has tall green grass growing in it. I have never seen that before. I guess this year after the babys grew up and flew the coop, they left behind enough ummm, nutrients and somehow grass seeds got in there and the eagles have now started their own turf farm!
The fishing on this trip was poor. I only caught one 5 pound cat the first night and was skunked the second. I did no casting for bass, mostly because I could not. On the very first day of the trip after only being on the water an hour or so, I was simply walking from the front of the boat to the back when something called a slipped disk turned the power switch off to my legs. I dropped like a sack o potatoes to the floor. So I pretty much crawled the rest of that day in very very bad pain. I went ahead and stayed on the river because my thoughts were that I would not be able to even get the boat out of the river in the shape I was in. I figured maybe in three days my back would be better and then I could get out without having to call for help. Well it did get better enough so I could walk barely but I still had to call for help. To get that big pontoon boat out of the water and do all that is required to trailer this boat is quite a task by myself even on a good day. So thank you once again dad for coming to my rescue. Maybe one day soon I will get “back out” (NO PLEASE), lets re-phrase that to “back too” the two rivers I love so much we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.
Jeff Turner BNRP Riverkeeper

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