February 28 Blackwater Patrol

02 Mar
March 2, 2013

Spirit of Moonpie & I spent the 28th through the 2nd on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was high at 1.30 ft. on the Franklin USGS gauge, 44 degrees and just a little stained. Air temps ranged from 35 to 52 degrees. I was sooo glad to finally get back on the river. It had been like 8 weeks since I last patrolled. The place I stay at below Franklin I call the Beaver Hole. Years ago there was an abandoned beaver lodge there, not the big ones like you see on TV, but the typical river type where they use a washed out place under the roots of a tree along the bank and then just add to it. Lazy beaver lodging is what I call it. Anyway, I named it the “Beaver Hole” Well it has been so long since I have been there the beavers had gone up there and cut down a couple of trees. “Oh my gosh Moonpie said, their taking over”! It sure looked like it but we did not see a single beaver while we were there. Usually if I’m intruding on their territory they will let us know by swimming back and forth in front of the tent all night long and slapping their tails. I had to do some cutting of my own just to get to the camp. Luckily I had my new battery powered chainsaw that worked like a charm. Greenworks 20082A 40-Volt 4 Amp-Hour Cordless Lithium Ion 12-Inch Chain Saw
The fishing on this trip was not great. I talked to a feller that had caught four shad, but he had been there trying a long time. I caught a speckle, 4 yellow perch, 2 small rockfish and 2 largemouth bass of which one weighed about 2 pounds. We are in that kinda transition period right now between winter and spring. The fishing is usually pretty tough through this period and then it just explodes and everything starts biting. Really though, I spent most of my time picking up trash. All that rain we have been having must have scoured the Franklin stormwater ditches clean of trash, cause it was all in the RIVER. The trash was bout as bad as I have seen in a long time. It was easy to tell that it came out of the cities canal that feeds into the river. I picked up two large bags full, but there were truckloads that had been deposited on shore by the high water. Good for the river, bad for the woods. I saw very little trash upriver from this canal. What stunned me about this haul was the large amount of household trash. Like the Styrofoam things that chicken comes in from the grocery store. Laundry detergent bottles and stuff like that and also a bunch of lighters, blunt containers and syringes. Where are these people doing their drugs? Must be somewhere close to a Franklin stormwater ditch. Of course there was the usual plethora of basketballs and footballs etc, and even a child’s tricycle. How does that get into a stormwater ditch??
After cleaning up all that nasty stuff we were sitting there scrubbing ourselves with anti-bacterial wipes when Moonpie jumped up and said “LOOK, a bald eagle”. Sure enough the majestic bird angled close over us and dipped its left wing at us. Moonpie and I looked at each other and smiled, cause we knew what that meant on the two rivers we call the Blackwater & Nottoway.

1 reply
  1. elaineherring says:

    So glad to see your report! It has been awhile and the weather has not been very good for cruising the rivers but hopefully spring is right around the corner! So glad you saw an eagle again that’s always a plus to see when out on the river! Sorry you saw so much trash but like you said we have had way too much rain for my liking! Thanks for cleaning the rivers and reporting wildlife in our area. Hope you will get to go out again soon….keep reporting : )”

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