May 8th Blackwater Patrol

14 May
May 14, 2016

Blackwater Chupacabra Joins Riverkeeper

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 8th through the 10th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was 60 degrees, high and fast at 1.71 on the Franklin USGS gauge. Air temps ranged from 53 degrees to 85 degrees.  This time finally the weather guys were spot on and the rain hit at night while I was asleep, which makes for wonderful sleeping in a tent. The fishing on this trip was just fair cause of the high water.  I did manage to catch a white perch, a speckle, bream, chain pickerel, yellow perch and 3 largemouth with one that went a very nice 3.5 pounds. Most fish were caught on a #2 Mepps Minnow. I checked on both eagle nests while I was out there and at the Pretlow Farm nest there might be two young eagles there. It’s hard to glass (binoculars) the nest in a boat as it is moving so much. For sure at the Cherry Grove nest there were two younglings’ sitting out on the edge of the nest. The momma eagle was sitting in an adjacent tree keeping a sharp eye on the pair. It seems they have grown really fast this year. Maybe they are eating snakes. I saw snakes all over the place on this trip. It is mating season again and they are certainly out in force. Moonpie and I were very fortunate this trip to have the Blackwater Chupacabra (see gallery for pics) join us and help us clean up. We were up in the Franklin stormwater canal and decided we would see how far we could go with the water so high. So when we got to the fork where the canal divides from the Pretlow leg to the Armory leg, we decided to go right into the section that goes up behind Magnolia and Bogart Street. It was at this junction that the Blackwater Chupacabra leapt from an overhanging tree into the boat with us and offered to guide us the rest of the way through this very treacherous swamp. Moonpie did not like giving up the back seat for our guest, but finally capitulated after I explained that she could now just lie in the bottom of the boat and sleep while we worked. Worked we did, that part of the canal was trashed. Strange thing was the type of some stuff found, pool toys, pool floats and fishing stuff like worm containers and bobbers. There was also of course the usual large amount of styro food containers and cups and of course all the beer bottles etc. Somebody up there drinks a lot of Burnett’s vodka.  MANY of the styro cups had “New Dixie Mart” logo on them. How the heck does so many styro cups from this place get all the way to the river? So it begs to wonder, are people in the Bogart Street/Magnolia Street areas swimming and fishing as they float on pool toys in this nasty ditch and also eating breakfast, lunch and dinner from New Dixie Mart while doing so? If not, then how and why does stuff like this end up in the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway?

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