Moonpie Freezing Deer and I stayed on the Blackwater above Joyners Bridge the 30th through the 2nd. The water was low at 1.85 on the USGS gauge, clear and 51 degrees. Air temps ranged from 24 to 60 degrees. Water conditions continue to be very bad on the upper river.
The river is as low as I have ever seen it and has been this way longer that I have ever seen it. Water quality continues to go down-hill with dissolved oxygen levels very low. Because of no flow the water is stagnant and is accumulating oil and other lighter than water contaminants on the surface. Trash was light on this trip and the only other water quality issues I saw was a butchered deer or something in the river. I have found several lately and have handed that information over to VDGIF. The fishing on this trip was really bad. We caught a few bream and a flier which was pretty cool, four bass, and a white catfish but no blackfish. I do not know why the blackfish have not got going yet this years as they are about a month late. I can only surmise that it is because of the poor river conditions. I was glad Freezing Deer was able to go this trip. It has been a long time since she has had the opportunity because of her work schedule. Earlier in the year we had discussed winter camping and had decided that 35 degrees would be the cut off temperature for her to go because she hates the cold so bad. So when she said she would go on this trip since it was the only chance she has had in awhile I flinched because NOAA had predicted 32 degrees as the coldest of the two nights. I figured what the heck, three degrees ain’t bad and with that and Moonpies blessing we decided not to say anything.
Also generally it gets about four or five degrees colder beside the river, but Moonpie again told me not to say anything. The first night was the worst and at about 9 p.m. FD asked what the temperature was as I walked past the supply box. I looked and it was 32, just as they predicted I chided. All I heard was a Brrrrr as I headed back to the warmth of the fire. I didn’t say anything else about the cold even though I was sure it was going to get way colder than 32 that night, I figured just talking about it would make her colder, so I just put anther log on the fire. I have a feeling FD knew it was going to get a lot colder also but I was just glad we all three were able to get out together and be on of the two rivers we call Blackwater and Nottoway.