As recorded by John Bunch, Secretary
Curtis Newsome opened the meeting by asking that John Bunch read the minutes from the previous month’s meeting. Following the reading, Jeff Turner made the motion to adopt the minutes as is, was seconded by Nancy Turner, and were adopted without any changes.
Nancy Turner reported August expenses to be $1105.58, revenues of $0. Other than the Riverkeeper salary, there were no large expenditures.
Bobby Turner then reported that the membership total had not changed since the previously reported 132.
It was brought out that two of our members had their last names changed due to marriage – Nancy (Scott) Turner and Wendy (Walker) Harrison.
The meeting had 7 in attendance and the BOD members present were Nancy Turner, Jeff Turner, Curtis Newsome, and Mark Smith.
The Riverkeeper Report
As presented by Jeff Turner
On 8/14 – Sent a letter to the Va Marine Resource Commission (VMRC) asking that they reconsider the ban on Herring fishing by rod & reel. At the present, in our rivers, no herring may be legally kept.
Took Kyle O’Brien (17 year old diver) to the Burdette Pipeline on the Blackwater River to check to see if there was indeed a bypass built into the structure that crosses the river. He did find the presumed opening and it measured approximately 3 or 4×6 feet, but it was mostly clogged. Eric Brittle (VDGIF) and another biologist were present for this. The structure was built to protect the water pipeline that travels from the Nottoway River. Norfolk Waterworks most likely has control over this structure and its upkeep.
According to the Dept of Forestry (DOF), 222 acres have been logged on the Nottoway River from Simms Gut to below The Narrows.
On 8/15 – Filed formal complaints with the Va Dept of Agriculture & Consumer Services concerning the cows in the river on two locations: on the Blackwater, downstream from Franklin and on the Nottoway, upriver from Hercules. This is not the first time a complaint has been filed for the cows on the BW.
On 8/16 – Spent three days on the Nottoway and found the cows to be the only water quality issue.
Was contacted by DEQ concerning an oil complaint that centered around an intake for farm irrigation that was located near Carey’s Bridge. There was leaking oil from a diesel motor and pump.
On 8/20 – Made a short video on the BW (including the cows) for the WKA for a project they are doing that involves all of their programs. The footage was shot using a video camera that had been sent to record with and then to be returned containing that video recording.
On 8/26 – Had to cancel an Eco-Cruise with the Episcopal Church due to threatening weather. This is the only trip that has had to be cancelled this year.
On 8/29 – Received the VDOT soil test results (metals analysis) for the fly ash samples associated with the new bridge construction on the BW and Rt 58. Samples had been taken in 1999 and show no dangers.
On 9/4 – Paid a visit to Harry Ward, an 86 year old retired Union Camp Tug Boat Operator. He had some interesting tales to tell about his previous work experience on the river.
On 9/10 – Attended International Paper’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC) lunch meeting. Safety at the mill was the topic that was presented.
This concluded the Riverkeeper Report
– Trot and Drop line regulations were cleared up. What follows is verbage of the regulations as provided by Gary Martel of Fisheries:
There are two sections of code that cover your concerns. The first is the one mentioned in your letter and 4 VAC 15-350-60 regarding the checking of lines every 24 hours. If an individual chose to abandon the jug or line they would have to remove it (or return in 24 hours). The second area of protection would be through the code sections relating to litter. Essentially you cannot abandon materials such as jugs, line, rope, etc. as it would then be classified as litter.
– Dominion Power is interested in building a floating pier at Barrett’s Landing. A pier would really help in the loading and unloading of the elderly onto the Eco-Cruise boat as it’s a fairly significant step down to the boat.
– Submitted an idea in letter form to the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Development, the Mayor, and other city officials concerning purchasing a tour boat for the City of Franklin. It would probably take grant funds for the purchase and Jeff would offer to assist in researching the best boat to acquire.
– It’s Intercoastal Cleanup time again and it ends Oct. 31st. Some of our group usually picks up trash and does the itemization that is required. The information needs to be sent back to Jeff prior to 10/31 so Jeff can compile it.
– John Bunch reported that the IP boathouse dredging work was completed and the only thing left for the project was to install a ladder in the house to be able to access the boats.