|In this issue:
- Make Your Spring Gobbler Hunt a
- The Shad Are Back
- Anglers Spend Time and Money
- View the Shad Cam Located at
- Regulation Amendment Process
- People and Partners in the News
- Kids Fishing Days Scheduled
- Fly Fishing Festival April 21-22 in
- "Learn to Fly Fish" Workshop May 12
- Holiday Lake Forestry Camp Teaches
Conservation to Teens
- 31st Annual Youth Conservation Camp
Sponsored by Soil and Water Districts
- Be Safe... Have Fun!
- New High-Tech Inflatable Life
Jackets Are Cool and Comfortable
- Wildlife Habitat Improvement Tip
- "Cleaning Up" the Yard
Can Help Wildlife Too!
- In Case You Missed It...
- Fulfillment Farms Offers Youth
Turkey Hunt April 14
- Youth Writing Contest Extended
- Great Dismal Swamp Birding
Festival May 11-13
- Virginia Waterfowl Stamp Grant
Application Period Open
- Hunting and Fishing
Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
Make Your Spring Gobbler Hunt a Safe One!
To ensure a safe
and enjoyable day afield, VDGIF recommends the
following guidelines for Spring Gobbler hunting:
- Tie a strip of
blaze orange to a nearby tree to alert others of
- When choosing
a calling position, don't hide so well that you
cannot see what is going on around you. Select a
calling position with a good view of your
surroundings and where the sun does not distort
what you are seeing.
- Never move,
wave or make turkey sounds to alert another
hunter of your presence. Instead, call out in a
loud voice and remain hidden, until the other
hunter acknowledges your presence.
- When you
harvest a gobbler, carry it out of the woods
draped in blaze orange. Otherwise, another
hunter might just see the bird and not you.
Read more about how to stay safe during your
Spring Gobbler hunt! »
The Shad Are Back
is upon us and the annual run of shad and herring is
in full swing as they make their way into our
freshwater rivers to spawn. In recent years, many
anglers have been rediscovering these silvery jewels
from the sea, as increasing numbers of hickory and
American shad are providing exciting spring angling
American shad and
hickory shad usually arrive in March in the
Rappahannock and James rivers and the Americans
usually hang around through May. Remember, it is
catch and release only for American shad (check
Time and Money Pursuing Shad
Last year VDGIF
conducted an angler survey on the fall line sections
of both the James and Rappahannock rivers from March
1 through May 31 to evaluate angler use and the
economic value of this springtime fishery. In the
James River, anglers fished 22,306 hours for shad,
caught 32,578 hickory and 2,249 American shad, and
spent $87,159 during the three month survey. On the
Rappahannock, anglers fished 6,210 hours for shad,
caught 15,103 hickory and 1,425 American shad, and
spent $59,406. To view the full report, see the
2006 James and Rappahannock River Fall Line Creel
View the Shad
Cam Located at Bosher's Dam
The Shad Cam at the
Bosher's Dam fishway provides visitors a peek into
the incredible journey of anadromous fish as they
return to the James River to spawn in the spring.
The fishway, constructed in 1999, provides fish with
access to 137 miles of the James River and 168 miles
of its tributaries.
2007 Wildlife and Boating Regulation Review and Amendment
In 2007 the Board
of Game and Inland Fisheries is conducting its
Periodic Regulation Review and Amendment Process, in
which it addresses all regulations administered by
VDGIF. At the March 27 Board meeting, staff
presented its Preliminary Recommendations for
regulation amendments. The Preliminary
Recommendations Public Discussion Period opened
April 10 and runs through June 15.
Key dates in the process can be found at the
Department's Web site.
VDGIF solicits the
public's participation in the regulation review
process; channels for submitting comments are:
Online through the Department's Web site
sent to RegComments@dgif.virginia.gov
letters sent to: Dept. of Game and Inland
Fisheries, Attn: Policy Analyst and Regulatory
Coordinator, 4016 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA
comment at five Board meetings (March 27;
June 5; July 17; August 21; October 16; all are
9 AM at 4000 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA.).
- Meetings on
request. On request and subject to
availability, VDGIF staff will meet with
constituent groups, local government officials,
or other groups in local communities to address
specific regulatory issues of interest.
People and Partners in the News
Fishing Days Scheduled Statewide
More than 30
Kids Fishing Days (PDF) are being planned
statewide by various organizations in partnership
with VDGIF. These events are an enjoyable time for
the family and a great opportunity to introduce kids
to fishing in a fun atmosphere. The first one is
scheduled in Front Royal on Saturday April 14, with
events every weekend statewide through June 9,
2007. For detailed information on dates, locations,
times and contacts, see the
Kids Fishing Days schedule (PDF) to find one
near you! Catch the fun! Take a kid fishin'!
Festival April 21-22 in Waynesboro
Want to get started
in fly fishing but don't know where to begin? The
Virginia Fly Fishing Festival is the ideal place
to get your feet wet in the sport. The Virginia Fly
Fishing Festival is held on the banks of the South
River in Waynesboro, April 21-22, 2007. Anglers from
across the Mid-Atlantic attend to hear nonstop, free
lectures and get tips on where, when, and how to fly
fish in the Old Dominion and across the globe. The
festival also features as
well as wine-tasting and live music.
"Learn to Fly
Fish" Workshop May 12 in Harrisonburg
Chapter of Trout Unlimited is sponsoring the annual
"Learn to Fly Fish" Workshop May 12, 2007, in
Harrisonburg, at River Rock Park beginning at 8:30
a.m. The event is for beginners or novice anglers
who need a tune up. Classes provide hands-on
instruction in selecting the right tackle, fly
casting, knots, stream techniques and more.
Participants must be at least 10 years of age and
accompanied by an adult if under age 15.
Participants 16 years or older must possess a valid
Freshwater Fishing License and Trout License. The
cost is $49 and lunch and fly fishing rods and
equipment will be provided. For more info visit the
Massanutten Chapter of Trout Unlimited's Web site
Forestry Camp Teaches Conservation To Teens
Department of Forestry, in cooperation with natural
resource conservation agencies and organizations, is
accepting nominations until April 20, for the annual
Holiday Lake Forestry Camp near Appomattox the
week of June 18-23, 2007. Camp is held at the
Holiday Lake 4-H Education Center located within the
20,000 acre Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest. This
working forest provides a vast outdoor classroom for
interactive learning. This unique camping experience
introduces teens to the challenges, special skills
and knowledge needed for managing the forest
resources we use and enjoy every day. The week long
camp is ideal for students who want to explore and
experience activities in forestry and wildlife-related careers, or participate in forestry and
wildlife judging teams, Envirothon competitions, or
ecology clubs. For more information, see the
Department of Forestry's Web site.
Youth Conservation Camp Sponsored by Soil and Water
Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
(VASWCD) has sponsored a week long summer
conservation camp for Virginia high school students
(grades 9-12) on the campus of Virginia Tech for the
years. The program brings together about 90
interested students for a week of learning about
Virginia's natural resources; classes are taught by conservation
professionals and faculty from Virginia Tech. Most
of the instruction is hands-on and outdoors. The
2007 Camp is July 8-14, 2007.
Applications (PDF) must be submitted to your
local soil and water conservation office by May 8,
2007. To determine local office (based on your
locality), see the
Be Safe... Have Fun
Inflatable Life Jackets Are Cool and Comfortable
boating-related fatalities are the result of
drowning and it is estimated that over 80% of
fatalities could have been prevented if a life
jacket was worn. With the improved technology of
inflatable life jackets, there really isn't any
reason not to wear a life jacket today. While the
life jackets of yesterday were hot, bulky and
uncomfortable, new life jackets are lightweight,
compact and extremely comfortable.
jackets are all the rage. They come in two basic
styles, "Over the Shoulder" and "Waist Belts/Packs."
Both use a simple CO2 release mechanism
to inflate an inner bladder. The release device
comes in two styles: manual or auto/manual. You'll
pay about $35 more for the automatic inflation
style, but to some boaters, it's money well spent.
The inflatable life jackets are U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)-approved,
but you do need to check the label to determine what
the rating is for each individual life jacket. A
Type V rating requires the device to be worn by the
person to meet carriage requirements.
jackets take up about one-tenth the storage room of
conventional foam-filled PFDs and are USCG-approved
for persons over 16 years of age who are not engaged
in whitewater activities, water skiing or riding on
Wildlife Habitat Improvement Tip
the Yard Can Help Wildlife Too!
Now is the time to
plant wildflower gardens for butterflies and
hummingbirds and sunflowers for doves. You can also
provide important cover for birds, mammals, and
other wildlife species by creating brush piles from
your yard debris, such as pruned branches or downed
limbs. Also, don't remove leaves! Keep leaf litter
intact as a ground cover, where possible, and allow
the natural decomposition process to occur. Leaves
provide a home for many insects that feed other
animals in the food web.
Learn more »
In Case You Missed It...
As our subscriptions have grown to over 8,000 and
new readers continue to sign up, we realize that
some of our seasonal features are important and
timely enough to bear repeating. So you can easily
review these seasonal items, we have published them
in this section: "In case you missed it..."
Farms Offers Youth Turkey Hunt April 14
opportunity for young turkey hunters is being
offered by The Virginia Wildlife Foundation at
Fulfillment Farms in Albemarle County on April 14.
Please contact Ike Wright at (434) 286-4511 for
details and registration information.
deadline for the Virginia Outdoor Writers
Association (VOWA) 14th Annual Youth Writing
Competition has been extended to April 30, 2007. The
extension allows for the top three Youth Writing
Award winners to be recognized during the Outdoor
Writers Association of America Conference being held
in Roanoke June 16-19, 2007. The winners will be
introduced during a luncheon including about 300 national
outdoor writers and editors. In addition, each of
the three winners receives outdoor gear and other
prizes valued at several hundred dollars.
The goal of the
contest is to recognize students in grades 9 through
12 for excellence in communicating their personal
experiences in the outdoors. The theme of this
year's contest, "My Most Memorable Outdoor
Experience," may include an experience by the
writer with hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing,
hiking, birding or other outdoor activity.
Submissions can be made by private, public or home
schooled students. For contest rules, guidelines and
VOWA's Web site.
Swamp Birding Festival May 11-13
The Inaugural Great
Dismal Swamp Birding Festival is scheduled for May
11-13, 2007. This event will celebrate International
Migratory Bird day with guided walks, narrated bus
tours and family activities - all free! Huge
numbers of migrating songbirds move through the
swamp at this time of year - and you'll have a
chance to experience them! The Great Dismal Swamp
National Wildlife Refuge is a treasure trove of
wildlife and a great Virginia experience.
This event is
co-sponsored by VDGIF, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service, the City of Suffolk and the Great Dismal
Swamp Coalition. Visit the
Festival's Web site or call (757) 986-3705 for
information and reservations.
Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Grant
Application Period Open
VDGIF is soliciting
applications for the 2007 Migratory Waterfowl
Conservation Stamp grant cycle. This grant is open
to non-profit organizations for cooperative
waterfowl habitat improvement projects in Virginia.
Grant applications are due June 29, 2007, before
5:00 p.m. Successful applicants will be notified
within 30 days of the submission deadline.
Spring Hunting and Fishing Events Offered for
Persons with Disabilities
Sportsmen and VDGIF have seven hunting and fishing
outings for April and May for persons with
disabilities. Applications for these hunting or
fishing opportunities are available online at
All of the events are free and open to anyone with a
disability. Participants are responsible for having
all required Virginia hunting and fishing licenses.
See the Upcoming
Events section for dates and locations. The
application deadline is April 30, 2007. For more
information, or to get an application by mail,
please contact, Robin Clark at (434) 979-6154, or
via e-mail at
Help Spread the News!
We hope you enjoy the new,
electronic Outdoor Report and invite you to share this
information with your friends and colleagues.
Simply visit the
Department's Web site and click on the Outdoor Report
subscribe. New editions are sent directly to your email
address every two weeks. Stay informed on issues and
opportunities about Virginia's outdoors!
upcoming issues of the
new Outdoor Report, look for:
- Leave Fawns Alone
- Ethanol Boat Gas Warning
- Free Freshwater Fishing
Days: June 1-3, 2007