|In this issue:
- VDGIF Dedicates New Office at VCU
- Shenandoah, Cowpasture, and Upper
James Rivers - Fish Kill Update
- People and Partners in the News
- Virginia Wildlife Action Plan
Television Special/Fairfax County
- Outdoor Writers Meeting in Roanoke
- Harrisonburg High School Team Wins
- Applications Due June 30 for
Virginia Naturally School Recognition
- Big Apple Archery Tournament June
29-July 1 at Buggs Island
- Be Safe... Have Fun!
- In Case You Missed It...
- Women in the Outdoors Event
July 13 in Hampton
- Smallmouth Bass Workshop on the
New River July 17
- If You Find a Fawn, Leave it
- Virginia Migratory Waterfowl
Conservation Stamp Grant Application Period Open
- Fishin' Report
VDGIF Dedicates New
Office at VCU Rice Center
officially dedicated its new Region I office at the VCU Rice Center on June 4, 2007. The facility,
located at 3801 John Tyler Memorial Highway (Route
5) in Charles City County, houses VDGIF law
enforcement, wildlife and fisheries personnel who
work in a region that covers 29 counties and major
In his remarks at
the ceremony, Secretary of Natural Resources L.
Preston Bryant cited Governor Tim Kaine's Executive
Order 48 that directs state agencies and
institutions to reduce energy consumption and cost
in state government operations. The "green" building
was designed with a number of sustainable or
At the dedication
ceremony, VDGIF Board Chairman John Montgomery and
VDGIF Director J. Carlton Courter, III both
emphasized the importance of the facility in
providing support to Department work in the region.
Read more »
Shenandoah, Cowpasture, and
James Rivers - Fish Kill Update
fisheries biologists continue to be very involved with field
collections and studies that are part of ongoing efforts to
investigate the Shenandoah River fish kills and the recent
outbreaks of similar sick and dying fish in the Cowpasture River
and upper James River. For a full update, information about how
anglers can help and report their observations, and a Frequently
Asked Questions section, read the
Shenandoah, Cowpasture, and James
River Fish Kills Update on the Department's Web site.
How Are the Fish Bitin'?
Anglers across the state can
get answers on fishing conditions for many of their favorite
rivers and lakes by reading the Fishin' Report, included
in this and future issues of the Outdoor Report. License
agents, marinas, fishing guides and bait shops have volunteered
to serve as contacts for information on recent fishing
conditions for primary rivers and lakes throughout the state.
Sarah White, outdoor writer and regular contributor to
Virginia Wildlife magazine, prepares the Fishin' Report
from interviews with contacts the week prior to publication of
the Outdoor Report. The Fishin' Report will only
be available as part of your free subscription to the Outdoor
Got your fishing license yet?
People and Partners in the News
Wildlife Action Plan featured on Communicating
in the Northern Virginia/Fairfax area will have an
opportunity to learn more about the
Wildlife Action Plan during the Communicating
Today Show, on Fairfax Public Access Channel 10.
John Monsul, host of Communicating Today was
joined by David K. Whitehurst, VDGIF Wildlife
Diversity Director, and VDGIF board members Thomas
A. Stroup of Fairfax, and James W. Hazel of Oakton.
The show will air Wednesday, July 13, at 8:30 p.m.,
Friday, July 15, at 6:30 a.m. and Sunday, July 17,
at 3:30 p.m. For a listing of air times visit
Outdoor Writers Meeting in Roanoke June 16-19
Smile - you may be on camera, or the subject of an
interview as 450 journalists representing the
nation's top outdoor oriented writers,
photographers, editors, videographers, radio, TV
and film makers meet in Roanoke June 16-19. Virginia
natural resource agencies, Roanoke Convention and
Visitors Bureau and the Virginia Tourism Corporation
are hosting the
80th Annual Conference of The Outdoor Writers
Association of America (OWAA). OWAA is one of
the largest professional outdoor communicator
organizations with over 1200 members. In addition to
journalists, outdoor product businesses, travel
industry, conservation organizations and agency
information and education professionals also
prominently participate in this annual event. The
Virginia Outdoor Writers Association (VOWA) is also
holding their annual meeting in conjunction with the
national group. During the conference members will
be recognized for excellence in their fields of
writing and photography and winners of the VOWA
Youth Writing Contest will be recognized. For
information on the award winners visit the VOWA Web
site at www.vowa.org.
VDGIF is an active supporting member of both of
these professional communication organizations. Be
on the lookout in your favorite outdoor publications
and television shows for stories on the abundant
outdoor adventures these writers will experience
while visiting Virginia. You may learn of a new
place to cast a line, see an eagle soar, or discover
the perfect gear for your next outdoor adventure!
High School Team Wins State Envirothon
High School Team was awarded the State Championship
at the Virginia (State) Envirothon held May 20-21,
2007, at the W.E. Skelton 4H Education Center in
Wirtz. Seventeen teams competed in the day-long
contest that featured "in-the-field" test stations
on soils, wildlife, aquatics and forestry. Teams
also presented an oral presentation to a panel of
judges consisting of industry and natural resource
professionals proposing a management solution for a
current environmental issue. "The intense study
required for this contest helps prepare students for
college entrance exams, as well as possible careers
in fields associated with natural resources," said
Ricky Rash, president of the Virginia Association of
Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
sponsored by the Virginia Association of Soil and
Water Conservation Districts and Virginia's 47 Soil
and Water Conservation Districts. VDGIF staff assisted
with training for teams and setting up and judging
the regional and state contests.
If you can help, or
would like to know more about starting an Envirothon
team at your high school through 4-H, FFA, Ecology
Club or home school group, contact Dana Roberts at
the Virginia Association of Soil and Water
Conservation Districts at (804) 559-0324 or
June 30 for Virginia Naturally School Recognition
Schools are invited
to apply for recognition of their efforts in
Schools is the official environmental education
school recognition program of the Commonwealth,
administered by the Department of Game and Inland
Fisheries with support from the Department of
Education, Department of Environmental Quality and
other resource agencies. This program recognizes the
wonderful efforts of many Virginia schools to
increase the environmental awareness and stewardship
of our youngest citizens.
Suzie Gilley, VDGIF
Wildlife Education Coordinator, explained that,
"Virginia Naturally Schools work to promote civic
pride through knowledge of the community history in
the area in which they reside. Virginia Naturally
Schools must meet specific requirements which
increase with each successive year a school achieves
All schools meeting
first year requirements as a Virginia Naturally
School have qualified in four areas: administrative
support, staff development and curricular
integration, resource conservation efforts, and
school/community based projects. Schools entering
the program for the first year receive a plaque,
while schools continuing their efforts receive a
pennant imprinted with a symbol of our Commonwealth.
due by June 30, 2007, and can be found on the
VDGIF Web site along with a list of previously
Archery Tournament June 29-July 1 at Buggs Island
The Buggs Island
Archers Chapter of the Virginia Bowhunters
Association is hosting the Big Apple Archery
Tournament June 29, 30 and July 1, 2007at the Buggs
Island Fish and Wildlife Club in Clarksville.
Camping with hookups, showers, good food, music and
prizes will be available. The Annual event features
family fun, skills competition including archery,
horseshows and a flying coon shoot. For more
information on the event contact:
email@example.com. For information of the
Virginia Bowhunters Association and their events and
programs visit their Web site:
Be Safe... Have Fun
Do Not Feed the
With a healthy and
growing black bear population, bear sightings during
the spring and summer months are not unusual in
Virginia. However, bears showing up in areas where
they are not commonly seen can cause quite a stir.
Summer is the breeding season for the black bear, a
time of year when bears are naturally on the move.
Adult males may roam well beyond their normal range
searching for mates.
Bears are highly
adaptable and intelligent animals and can learn to
associate human dwellings with food. In their search
for food, bears are attracted to residential areas
by the smell of food around homes. The most common
food attractants are bird feeders, garbage and pet
food. Outdoor grills, livestock food, compost, fruit
trees and beehives can also attract bears. Keep
your full or empty trash containers secured in a
garage, shed or basement. If you have a trash
collection service, put your trash out the morning
of the pickup, not the night before. Take down your
birdfeeder temporarily until the bear moves on.
avoid humans, but in their search for food, they may
wander into suburban areas. So, what should you do
if you see a bear? The most important response is to
keep a respectful distance. Black bears have a
natural fear of humans and, in most cases, would
rather flee than have an encounter with people. If a
bear is up a tree on or near your property, give it
space. Do not approach or gather around the base of
the tree. By bringing your pets inside and leaving
the immediate area, you give the bear a clear path
to leave your property.
that a bear is a wild animal and that it is
detrimental, as well as illegal in Virginia, to feed
a bear under any circumstances. Even the inadvertent
feeding of nuisance bears is illegal. When bears
lose their fear of people, property damage may
occur. Bears habituated to humans may cause safety
concerns and often times need to be destroyed.
If you do see a
bear in your area, enjoy watching it from a
distance. If you experience a bear problem after
taking appropriate steps of prevention, please
notify the Virginia Department of Game and Inland
Fisheries at (804) 367-1258.
If you have
questions about bears or bear behavior, please
visit the bear section of the Department's Web site.
In Case You Missed It...
With numerous new subscribers each issue, we realize
that some of the seasonal features are important and
timely enough to bear repeating. So readers can
easily review these seasonal items, we have retained
the headlines and information links in this section "In case you missed it..."
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!
Virginia and neighboring states want to know "how
are the fish bitin'?" To provide some answers, more
than 25 license agents, marinas, fishing guides and
bait shops have volunteered to serve as contacts for
information on recent fishing conditions for primary
rivers and lakes throughout the state. Sarah White,
outdoor writer and regular contributor to
Virginia Wildlife magazine, prepares this
Fishin' Report from interviews with these contacts
the week prior to publication of the Outdoor
The Fishin' Report
is only available as part of your free subscription
to the Outdoor Report.
The rivers and lakes featured in the Fishin' Report
are listed by VDGIF Administrative Regions so you
can quickly locate the area in which you are most
interested. Consult the Regional location map below to
find the major river or lake you want to know about.
For regulations and
conditions on saltwater fishing, visit the
Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) Web site.
Region 1 - Tidewater
Reservoir: Michael White says look for
pickerel, shellcrackers and smallmouths to take your
bait. Alonso Bristol brought in several nice
shellcrackers. Richmonder Ryan Foster caught his
limit of 25 fish. At 77 degrees the water is clear.
Michael says for the next week or so, the stripers
and shellcrackers should hit well.
Chickahominy: Charlie Brown tells us that
the bass catfish and crappie are doing well. Catfish
up to 40 lbs. have been brought in. Water is clear
and in the 70s.
Mike Gizara from Meade Bait and Tackle talks about
bream, shellcrackers, crappie, bigmouth bass,
stripers and chain pickerel are all doing well for
anglers. Wes Bradshaw of Suffolk brought in a 1 lb.
3oz. shellcracker. Water is clear at 77 degrees.
Region 2 - Southside
Kerr Reservoir: Bobby Whitlow from Bob Cat's
Lake Country Store tells us that the bigmouth bass
are hitting well. Cats are snagging the bait in
Staunton River and the stripers are coming back to
the lake. The cool water is slightly stained.
Great fishing at Philpott for largemouth and
smallmouth bass as well as stripers and crappie says
Shawn Purdue of Franklin Outdoors. Some walleye
action to be had also. If you want big trout try the
Pigg River. One angler came in with a brown over
8 pounds. Clear water, good fishin'!
Susan T. Martin,
Park Ranger USACE Philpott Lake Visitor Assistance
Center, along with help from local angler Bill Coe
offers a special springtime report for Philpott
at Philpott had a great spawn this year which
lasted from the end of March to the last week in
May. This spawn will keep Philpott as an
excellent largemouth fishery for many years.
Largemouth have now moved back to the creek
mouths and into open water. They can be caught
early in the morning on top-water or by using
plastic baits in around rocky bluffs and points.
On a scale of 1-10 compared with other Virginia
lakes (such as Smith Mountain and Buggs Island)
Philpott largemouth fishing rates a 7 plus.
bass spawn was not as widespread. Smallmouth
have also moved back to the creek mouths and
into open water and can be caught the same as
largemouth or by drop shot rigging with small
plastic baits not larger than 4". Five years ago
a smallmouth in the range of 3-5 lbs were not
unusual. Today it is a trophy at Philpott. On
the scale of 1-10 smallmouth fishing at Philpott
rates a 5.
members of the sunfish family began spawning the
middle of May and as of this report are still on
their beds. The beds can be found in the backs
of creeks where sandy bottom exists. Just look
for dark circles under the water about 3 to 5
feet deep and 18" to 24" in diameter. They are
spawning in abundance and can be caught very
easily with a tiny spinner bait or jig. Sunfish
fishing is a great way to let the kids have a
blast! All shallow waters around Philpott are
loaded with bluegill and pumpkinseed. They can
be caught with any in-line spinner baits such as
Rooster Tails. If you really want to have a
great day on the water take a kid fishing.
Catfish can be
caught at night using worms, store bought
catfish bait, and chicken liver. There are some
diehard catfish fisher-folks who fish Philpott
and do excellent. Best areas are pockets where
the water is still and no more than 25 feet deep. Best hours are after midnight to daylight.
is also good right now but their population
seems to also be diminishing. VDGIF has placed
an 18" limit on catches so please obey. They can
be caught with bottom bouncers rigged with night
crawlers, small spinner baits in line with
Berkley Power Worms and such during the day by
trolling very slowly in 20'-30' of water. After
dark they can be caught by throwing a large
floating crankbait and slow winding (just making
a little V wake) back to the boat. Please
practice catch-and-release when catching them or
take only what you know you will eat.
carp are on prowl in all of the red bank areas
no deeper than 10 feet and can be caught very
easily by just taking a piece of sandwich bread
and rolling it between your fingers into a
marble size ball. Use a couple of sinkers and
size 2 to 4 hook. Toss it out and let it sit and
sooner or later they will take it. There are
numerous carp in excess of 20 pounds and very
few people fish for them. They can also be
caught with night crawlers. I would consider Philpott an 8-9 for carp fishing and yes we old-timers do like to catch 'em every now and then,
but we would deny saying we do.
If you have
never been to Philpott Reservoir you owe
yourself a treat to visit one of the prettiest
places in the state.
Leesville Lake: Fred Tannehill at Tri County
Marina reports crappie, catfish, largemouth bass and
some white bass are showing up. Crappies are best on
small minnows and the white bass are eating minnows
and small worms. Bill Wiborne from North Carolina
brought in a 3 lb. crappie. Water is clear and warm.
James River at Lynchburg: Doug Laine at
Angler's Lane says crankbaits are taking smallmouths.
Low water has slowed the trout fishing. In lower
Lynchburg the fishing is good and following the
spawning pattern. Good water quality here with
Region 3 - Southwest
Flannagan Lake: Michael Mullins of
Flannagan's Marina says that the bass are hitting
during daylight hours on floating worms, flukes and
shiners. At night, buzzbaits and pig-and-jigs are
bringing them in. Catfish have also been biting; but
walleye are not cooperating. When they do bite, it
is usually on long A Bombers. The water quality is
clear and around 79 degrees.
Rodney Fleming of
Prime Time Sports tells us that largemouth bass are
going after Texas rig floating worms. The walleye
are slow, but will sometimes hit a long A Bomber.
Bluegill are falling for crickets. The water quality
is clear to slightly stained and is in the lower
70s. For the next few weeks look for Texas rigs to
work on bass in the daytime and jigs at night.
North Fork Holston River: Not much going on
this week, according to Jamie Lamie. A few
smallmouth are taking the hook as are some redeyes.
The water is low, clear and warm.
Things have slowed down some says Mike Buchett. The
bass are guarding their fry. Schools of fry are
where to cast your top-water lures and floating
worms. Bluegills are spawning on their beds, making
fishing "fun for youngsters." Jason Adams and Chris
Lewis won last week's tournament with five fish that
weighed 8 lbs. together. Water is clear and in the
upper 70s. Mike predicts that night fishing will
pick up and ThunderSticks will bring in the
Victor Billings at
Sportsman's Supply says stripers are hitting top-water bait at night. At the Delton area of Claytor
Lake alewives and gizzard shad are plentiful. James
Conneley from Wythville took three stripers over
18 lbs. Water is clear and 79 degrees. Vic says cats
should pick up over the next several weeks.
Big Z's John Zienius says that the night fishing for
bass is good for anglers using little worms.
Stripers and hybrids are playing hard to get. The
river is shallow and clear.
South Holston: Sportsman's Marina's Bill
Faber says walleye and bass have slowed down but
bass are still good at night. The bass are taking
root beer colored pig-and-jigs. Good clear water
with some algae which makes for good fishing. Temp
is about 76.
Region 4 - Mountain &
Larry Andrews at the Bait Place reports the trout in
the Jackson River are hitting well. Kevin Moore of
Salem brought in a 4.38 lb. brown trout. A 5.39 lb.
brown trout was taken from the Jackson by Steven
Nicely of Covington. Lake water is good with bass,
perch and trout all coming to the bait. Anglers are
having the best luck trolling. Moomaw is full, clear
and running 72 degrees.
North Fork of
the Shenandoah: Harry Murray of Murray's Fly
Shop in Edinburg says the North Fork water level is
ideal for fishing for smallmouth bass, sunfish and
fall fish. Best flys for these fish are: Shenandoah
Blue Popper, Murray's Black Hellgrammite and the
Pearl Marauder. Trout streams in the Blue Ridge are
in good shape with the best flys being: Mr. Rapidan
dry fly, Murray's Flying Beatle size 14 to 16 and an
H large size 18. Big Stony Creek west of Edinburg is
a good spot for trout as are Back Creek and the
Jackson River. Water is excellent with the
Shenandoah at 74 degrees and the streams running 59
Region 5 - Northern
Richmond: Russ Cress indicates that fishing has
been slow with only a few bream taking the bait. The
water is mostly clear and warm.
James River Park
Area (City of Richmond): Mike Ostrander tells us
smallmouth bass, sunfish and flathead cats are
coming to the bait. Water in the James is low and
clear and according to Mike the fishing is getting
"better and better."
Anna Point Marina's Ken Kirk reports that small
stripers are hitting on spoons and the black bass
are hanging around deep-water brush and stumps. Not
much crappie action, but shellcrackers and bream
are still on the beds and the fishing is good. Water
is stained but clearing, temperature is in the low
70s. The bass should be returning to their summer
pattern soon, and respond well to buzzbaits in the
Now go catch a
upcoming issues of the
new Outdoor Report, look for:
- Hunting & Trapping
- What to do about Nuisance
- New rules at Chickahominy