|In this issue:
- Federal Delisting of Eagles
Effective July 28, Still Protected at State Level
- People and Partners in the News
- Quail Unlimited Hosting Habitat
Cost Share Meeting July 16
- New Program Seeks Volunteers
- Buck Reservoir on New River
Scheduled for August Drawdown
- Long-Standing Musky Record Broken
- Be Safe... Have Fun!
- Basic Boating Safety Tips
- In Case You Missed It...
- Women in the Outdoors Events:
July 14 in Hampton, July 21 in Raphine
- Virginia Wildlife Action Plan
Featured on Communicating Today
- "The Woods in Your Backyard"
Workshops Coming in July
- Teens Learn Outdoor Skills
Through Xtreme JAKES Event
- VDGIF Basic Law Enforcement
Academy Graduates 3rd Class
- 2007-08 Hunting & Trapping
Regulations Digest Now Available
- Shenandoah, Cowpasture, and
James Rivers - Fish Kills Update
- Fishin' Report
Federal Delisting of
Eagles Effective July 28, Still Protected at State
After four decades
of protection under the federal Endangered Species
Act and its predecessor, The Endangered Species
Protection Act of 1966, the bald eagle (Haliaeetus
leucocephalus) has officially been removed from
the federal List of Endangered and Threatened
Wildlife. The change will go into effect July 28,
Bald eagles will
remain federally protected under the Bald and Golden
Eagle Protection Act, and under the Migratory Bird
Treaty Act. They also remain protected as a State
Threatened Species under Virginia law and VDGIF
regulations. VDGIF, in the context of having state
authority to manage eagles as a nongame species,
will consider whether the eagle's current status in
the Commonwealth, coupled with the new federal
management guidelines and protocols as implemented,
provides adequate protection to warrant removal of
bald eagles from Virginia's Endangered and
Threatened Species list.
The success story
of the recovery of bald eagles, our Nation's symbol,
is one that every American can appreciate and be
proud of, but protecting these birds will be an
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 is only
be available as part of your free subscription to the Outdoor
Got your fishing license yet?
People and Partners in the News
Hosting Habitat Cost Share Meeting July 16
Virginia Chapter of Quail Unlimited (CVCQU) is
hosting a special meeting to review the state and
federal cost share programs that are currently
available to landowners for wildlife habitat
improvement. The meeting is Monday, July 16, 2007 at
7:00 p.m. at the VDGIF headquarters located at 4000
West Broad Street in Richmond. Guest speakers
include Steve Capel, retired farm game biologist
from the VDGIF and Dana Bayless, District
Conservationist with the Natural Resource
Conservation Service (NRCS). Cost share programs
such as EQIP, CREP, and CP-33 will be highlighted.
members work to build partnerships with other local
conservation organizations, agencies and individuals
that have a keen interest in sound wildlife habitat
management and stewardship. For more information on
this informational meeting or CVCQU, email Lanny
email@example.com, or call (804) 651-4922.
VDGIF has started
a new volunteer initiative called the
Complementary Work Force program. This program
will provide citizens with an opportunity to work
alongside our dedicated law enforcement officers,
biologists, technicians and staff to conserve and
protect this state's valuable natural resources, and
provide safe recreational opportunities for those
engaged in hunting, fishing, boating and other
outdoor pursuits. If you like the idea of being a
part of what we do, consider joining VDGIF as a
volunteer. There are lots of great
opportunities for individuals and groups to
Check out the Web site for more details and to sign
on New River Scheduled for August Drawdown
will lower the normal water level of the Buck
Hydroelectric Project's reservoir on the New River
in Carroll County, starting August 1, 2007. This
"drawdown" of the reservoir will allow needed
repairs to be made to the spillway. The drawdown
will take place at a rate of about two feet per day
over a one-week period. The reservoir elevation will
be lowered a total of 9 feet by Monday morning,
August 6th. Work on the spillway is scheduled to be
completed by August 31, 2007 and the reservoir will
begin to refill at that time. This schedule may be
affected by unexpected weather conditions or other
circumstances. For information regarding the
drawdown and reservoir elevations, go to
AEP's Web site.
Musky Record Broken
The State Record
Fish Committee of the Virginia Department of Game &
Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has certified a new state
record musky. On June 1, 2007, Shannon Hill, of
Christiansburg, Virginia, caught a 45 pound, 8 ounce
musky from the New River. That topped the existing
record of 45 pounds set in 1989 by R. A. Underwood,
a fish that was also caught in the New River. Mr.
Hill's huge musky measured 53 inches long and had a
girth of 24.5 inches. For more information about the
record freshwater fish program and to see a complete
list of the current
State Record Freshwater Fish, visit the VDGIF
Trophy Fish section. Fisheries biologists in the
VDGIF Regional Office in Marion (276-783-4860) can
provide detailed information on where and how to
catch musky in Virginia.
Show Features New Opportunities for the Whole Family
The 24th Annual
Virginia Outdoor Sportsman's Show features fun and
exciting new exhibits for everyone in the family.
Experienced and novice sportsmen and sportswomen can
try the latest in new equipment and learn about new
places to enjoy Virginia's great outdoors. The three
day show is held at The Showplace in Richmond August
10-12, 2007. You can purchase your new Hunting
License and Wildlife Calendar from the VDGIF booth
and also subscribe to Virginia Wildlife magazine and
the Outdoor Report at the Show. Biologists, game
wardens (now, officially conservation police
officers), and Hunter Education Instructors will be
on hand to answer your questions. This is your
chance to see the biggest bucks harvested in
Virginia. Deer hunters throughout Virginia will
bring their mounts to this prestigious contest
organized by the Virginia Deer Hunters Association (VDHA).
Certified judges from the VDHA and VDGIF will be
awarding ribbons and trophies in four antler
classes. The Virginia Open Turkey Calling
Championship will be held on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
sanctioned by the National Wild Turkey Federation.
There are $5000 in cash and prizes with the first
place winners in three Divisions eligible to go to
the National Calling Contest. Featured this year are
seminars for persons with disabilities to learn
about specialized equipment and partnership programs
with sportsmen's organizations that provide hunting
and fishing opportunities. Check the Show's Web site
for information on numerous other seminars,
exhibits, demonstrations and contests.
Be Safe... Have Fun!
To make sure you
have a safe and enjoyable experience on the water,
remember these three simple precautions:
Life Jacket is a Life Saver
Each year about 80%
of our boating fatalities in Virginia likely would
have been prevented if the individuals had been
wearing their life jackets. Recent advances in the
design of life jackets, especially the inflatables
that are lightweight, comfortable and can be worn
around the waist, make wearing this critical piece
of safety equipment easy.
Boating Don't Mix!
Contrary to popular
belief, most boaters do not take alcohol with them.
But if you allow the use of alcohol on your boat,
always make sure you have someone designated as your
Boating Safety Course
With nearly a
quarter of a million powerboats and tens of
thousands of non-motorized boats like canoes,
kayaks, and rafts on Virginia's waterways, we all
need to be speaking the same nautical language. A
boating safety course provides a good foundation for
safe boating, helps to prevent you from getting a
summons for violations, and prepares boaters for
emergencies. Experienced boaters will find that the
course will keep them up-to-date on boating
regulations and refresh their skills.
offered statewide and can be taken in the classroom,
over the Internet, or through home study.
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
Chickahominy River: Charlie Brown doesn’t
have much to tell us this week. Only that the cats
and bass continue to hit fairly well and that the
water is stained and warm.
North Landing River and Back Bay: Dewey
Mullins tells us that fishing is "right decent"
nowadays; with lots of bass, white perch and
bluegill hitting the lines. A few pickerel have also
cooperated with local anglers. The water has been
high and somewhat tainted with temperatures in the
Allen Wills reports that lots of bass are coming in.
Also bream and speckled perch are being caught. They
are responding to crickets and worms. Jeff Baley of
Elberun, VA brought in a shellcracker weighing 1
lb., 8 oz. Britton Harris from Smithfield landed a 1
lb., 1oz. shell cracker. The water quality is clear,
warm and low.
Region 2 - Southside
Lynchburg: Tom Reisdorf from Angler's Lane said
that the water has been low lately. The smallmouth
bass are lively, hitting surface poppers in yellow
and Carolina blue. The bluegills are also taking
poppers, but smaller ones. Crappies are attacking
white flies. The water level is clear and warm.
Leesville Reservoir: Leigh Gables at Tri
County Marina tells us that things are pretty much
as usual there. Crappie, bass and bream are all
hitting at normal summer levels. The water is clear
in the middle of the lake and muddy at the shores.
The temperature is warm.
Philpott Reservoir: Sean Perdue at Franklin
Outdoors reports that walleye, stripers and bass are
giving local anglers good luck. Crappies, however,
have been leery. Stripers are biting at night on
ThunderSticks and Red Tails. The water has been
clear and around 84 degrees.
Smith Mountain Lake: Mike Snead of the
Virginia Sportsman’s store let me know that crappie
are biting at a depth of around 12-22 feet near the
tops of submerged trees and timber. Bass are biting
around docks, responding best to tubes, wacky rigged
yamasenko worms, shakey-head-jigs, and drop shots
with floating worms and imitation shiners. Stripers
are active at mid depth and like live bait on
trolling umbrella rigs. Channel cats are, as always,
going for stinkbaits. The water is clear and around
80-83, unusually cool for this time of year.
Lower New River: John Zienius of Big Z's
says that hybrids in the lake are hitting in the
daytime. The river is good for smallmouth bass and
muskies. The water is clear and 77 in the river and
80 or more in the lake.
Region 3 - Southwest
North Fork of the Holston: Jamie Lame of the
Sportsmen's Den reports that water levels are low
and the smallmouth bass are picking up. Redeye and
bluegill are also giving local anglers a good time,
hitting on dark colored tubes and other soft
plastics. The water level is low, clear and warm.
Laurel Bed Lake has plenty of feisty smallmouth bass
that are hitting on live bait. Bluegill and redeye
are also doing well.
South Holston Reservoir: Bill Faber at
Sportsman's Marina tells us that the crappie are
good at night, but that other fishing is poor due to
the hot weather and low water. The water is clear
and around 82 degrees.
New River and
Claytor Lake: Victor Billings of Sportsman's
Supply says that nighttime fishing is good on the
river. Smallmouth bass are responding to black
jitterbugs and black jolt spinner baits. Mud and
channel cats are also being cooperative. There have
also been a few muskies to come in; 3 by Jodie
Umberger from Wytheville. Sophia Billings of
Hillsville brought in an 8 lb. walleye.
Region 4 - Mountain &
Lana White from the Bait Place told me that the lake
trout have been slow to respond, but that the
smallmouth bass are doing well. In fact, there is a
bass tournament every Friday. Water quality is warm
Gloria Clemmer reports that things are oddly quiet
at the lake with the local fish, "not doing much."
The weather has been hot in the daytime and cool at
night. Water is clear and in the 70's.
North Fork of
the Shenandoah: Harry Murray, local fly
expert and entrepreneur, lets us know that rainbows
are showing up at large streams in the Shenandoah
Valley in areas such as Big Stoney Creek and Jackson
River. The rainbows are hitting pearl marauders and
Murry's Betsy streamer. Mountain streams are low and
the fish are stressed so many conscientious anglers
are avoiding stressing the fish. The water is
excellent and clear with temperatures running at the
low 70's and 80's at the river and the low 60's in
the mountain streams.
Region 5 - Northern
Parks System: Flathead, blue and channel cats
have all been jumping to the bait in the park
system. Also biting are smallmouths and sunfish and
bluegill. The level is 4 feet with the fairly clear
water hovering between 81-85 degrees.
Now go catch a
upcoming issues of the
new Outdoor Report, look for:
- New Virginia Migratory
- Opportunities for persons
with disabilities featured at August Sportsman's Show in
- Meet the Game Warden of