|In this issue:
- Virginia Dove, Woodcock, Snipe,
Rail, September Canada Goose and September Teal Seasons Set
- Proposed Hunting, Fishing,
Trapping, Wildlife Diversity, and Boating Regulation
Amendments for 2008 - Public Comment Period is Open July 24
- September 24, 2007
- Virginia Department of Game &
Inland Fisheries Public Input Meeting Concerning Federal
Frameworks for the 2007-2008 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons
- The Future of Hound Hunting in
- Virginia Migratory Duck Stamp
- Snakes: Splendor in the Grass, A
Guide to the Snakes of Virginia is Now Available
- Mother-Daughter Outdoors Weekend,
August 24-26, 2007 in Appomattox
- People and Partners in the News
- Master Officer Charlie Mullins
Named Game Warden of the Year
- Dominion Power, Trout Unlimited
Provide State-of-the-Art Aquaculture Equipment
- Virginia Outdoor Sports Show
Features Seminars for Disabled
- Be Safe... Have Fun!
- In Case You Missed It...
- New Program Seeks Volunteers
- Buck Reservoir on New River
Scheduled for August Drawdown
- Long-Standing Musky Record
- Sportsman's Show Features New
Opportunities for the Whole Family
- Eagles Federal Delisting
Effective July 28, Still Protected at State Level
- "The Woods in Your Backyard"
- VDGIF Basic Law Enforcement
Academy Graduates 3rd Class
- 2007-08 Hunting & Trapping
Regulations Digest Now Available
- Fishin' Report
Woodcock, Snipe, Rail, September Canada Goose and
September Teal Seasons Set
The Board of Game
and Inland Fisheries adopted the following seasons
at the regulation meeting on July 17, 2007.
Fishing, Trapping, Wildlife Diversity, and Boating
Regulation Amendments for 2008 - Public Comment
Period is Open July 24 - September 24, 2007
Periodic Regulation Review and Amendment Process
In 2007 the
Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries is
conducting its Periodic Regulation Review and
Amendment Process, in which it addresses and
considers possible amendments to all state
regulations governing wildlife, hunting, trapping,
fishing and boating administered by the Virginia
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).
Key dates in the
2007 Periodic Regulation Review and Amendment
- March 27
(occurred). "Staff Preliminary
Recommendations" Board meeting. Staff presents
its Preliminary Recommendations for regulation
amendments. Public comments are received. The
Board may request or direct changes it desires,
but Board action is not required.
- April 10
(occurred). The Preliminary Recommendations
Public Discussion Period opens, to run through
June 15. See participation methods, below.
- June 5
Board meeting during the Preliminary
Recommendations Public Discussion Period. Public
comments on the Preliminary Recommendations are
- June 15
(occurred). The Preliminary Recommendations
Public Discussion Period closes.
- July 17
(occurred). "Regulation Proposal" Board
meeting. Staff summarizes the public discussion
of the Preliminary Recommendations, and presents
its resulting Proposal-Stage Recommendations.
The Board solicits and receives public comments.
The Board deliberates and proposes regulations
or regulation amendments.
- July 24.
The Proposed Regulations Public Comment Period
opens, to run through September 24. See public
participation methods below.
- August 21.
Board meeting during Proposed Regulations Public
Comment Period. Public comments on the Proposed
Regulations are accepted.
24. The Proposed Regulations Public Comment
- October 16.
"Final Action" Board meeting. Staff summarizes
the public comments received on the Proposed
Regulations, and presents its resulting Final
Recommendations. The Board solicits and hears
public comments on the Proposed Regulations and
staff's Final Recommendations. The Board
deliberates and adopts Final Regulations or
regulation amendments to take effect January 1,
March 1, and July 1, 2008.
solicits and strongly encourages the public's
participation in the regulation review process. The
ways to participate and submit comments are:
Online through the agency 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 (Mar 27; Jun
5; Jul 17; Aug 21; Oct 16; all are 9 AM at 4000
West Broad Street, Richmond VA.).
- Meetings on
request. On request and subject to
availability, DGIF staff will meet with
constituent groups, local government officials,
or other groups in local communities to address
specific regulatory issues of interest.
information, refer to the "DGIF 2007 Periodic
Regulation Review and Amendment Process and
Schedule" on the VDGIF Web site, or
contact the VDGIF regulatory coordinator.
VDGIF Public Input Meeting Concerning Federal Frameworks for
the 2007-2008 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons
6, 2007, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., 4000 West Broad Street,
VDGIF is holding a
public input meeting to discuss and receive public
comments regarding season lengths and bag limits for
the 2007-2008 hunting seasons for migratory
waterfowl (ducks and coots, geese and brant, swan,
gallinules and moorhens) and falconry. All
interested citizens are invited to attend.
Division staff will discuss the population status of
these species, present hunting season frameworks for
them provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
and will solicit the public's comments during the
A summary of the
results of this public hearing will be presented to
the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries
prior to its scheduled August 21, 2007 meeting. At
the August 21 meeting the Board will solicit public
comments and then adopt the 2007-2008 waterfowl
hunting seasons and bag limits for the above
The Future of Hound Hunting in
At their July 17 meeting,
the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries approved a process
for the Department to evaluate the issue of hunting with
hounds in Virginia. The Department's goal will be, "to
provide diverse opportunities for hunting with hounds in
Virginia in a manner that is fair, sportsmanlike and
consistent with the rights of private property owners and
other citizens." The process will begin with identifying
stakeholders and will include identifying the issues and
work towards identifying possible solutions. The entire
process is anticipated to take at least a year with a report
completed in the fall 2008. VDGIF will contract with
Virginia Tech to serve as facilitators in the process and
there will be plenty of opportunity for comments from all
interested parties. In fact, Virginia Tech will be working
with VDGIF to develop a brief online survey as part of
2007 Virginia Migratory
Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Available July 1
Department began selling its 2007 Virginia State
Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp July 1. The
stamp is mandatory for persons age 16 and older to
hunt migratory waterfowl, unless license exempt. The
stamp is valid July 1 through June 30, 2008.
The artwork for the
stamp, painted by Guy Crittenden, is entitled
"Reflections" and depicts a pair of Canada geese
swimming among reeds reflected in the water. This is
the second time in three years that Crittenden's
work has been selected for the Virginia Migratory
Waterfowl Conservation Stamp.
under contract with the Department, retains the
license for the artwork and provides the service in
fulfillment of the hunter stamps and the collector
stamps. Ducks Unlimited also handles the sale of the
Last year a total
of 22,628 Virginia State Migratory Waterfowl
Conservation Stamps were sold generating $203,652.
The funds from sales of the stamp will be used to
contract with appropriate nonprofit organizations
for cooperative waterfowl habitat improvement
projects; to protect, preserve, restore, enhance and
develop waterfowl habitat in Virginia through the
Department's waterfowl program; and to offset the
administrative costs associated with production,
issuance of, and accounting for the stamp.
Snakes: Splendor in the Grass
Snakes have been
the focal point of folklore for centuries. From the
"legendary" hoop snake that sticks its tail into its
mouth and rolls after you to snakes that hypnotize
their prey. No other group of animals has suffered
more from negative misinformation than snakes. In
fact, snakes are some of the most fascinating and
beneficial creatures on the planet. The benefits
range from the thrill of a chance encounter while on
a walk in the woods to the consumption of thousands
of rodents that may potentially cause millions of
dollars in agricultural damage every year. Their
benefits to us and the ecosystem they inhabit are
some of the reasons it is illegal in Virginia to
intentionally kill snakes.
snakes are very reclusive and timid. Many species of
snakes will not even attempt to bite when handled.
Of the 30 species in Virginia, only 3 are venomous:
copperhead, cottonmouth and timber rattlesnake. All
three of which are considered docile, unless
provoked. Copperhead bites are by far the most
common venomous snake bite in Virginia. However, in
the 30 years that the Virginia Department of Health
has been keeping records on venomous snake bites, no
one has ever died from a copperhead bite. Copperhead
bites often only result in mild inflammation and
If you do encounter
a snake in the woods, simply leave it alone, it'll
get out of your way or you can walk around it.
SNAKES DO NOT CHASE PEOPLE. Here are a few tips
to avoid the possibility of being bitten when hiking
in the woods:
- Stay on the
- Watch where
you place your hands and feet, and where you sit
- Do not attempt
to capture snakes.
If you are bitten
by a venomous snake, stay calm and seek immediate
medical attention. None of Virginia's venomous
snakes are considered to be highly lethal, but
medical attention is necessary for all venomous
If you are lucky
enough to encounter a snake while enjoying the
outdoors; step back and watch a moment. Notice the
way the sunlight reflects off the scales and the
incredible way a snake can glide off into the leaves
barely making a sound. Unless cornered, the snake is
going to slip away as quickly as it can.
A Guide to the
Snakes of Virginia, one of the Department's most
popular publications since its 2001 release, has
been reprinted and is again available. This 32-page
full-color booklet, co-authored and illustrated by
Mike Pinder, our Region 3 Wildlife Diversity
Manager, presents all of Virginia's 30 species of
snakes in an attractive and educational
"field-guide" format. It also includes snakebite
information, provides answers to frequently asked
questions about snakes, and suggests what you can do
to protect or control snakes in your yard and home.
Finally, it summarizes snake conservation and
management issues, and offers ways you can help
protect these fascinating animals. Single copies of
the guide can be picked up free of charge at the
Department's regional offices; or copies may be
purchased online through the Department's Outdoor
Catalogue for $5.00 each, or in cases of 60 copies
for $150 per case.
Mother-Daughter Outdoors Weekend
August 24-26, 2007,
for women, this three-day adventure weekend provides
an excellent opportunity for anyone 9 years of age
and above to learn outdoor skills usually associated
with hunting and fishing, and also very useful in a
variety of outdoor pursuits. The educational courses
offered at this program provide hands on learning
opportunities for participants. This event fills
see flyer for details and registration form.
Cost for this weekend event is $90 per participant.
Meals and lodging are included in the workshop fee.
Register early to reserve your space! For more
information, contact Jimmy Mootz at 804-367-0656 or
People and Partners in the News
Charlie Mullins Named Game Warden of the Year
Mullins was named Game Warden of the Year for 2007.
The honor is the highest tribute presented by the
agency to its law enforcement personnel. A peer
review committee comprised of past recipients of the
award makes the selection from nominees from each of
the Department's five regions. Mullins was promoted
to the rank of Sergeant from the rank of Master
Officer at the same time he received this
Mullins will also have the distinction of being the
last official "Game Warden of the Year." In future
years the recognition will be designated the
"Conservation Police Officer of the Year" award
because effective July 1, 2007, VDGIF sworn
personnel are no longer called "game wardens" but
"conservation police officers." Governor Tim Kaine
signed the bill into law this past spring following
the 2007 Session of the General Assembly. Virginia
conservation police officers have full police
authority, however their efforts focus on enforcing
the Commonwealth's wildlife and boating laws. The
name change is intended to make the full scope of
the officers' authority clear to people they
encounter during their daily patrols of Virginia's
fields, forests and waters.
began his career with VDGIF more than 23 years ago
in Tazewell County. During the course of his career
he has demonstrated a great dedication to the
Department, its mission and his community. Mullins
is active in his community, working with his church,
local civic organizations, local schools, and
various sportsmen's organizations. He participates
in numerous exhibits and fish and wildlife
educational activities. His efforts in outreach are
a credit to the Department and reflect the true
intent of VDGIF's mission.
Trout Unlimited Provide State-of-the-Art Aquaculture
A couple of years
ago, VDGIF fisheries staff began experimenting with
creating and utilizing triploid, or sterile, trout
in the agency's hatchery system for our trout
stocking program. Triploiding of fish involves using
heat or pressure treatment on eggs that result in an
extra set of chromosomes in the fish. The offspring
from these eggs are not fertile and can not
reproduce. The fish are not harmed in any way. By
being sterile, there is no risk of these stocked
fish establishing a non-native (rainbow or brown
trout) population that could out compete with
sensitive native species or eliminate native brook
trout populations all together. There is also no
risk of causing genetic impacts to native trout
populations by inbreeding with less hardy hatchery
treatment chamber for this operation is custom made
and cost approximately $25,000. Trout Unlimited
applied for a grant through Dominion Power to secure
the funds. Dominion Power approved the grant and the
equipment was purchased by Trout Unlimited and
delivered to VDGIF. The pressure chamber has been
setup at the Department's Paint Bank Hatchery and is
ready for trout eggs that will begin be taken in
August. Through the generosity of Dominion Power and
the Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited, VDGIF will
be able to enhance recreation opportunities for
anglers and improve hatchery efficiency and while
preserving and protecting the Commonwealth's native
and wild trout populations.
Features New Opportunities for Sportsmen with
24th Annual Virginia Outdoor Sportsman's Show will
host exhibits and activities featuring new products
and opportunities for sportsmen with disabilities.
Whether you are a hunter who has had difficulty
finding handicapped accessible sites or a person
with a disability wanting to explore outdoor
adventures, but you're not sure where to get started
- this show is a great place to start. The three-day
show is held at The Showplace in Richmond, August
10-12, 2007. On Saturday August 11, all disabled
veterans and any persons with a Virginia disabled
hunting license will be admitted to the Show free to
attend a special seminar on hunting and fishing
opportunities, and to view the 300 exhibits with the
latest in new equipment and outdoor opportunities.
Robin Clark, Volunteer Coordinator for Virginia
Wheelin' Sportsmen, and Buddy Fines with the
Virginia Deer Hunters Association will talk about
adaptive equipment and partnership programs with
sportsmen's organizations that provide outdoor
opportunities for persons with disabilities.
Organizations interested in hosting an event can
learn what it takes to be a successful host. The
seminar begins at 10:00 a.m. Check the
site for information on numerous other seminars,
exhibits, demonstrations and contests.
Be Safe... Have Fun!
Every boater has
You're on the water
all day, enjoying the sun and exploring new coves in
your boat. You become more and more relaxed, almost
dazed, with the wind in your face and the boat
humming along the water. You may not realize it, but
you could be experiencing boater's fatigue.
Boater's fatigue is
a real, documented phenomenon caused by the
combination of sun, wind, noise, vibration and the
movement of the boat. It's important for boaters to
be aware of it, because it slows reaction time and
can make it harder to operate your boat safely.
"What some people
may feel as relaxing is this boater's fatigue
setting in," said Lt. Mike Fields, boating safety
administrator for the Kentucky Department of Fish
and Wildlife Resources. "It's a phenomenon that
actually dulls your senses to the point where you
can feel intoxicated."
intoxication, boater's fatigue can cause bloodshot
eyes and slurred speech in addition to slower
reaction time. It isn't necessarily dangerous, if
boaters are aware that they may be experiencing it
and take some precautions. "Allow more distance
between you and other boats and be extra careful
around your turns," Fields said. "Stay on the right
side of the lake and leave yourself a cushion;
realize you may not have boater's fatigue, but the
other guy might."
doesn't just affect the boat operator. Everyone on
the boat can experience it after a few hours on the
water. While boater's fatigue can't really be
prevented, taking frequent breaks off of the boat
and drinking plenty of water can help minimize the
effects. Let someone else operate the boat if you're
feeling too fatigued and avoid alcohol.
exaggerates the effects of alcohol. For instance, a
boater who has consumed one alcoholic beverage may
seem as though they've had two or three drinks if
they are also experiencing boater's fatigue.
"Boater's fatigue doesn't really become dangerous
until you add the effects of alcohol," said Fields.
"It's another reason not to drink on the water."
As you're enjoying
the water this season, be aware of boater's fatigue.
Give yourself some extra breaks, stay hydrated and
keep an eye out for other boaters.
permission from the
Wire. Article is by Hayley Lynch, an
award-winning writer for Kentucky Afield magazine,
the official publication of the Kentucky Department
of Fish and Wildlife Resources. She is an avid
hunter and shotgun shooter.
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
Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir: Tom Rummel
informs us that fishing there has been "spotty",
with some bass and a few crappies. The water has
been clear and in the lower 80s.
North Landing River and Back Bay: Dewey
Mullins from West Neck Marina reports that things
have been slow due to the heat. There have been a
few bass and some bluegill, but not much else. Bass
are responding to poppers and buzzbaits. Water has
been clear and around 70 degrees.
Lake Mead's Bait and Tackle's Mike Gizara report
that lots of crappie have been taken from the lake.
The bass are also hitting well. Shellcracker and
bream are biting too. The water has been clear and 80
Airfield Lake: Wayne Wright of The Fishin'
Hole of Wakefield let us know that the largemouth
are not responding to bait this time of year. Bream
and panfish are doing better, with a 1 lb, 11 oz
bluegill brought in. The water has been clear and
low and warm.
Region 2 - Southside
Lynchburg: Wayne Childress from Angler's Lane
says that bass are active and striking well.
Smallmouth and sunfish are hitting in the river.
Ponds are also good bets for bass with poppers and
crawdads. The water is clear and warm.
Kerr Reservoir: Bobby Whitlow of Bob Cat's
Lake Country Store informs us that stripers, white
perch and crappie are all responding. Cats are
biting too. Water is clear and around 83 degrees.
Leesville Reservoir: Fred Tannehill of Tri
County Marina says that crappie are going for small
minnows and blue cats are attacking night crawlers.
Bass are also hitting well in the early hours as are
bluegill. The water is clear and around 70-75
Philpott Reservoir: The last fishing report
included the statement that stripers were hitting
well in Philpot. As it turns out, there are no
stripers in Philpot. I must explain that the blame
should not be put on Sean Perdue, he meant Smith
Mountain Lake, and I inadvertently did not pick up
on it. So - apologies to Sean and to my readers.
Moving on to this week, Sean Perdue informed me that
the water at Philpott is clear and hot, making
fishing difficult. At Smith Mountain Lake the
fishing is better with crappies and stripers doing
Region 3 - Southwest
Claytor Lake: Mike Buchett of Rock House
Marina says fishing is "tough" and that things have
"slowed down". Still some stripers and other bass
are biting. The water is stained and around 70
degrees. Mike also wants me to let you know that
there is going to be a tournament on Saturday, July
28th the entry fee is $50 with a 90% payback.
Flannagan Reservoir: Larry Sruber says that
bass are hitting well. The water is hot and clear.
Look for the best fishing in the early morning hours
and late in the evening.
Lower New River:
Jenny Zineius of Big Z's tells us that stripers are
slow to come to bait. Largemouth and are muskies
hitting the lures. The water is hot and clear.
North Fork of the Holston: Jamie Lamie of
the Sportsman's Den says that smallmouth, largemouth
and redeye are going for soft plastics, finesse
worms and tubes. Ultra light fishing tackle is the
key. Night fishing is good. The water has been
cloudy and somewhat cooler due to the rain.
South Holston Reservoir: Bill Faber of the
Sportsman's Marina tells us that night fishing for
crappie has picked up. Bass fishing at night has
also been profitable with root beer colored pig and
jigs. Trawling for walleyes is also good. The lake
is low and clear with temperatures around 80
New River and
Claytor Lake: Sportsman's Supply's Victor
Billings reports that both largemouth and smallmouth
are responding to ET lures. ET string bean lures and
pumpkin lures have been especially effective. In the
upper New River, channel and flathead cats are going
for live bait. Both bodies of water are warm and
Region 4 - Mountain &
Larry Andrews at the Bait Place says that bass
fishing is good with Danny Deacon bringing in a
5-1/4 lb brown trout. The water is clear and around
North Fork of
the Shenandoah: Harry Murrary tells us that
the North and South Fork of the river are low and
clear. Smallmouth can be found around the grass beds
and against the shaded banks. The best flies for
these areas are the Murrary's Black Hellgrammite -
size 6, the Shenandoah Blue Popper - size 6, and the
James Wood Bucktail - size 4. The mountain streams
are low, but good trout action can be found using
flies like the Mr. Rapidan dry - size 18, Murrary's
Flying Beatle - size 16, and McMurray Cinnamon -
size 20. Larger stocked trout streams in the valley
provide good fishing for rainbows by using nymphs
and streamers. The waters are clear with
temperatures at 62 degrees in the mountains, and
76-80 degrees in the Shenandoah.
Fishing Report Tip of the
With the warmer
than normal temperatures in the last couple of weeks
fishing has slowed down across the state. Anglers
will find that for best results it's worth getting
up early and being on the water before sunrise or
fishing in the late evening hours. Another good tip
that will help this time of year is to go light.
Ultra light tackle, light line and small lures work
well with finicky fish. If that doesn't produce
results try going deep and slow. A good depth finder
will help you locate submerged structure and steep
Now go catch a
upcoming issues of the
new Outdoor Report, look for:
- 2007 Spring Gobbler
- Waterfowl Regulations
- Complementary Workforce
- Virginia Naturally School