Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)
Outdoor Report

Managing and Conserving Our Wildlife and Natural Resources

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

VDGIF is an agency of the Virginia Secretariat of Natural Resources
In this edition:
  • Wild Events You Don't Want to Miss
    • Dove Shooting Training Event Set at Cedar Mountain August 23
    • 2008 Virginia State Duck and Goose Calling Contest August 23-24 in Hampton
    • Forest Landowners Management Options Short Course in Dinwiddie August 20th
    • Wheelin' Sportsmen Benefit Golf Tourney, Dove Hunt and More
    • The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia to Host Hunter Education Events in August
    • Wildlife Center of Virginia Announces Fall Open-House Schedule
    • 16th Eastern Shore Birding & Wildlife Festival September 18-21
    • Fishing Workshop at Bear Creek Lake State Park October 18th
  • People and Partners in the News
    • Virginia Youth Shooting Teams Score High in National Competition
    • Public Asked to Review Hound Project Advisory Committee Recommendations
  • Hunting News Your Can Use
    • Shotguns Need to be Plugged for Doves, Ducks, Geese and More...
    • Non-Toxic Shot Now Required for Hunting Rail, Snipe, Moorhen and Gallinule
    • Virginia Outdoor Sportsmen's Classic Aug 22-24 in Salem
    • Wildlife Regulatory Issue Meetings Scheduled for September in 19 Locations
    • What's New for the 2008-09 Hunting & Trapping Seasons
    • Apprentice Hunting License: A New Way To Get Involved In Hunting
    • Upcoming Sportsman's Shows
    • Sportsman's Show Featured New Opportunities for the Whole Family August 8-10
  • Be Safe... Have Fun!
    • What About Lifejackets?
  • "Green Tips" for Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Willis Wharf Dedication set for September 19 on Eastern Shore
  • Habitat Improvement Tips
    • New Bat Video on VDGIF Web Site
  • Fishin' Report
    • Lake Thompson is Draining
    • Trout Stocking Schedule Changed in Fee Fishing Areas Due to Higher Fuel Costs
    • Kids 'n Fishing Photo Contest Winners Selected
    • Sarah White's Notebook
      • Regional River and Lake Reports on Fishing Conditions
  • Virginia Conservation Police Notebook
    • Field Reports From Officers Protecting Natural Resources and People Pursuing Outdoor Recreation
  • In Case You Missed It...
    • Links to Recent Articles of Ongoing Interest

Wild Events You Don't Want to Miss

Dove Shooting Training Event Set at Cedar Mountain August 23

The Cedar Mountain Youths Shooting club is hosting a Dove Hunters Sporting Clays shooting event August 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Clubs range in Culpeper. The five station 25 round course is designed to simulate doves in flight to improve your skills for the September Dove season. Instructors are available to assist new shooters. Bring your favorite shotgun and have fun. The cost is $8 per round with all proceeds going to support 4-H youth firearms safety and responsibility programs.

The Club is also hosting a Handgun Practice Day on August 30 featuring four tactical courses of 75-100 rounds. You must be 21 or older to participate. New and inexperienced shooters are welcome and instructors are available. For information and directions for both events call John Dodson at (540) 543-2070.

2008 Virginia State Duck and Goose Calling Contests August 23-24 in Hampton

The Virginia Waterfowlers' Association (VAWFA) will hold the 2008 VAWFA Virginia State Duck and Goose Calling Contests at the Bass Pro Shops facility in Hampton on August 23 - 24, 2008. The organization has proudly held the Virginia State sanctioned duck calling contests since 2005. The Virginia State Goose Calling Contest is a qualifying contest for the World's Championship Goose Calling Contest to be held in Easton, MD. The Virginia State Duck Calling Contest is sanctioned with the winner of this contest representing Virginia this year at the World's Championship Duck Calling Contest held in Stuttgart, Arkansas on Thanksgiving weekend. VAWFA will hold ten duck and goose calling contests during the two-day event. Two new unique contests were added to the format , the 2008 PINKS ducks and goose calling contests, were the contestants are subject to forfeit their duck or goose calls if they lose while participating in the PINKS contests. For details on the various divisions and requirements to participate in the calling contests click here. VAWFA is an all volunteer association dedicated to preserving Virginia waterfowl hunting heritage. For other VAWFA activities, visit the Virginia Waterfowlers' Association website.

Forest Landowners Management Options Short Course in Dinwiddie August 20th

Virginia Cooperative Extension Forest Landowner Education Program is hosting a Woodland Options Short Course in Dinwiddie on August 20, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Eastside Community Center.

Woodland owners can learn how to manage their forest and wildlife resources for long term sustainability and get information on organizations and agencies that can provide technical assistance to reach their goals. For additional information contact Jennifer Gagnon at (540) 231-6391or email

Wheelin' Sportsmen Host Benefit Golf Tourney, Dove Hunt and More

Normally the Outdoor Report doesn't publicize golf events… but we are proud to promote the Wheelin' Sportsmen Benefit Golf Tourney Friday, September 19 at Vista Links in Buena Vista. This fun event is open to all abilities, experienced or novice. The Tourney helps to raise funds for the Wheelin' Sportsmen Program which provides opportunities for hundreds of sportsmen with disabilities to participate in a variety of hunting, fishing, shooting and other outdoor adventures. On Saturday, September 20 Wheelin' Sportsmen will hold their annual Outdoor Day at Shenandoah Stone facility near Raphine. This event features a variety of outdoor skills activities for disabled sportsmen to try. A Dove Hunt is scheduled for September 12 at Fulfillment Farm in Albemarle. The schedule for 11 Wheelin Sportsmen sponsored deer hunts from November 3 through December 29 has been set. For details on these and other events visit: Interested in volunteering to assist with an event or have a friend that is interested? Visit the Virginia National Wild Turkey Federation Web site to find numerous links to opportunities and information.

The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia to Host Hunter Education Events in August

The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia (WFV) will be hosting two weekend-long events to provide the certified Hunter Education Course and hands on training during the latter part of August. The first training event will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 23 and 24, in Richmond. The second training event will be August 30-31 at Fulfillment Farms in Albemarle. For details and registration visit the WFV web site at

There are numerous Hunter Education Classes scheduled for this fall. The mandatory 10 hour course is offered free of charge in a variety of formats to accommodate student schedules. The classes are taught by trained volunteer instructors. To find one near you visit the VDGIF web site or call 1-866-604-1122.

Wildlife Center of Virginia Announces Fall Open-House Schedule

The Wildlife Center of Virginia, the nation's leading teaching and research hospital for native wildlife, has scheduled five open houses for Fall 2008. These are rare opportunities to see the inner workings of the nation's premier wildlife hospital, as well as meet some of the wild animals that serve as the Center's education ambassadors.

The open houses will be held on:

  • Sunday, August 24
  • Sunday, September 7
  • Sunday, September 21
  • Sunday, September 28
  • Sunday, October 12

The Center will have three separate sessions each day – at 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Each session lasts about an hour. As a wildlife emergency room and hospital, the Wildlife Center is not usually open to the public. The seasonal open houses are the times during the year when visitors may tour the Waynesboro facility. There is no charge to participate in an open house; however, reservations are required by calling (540) 942-9453 or A limited number of spaces are available for each session.

16th Eastern Shore Birding & Wildlife Festival September 18-21

Don't miss the 16th annual Eastern Shore Birding & Wildlife Festival September 18-21. This is one of the premier wildlife viewing events on the East Coast. Virginia's Eastern Shore funnels huge numbers of migrating songbirds, raptors and shorebirds down the Delmarva Peninsula. This spectacular natural event offers a unique opportunity to appreciate Virginia's wild heritage. Our keynote address will be given by world renowned birder and author Pete Dunne. The Eastern Shore Birding & Wildlife Festival offers boat and land based trips to a variety of beautiful spots on the shore - many not generally open to the public. The Wildlife Viewing Platform at Willis Wharf will be dedicated in a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on September 19 in conjunction with the Eastern Shore Birding & Wildlife Festival. Register here and reserve your spot today!

Fishing Workshop at Bear Creek Lake State Park October 18th

VDGIF Angler Education Program is hosting a Fishing Workshop October 18 at Bear Creek Lake State Park in Cumberland. "This is a great workshop for the whole family and a great opportunity to learn the basics of fishing and enjoy the crisp fall air while fishing in Bear Creek Lake," noted Chris Dunnavant, VDGIF Angling Education Coordinator. The fishing action will be great for this event. Crappie, bluegill, bass and catfish will be jumping on our lines! Stay the weekend in Bear Creek Lake State Park's brand new cabins - they really are nice - no roughing it here (hardwood floors, stone fireplace). The only disadvantage is that you may never want to leave the cabin! Campsites are also available if you prefer. For park reservations click here.

Learn more about these workshops and find a registration form at the VDGIF Web site.

People and Partners in the News

Virginia Youth Shooting Teams Score High in National Competition

The Charity Hill Claybusters won the National Championship at the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) National Championship on August 1-2 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Ill.

In the Sporting Clays Varsity Division (grades 9-12) the team of Daniel Foster of Drakes Branch, Christopher Smith of Ruther Glen, and Jacob Lawson of Skipwith shot a team score of 554 to capture the title of National Champions. Daniel Foster shot a tremendous score of 190 out of 200 targets to claim High Overall in varsity. While team mates, Smith shooting a 183 to take 3rd place and Lawson shooting a 181 to place sixth individually. "We pulled each other up. We were down seven targets after Friday, but we pulled it together on Saturday. I'm glad they came together as one unit," said coach Jeffrey Atkins of Farmville.

The Old Dominion 4-H Shur Shots did it again as they won 2nd place in skeet at the 2008 Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) National Championship. There were 124 teams competing in skeet this year. This is the third year in a row that this team has won an SCTP National Title in Skeet! The Team composed this year of Rooster Watson, Taylor Ricketts and Jake Hughes was coached by Pete Watson. In the Sporting Clays portion of this championship, the Team took 7th place out of 118 teams!

SCTP is managed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) in partnership with USA Shooting and other governing bodies for shooting sports. Across 41 states in 2008, 9,135 youths competed and 1,562 adults volunteered as coaches and directors—both new records for the program. Steve Sanetti, NSSF President noted, "The anticipation and excitement of the Olympics and two SCTP alumni competing in Beijing appeared to drive interest in our program this year. And the quality of shooting—not to mentioned the quality of character -- among the young people at this event leaves little doubt that we'll see more Olympians coming out of SCTP in the future."

SCTP was launched by NSSF in 2000 to offer students in grades 12 and under an opportunity to compete as a team in trap, skeet, sporting clays and the international versions of trap and skeet.. The ultimate goal is instilling in young participants a commitment to safe firearm handling, teamwork and leadership. Many SCTP shooters go on to compete at the collegiate level. Olympians are more rare, but former SCTP stars Corey Cogdell and Vincent Hancock are representing the U.S. in Beijing in women's trap and men's skeet, respectively.

Results from the SCTP National Championships are now posted for skeet and sporting clays on the SCTP Web site. Photos from the event are posted at Tune in to some of the action on the National Shooting Sports Foundation's YouTube channel.

Public Asked to Review Hound Project Advisory Committee Recommendations

After several months of information gathering, issue identification, and deliberations, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) for the Hunting with Hounds in Virginia: A Way Forward process has recommended strategies for addressing issues and concerns related to hunting with hounds in Virginia. The recommended strategies can be viewed on the VDGIF Web site along with new reports that summarize public input and technical information. Hard copies can be requested by calling (540) 231-0961.

The public is strongly encouraged to review the strategies and to comment on them. The comment period will close on Friday, September 12, 2008. There are several methods citizens can use to comment on the strategies discussed and/or recommended by the SAC.

Written comments can be emailed to or sent to Hound-Hunting SAC c/o Sarah Kozlowski, 111 Cheatham Hall, Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060-0321. Written comments can also be submitted at the series of public meetings that will be held throughout the state.

Public meetings will be held from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. August 26 through September 9, 2008, at locations across the Commonwealth. Click here for more information.

Hunting News You Can Use!

The following notes are quick reminders of things you may have overlooked in getting ready for hunting season, or reports of interest compiled from numerous calls we received recently at our information desk.

Shotguns Need to be Plugged for Doves, Ducks, Geese and More...

Hunters are reminded that they need to have their shotguns plugged for dove, crow, ducks, brant, geese, swan, coot, gallinules, rail, snipe, and woodcock. The new unplugged shotgun rule does not apply to dove and other migratory fowl listed. Many shotgunners falsely think the plugs are now just for waterfowl. For details refer to 2008-2009 Hunting and Trapping in Virginia - Regulations digest.

Non-Toxic Shot Now Required for Hunting Rail, Snipe, Moorhen and Gallinule

A new regulation that goes into effect this hunting season in Virginia requires the use of non-toxic shot for hunting rails, snipe, moorhens and gallinules. Non-toxic shot approved by the Department [steel, bismuthtin, tungsten-bronze, tungsten-iron, tungsten-tin-bismuth, tungsten-polymer, tungsten matrix, tungsten-nickel-iron (HEVISHOT), tungsten-iron-nickel-tin (TINT), tungsten-iron-coppernickel, tungsten-tin-iron, and iron-tungsten-nickel shots] is now required for hunting all waterfowl, mergansers, coots, moorhens, gallinules, snipe and rails. Lead shot is not allowed for hunting these species and cannot be in possession in the field while hunting these species. Shot size can be no larger than "T".

Virginia Outdoor Sportsmen's Classic Aug 22-24 in Salem

If you like to hunt, fish, camp, or participate in other outdoor sports, you can find all of the newest products, equipment, and vehicles at the Virginia Outdoor Sportsmen's Classic August 22-24 at the Salem Civic Center. The VDGIF will have free copies of the new 2008-09 Hunting & Trapping Regulations booklet and sign up for a free subscription to the Outdoor Report at the Show. Biologists and conservation police officers will be on hand to answer your questions. Get hands-on experience with the full range of hunting, fishing and archery products. Stock up on outdoor clothing and accessories. See model log homes and all of the furnishings you need for your private outdoor retreat. Meet one on one with outfitters, lodges, ranches and hunting preserves who can take you on everything from a whitewater rafting adventure to a fishing trip in Alaska. Some of the top names in the industry will be on hand with amazing demonstrations of archery, fishing and much more. Enter exciting contests such as The Bucks That Rock contest and Brett's Big Ol' Fish. On Saturday, August 23 the VOSC Open Turkey Calling Contest is scheduled sponsored by National Wild Turkey Federation and hosted by the Franklin County Longbeards Chapter. Click here for more information or call (540) 206-2414.

Wildlife Regulatory Issue Meetings Scheduled for September in 19 Locations

The VDGIF will hold 19 Wildlife Regulatory Issue Meetings around the state to receive public comment and meet with Wildlife Division staff to review proposals for changes in hunting regulations for the 2009-2010 hunting season. All meetings will be from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the locations scheduled. The meetings begin September 3, 2008 at Southwest Virginia Community College and go through September 18. For site location schedule and directions click here.

"What's New" for 2008-09

Get your free copy of the new 2008-2009 Hunting and Trapping in Virginia - Regulations digest an see what's new this season. The booklet has a new look this year with color- coded page tabs for the different sections including: What's New, Licenses, Regulations, Hunting Lands, Bear, Deer Turkey, Small Game, Trapping and an Index. There is an entire page listing new regulations, expanded seasons and other hunter friendly changes this year entitled "What's New". We will be featuring details of these new opportunities in each of the next editions of the Outdoor Report through September. A PDF format is available on the VDGIF Web site along with feature articles on the topics listed in the digest.

Apprentice Hunting License: A New Way To Get Involved In Hunting

Virginians interested in learning how to hunt and Virginia hunters eager to share their sport with friends and family now have a way to make it easier to pair up! An apprentice license can be purchased by a new hunter before successfully completing the Department's hunter education course. However, apprentice hunters are reminded they still have to comply with this education requirement before legally purchasing a state resident or nonresident basic hunting license.

Completion of the hunter education course can take place at any point during the two-year period. Doing so will provide the apprentice with necessary proof of course passage to purchase the basic hunting license and continue hunting once the "test drive" period is over.

What are you waiting for? Call toll-free 1-866-721-6911 for more information.

Take a Friend, Make a Hunter… Be sure and visit the VDGIF exhibits at upcoming sportsmen's shows this Fall. These are excellent opportunities to bring a friend that is interested in the Apprentice Hunting License to talk with experienced sportsmen about the many opportunities for hunting and try out the latest gear to enhance your experience. Sign up a new subscriber for the Outdoor Report at the Show and we will give you a useful VDGIF camo carabineer and a free 2008 Hunting & Fishing Virginia Wildlife Calendar.

Upcoming Sportsman's Shows

August 22-24: Virginia Outdoor Sportsmen's Classic, Salem Civic Center. On 23rd will include the VOSC Open Turkey Calling Contest sponsored by National Wild Turkey Federation and hosted by Franklin County Longbeards Chapter or call 540-206-2414

September 13-14: Eastern Regional Big Game Contest, Southampton Co. Fairgrounds- Franklin. Hosted by Virginia Peninsula Sportsmen's Association. For Contest rules and information:

September 20-21: SVHEC Hunting/Fishing Expo, Abingdon, for information visit:

September 27-28: Western Regional and State Championship Big Game Contest, Rockingham County Fairgrounds- Harrisonburg. Hosted by Rockingham-Harrisonburg Chapter Izaak-Walton League of America. For Contest rules and information:

Sportsman's Show Featured New Opportunities for the Whole Family

The 25th Annual Virginia Outdoor Sportsman's Show attracted more than 20,000 sportsmen families at the Richmond Show Place August 8-10. With over 300 fun and exciting new exhibits, demonstrations and seminars, experienced and novice hunters found lots to see and do. Hundreds of new Hunting and Fishing Licenses and 2009 Virginia Wildlife Calendar were sold and 300 new subscribers signed up for the Outdoor Report. Thank you to the current subscribers for completing the survey on your satisfaction with the content and length of the newsletter. Overall you gave us good comments- we appreciate your confirmation that we are on the right track. Biologists, conservation police officers, Complementary Work Force volunteers and Hunter Education Instructors answered a zillion questions and enjoyed meeting and talking with you. VDGIF Executive Director Bob Duncan commented, "It was great to see so many families and young hunters at the Show. I enjoyed meeting many old friends and making many more new acquaintances. I am overwhelmed by the support expressed to me by our sportsmen and sportswomen for the many positive changes we have made in the regulations and opportunities for better hunting this coming season." Hugh Crittenden, Show Founder and manager noted that it was hard to believe that he had sponsored the show for 25 years. He noted that many of the exhibitors had been with him for those years and greatly appreciated the long standing support of the VDGIF and the Virginia Deer Hunters Association.

In the August 27 edition of the Outdoor Report we will have information on the winners of the Big Bucks Contest and the Virginia Open Turkey Calling Championship.

Be Safe... Have Fun!

What About Lifejackets?

At least one U.S. Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III or V lifejacket is required for each person onboard. The lifejacket must be the correct size for the intended wearer and in good, serviceable condition. In addition, Virginia law requires at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved Type IV throwable (life ring or seat cushion) on all recreation boats regardless of their size. A Type IV throwable is designed to be thrown to a person in the water. The throwable requirement does not apply to: canoes, kayaks, inflatable rafts (without motors), or personal watercraft (PWC), or vessels less than 16' registered in another state temporarily using Virginia waters.

Stay Safe on the Water - Boat Smart and Sober!

The upcoming summer boating season is right around the corner, and VDGIF reminds all boaters to boat smart, boat sober, and boat safe while out on our waterways. All boaters should:

  • wear your life jacket
  • do not mix alcohol and boating
  • take a boating safety course

Remember safety and courtesy are free, share them generously!

"GREEN TIPS" For Outdoor Enthusiasts

This new section in the Outdoor Report provides tips and articles on ways you as an outdoor enthusiasts can join with others to do simple things in your outdoor pursuits that can make a big difference in keeping Virginia "green" and wildlife "wild" to benefit us all.

Willis Wharf Dedication Set for September 19 on Eastern Shore

The Wildlife Viewing Platform at Willis Wharf will be dedicated in a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on September 19 in conjunction with the Eastern Shore Birding & Wildlife Festival. This platform was a collaborative project funded by a grant from Virginia's DEQ Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program (through NOAA). Project partners included DGIF who managed the project and provided the design, CZM, Northampton County, the Village of Willis Wharf and the Accomac-Northampton Planning District Commission. The platform was built on county owned property at the marina at Willis Wharf. The fully ADA compliant platform offers unparalleled views of the waters of Parting Creek, a haven for migrating shorebirds. Willis Wharf is an existing site on the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail's Eastern Shore Loop. This platform will support existing ecotourism projects at the site including a floating kayak dock of the Virginia Seaside Heritage Trail. Enhancing ecotourism will allow the community to maintain the traditional lifeways of a working waterfront. DGIF has also designed interpretive signage to help visitors identify wildlife and understand the creek's ecology.

Habitat Improvement Tips

New Bat Video on Web Site

Join Department biologist J.D. Kleopfer on a survey of the state endangered Rafinesque's big-eared bat. This video highlights two of only three known nursery roosts of this species in Virginia — one roost is in an old general store, the other in a turn of the century one-room schoolhouse.

Fishin' Report

Anglers throughout 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 Report.

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 to find the major river or lake you want to know about.

For regulations and conditions on saltwater fishing, visit the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) Web site.

Lake Thompson is Draining

VDGIF recently discovered the water level was dropping at Lake Thompson, a 10-acre lake on the VDGIF's G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area in Fauquier County, and immediately began an engineering assessment of possible causes. VDGIF, in consultation with contract dam safety engineers, determined that the bottom drain attached to the base of the principal spillway had failed somewhere along its course, near the lake bottom, upstream of the riser. Attempts to locate the source of the leak and to render an economical, quick fix have not been successful; and, unfortunately, it appears the lake will slowly drain.

Thompson Lake's water level is dropping at a rate of approximately six inches per day and is expected to be nearly dry within the next few weeks. VDGIF will monitor the lake level and dam as the water continues to drop and will conduct additional assessments to evaluate potential long-term repairs. Smallmouth bass have been and will continue to be removed from the lake and transported to the Department's Front Royal Fish Hatchery to serve as brood stock.

Fred Leckie, Assistant Director of Fisheries advises anglers that, "Fishing access to the lake is becoming difficult each day as the water level continues to fall and more mud is exposed. However, there are a few rocky areas that can provide access to the water's edge. All visitors and anglers should use extreme caution under these changing conditions." Updates will be posted in future editions of the Outdoor Report and at the Department's Web site.

Trout Stocking Schedule Changed in Fee Fishing Areas Due to Higher Fuel Costs

Due to rising fuel prices, the VDGIF trout stocking will now be reduced from six times per week to three at its daily trout Fishing Fee Areas at Crooked Creek in Carroll County and Big Tumbling on Clinch Mountain in Washington County. Prior to this change, trout had been delivered and stocked daily, Monday to Saturday, at each of the streams.

There is a positive aspect to the change. "Each stocking will get twice the number of fish normally stocked each day, so the number of trout stocked per week will not change," says Assistant Fisheries Division Director Ron Southwick. "This will cut our fuel costs in half, without affecting the number of fish stocked." In fact, anglers making the trip to either of the areas should have better success with the increase number of fish stocked each time. Southwick also observed, "The number of daily permit sales normally goes way down during the summer months and with the high price of gas, we are seeing even lower numbers of anglers than in previous years."

Trout will be stocked on Monday and Wednesday mornings, and either Friday evening or Saturday morning for the weekend visitors. Crooked Creek and Clinch Mountain fee areas are open from the first Saturday in April thru September 30. Anglers must have a Virginia fishing license and purchase a daily fishing permit for $6.50. Permits can be purchased on line at the Department's Web site or from any license agent (found at most sporting goods stores and bait shops) or on site at the concession building. The daily creel limit is six trout per angler.

For more information about fishing in Virginia, visit the Department's Web site.

Kids 'n Fishing Photo Contest Winners Selected

The winners in the annual Kids 'n Fishing Photo Contest have been selected and can be viewed on the VDGIF Web site. The contest was sponsored by VDGIF, Green Top Sporting Goods, and Shakespeare Tackle Company. The winning photos best captured the theme "kids enjoying fishing." Children in the first through third place photographs of each category received a variety of fishing-related prizes. More winning photos will be featured in future editions of the Outdoor Report.

Sara White's Notebook

Region 1 - Tidewater

Beaverdam Swamp: Ken Stern reports that fishing action on the lake is not at its best, as the water is very low: 12 to 13 inches below full pool. Some small crappie are being brought up from under standing structure. No news on cat angling. Some small bream can be found under the dock. The water is around 85 degrees and clear.

North Landing River and Back Bay: Dewey Mullins of West Neck Marina tells us that lots of largemouth are being landed. Early and late try top-water lures. During the day try spinners, crankbaits and dark plastic worms. Some average size crappie have been boated. Bluegill are plentiful and going for crickets, red worms and popping bugs. Try the shallows first. No big cat action has been noted, but live bait, such as shiners, might bring you luck. The water is in the high 80's and clear.

Little Creek Reservoir: By Walter Elliot- Recent catches include: David Baker, Newport News, 1 striper 10 lbs. using live herring; Henry Moore, Kent Moore, Mechanicsville, 17 yellow perch up to 13" (five were citations), 1 largemouth bass 5 lbs.; Paul Maycock, Williamsburg, 1 striper 10 lbs. 8 oz. using live herring; Mike Fowler, Williamsburg, 8 stripers up to 10 lbs. 2 oz., 20 largemouth bass up to 5 lbs., 8 channel cats up to 8 lbs. 4 oz., using live herring; Tim Gorde, Newport News, 2 largemouth bass 4 lbs. 8 oz., 20" long, 5 lbs. 8 oz., 22" long, using minnows and Roy Jones, Henrico, 2 yellow perch 12" and 13 1/2" long, using minnows.

Top-water lures for the first hour of day light are very productive. Anglers should then start moving to deeper water off points as the day progresses, plastic worms and deep diving crank baits has been the pattern over the last week. Live bait anglers have been catching stripers and largemouth bass of points in at least 20 feet of water. Minnows have been the bait of choice for yellow perch producing fish up to 13 1/2" long. Chain pickerel are hitting on minnows, swim baits, and plastic worms off drop offs. The reservoir is clear with an estimated surface temperature of 90 degrees. The water level is 36" below full pool.

Norfolk Lakes: Drew Dixon of Dashell's Show Room says that local bass are being fooled by top-water lures. Cats are hitting cut bait. No word on crappie. Bream are going for crickets and red wigglers. The water is very hot and clear. It is 2 to 3 feet below full pool.

Nottoway and Black Water Rivers: By Local Guide Jeff Turner- Well now this is a bit different fishing report than I normally do but I though it an interesting story. On July 30th I accompanied VDGIF Fisheries Biologist Eric Brittle, Scott Herrmann, Mitchell Norman, Regional Manager Bob Greenlee and Fisheries Technician Senior Matt Blommell on the Nottoway River. The mission was to see how many blue catfish could be shocked up as part of an on-going study of the species and their ever increasing numbers in the Blackwater and Nottoway. The non-native species over the years have been increasing in numbers in the two Rivers. It was only 15 years or so ago that the species started coming up the rivers during the spring shad and herring runs. Now the fish are staying here year around. Biologist Bob Greenlee believes one reason is because the species has so populated the lower Chowan that the hardy fish are just moving into new waters to accommodate their ever speedily increasing numbers. It is believed the species could supplant some other catfish species in the two rivers eventually especially white catfish and bullhead catfish. It is hoped that other game fish species such as largemouth bass will not be affected. I have helped VDGIF in the past on shock projects acting as a guide but this was the first time I got to see two boats in action. I was in a third boat which was the Blackwater Nottoway Riverkeeper boat so I could film some of the action. It was really impressive watching these guys work in tandem and you could tell they knew what they were doing. One boat would be in front shocking with the second boat careening back and forth in a frantic effort to scoop up the dazed catfish before they could come too and swim safely back to the bottom of the river. In a good spot the catfish would come popping up to the surface 30 to 50 at a time making the two guys netting in the chase boat really have to get down to business. After about four hours on the river the temperature was pushing 94 and the humidity was about the same and it was HOT. It was decided that enough had been caught and the dedicated biologist worked up the last batch of catfish collected which means they were identified by species, counted, weighed and measured. The blue catfish total for the day was 92 with probably three times that many other catfish caught mostly white catfish. The largest blue measured was a 14 pound monster which is a big catfish on the Nottoway.

Region 2- Southside

Smith Mountain Lake: Mike Snead at the Virginia Outdoorsman Store reports overall temperatures this week will continue to be seasonally warm. The high temperature will be in the mid and upper 90's through the middle of the week and will be in the mid 80's through the weekend. The low temperature at night will be in the 60's. The forecast is for us to enjoy sunny and partly cloudy skies most of the week with a chance of thunderstorms on Wednesday and Thursday. The upper lake water has picked up some color as what appears to be an algae bloom is adding a green tint to the water. We will have a little moonlight at night with a first quarter moon this Friday the 8th. While the water level came up a little over the weekend, it continues to be several feet below full pond.

The bass fishing this past week continued to be mixed, both for those fishing in the day and at night. There are bass being caught on top-water lures early in the morning, late in the evening and at night. Some bass are being found suspended off deep-water points and on deep-water docks, especially ones adjacent to deep water. These deep-water bass are being caught on deep diving crankbaits like the Lucky Craft CB, Norman DD's, Strike King #4 and #5 in crawfish, shad and a variety of different night colors. These deep diving baits are most effectively fished using a relatively long, limber, sensitive "deep crankbait rod" from 6 ˝ to 7 ˝ feet long. Deep diving crankbaits pull much harder than do shallow diving crankbaits and a longer rod is generally preferred. Many manufacturers, including G. Loomis, Powell and St. Croix, make crankbait rods designed especially for these lures. Deep water fish are also being caught on Carolina rigs, drop shot outfits and heavy Dave's jigs using a variety of different plastics. Floating worms like the Roboworm, Deep Creek Floating MT and Giggystik are good choices for dropshot rigs as well as shaky head jigs. At times bass prefer shaky head presentations with worms that do not float and ZOOM's finesse worm and new shaky worms are good choices in those cases. Bass suspended under deep-water docks are taking the Yamamoto Yamasenko worm in select colors when wacky rigged and presented near pilings, ladders and other vertical structure.

Mark Vest won the Saturday night tournament out of Foxport Marina with a total weight of 15.80 pounds. Mark also brought a beautiful 7.55-pound largemouth to the scales to take big fish honors. Maurice Oakes and his son, Arvie teamed up Saturday night to take second place with a total weight of 14.45 pounds. The Sunday SMLBass tournament was won by the team of John Vest and Benny Robertson with a total weight of 14 pounds 7 ounces. They also had the big fish weighing 5 pounds 3 ounces. Second place went to the team of Cris Logan and Cris Logan, Jr. with a weight of 10 pounds 13 ounces. The team of Brandon and Joshua Pritchett won the fifth and final Conrad Brothers USA Bassin team tournament this past Sunday. The tournaments big fish, weighing 5.17 pounds, was caught by the team of Brent Anderson and Lucas Bauer. The team of James Cassaday and Gary Nichols, Jr. won the 2008 Virginia Division Series championship. The USA Bassin Virginia Regional Tournament will be held on September 9th at Smith Mountain Lake. For information about local tournaments or to have your tournament results included in future reports, just call Mike at the Virginia Outdoorsman on (540) 721-4867.

Stripers continue to be found in large schools inside and near the mouth of major deep-water creeks. These fish are being caught on live bait (shad and shiners) presented on weighted down lines (1 ˝ or 2 ounce egg sinkers), bucktails, flukes on custom jigheads and small spoons. Most of these stripers are being caught in schools at depths of from 25 to 55 feet deep. Anglers trolling umbrella rigs, deep diving lures and three way rigs are also catching striped bass. In the summer when striped bass are in schools, trolling is a very effective way to fish for striped bass because you can cover a lot more water in search of the schools while trolling than you can when pulling bait. Many striper anglers will troll while searching for schools of stripers. Once the fish are located, some will switch to live bait on down lines in an effort to catch them. Trolling 3 and 4 arm umbrella rigs with swim shad and curl tailed grub trailers continues to produce good fish. When trolling umbrella rigs make sure you remember to take along a Jerry Hester Umbrella rig retriever. It will pay for itself the first time you use it to retrieve your rig from a submerged tree. This Thursday, August 7th we will be conducting a workshop on "Catching, Keeping and Fishing with Live Bait". It will cover everything from how to select, use and care for cast-nets to the different presentation techniques used at various times of the year. On August 21st we will be conducting a "How To Rig and Use Trolling Tackle For Stripers" workshop. This workshop will cover everything from lead core outfits to umbrella rigs. More information about these workshops can be found on or Web site:

Crappies continue to be caught deep using both live crappie minnows and selected artificial lures. Magic stink bait is producing good results with channel catfish and flathead catfish continue to be caught on live shiners and shad. Water Temperature: 84 degrees Water. Clarity: Colored/Good

James at Lynchburg: Tom Reisdorf of Angler's Lane says that there is not a lot of angling to be had as the water is very low. Smallmouth are going for popping bugs. Trout are hard to find due to the low water conditions. Your best bet in this region is to find a good farm pond (with, of course the permission of the landowner) and try early and late. The water is very warm and clear.

Kerr Reservoir: Bobby Whitlow of Bob Cat's Lake Country Store reports that the water is very low, up to 4 ˝ feet below full pool. However Mike Fuller from North Carolina broke the Virginia state record for fresh water drum with at monster weighing 22 lbs. The leviathan was fooled by a Laser Eye Jigging Spoon. Cat action on the lake has been good with cut bait. Crappie are hiding in deep brush and hitting minnows and jigs. Local bass tournaments are doing well. The water is 85 to 89 degrees and clear.

Region 3- Southwest

Claytor Lake: Glen Don of Rock House Marina tells us that lots of local cats are biting shiners. Bass angling is picking up with drop shots and wacky rigged Senkos. Not much crappie action has been reported. No word on local bream. The water is 85 to 86 degrees and muddy.

Lower New River: John Zienius of Big Z's told me that night fishing on the river is very good, with a 26 inch smallmouth being brought in with a Jolt spinner bait. No word on crappie or cats. Night tournaments on Claytor Lake have meet with modest success. Another good fish to go for on the river at night is muskies; these big boys like in-line spinner baits. The water is in the 80's and clear.

Region 4- Mountain and Shenandoah Valley

North Fork of the Shenandoah: Fly entrepreneur Harry Murray reports that the smallmouth streams in the North and South forks of the river are clear and fishable. Your best bet is to wade in both branches and to float in the south fork. The best angling is early and late with the Shenandoah Blue Popper size 6 and the Shenandoah Damsel Popper, also size 6. In the midday, try in the riffles and pools with Murray's Back Hellgrammite size 6 and Shenks White Streamer, also size 6. The waters are 79 to 81 degrees and clear.

In the stocked larger trout streams, the best ones are the Smith River at Bassett and the Hidden Valley of the Jackson River. Try Murray's Betsy Streamer sizes 10 and 12 and Casual Dress, also sizes 10 and 12. The waters are 68 to 72 degrees and clear.

For the high mountain trout streams, the water is very low, which makes the trout wary; however, using 7x leaders and small flies you can still fill your creel. Good bets for such flies are Murray's Flying Beetle sizes 16 and 18 and H&L, also sizes 16 and 18. The Mr. Rapidan Dry Fly, sizes 16 and 18 is also a good choice. The water is 65 degrees and clear.

Region 5- Northern Piedmont

Lake Orange: Darrell Kennedy, of Angler's Landing reports that bass fishing is very strong with soft plastics being the bait of choice. Top water is good during low light periods of the day, as well. Crappie are suspending in about 10 ft. of water around the fishing pier and fish attractors. Small minnows are enticing the crappie to bite. Cat fishing is great all over the lake on chicken livers and night crawlers. The water is clear with temperatures in the mid 80's.

Lake Anna: Local outdoor writer and guide C.C. McCotter reports August has arrived on Lake Anna and so have the 90+ degree days. That is warming the water a few more degrees into the middle 80's, but that's OK. Our days are getting shorter and nights longer, so the water will begin to cool slightly by the end of the month. There is also so many shad and herring in the lake this year, the late summer fishing has been great. Here's what you can expect on your next visit. Largemouth bass - Many fish are schooled like stripers and busting herring and threadfin shad during the morning. Good places to look include points in the mid-lake region where you see baitfish flipping around 3-4 pm; the Dike III region and channel bend points in the upper region of Anna. Always have a top-water popper or Zara Spook at the ready in the morning to reach out and get to those breaking fish. Another top lure is a soft plastic jerk bait like the Berkley Jerkshad or the Realistix Minnow, especially for mid and down-lake bass fishing. Up-lake, you are going to want to use a Bandit 200 crankbait and a Tiger Shad Lake Anna Special spinner bait in 1/8 to 1/4-oz. I don't slow down and worm fish much now because there are just so many schooling fish available. Striped bass - Just about every morning at sunrise Anna has stripers breaking now. The vast majority are sub-keeper size (under 20") but they are fun on light tackle. There are bigger fish under the little ones, though. The trick is getting your bait down to them. The top-water bite is fantastic. You can also catch them on the Jerkshad. Try vertical jigging the new Toothache Spoon when you see them on the depth finder after they stop breaking. I am fishing in the mid-lake region from The Splits to the power plant for this bite (top-water and vertical jigging with spoons). Trolling has been productive, but I just can't take that kind of fishing. Live bait is productive but ties you down so you cannot move around and fire away at the schoolies. Crappie - Fair fishing at best. Lots of little fish are readily available in the upper lake region. You will find them on brush piles, bridge pilings and rock piles on channel bends. Catching a fish over 12" is tricky now. I like to fish deep structure mid-lake for bigger specs. I suggest you try live minnows on slip bobbers for the best results now to book your trip!

NOTICE: All anglers are reminded to acquaint themselves with a good description of the northern snakehead. If you should manage to catch one of these exotic imports, please kill it immediately and report the catch to either the Virginia Department of Game And Inland Fisheries or the Maryland Department Of Natural Resources.

View video about the snakehead »

Get your kids hooked on fishing!

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email your material to
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Virginia Conservation Police Notebook

To increase awareness of the activities of our dedicated Conservation Police Officers, previously called game wardens, the "Virginia Conservation Police Notebook" provides an overview of the variety of activities encountered by our officers who protect natural resources and people pursuing outdoor recreation in the fields, woods and waters of Virginia.

Region 3 - Southwest

You should never lie to an officer… On July 12, Conservation Police Officer Jason Honaker received a call about a van that was stuck in a field in the Blackwater area of Scott County. Officer Honaker responded to the scene and found two subjects trying to retrieve a van from a drainage ditch in a field. The owner of the van stated that the van had been stolen from him sometime in the night and he found it in the field on the following morning. The van owner's friend was helping him to remove the vehicle. Officer Honaker asked the man if he had filled out a stolen vehicle report on the van, the suspect said he had not because he did not have a phone. Officer Honaker advised the suspect to get with the deputy that had arrived at the scene and talk to him about the van. As the suspect talked to the deputy, Officer Honaker talked to the friend who finally admitted to him that they were just looking at deer and had gotten stuck in the field. The friend said that "Honaker you know me, I will kill some turkey out of season but would never shoot a deer at night". The friend then said that they did not even have a gun in the van so they could not have killed a deer even if they wanted to. Officer Honaker then talked to the other suspect who had just filled out a stolen vehicle report with the Scott County Sheriff's Office. The suspect eventually admitted to using the headlights to look at deer, when asked about a rifle he said that it was the other guy's rifle and he had hidden the rifle at his house after they had gotten stuck in the field. Officer Honaker received written statements about the incident and filed the following charges: one count of attempt to take deer at night on each subject and one count of trespassing with ATV. A charge of filing a false police report is pending for reporting the van as being stolen. The accomplice to the van owner ended up being arrested and going to jail as he was wanted in Wythe County for failure to appear in court and driving with a revoked license. For more information contact Lt. Rex Hill (276) 783-4860.

Region 4- Mountain & Shenandoah Valley

Failure to have a life jacket proves fatal in boating accident On July 28, Conservation Police Officer Keith Crider investigated a fatal boating incident that occurred in the Gore area of Frederick County. A 60 year old West Virginia man was boating with his son on a private lake near a local campground when the small, overloaded boat capsized and sunk. The victim, who was a non-swimmer, was recovered by a nearby lifeguard in 7 feet of water. CPR was started at the scene and a pulse was evident when he was transported to Winchester Medical Center. He was placed on life support until early Monday evening when his family requested he be removed from the life sustaining equipment. There were no PFDs (personal flotation devices) on the boat according to preliminary reports. The law requires that there be one wearable USCG approved life jacket of the appropriate size for each person on a boat. For more information contact Lt. Kevin Clarke (540) 248-9360.

If you suspect or witness a violation, report it to the Wildlife Crimeline at 1-800-237-5712.

Don't let the actions of a few outlaws tarnish the reputation of Virginia's sportsmen!

In Case You Missed It...

Editor's note: 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..."

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 link to subscribe. New editions are sent directly to your email address the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Stay informed on issues and opportunities about Virginia's outdoors!

In upcoming editions of the Outdoor Report, look for:

  • Spring Turkey Harvest Data
  • New Muzzleloader Seasons
  • Hunter Education Classes and Hands-on Events
Hellbender. Artwork copyright Spike Knuth.

Cryptobranchidae alleganiensis alleganiensis
by Spike Knuth

The hellbender is a large aquatic salamander measuring 12 to 29 inches in length. It is stocky with gray or brown base color, mottled or spotted with darker spots. The head of the hellbender is broad and flattened, with tiny black eyes and loose folds or wrinkles of skin on its lower sides. These folds are thought to provide additional surface to take oxygen from the water. It has small gill slits which are closed on some adults. It propels itself with its fleshy, flattened tail.

Also called devil dog, Alleghany alligator, or grampus, hellbenders live mainly in rocky-bottomed, fast flowing, clear streams and rivers. In August to early October, the male will form a disc-shaped nest cavity at night under or alongside a large rock or submerged log. The female lays up to 500 yellowish eggs in long strings, while the male releases milt while alongside or above her. The male will guard the nest until the larvae hatch in two to three months.

Hellbenders feed on crayfish, snails, worms, aquatic insects, and dead fish. They can crawl about on the stream bottom with the aid of sandpiper-like pads on the bottom of their feet, enabling them to move over slick stream bottoms.

Occasionally, they are caught on hook and line by anglers who often cut their lines rather than trying to remove them, believing they are poisonous if handled. However they are not poisonous and are quite harmless; just ugly and slimy.

Populations are declining mainly due to siltation, water pollution, and impoundments on rivers and streams. They are rare throughout their range and are rare in Virginia, being found mainly in the New, Clinch, and Powell River drainages.

Learn more about the hellbender »

For more information on endangered or species of special concern in Virginia, refer to the book, Virginia's Endangered Species by Karen Terwilliger, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and published by McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, VA 24062.  

·    ·    ·

This section of each issue of the Outdoor Report features one of the 925 animals that have been identified in Virginia's Wildlife Action Plan whose existence is at risk.

Think you can't make a difference? You can! Be wild and work with your local officials and in your local communities to conserve Virginia's wildlife resources. Find out how you can help and join our team!

The artwork used to enhance this publication is produced by award-winning Virginia artist Carl "Spike" Knuth. He is currently retired from VDGIF and continues to be active in numerous activities contributing to wildlife conservation, information and education through his artwork and writing. We appreciate his continued service and support through his exceptional talent for both illustrations and writing. Spike's artwork can be seen at the Jager Gallery, 6939 Lakeside Avenue, in Richmond.

August 2008
19 Board of Game and Inland Fisheries Meeting, Richmond
20 Woodland Options Short Course, Eastside Community Center, Dinwiddie. For information (540) 231-6391 Virginia Cooperative Extension visit or email
22-24 Virginia Outdoor Sportsmen's Classic, Salem Civic Center. On 23rd will include the VOSC Open Turkey Calling Contest sponsored by National Wild Turkey Federation and hosted by Franklin County Longbeards Chapter. Visit Web site or call (540) 206-2414.
22-23 Wildlife Foundation of Virginia Hunter Education Event, Richmond contact WFV Web site for details
Mother Daughter Outdoors, Holiday Lake 4-H Center, Appomattox, visit DGIF web events
23-24 VAWFA Virginia State Duck and Goose Calling Contest, Hampton, visit
24 The Wildlife Center of Virginia Open House, Waynesboro, reservations required. call (540) 942-9453 or
26 Public Comment Meeting for the Hound Study Advisory Committee Recommendations, Wytheville Meeting Center,
27 Public Comment Meeting for the Hound Study Advisory Committee Recommendations, Spotswood High School,
28 Public Comment Meeting for the Hound Study Advisory Committee Recommendations, Caroline Community Center, Bowling Green,
30-31 Wildlife Foundation of Virginia Hunter Education Event, Fulfillment Farm, Albermarle contact WFV Web site for details
September 2008
2 Public Comment Meeting for the Hound Study Advisory Committee Recommendations, Fauquier High School,
3 Public Comment Meeting for the Hound Study Advisory Committee Recommendations, Appomattox High School,
4 Public Comment Meeting for the Hound Study Advisory Committee Recommendations, King's Fork High School, Suffolk,
4 Woody Biomass for Energy in Virginia, Southwest Higher Education Center, Abingdon. Visit or John Munsell (540) 231-1611 for registration.
7 The Wildlife Center of Virginia Open House, Waynesboro, reservations required call (540) 942-9453 or
9 Public Comment Meeting for the Hound Study Advisory Committee Recommendations, Gretna High School,

Wheelin' Sportsmen Dove Hunt at Fulfillment Farm, Albermarle visit for details


JAKES Event-Page Valley Sportsmen's Club, Inc and NWTF Skyline Strutters Chapter, Pre-registration is required, contact Art Kasson (540) 622-6103 or

13 Lynchburg Family Outdoors Day, Walton Park, Amherst County Visit DGIF web events
13-14 Eastern Regional Big Game Contest, Southampton Co. Fairgrounds- Franklin for information:

Western Virginia Land Trust's Annual Conservation Celebration, Kegley Farm in Roanoke, contact Western Virginia Land Trust at (540) 985-0000 or email


Wheelin' Sportsmen Benefit Golf Tourney at Vista Links in Buena Vista visit for details

20 FULL Fly Fishing Workshop, Dry River - Harrisonburg. Visit DGIF web events

Wheelin' Sportsmen Outdoor Day - Shenandoah Stone - Raphine visit for details


JAKES Youth Outdoor Event, National Capital Chapter, Izaak Walton League of America - Centreville, Registration is limited. Contact Kevin Walter (484) 951-1275 or

18-21 16th Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival (*note date change from previous years), Cape Charles, for information: (757) 787-2460 or

Willis Warf Wildlife Viewing Platform Dedication, Eastern Shore

20-21 SVHEC Hunting/Fishing Expo, Abingdon, for information visit:

The Wildlife Center of Virginia Open House, Waynesboro, reservations required, call (540) 942-9453 or

27 National Hunting and Fishing Day- visit DGIF web events to find an event near you. This is a great day to get an Apprentice License for a friend or family member.

Outdoor Festival - Five County Fairgrounds, Farmville. For more information call (434) 547-6770

27-28 Western Regional and State Championship, Rockingham Co. Fairgrounds- Harrisonburg, for information:

The Wildlife Center of Virginia Open House, Waynesboro, reservations required, call (540) 942-9453 or

29 Woody Biomass for Energy in Virginia, Virginia State University, Petersburg. Visit or John Munsell (540) 231-1611 for registration.
October 2008
1 Conservation Organization Appreciation Night, Bass Pro Shops, Hanover Grand Opening, contact Outdoor Report Editor (804) 367-0702
2 32nd Annual Fall Forestry & Wildlife Bus Tour, Fort Pickett, Nottoway County, registration information Click Here
10 32nd Annual Fall Forestry & Wildlife Bus Tour, Montgomery/Giles Counties, registration information Click Here
11 5th Annual Fall Wildlife Festival, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of the Potomac River Refuges Click Here

The Wildlife Center of Virginia Open House, Waynesboro, reservations required, call (540) 942-9453 or

15 32nd Annual Fall Forestry & Wildlife Bus Tour, Rockbridge County, registration information Click Here
16 32nd Annual Fall Forestry & Wildlife Bus Tour, Essex County County, registration information Click Here
24-26 Forest Landowner's Retreat: Discover Value in Your Forest, Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center, Appomattox, register by Sept.22. Contact Jason Fisher (434) 579-5689 or Neil Clark (757) 657-6450 x 406
We have opportunities for the public to join us as volunteers in our Complementary Work Force Program. If you are interested in devoting your time and talents, apply here.

Opportunities will be posted regularly providing descriptions of available volunteer positions.

The Department offers numerous hunting, fishing, and outdoor education programs designed for families, women, beginners and seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Visit Find Game, the Department's award-winning online public hunting lands locator!

For persons with disabilities: a calendar of hunting, fishing, and skill-building events, as well as areas designed for access to persons with disabilities can be found on the Department's online events calendar, accessible fishing areas page, as well as the VANWTF site.

Find out where to fish, fishing access, and much more at the Department's Web site.


The following is a partial list of upcoming seasons starting in April for the more popular species. For a complete list and regulations consult the 2008-09 Hunting & Trapping Regulations and Information.

Coyote, groundhog, & skunk: Continuous open season on private land only.
August 2008
Crow: Aug. 16 – March 21 on private land (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday only).
September 2008
Crow: Sept. 1 – March 10 on National Forest and Department Lands (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday only).
Coyote, groundhog, & skunk: Sept. 1 to Mar. 10 on public land, continuous open season on private land.
Dove: Sept. 1 - Sept. 27, 12:00 noon until sunset.
September Canada Goose: Sept. 1 - Sept. 25
Squirrel: Sept. 6 - Jan. 31
Deer Urban Archery: Sept. 6 – Oct. 3 in most cities, check regulations for details.
Deer Early Antlerless-Only Archery: Sept. 6 – Oct. 3 In Loudoun and Prince William Counties (except on Department owned lands).
Rails: Sept. 10 – Nov. 18
September Teal: Sept. 20 – Sept. 30 East of I-95 only.
October 2008
  • Bobcat: Oct. 4-31
  • Deer: Oct. 4-Nov. 14
  • Turkey: Oct. 4-Nov. 8
  • Bear: Oct. 11-Nov. 8
  • Snipe: Oct.9-13 and Oct.22-Jan.31
  • Opossum: Oct. 15-Mar. 10
  • Raccoon: Oct. 15-Mar. 10
  • Grouse: Oct. 25-Feb. 14 West of Interstate 95 only.
  • Turkey: Oct. 25-Nov. 7 in most counties, check regulations for details

All hunters (whether licensed or exempt from being licensed) who plan to hunt doves, waterfowl, rails, woodcock, snipe, coots, gallinules or moorhens in Virginia must be registered with the Virginia Harvest Information Program (HIP). HIP is required each year and a new registration number is needed for the 2008-2009 hunting season. To register for HIP, visit or call 1-888-788-9772.

Please contribute to Hunters for the Hungry through the $2 check-off when purchasing a license, or at any time through our online Outdoor Catalog.
To report a wildlife violation, call 1-800-237-5712, or email

FOR AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, contact the local conservation police officer immediately through the local sheriff's office or police department.

Don't allow the actions of a few to tarnish the reputation of Virginia's sportsmen and sportswomen!

  • If you would like to become a regular subscriber to Virginia Wildlife magazine, visit the Department's Web site, call 1-800-710-9369, or mail a check payable to "Treasurer of Virginia" and send it to Virginia Wildlife Magazine, P.O. Box 11104, Richmond, VA 23230-1104. A one-year subscription or 12 issues is only $12.95. Let Virginia Wildlife magazine be your guide to the best in hunting, fishing, boating and wildlife information.

Security Reminder: VDGIF will never ask for personal information through unsolicited e-mail.


Editor: David Coffman

Web Production: David Murr, Tim Tassitano

Contributing Editors:
Julia Dixon, Carol Kushlak, Ron Messina, Sally Mills, Lee Walker

Staff Photographers: David Coffman, Ron Messina, Tim Tassitano, Lee Walker

Special Feature Contributors:
Rick Busch, Tom Guess, Carol Heiser, Fred Leckie, Spike Knuth, Steve Pike, Vance Shearin, Jeff Trollinger, Sarah White

Executive Director: Bob Duncan

The electronic Outdoor Report is sent free via e-mail to more than 15,000 subscribers the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' mission is:
  • To manage Virginia's wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth;
  • To provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia;
  • To promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing;
  • To provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities.


The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries shall afford to all persons an equal access to Department Programs and facilities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex or age. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility, please write to: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 4010 West Broad Street, P.O. Box 11104, Richmond, VA 23230-1104.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
4010 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23230
(804) 367-1000 -