Yearly Archives: 2011

112 posts

Virginia Trout Stocking Schedule Dec 13 2011

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Just a few rivers have been stocked since last time. Check out the Maury River if you have never been there. The Maury River (VDGIF link) is truly a beautiful stream. I can’t personally vouch for the fishing there but have heard it’s worth checking out.



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Grayson Co.
Big Wilson Creek (12/10)
Rockbridge Co.
Maury River (12/12)
Mill Creek (12/12)
Warren Co.
Happy Creek (12/12)

EPA Implicates Fracking in Groundwater Contamination in Wyoming


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has for the first time implicated hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in groundwater contamination. Though hardly the last word on this increasingly common practice for extracting natural gas from the ground, and not a blanket indictment of the practice, it is a significant finding. This whole issue is heating up in the east, with Pennsylvania and New York at the center of what has become a well-known controversy in the Marcellus shale region.

My own view is that while it may be possible to do hydraulic fracturing safely in a lot of places, there have been so many allegations of energy companies contaminating groundwater and dumping the wastewater from fracking operations irresponsibly that it’s hard to feel confident about how safe it is. And I still don’t feel comfortable hearing from these companies that there is no reason to worry about the millions of gallons of water and toxic fluids being injected into each gas well since, as they claim, these fluids are put so far below the water table that this stuff will never find its way back up to contaminate our groundwater.

How many times have we heard from companies, “Trust us, it’s safe,” only to find out years later how wrong they were. Once groundwater is contaminated, it’s not easily cleaned up. We don’t even know where a lot of this water goes once it seeps into the ground. We don’t have extensive maps of underground reservoirs and waterways. How can anyone guarantee the safety of the waters we drink and fish without understanding this in much greater detail?

Be circumspect about all this. The brook trout that rely on all this groundwater are watching closely!

Virginia Trout Stocking Schedule Dec 8 2011

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

The latest trout stocking info for Virginia this week.

Bedford Co.
Liberty Lake (12/06)
Bland Co.
Laurel Fork Creek (12/06)
Wolf Creek (12/06)
Buchanan Co.
Russell Fork River (12/05)
Carroll Co.
Lovills Creek (12/05)
Little Reed Island Creek (12/07)
Dickenson Co.
Frying Pan Creek (12/05)
Henrico Co.
Dorey Park Lake (12/06)
Page Co.
Hawksbill Creek (12/05)
Richmond (City of)
Shield Lake (12/06)
Russell Co.
Big Cedar Creek (12/07)
Shenandoah Co.
Mill Creek (12/06)
Stony Creek (12/06)
Passage Creek (12/07)
Peters Mill Creek (12/07)

Virginia Trout Stocking Schedule Nov 30 2011

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Short week for trout stocking in Virginia. Notable: the Jackson River has some new fish.

Speaking of the Jackson River, this whole King’s Grant legal mess has come up again on the Jackson River. The very short summary for those who don’t know the background story is that a section of the Jackson River downstream of the Gathright dam was deemed by a state Supreme Court ruling several years ago to be owned by the landowners around the stream. The unique aspect of this ruling:  not only was the river bank and the bottom of the river owned privately, but the the fish in that section were the property of these folks, too. This is because the original land grant from the British Monarchy from way back before the Revolutionary War specified this, even though it is contrary to normal law in Virginia and most other states… I think I have that all right. So by wading that part of the river you are trespassing, and taking a fish stocked by the state is theft in that section of the river.

That is pretty screwed up, but the following is brazen. This past year some guy was sued in civil court for trespassing to the tune of $10,000 by some landowners (NOT in that section of the river where the King’s Grant landowners are) even though he put in and took out at public access points and was told by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries that he could fish that particular stretch. There was a criminal trespassing charge that was thrown out of court (so apparently the charges brought by the property owners were deemed bogus) and the VDGIF subsequently told these property owners that they had to remove what were apparently illegally posted signs there. So now they are in a civil court battle.

Be warned — below that dam there be trouble. Above the dam, in the Hidden Valley and near Rt. 623 which was just stocked, none of this nonsense has occurred to my knowledge, and while the fishing may not produce as many trophy sized fish it is still very good.

Alleghany Co.
Pounding Mill Creek (11/28)
Bath Co.
Jackson River (Rt. 623) (11/28)
Floyd Co.
Burkes Fork (11/29)
Washington Co.
Beartree Lake (11/29)
Straight Branch (11/29)

Virginia Trout Stocking Schedule Nov 27 2011

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Last week’s trout stocking info for Virginia. A little bit here and there…




Albemarle Co.
Mint Springs Lake (Upper) (11/22)
Mint Springs Lake (Middle) (11/22)
Botetourt Co.
Roaring Run (11/21)
Chesapeake (City of)
Northwest River Park (11/21)
Fauquier Co.
Thompson WMA Pond (11/19)
Greene Co.
South River (11/21)
Swift Run (11/21)
Henry Co.
Smith River (Dam) (11/21)
Newport News (City of)
Lake Biggins (11/21)
Staunton (City of)
Lake Tams (11/21)

Virginia Trout Stocking Schedule Nov 18 2011

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Success… is updating this site with the latest Virginia trout stocking info before the weekend. Keep in mind that if you want to get really up-to-date info, call the number to hear the voice message (434-525-3474).



Head down to the Cowpasture River if you’ve never been there before. It’s a beautiful part of the state, with the Jackson and Maury Rivers nearby, too.

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Albemarle Co.
Sugar Hollow Reservoir (11/17)
Amherst Co.
Davis Mill Creek (11/12)
Pedlar River (Upper) (11/12)
Rocky Row Run (11/16)
Augusta Co.
Braley Pond (11/16)
Elkhorn Lake (11/17)
Hearthstone Lake (11/16)
Bath Co.
Cowpasture River (11/14)
Pads Creek (11/16)
Frederick Co.
Clearbrook Lake (11/15)
Wilkins Lake (11/15)
Grayson Co.
Elk Creek (11/15)
Patrick Co.
Rockcastle Creek(11/17)
Pulaski Co.
Peak Creek(11/16)
Smyth Co.
Middle Fork Holston River (Upper) (11/12)
Staley Creek (11/12)
Wythe Co.
Rural Retreat Lake Pond (11/12)

Virginia Trout Stocking Schedule Nov 14 2011

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

The latest stocked trout streams in Virginia last week are listed below.

Cook Lake in Alexandria, Virginia is a new one for me. Located right in Cameron Run Regional Park, it looks like it gets stocked with trout and some catfish.

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Alexandria (City of)
Cook Lake (11/09)
Alleghany Co.
Clifton Forge Reservoir (11/10)
Jerrys Run (11/07)
Augusta Co.
Lower Sherando Lake (11/08)
Upper Sherando Lake (11/08)
Bath Co.
Douthat Lake & Wilson Creek (11/07)
Dickenson Co.
Cranesnest River (11/08)
Russell Fork River (Haysi) (11/08)
Fredericksburg (City Of)
Old Cossey Pond (11/09)
Madison Co.
Robinson River(11/10)
Montgomery Co.
Craig Creek (11/09)
Patrick Co.
Ararat River (11/10)
Clarks Creek (11/10)
Prince William Co.
Locust Shade Park (11/09)
Rockingham Co.
German River (11/09)
North Fork Shenandoah River (11/09)
Tazewell Co.
Little Tumbling Creek (11/09)
Washington Co.
Big Brumley Creek (11/09)
Big Tumbling Creek (11/09)
Wythe Co.
Cripple Creek (Ravens) (11/08)
Gullion Fork Ponds (11/09)

TU Directive to West Virginia: Don’t Stock Brook Trout Streams

Fingerling Brown TroutSome controversy is brewing in West Virginia over Trout Unlimited’s recent directive. You can read it here and it basically instructs members not to participate in stocking hatchery-raised trout in streams that are inhabited by native brook trout or fed by other streams containing brook trout. This is causing a stir in the Mountaineer State. Local TU leaders as well as the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources are not keen on being told how to manage their fisheries and are feeling little urge to comply.

“Regardless of what National TU does, we’ll continue managing our fisheries in the way we think benefits our anglers the most,” said Mike Shingleton, leader of the DNR’s Trout Program. “They aren’t going to tell us how to run our trout program.”

My own opinion — that of an outsider with a soft spot for conservation of brook trout — is in agreement in principle with TU’s directive. However, I am not familiar with the specifics of trout stocking programs in West Virginia, the overall health of brook trout populations in the state, the history of fisheries management there, and I’m not a biologist, environmental policy person or a freaking politician. This may in fact be a blunder by TU and the concerns it addresses may or may not merit this policy. The article linked above brings up a lot of good points and certainly brings to light the perspective of the folks in the state.

I have written about my own views regarding stocking trout downstream of brook trout populations in Virginia, specifically in Shenandoah National Park and specifically about the obligation to kill any brown trout caught there. The science behind these practices shows that brook trout populations are definitely affected (even more details found at TU’s conservation success index site).

I know people want to take fish home, and stocked trout are a great resource for those folks. Likewise, there are trout streams containing brook trout that will not support them further downstream, year-round, etc. and most of us certainly enjoy going after browns and rainbows in the winter while the brookies spawn. If the details of TU’s edict are overly broad it may be overkill. Like I said I don’t know all the details but striking the right balance to accomodate all the interests involved is getting messy and I fear this kind of conflict is going to become more common around the country.