River Access in Virginia Threatened Again

Geez, is this really happening again? Local landowners have filed a lawsuit over access to John’s Creek near New Castle, Virginia. This was triggered by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) re-evaluation of the navigability of fourteen waterways in the state in 2015, in response to… well, probably best to read the lawsuit story link above rather than relying on anything I could recount here.

This case is specifically about access to a waterway used by whitewater kayakers, but the interests of boaters and fisherman overlap quite a bit. These cases are now a few small steps from limiting all kinds of river access. Like the Jackson River and “Crown Grant” ruling a few years ago, this also goes back to property deeds granted under King George in the eighteenth century.

These are the waterways the VMRC ruled on last year — note that some of these are of interest if you’re a brook trout angler:

Johns Creek — Craig County

Barbours Creek — Craig County

Potts Creek — Craig and Alleghany counties

Blackwater River (North Fork)— Franklin County

Jennings Creek — Botetourt County

North Creek — Botetourt County

Colliers/Buffalo Creek — Rockbridge County

Irish Creek — Rockbridge County

Bullpasture River — Highland and Bath counties

Piney River — Amherst and Nelson counties

Passage Creek — Shenandoah and Warren counties

Cedar Creek — Shenandoah County

Gooney Run — Warren County

Wolf Creek — Tazewell and Bland counties

So what to do? Not sure right now. This is a breaking story, hopefully we will find out more soon.

Update: Haven’t seen anything yet, but more info will probably follow on the Virginia Rivers Defense Fund site.

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