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)