GFF Newsletter





Fishing, camping, hunting, boating, sailing, yachting - if it doesn't fit anywhere else, then post here.


Postby RACN35 » Thu Oct 11, 2007 6:56 am

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)
Outdoor Report
Managing and Conserving Our Wildlife and Natural Resources

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In this edition:
Records Shattered in Big Game Contest
Removing Dog Collar Is Now A Crime
People and Partners in the News
Stanovick Fund Established for Mossy Creek Restoration
"Call of the Wild" Conference October 27-28
Virginia Bowhunters Promotes New Youth Archery Program
Autumn Leaf Color Viewing Tips
Be Safe... Have Fun!
Have You Seen a Rattlesnake Lately? View new streaming video!
Virginia Conservation Police Notebook
Field reports from officers protecting natural resources and people pursuing outdoor recreation
Fishin' Report
In Case You Missed It...
Links to recent articles of on-going interest
Records Shattered in Big Game Contest
"WOW! So many huge bucks on one stage, this is amazing," commented Virginia Peninsula Sportsmen's Association (VPSA) President, Ken Picken, as he presented certificates to the winners in the 14 trophy classes at the Virginia Big Game Contest September 22, 2007 in Franklin. This was the 68th Annual contest and recognized seven new all time records in deer, turkey and bear classes. This was the most record trophies in anyone's memory. The Eastern Regional Contest is sponsored by the VPSA, and the Western Regional Contest is sponsored by the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America. These two organizations alternate hosting the State Contest each year. VDGIF is also a sponsor of these "official" contests. VDGIF Regional Wildlife Manager, Glen Askins expressed appreciation for the hard work and dedication of more than 50 volunteers who worked on both the Eastern and Western Regional contests. This Contest provides an opportunity to recognize sportsmen and sportswomen for their accomplishments and verifies the overall success of our game management programs.

The highest scoring deer in the state for 2006-07, receiving the George B. Johnson Memorial Award, was taken by Anthony Hodges in Henry County with bow and arrow. To read all the thrilling details of how this and other winners "got the big ones," read Bill Cochran's Web site article "Cat and mouse game with big buck is a humbling experience." The "new generation" of youth hunters also received top awards. Jordan Miller was awarded First Place State Youth Deer and placed Eighth in the State harvesting an 11 point buck in Surry County. David Lewis placed First in the Youth Bear Class and also took Third Place in the State for his trophy bear harvested in the City of Chesapeake. Jacob Phipps received First Place Youth Turkey and First Place in the State for the huge gobbler he harvested in Grayson County.

For photos and scores for all the State Award winners visit the VPSA Web site.

Removing Dog Collar Is Now A Crime
Hunters using hounds to hunt deer in Virginia have experienced increasing problems in recent years with people removing radio tracking collars to disrupt their hunts or hamper the sportsmen trying to retrieve their hounds. The Virginia Hunting Dog Owners Association (VHDOA) worked with Legislators last year to pass a law that provided penalties to anyone convicted of removing tracking collars without the dog owner’s permission. President of the VHDOA, Robert Kane, in recent comments to the Board of VDGIF, spoke regarding the importance of this new law on Hunting Dog Collar Removal. {Code of Virginia, Section 18.2-97.1 Removal of a dog collar; penalty}. He noted that many responsible sportsmen use radio tracking collars in order to more quickly retrieve their hounds after a hunt. The radio collars are also a protective measure for the well being of the hounds.

The new code section that went into effect July 1, 2007 states:

Any person who removes from a dog an electronic or radio transmitting collar without the permission of the owner of the dog and with the intent to prevent or hinder the owner from locating the dog, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Upon a finding of guilt, the court shall order that the defendant pay as restitution the actual value of any dog lost or killed as a result of such removal. The court may also order restitution to the owner for any lost breeding revenues.

If you witness any wildlife or hunting related violation call the Wildlife Crime Line immediately at 1-800-237-5712.

People and Partners in the News
Stanovick Fund Established for Mossy Creek Restoration

Richard Stanovick loved fly fishing. If the Augusta County native was packing his 3-weight for a trip, more than likely he was heading for the ultimate brown trout destination in Virginia, Mossy Creek. On June 25, 2007, the flyfishing world lost a great friend in Richard Stanovick. Before he passed on, Richard left Mossy Creek a generous gift. In his will, he stipulated that a conservation fund be established that would help finance restoration projects in and along Mossy Creek. Seed money for streambank restoration, fish habitat improvement, angler access, water quality, and/or education has been donated to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to carry out his final wishes. This money will be leveraged with other contributions, grants, and government funds to help maintain the components that make Mossy Creek such a special place for trout anglers. The status of Mossy Creek as a premier fly fishing destination could not have been established in the first place without selfless partners like the landowners that live along the stream, Trout Unlimited, and far-sighted individuals like Richard Stanovick. For information on how you can help with stream restoration projects, contact the VDGIF Fisheries Division at (540) 248-9360.

"Call of the Wild" Conference October 27-28

The annual Call of the Wild conference on wildlife rehabilitation will be held in Waynesboro on October 27-28, 2007. The Wildlife Center of Virginia Outreach Coordinator and Rehabilitation Supervisor, Amanda Nicholson, notes that, "This educational conference is designed for permitted wildlife rehabilitators, veterinary professionals, animal control officers, environmental educators, and wildlife enthusiasts." Information and registration details can be found on the Wildlife Center of Virginia Web site:

Virginia Bowhunters Association Promotes New Youth Archery Program

The Virginia Bowhunters Association (VBA) is sponsoring the newly developed After School Archery Program (ASAP). ASAP is a program to provide follow-on archery instruction to youth introduced to the sport at summer camps, National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), and other beginning archery programs. The program was started by National Field Archery Association (NFAA) to be presented in community environments such as schools, Recreation Councils, park programs and clubs; and to take beginning archers to a level that will enable them to fully participate in the sport by competing at local shoots and joining archery clubs. It was also intended to enable archery instructors to receive some income for their efforts. ASAP is also supported by national archery and trade associations and the Easton Sports Development Foundation that have provided grants of equipment for use in the program.

VBA has received one of those grants of equipment, including bows, arrows, targets and accessories for use by ASAP participants. Jerry Wenzel, a NFAA Master Coach and a member of Manahoac Bowmen in Fredericksburg, has accepted the responsibility as the ASAP Coordinator for the VBA. The equipment is available to any instructor who wishes to present an ASAP session and will take responsibility for the equipment. The program may be presented by any instructor certified by the USA Archery, NFAA or NASP, and is particularly suited for Intermediate Level and higher level instructors. For information on how you may participate contact Jerry Wenzel at (540) 854-0245 or email at For information about the VBA, check the Virginia Bowhunters' Web site at

Autumn Leaf Color Viewing Tips

One of the great rewards of living in the Old Dominion is the blaze of autumn color as the leaves turn from summer green to the brilliant hues of gold, red, yellow and orange. If you are looking for information on when and where to view the color change, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has developed its first ever VDOF-Recommended Fall Foliage Driving Tours. If you don't want to fight the traffic that clogs some of the best-known places, such as Skyline Drive, this site is for you. Each of these tours is designed by a local VDOF forester and is sure to exceed your expectations and fill your eyes with wide swatches of vibrant autumn colors. And, because these recommended drives are "off the beaten path," you'll be able to enjoy a leisurely trip without the hassles of a lot of traffic on the road or large crowds at vistas along the way.

To view the Fall Foliage Report and Driving Tours, see VDOF's "Fall Foliage in Virginia" Web site.

For Information by Phone:

Fall Foliage Report - 1-800-424-LOVE
Forest Service Fall Color hotline - 1-800-354-4595
Shenandoah Valley - 1-800-434-LEAF (1-800-434-5323)
Skyline Drive/Shenandoah National Park - (540) 999-3500 (press "7")
Blue Ridge Parkway (between Waynesboro and the North Carolina border) - (828) 298-0398 (press "7")

Fall Color Information - from the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.
U.S. Forest Service Fall Color Page
Fall Foliage Reports for the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Shenandoah Valley. Provided by the Weather Channel
Fall In Virginia - information from the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Remember, Only You Can Prevent Wildfires…

The continuing drought across the state has posed an increased risk of devastating wildfires. As you enjoy the outdoors and Virginia's forests, remember to be careful with outdoor fire. A cigarette, campfire or cooking equipment can destroy the scenic wonders of fall in Virginia. Be sure and check with local authorities before doing any debris burning, as burning restrictions are in force in some localities to prevent wildfires from occurring. You can also learn more during Fire Prevention Week, October 7 - 13. Check the VDOF Web site for details.

Be Safe... Have Fun!
Have You Seen a Rattlesnake Lately?

Check out the new streaming video: Timber Rattlesnake Survey on the VDGIF Web site. The four minute video features shots of both yellow and black color phase "rattlers", and even some day-old "neonate" or newborn snakes. On the survey the biologists were able to locate a "rookery" on a steep, rocky mountainside where female snakes bear their young.

The timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), one of Virginia's few venomous snakes, is usually found far from human habitation in forests and rocky ridge tops in the mountains, or in forested streams and swamps in the southeastern Coastal Plain.

These snakes play an important role in the ecosystem by controlling rodent populations and preying on small mammals. To a snake, humans are viewed as predators. If you leave a snake alone, the snake will leave you alone. If you bother a snake, you will elicit a defensive response. Watch the video to learn more about these cool animals and remember, if you are lucky enough to encounter a "rattler" in the wild, observe it from a distance and you'll have absolutely no problem with it.

Watch the video: Timber Rattlesnake Survey
Read "Rattles in the Wilderness," an article from Virginia Wildlife magazine (PDF)
Virginia Conservation Police Notebook
To increase awareness of the activities of our dedicated Conservation Police Officers, previously called game wardens, we are adding a new section to the Outdoor Report, the "Virginia Conservation Police Notebook." These Notebook entries provide 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. The Notebook entries are listed by Region.

Southwest Region

Happy Ending For Little Girl and Her Dog... On September 29, 2007, at approximately 11:25 A.M., a two-year-old girl was reported missing from her home in rural Montgomery County. It was reported that the child had wandered away with her pet dog. The Montgomery County Sheriff's office issued "A Child is Missing Alert"â„¢. Approximately 75 police, fire and rescue personnel responded to this remote area. Conservation Police Officers Rolland Cox, Josh Wheeler, Gene Wirt, Lee Wensel, and Sgt. Charlie Mullins responded to help in the search. Blacksburg Fire and Rescue set up an Incident Command Post and search teams were deployed. After nearly four hours of searching, the child and dog were located by Conservation Police Officer Lee Wensel who was operating a VDGIF ATV. Officer Wensel noted, "She was definitely scared. I don't know if she was afraid of me, or just from being lost. That dog is a real companion pet. They were inseparable. The dog kept barking at me to protect her." The child had not suffered any injuries and was returned safely to her parents. For more information: Contact Lt. Rex Hill (276) 783-4860.

Tidewater Region

Poachers Put on a Rail... Special Agents from both the VDGIF Special Operations unit and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) joined Sgt. Steve Garvis on the Eastern Shore in September to patrol the seaside marshes during the first "rail tides" of the 2007 season. These "rail tides" average two feet above normal and provide hunters with ideal conditions for the pursuit of the clapper rail, a migratory game bird. Officers with VDGIF and USFWS used a combination of aerial surveillance and boat patrols to detect hunters illegally using the aid of a motorboat to pursue these migratory birds. This successful operation resulted in the apprehension of four hunters who illegally killed 60 clapper rail. Charges to be filed in Federal court will include: Take/Attempt to Take Migratory Game Birds With the Aid of a Motorboat, Aid and Abet to Take Migratory Game Birds With the Aid of a Motorboat, and Take/Posses Over Limit of Migratory Game Birds. For more information contact Lt. Ken Conger (804) 829-6580.

Southern Piedmont Region

Is This Your Boat? On September 30, 2007, Officer Roy Morris and Senior Officer Paul Booth were on boat patrol on Lake Chesdin in Dinwiddie County. The officers checked a small 14' Tracker jon boat containing a man and woman who were fishing. The boat had registration numbers displayed on the side, but did not have any expiration decals. Suspicious, Officer Morris queried the number displayed on the boat through VDGIF Dispatch which came back to a 24' Chaparral run-about. When questioned about how he got the boat, the operator said that he bought it off of a guy he met at a McDonald's for $3,200 cash. The officers escorted the man and woman to Whippernock Marina to investigate further. When verifying the VIN for the truck and trailer, Officer Booth noticed that there was no license plate on the suspect's trailer. Another call to Richmond Dispatch boating system records verified that the registered owner from Charles City had reported his 14' Tracker boat stolen. Officer Morris was also able to spot a "ghost number" on the Tracker boat that matched the registration information for the stolen boat and trailer. The suspect was advised of his Miranda rights which he waived and gave the officers a written statement but denied any knowledge of the boat being stolen. The male suspect was issued four Summonses: Fishing Without a License, Operating a Motorboat Without Required Type IV, Operating an Unregistered Motor Boat, and Possession of a Vessel That had the HIN Plate Removed. The boat was seized and impounded. More charges will likely be forthcoming involving the actual theft of the vessel pending further investigation with local law enforcement authorities. For more information contact: Lt. Tony Fisher (434) 525-7522.

Mountain & Valley Region

DUI Suspect Arrested. On October 1, 2007, Conservation Police Officer Billy Angle and Lisa Rhudy attended a meeting of the Izaak Walton League in Alleghany County. As Officer Angle was driving toward his residence, he observed a vehicle being driven in a reckless manner on Interstate 64 near Low Moor in Alleghany County. Officer Angle initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and arrested the driver for DUI and driving without a license. A breath test revealed results of three times over the legal limit. Virginia's limit is .08. Conservation Police Officers do enforce traffic laws in performing their duties and provide for the safety of the general public. For more information contact: Lt. Kevin Clarke (540) 248-9360.

Northern Piedmont Region

Citizen Tip and Photo Leads to Arrest. On September 3, 2007, Conservation Police Officers Joe Valasek and Wayne Weller received a call from the Hanover Sheriff's office about a protected great blue heron which had been killed illegally. The officers met with the complainant who had taken photos of the suspects vehicle fleeing the scene. The complainant had also collected the bird which was photographed and placed into evidence. Canvassing the neighborhood, the officers were able to develop a potential suspect. While patrolling the incident area, the officers located a vehicle which looked like the suspect vehicle. The suspect was contacted and initially adamantly denied any wrongdoing. Using advanced suspect interview techniques, the suspect provided a full confession and written statement, which implicated him as the perpetrator who had killed the heron with a shotgun. It was also revealed that the suspect did not have a current Virginia hunting license. Possible Federal charges to follow. The officers credited the tip and photo evidence provided by the concerned citizen in making this arrest. For more information: contact Lt. John J. Cobb (540) 899-4169.

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!

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.

Reporter's Notes...

We've all seen the cheesy pirate maps where the unknown spots are marked with "there be dragons!" Well, perhaps someone should put that symbol on a map of the James. On September 18th two ichthyologists, Chris Hager and Matt Balazik, netted a 9-foot sturgeon in the James near Hopewell. For those of you who don't know what a sturgeon is, one marine biologist has described it as "a living, breathing dragon." They are indeed imposing fish - capable of growing up to 14 feet long, with a fierce snout and lots of dorsal plates. They are also long-lived creatures, with the biologists figuring that the one that was briefly caught was about 30 years old. He (or she) was just a youngster, the oldest recorded specimen was 60 years old. Sturgeon are anadromous, living both in fresh and saltwater at different times of the year. Overfishing and pollution almost caused the fish to be wiped out, but a few are still around. So beware, fishers of the James, a dragon may be on the other end of your line!

Region 1 - Tidewater

Beaverdam Swamp Reservoir: According to Tom Rummel, things are "really quiet." Folks are bringing in a few bass, and landing a few crappie with minnows, but not much else is going on. The pool is down one foot, and the water is clear at 75 degrees.

Chickahominy River: Charlie Brown tells us that a lucky angler recently landed a 50 lb. blue cat on cut bait. He also says that some bass are being caught, but not many. Yellow perch are responding to night crawlers. The water is clear and around 70-75 degrees.

Little Creek Reservoir: Walter Elliot reports that O.C. Foster of Mechanicsville brought in 2 yellow perch measuring 12 and 13 inches, respectively. He says yellow perch are "hitting on minnows and plastic grubs off the flats in 5 to 15 feet of water." Largemouth bass are going for dark plastic worms and natural colored crankbaits. Chain pickerel are in the low water and are attacking minnows and plastic baits, as well as crankbaits. Striper anglers have been pretty much out of luck. The water is clear and in the upper 70's. The water level is down 84 inches from full pool.

North Landing River and Back Bay: Dewey Mullins of West Neck Mariana says that "a little bit of everything" is biting. Stripers are going for live bait like shiners and also for crankbaits. White perch are responding to spinners. Largemouth bass are attacking beetle spinners. Crappie find shiners and small jigs irresistible. The water is a little stained and in the 70's.

Portsmouth Lakes: Mike Gizara told me that the bream are interested in worms. Crappie are going for small minnows. Stripers are attacking big minnows. A few cats have been brought in. Yellow perch are also starting to show up. The water is fairly clear at 80 degrees.

Region 2 - Southern Piedmont

James at Lynchburg: Tom Reisdorf of Angler's Lane reports that smallmouth bass are doing well and biting on top water popping bugs. This should change as the water cools down. The local ponds are good for bluegills right now, with the fish going for small nymphs. Tom says they are "hoping and praying for rain, so the trout won't perish with the drought". The water is clear and cooling.

Kerr Reservoir: Bobby Whitlow of Bob Cat's Lake Country Store says that fishing for the largemouths has been "tough". A few are schooling early in the morning, but not a lot. Crappie fishing has been fair on ledges 14 - 20 feet down. Some cats can be had at night in the shallows and ledges with live or cut bait. Bobby promises us that the fishing "will get better" as the weather cools. The lake is 6 ½ feet below normal levels and is 77 degrees.

Smith Mountain Lake: Mike Snead reports that both stripers and largemouths are going for baitfish on the surface, usually early in the morning. Popper lures are especially good against stripers, as are umbrella rigs. Bass are lingering in shallow waters around docks. Crankbaits and plastic worms are effective here. Mike also reminds us that the lake is low and boaters should be extra careful. The temperature is 76 degrees and the clarity is good.

Region 3 - Southwest

Claytor Lake: Mike Buchett of Rock House Marina tells us that, due to the weather on the lake, "for pleasure boaters it's gorgeous, for fishermen it's ugly." Nevertheless, the bass fishing is picking up a little. Your best bet to get bass is to use Robo Worms with a shaky head or dropshot technique. It's simply too hot to have much luck with stripers or crappie. The water is clear and in the mid 70's. There will be a bass tournament at Rock House Marina on October 13, 2007 from 7:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. There will be a $50 entry fee with 90% payback. For more information call Rock House at (540) 980-1488.

Flannagan Reservoir: Rodney Fleming of Primetime Sports reports that the bass are hitting on buzzbaits and jigs on topwater in the early morning. Crappie fishing has slowed down. Bluegill are responding nicely to crickets. The water is clear, low and cooling.

Lower New River: John Zienius says that the river is low, but smallmouths are going for crankbaits. Getting around the river is a problem for boaters, due to the low water levels, so be careful. The water is cooling and clear.

North Fork of the Holston River: Jamie Lamie tells us that the river is low, but that smallmouths are hitting minnow-patterned flukes in topwater early in the morning and late at night. The water is cooling and clear.

New River and Claytor Lake: Victor Billings of Sportsman's Supply says striper anglers can get lucky on Claytor Lake if they use Blue Back Cordells or live gizzard shad. Smallmouths are said to be going for topwater buzzbaits in the early morning. Walleyes are also making a comeback and attacking green grubs and live bait. The water is clear and cooling in both river and lake.

Region 4 - Mountain & Valley

Lake Moomaw: Larry Andrews of the Bait Place reports that while, "the bass are holding up, everything else is slow." There have been a few yellow perch showing up, and a few cats, but trout are not around much. The lake is down 19 feet , clear and cooling. If the lake goes below 27 feet down, call first to see if you can get your boat in where you plan to launch. The water is clear and at 70 - 72 degrees.

North Fork of the Shenandoah: Harry Murray is on vacation, but according to his Web site (, if you fish the areas around aquatic grass beds in the late afternoon and early evening, you stand a chance of landing a smallmouth. In the morning use big nymphs and streamers. As trout go, use a "cautious approach" and the Murray's Flying Beetle 16. Larger streams call for Murray's Betsy Streamer 12 or Murray's Olive Strymph 10.

Region 5 - Northern Piedmont

James (at Richmond): Mike Ostrander says that cats, sunfish and smallmouth bass are doing well. For the bass, use grubs, minnows and plastic worms. For sunfish, try a small spinner. To land a cat, go with live or cut bait. Ten-year-old Kamin Horsley of Richmond managed to land (with the help of dad) a 26-½ lb. flathead cat. The water is clear and cooling.

Lake Anna: Bass are doing well at the lake, especially around points, bends and flats. Spinner and crankbaits do well, as do Senko's and rubber twitch baits. Stripers are schooling in the deep holes near their normal fall locales. They are going for bucktails and gizzard shad. Crappie are hanging around 3 - 10 feet next to docks, rock piles and shallow brush. Trolling jigs do well. Cats are feeding in depths of 10 - 20 feet. They are attacking live bait with vigor.

Got Tips?
Got Tricks?
Adventure Stories?
The one that got away?
The one that didn't?

email your material to
and it might get used in the Fishin' Report!
Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program Member
VCAN Member
User avatar
Veteran Outdoorsman
Posts: 508
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:27 am
Location: Courtland Virginia

Postby allingeneral » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:36 am

Thanks for posting this. I've been getting the outdoor report emails from VDGIF, but never got around top posting it here. I wish they would discuss the Potomac...but that belongs to Maryland, so I guess I can see why they wouldn't. Hmm...need to look for a similar Maryland fishing report.
The only way you'll ever catch fish is to Go Fishing Forum (.net)!! :)
AIG Outdoors and Tactical Supply
Discount Fish Tackle
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 1239
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:39 pm
Location: Virginia

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Your doctor will need to check your skin on a regular basisAldara over the counter You may develop new lesions during treatment with imiquimod topical.