By Bruce Henderson, WSC Fishing Group Lead
Our first creel survey of three ponds (Rodes Valley, Black Walnut and Lost Pond) was successfully held on June 4th. We had 12 WSC members participating in the survey. Between the three ponds a total of 94 fish were caught. 32 were caught at Black Walnut Pond, 34 at Rodes Valley Pond and 28 at Lost Pond. The largest fish was a 32-inch grass carp. All of this information, including species of fish caught and length of each fish caught, was provided to Lynchburg College to include in their ponds assessment report.
Our second and last creel survey for 2016 will be held on one pond on the evening of Thursday, July 7th and the remaining two ponds will be surveyed on Saturday morning, July 9th. A separate email will be going out early next week seeking volunteers to fish and be recorders for this final survey of the year. Please consider volunteering as everyone on the first survey had a lot of fun had a chance to meet other fishermen and fisherwomen.
The Aerator for the "Trout Pond"
John Tani and I have had several meetings with Russell Otis of WPOA and exchanged several emails with Lynchburg College's Dr. Tom Shahady regarding the aerator for the trout pond. During Lynchburg College's initial assessment of the three ponds in early June they found the habitat and depth of both Lost Pond and Black Walnut ponds to be better suited for trout than the pond off Sawmill Creek Road and near Lake Monocan, where trout were stocked last winter.
After reviewing the options, it was decided that because of the very limited access for fishermen on Black Walnut Pond and Lost Pond it would be best to continue with our plan to put the aerator in the current trout pond. We received word from WPOA on Friday, June 24th, that the club could move forward with the procurement of the aerator for the current trout pond. WPOA will be contributing $1,000. A separate message will be sent out early the week of June 27th announcing the fundraising drive to raise another $2,000 for the purchase the aerator. Update July 20, 2016: Donations from WSC members and the Wintergreen community have funded the aerator.
Status of Lynchburg College's 2016 assessment of Lost, Black Walnut and Rodes Valley ponds and future work
The current assessment is underway and the data we collect from our upcoming second creel survey will be an important part of their overall assessment. The written assessment produced for WPOA and WSC will describe water quality of each pond and suitability for fish stocking possibilities.
This assessment will not include detailed plans for fisheries and vegetation management. Lynchburg College provided WPOA with a separate proposal for detailed plans for fisheries management and vegetation management but due to budget constraints WPOA is unable to fund this effort this year but will try to include the additional work in 2017.