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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
BILL: Why are there two rivers named "Little River" in Southwest Virginia that flow into the New River? One is near Claytor Lake Dam and the other is southwest of Galax. Also, what type of fish and fishing is there on the one near Galax?
KEITH: Based on the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries database, there are 13 streams named "Little River" in Virginia, from Russell County to Loudoun County, according to John Copeland, a fisheries biologist who works out of Blacksburg. Just why they were named that is lost in history, but Copeland said it could be that pioneers were passing through or settling the country and would say, "That's a lovely Little River," and the name would stick.
Two of the rivers do enter the New River, one in Montgomery County and one in Grayson County. As for fish and fishing in the Little River in Grayson County, Copeland said he had little experience there as an angler or biologist.
"We do not typically sample fish in streams of this size unless they contain trout," he said. "Since this stream is connected to the New River, the same fishes found in the New will be found there, including smallmouth bass, rock bass, redbreast sunfish, flathead and channel catfish."
Copeland said you also are likely to catch a New River endemic minnow species known as the bigmouth chub, which will hit spinners. It is one of seven species of fish found only in the New and its tributary streams and nowhere else in the world. Additional information about it can be found on the Virginia Tech Efish website.
BILL: Just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed your newsy article on salmon fishing in Alaska. Your interviewing someone with firsthand knowledge on what one needs to know and do if planning a trip to Alaska was a great idea.
I have often wondered just what going to Alaska after salmon would entail, and your story answers a lot of questions for me on that subject.
Should I hit the lottery or have a rich uncle leave me a lot of money, I just might make that trip. At my age, almost 72, if I am going I need to get in gear.
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