A couple weeks ago a guy sent me an email complaining about the stocking methods on the Roanoke River in Roanoke. The gist of it was he said the construction on the low-water bridge below Smith Park had really screwed things up.
I told him I’d be happy to spy on the stocking effort the next time trout truck came to the Roanoke, but that would mean someone would have to call me immediately as soon as it became evident that they were hitting the Roanoke. This guy apparently is in the trout truck following crowd, or at least has connections, because he called me this morning at 9 a.m. and said the trucks were hitting the river.
I headed to the Wiley Drive section because that was the section in question. The truck had already hit the water below Franklin Road, and was already below the top low-water bridge by the time I got there. I asked two guys on the bridge if the crew had stocked up along Wasena Park and they said the truck had stopped at several spots and the guys had dumped many nets of trout into the river.
I made my way down toward the truck, which was making its second stop down below the low-water bridge. When I got closer I saw that none other than George Duckwall was one of the guys with a net in his hand. Duckwall is the biologist who oversees the entire catchable trout program, so I guess this was like an Undercover Boss kind of thing. Except he wasn’t undercover.
Duckwall had no idea I was going to be there. I told him I didn’t expect to see him, though I wasn’t surprised. Long story short, he had gotten complaints (I was cc’d on a couple of them) and wanted to come out himself to make sure the stocking was being done up to snuff. (“Up to snuff” are my words, not his).
Truck driver Chris Huff said that he did not, in fact, stock the entire section between the two low-water bridges last time around because there was so much machinery and other construction stuff going on. That’s understandable, but I can see where those complaints could have gotten started.
Anyway, this time that section got stocked, and stocked well.
The trout above are pretty representative of the fish I saw going in the river through the entire section. That brown is every bit as big as it looks. I’m guessing 4 pounds.
I cropped this picture to not show the bank so y’all won’t know exactly where this fish is. I’m going to hit that hole with my crew of fishing kids and hope one of them can hook him.
Actually, like I said, there are many in there this size. Because the greenway is closed to traffic, you will have to walk in for them. Sorry!