Stoudenmire, who has built the New River Outdoor Company into one of the river’s premier outfitters, stays up on issues that impact the river. Among his concerns are the surges in water level from Claytor Dam releases.
In an email to a number of river stakeholders early last July, Stoudenmire included a graph of the up-and-down river flow, along with his assessment of the impact:
“This furthers the evidence that AEP is not taking into account river users, boaters, river related business on the New River below Claytor dam by subjecting them to nearly a 6″ increase/decrease during supposedly “run of river”, “levelized”, “recreational” flow during the busiest week of the year.
6″ of unwarned out of the blue inconsistent water jeopardizes safety and boating, ruins fishing, stresses fish, and makes running a recreational business on the New River extremely difficult.”
Stoudenmire has been providing info for my fishing report this season, for which I am really thankful. He and his guides are on the water pretty much daily, so they know what’s going on. Space doesn’t allow me to repeat his full reports verbatim, but you can find them every other week on the DGIF Outdoor Report. The short take is they have been catching some nice smallmouths — such as the big one Stoudenmire is holding here — on the New this year.
I heard from Stoudenmire this morning, in reference to my naming the James the best trophy smallmouth river in the state. As I wrote in the post below, I expected to get some feedback. I hoped for it. Today’s piece — and here’s the link again — was my opinion. But I have to say that it wasn’t like I just was making stuff up, or basing it on my own fishing experiences. I referred to data, and I considered the regular feedback I get from my sources.
Stoudenmire included some really interesting points in his note, and I don’t want to simply paraphrase them. So here it is:
“read your article in the paper today and i’d like to add several comments if that is ok:
1. the james river runs nearly 300 miles in the state of VA, with 200ish being smallmouth water. not counting claytor lake, there is roughly 100ish miles of new river in virginia. big difference there. i’d say there are still even even if you are looking only at citation registrations.