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PLEASE STOP FISHING BELOW THE MARTINSVILLE DAM UNTIL THINGS COOL DOWN.
Lets leave the fish alone and let them hunker down in favorable spots as we cross our fingers. Keep an eye on the Bassett gauge and use stream thermometers upstream, too. The Bassett gauge bumped 70 on a couple of days. Be smart, folks. Love the river back.
Below is from Scott Smith Virginia Regional Fishery Manager We're aware of the temperature issues this year, and have (with DEQ and the Corps) been monitoring them pretty closely. For what it's worth, the browns should be able to handle temps up to 22 C (71.5 F) without any real issues. When temps get up to 23 C (73.5 F), then there are problems. From what we've seen so far, everything above Martinsville Dam should be ok. We've had some warmer than desirable temperatures, but nothing that lasted for a long period, and nothing too high. Below Martinsville Dam is another story. It appears we've lost quite a few fish down there already. It shouldn't be a complete loss, but mortality will be really high this summer and numbers will fall considerably. We did work with the DEQ and the Corps to get some additional water during some of the hotter spells, which helped, but didn't completely solve the problem. They are doing what they can, but their options are limited with lower inflows and only 1 unit. One of the other issues with the downstream section is that with the one unit, it takes a whole lot longer for the water to get downstream. Thus, even when we've identified a need for more water (cooler temps), there's a significant lag time (12-16 hrs or more) before that water gets below Martinsville dam. So, reaction times aren't very fast. So, at least up to this point, we've been ok upstream of Martinsville dam, but the fish below that dam have been hit pretty hard. Probably not what you really wanted to hear, but that's pretty much where we are. We'll keep monitoring conditions and working with the Corps to reduce temperature impacts as much as possible. It's unfortunately not a simple matter, since the Corps has their operating rules they have to follow, and things work differently with only one turbine operational.
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