Pickerel Frogs

If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably seen at least a couple frogs. If not, then don’t hold your breath for the next few months; most amphibians in the Northern Hemisphere are hibernating until spring. When animals hibernate, they cease most bodily activities...

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Rappahannock River Tributaries TMDLs

The Rappahannock River watershed has several thousand miles of tributaries that drain land areas from all or portions of 18 counties from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay. The watershed has land uses ranging from industrial manufacturing,...

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Raising brook trout, just like Mother Nature

 Trout in the Classroom is a self-contained, fun lesson in ecology When I talk to students about the Trout in the Classroom (TIC), I use words like connectivity, mimicry, nature, experiment, life, and death. These are important words, underscoring much of what we do...

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“River rat” loves his life along the Rappahannock

"I like to get down there in my chair either at sunup or sundown — that 20 minutes between light and dark is almost magical out there. There’s so much going on. The daytime creatures are getting ready for bed, and the nighttime creatures are coming out. I like to sit...

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Box turtles are fun, fascinating, and need protection.

Interesting Facts: Turtles have existed for around 215 million years. Many turtle species are also endangered. Woodland box turtles get their name from their shell, which has a hinge enabling it to close completely, protecting them from predators. For box turtles, the...

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A Greener Green Space in the Northern Neck

The new Kilmarnock Town Centre Park is undoubtedly a hit with the locals. Kids adore the splash pad. Adults love the live music at the Half Shell amphitheater. Canines dig the dog park. The park has a perfect 5-star rating on Facebook. Yosemite gets a 4.9. But I know...

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Report your turtle sighting

The Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS) is an organization dedicated to bringing together people interested in advancing their knowledge of Virginia’s reptiles and amphibians. The VHS educates on identification, conservation, captive care, and other services and...

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Snakehead numbers appear to be growing in Rappahannock

Dozens were legally killed in Fredericksburg area this spring   LATEST UPDATE: 6/9/17 Snakehead fish caught in Lake Anna. Full story here. Standing on top of a concrete dam at Ficklen Island in downtown Fredericksburg, the archer drew back his bow, took aim, and drove...

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“Can I eat the fish I catch in the Rappahannock River?”

The catch-and-release concept has long been used by fisherman to promote conservation, but a lot of anglers still enjoy an occasional fish fry to celebrate their catch at the end of the day. From the Blue Ridge to the Chesapeake Bay, the Rappahannock River is full of...

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Get to know the unique—and valuable—American eel

American eels are bizarre fish with unique migration patterns. Every October, sexually mature individuals migrate to their natal waters of the Sargasso Sea to breed, where they then die. The Sargasso Sea is the warm center of the North Atlantic gyre system,...

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Peregrines continue Rappahannock rebound

By Maggie Magliato, FOR Biology Intern After spending 29 years on the Federal Endangered Species list, the "World's Fastest Birds" have returned in adequate numbers across most of the United States. However, they are still listed as threatened in Virginia, and as of...

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Meddlin’ for mussels in the Carter’s Run watershed

Perhaps you have heard of “noodlin’” for catfish, but you’ve probably never heard of “meddlin’” for mussels. That’s because Galon Hall, biologist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), coined the phrase during a field visit to Fauquier County. The...

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How do I check water levels?

FOR uses the USGS Water Data site for real-time information on water levels on the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers. Go here to see the latest data on water levels. The recommended level for safe recreational use is below 3.5 ft at the Rappahannock River gauge near Fredericksburg.

Is the fish safe to eat?

Yes, for the most part. There are certain recommendations. More detail here.