Saturday, March 24, 2012


The morels in my yard popped up, this morning! (3-24-12) They are a full 3 weeks ahead of schedule for this location. Over the last 5 years my asparagus and morels have emerged on the same day. the morels are always up first. I will check the asparagus a little later this afternoon; nothing yet.

I had singing Pine Warblers this morning, too. I normally do not see them here until around April 5. The serviceberry bushes are blooming now , also. They too are also a little early this year. I have yet to see a hummingbird show up, but it will probably be any day, now. Hummingbirds, morels and asparagus are normally real close. The toads are singing and the catbirds will be next.

Posted by High Virginia Outdoors (c) All Rights Reserved 2012.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hummingbird Feeders Up ?

It is that time of the year; much earlier than normal. I just finished putting up some of my hummingbird feeders. We can expect them at any time now. I looked at the map of migrating hummingbirds at and they have been reported in KY, Ohio,VA and southern WV; as of 3/20. It looks like they will beat the catbirds this year !

Posted by High Virginia Outdoors
Photo by High Virginia Images

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Largemouth Bass Virus In West Virginia

WVDNR Fish Health Survey Discovers Presence of Largemouth Bass Virus in Four Lakes

            SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Recent fish health surveys conducted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources revealed the presence of largemouth bass virus (LMBV) in four West Virginia lakes, according to Bret Preston, assistant chief of the Wildlife Resources Section.
            Surveys performed during the summer and early fall of 2011 were focused on monitoring overall fish health in water bodies where WVDNR staff collects broodstock for hatchery production. Several species of fish were collected from 10 water bodies and samples were sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lamar Fish Health Laboratory for analysis. 
            Virology and bacteriology results were negative for targeted pathogens except for LMBV at East Lynn (Wayne County), North Bend (Ritchie County), Stonewall Jackson (Lewis County), and Sutton (Braxton County) lakes.  Fish health surveys also were conducted at Mount Storm (Grant County) and Moncove (Monroe County) lakes and Little Kanawha (Wood County), Monongahela (Monongalia County), Tygart (Barbour County), and New (Summers County) rivers. 
            “Largemouth bass virus is a common pathogen found primarily in southern United States largemouth bass populations, but has been expanding throughout North America,” said Chris O’Bara, WVDNR fisheries research biologist.  “LMBV has not been linked to any human health concerns but, as always, fish should be properly prepared prior to eating.”
            Largemouth bass populations infected with LMBV have experienced summer die-offs, depressed growth, and less than optimal health condition. LMBV is more problematic during summertime and elevated stressful conditions. The spread of LMBV has been linked to increased stress, fish to fish contact , and movement of fish and water between water bodies.
            To minimize the spread of LMBV and all fish pathogens, WVDNR encourages anglers not to transfer any live fish or water between water bodies, handle all fish with care prior to release, reduce stressful conditions especially during warm water months, and properly clean and maintain all boats, live wells, and tackle.
                WVDNR staff will continue to monitor fish health statewide and expand the survey into several new water bodies in 2012, according to O’Bara.  Results of the 2011 survey, as well as future surveys, will be provided on the DNR website at

Sunday, March 11, 2012

First Butterfly

I saw my first butterfly of the year; a Mourning Cloak, this evening on the Right Fork of Middle Fork in Upshur County, WV. The Spring Peepers were calling loudly and laying eggs. I also saw several clusters of Wood Frog eggs. I flushed a woodcock in the same wetland area. No trout, but the dogs had fun. It sure was nice to enjoy a warm evening, thanks to daylight savings time.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Southern WV Eagle Count

Jim Phillips, 304-466-1800 Ext 344;
Mindy Waldron,  Bibbee Nature Club,

Help count eagles during the 5th annual survey in the Pipestem and Bluestone areas, March 10

            PIPESTEM, W.Va. – Volunteer eagle spotters are being recruited for the 5th annual eagle survey to be conducted March 10 in southern West Virginia.
            “Sightings of golden and bald eagles in the Pipestem and Bluestone state park areas are more and more frequent,” according to Pipestem Naturalist Jim Phillips. “Conducting surveys and recording eagle sightings confirms that this raptor remains in our area year-round.” 
            In January 2008, survey participants noted nine bald eagles and one golden eagle. By January 2012, they reported a total of 19 bald eagles and one golden. “Not to be cliché’ – but the eagles have landed in southern West Virginia,” Phillips said.
            The March 10 survey focus is New River and major tributaries. Survey points are still available in the Bluestone WMA (Mouth of Indian Creek, Shanklin's Ferry, Cedar Branch), New River Gorge north of Sandstone Falls, Greenbrier River above Talcott, Bluestone River (Pipestem State Park and upstream), and  Indian Creek. “Since the January 2012 count, we have seen eagles along the Bluestone River, Indian Creek near Greenville and Greenbrier River between Lowell and Pence Springs,” Phillips said.
            Participants are organized into groups of experienced birders mixed with first timers. The eagle watchers also look for breeding evidence such as birds carrying sticks and grasses or taking food somewhere other than the closest tree or bank.
            The four-hour survey runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants do not meet prior to the count. Phillips pre-assigns survey locations.  Worksheets to record data and directions to stations are provided via email. Participants meet at Hinton Dairy Queen after the survey to tally numbers and discuss the day. Pre-registration is required prior to March 7, 2012. Individuals wanting to participate must pre-register by contacting Jim Phillips at 304-466-1800 or by emailing Emails should include your name, phone number and email address and the subject line should read “March 10 Eagle Count.”
            “We encourage anyone interested in seeing eagles and to help with the count to join the survey,” Phillips said.