In support of Virginia’s Free Fishing Days and Grayson County’s Clean River Initiative, Grayson County Tourism, the Department of Wildlife Resources, New River Conservancy and the New River Wildlife & Conservation Club will sponsor a two-part New River fishing event from June 2-4.
Part 1 is “Fish of the NEW,” a riverside, outdoors, hands-on clinic where participants can see how DWR safely conducts fish surveys using electric shocking techniques, assist in on-shore data collection and recording with DWR biologists and staff and learn how the data is used, see the variety of fish in the riverside aquarium and learn about their habits and needs, and understand how water quality impacts fish populations and how we can improve the quality.
This event is June 3 from 10 a.m.-noon at the New River Wildlife & Conservation Club, 7107 Riverside Drive, Fries. This event is free and open to the public.
Part 2 is a fishing challenge called “Fish the NEW & Clean it TOO!”
Organizers said the goal is to encourage community members, families and guests to take advantage of Free Fishing Days and help keep the New River clean.
The challenge lasts from June 2 at 8 a.m. to June 4 at 4 p.m., along sections of the New River in Grayson County.
During the fishing challenge, anglers also will collect trash from the river.
Participants should use catch-and-release practices and follow applicable regulations and boating/fishing safety. Anglers and guests are responsible for their own safety.
Participants must secure and use a Grayson County Clean River collection bag for their fishing trip (whether bank fishing, wading or floating) and should only collect what is safe — for example, tires do not fit into a collection bag. Bags available now at Grayson County Tourism or NRWCC.
To measure fish before release:
• Lay the fish on top of or beside a flat measuring ruler. Do not lay the ruler over the curvature of the fish’s body.
• Close the fish’s mouth and squeeze the tail lobes together.
• Measure from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail to the nearest quarter-inch.
Gift certificates will be awarded for the largest fish for each species (Smallmouth Bass, Catfish, Muskie, Walleye, Panfish) in each age bracket (ages 2-12, 13-18 and 19 and above).
To verify your catch, submit a time-dated picture of the fish measurement,and a picture of the fish with the angler.
To qualify for a prize, you must turn in your collection bag and your verified big fish results at the New River Wildlife & Conservation Club by 4 p.m. on June 4.