James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 4.03'
Flow: 2200 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 7:06pm
Low Tide: 3:00am

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Posted In: Fishing

Stocking the Belle Isle quarry pond

November 9, 2012 3:27pm

Ralph White and the kids from Tuckahoe Montessori.

I spent the morning with Ralph White and 70 kids from Tuckahoe Montessori School at the quarry pond on Belle Isle. The story will be in tomorrow’s Times-Dispatch, but it seemed worth sharing now how cool it was to watch kids (ages 18 months to 9 years) get to experience the outdoors in such a hands-on way.

For three years Tuckahoe Montessori has been bringing its kids to Belle Isle to help White stock the quarry pond. It’s a great opportunity to touch, feel and see things like fish, snails and crayfish that they’re learning about in class.

And a note to Richmond’s anglers: White said he’s been doing school stockings like this for at least a decade. The quarry — 20-feet deep at its deepest point — has two cracks that allow water to come in from the James, but fish can’t escape. So you’ve basically got a 2-acre pond with a captive population of largemouth bass, perch, blue gill and some catfish. White says he heard one story a number of years back of a teenager catching an 8-pound bass out of there. Apochryphal? Who knows? It definitely makes me want to bring a rod down there and try my luck.

The quarry pond on Belle Isle.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?