James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 13.25'
Flow: 51400 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 9:54am
Low Tide: 5:12pm

Twitter Feed @RichmondOutside

Instagram Feed @RichmondOutside

  • Prince Humperdinck isnt the only one who can track this
  • Maggie and Walker are back! Richmonds most famous osprey pair
  • Have you checked out the new RichmondOutside podcast? riversideoutfittersrva owner
  • Really great day working with tons of volunteers clearing Evergreen
  • Cool newish sign at the north entrance to the Belle
  • New hardware atop Belle Isle will at least make it
  • Ralph White minced no words when it came to jrps
  • Friend of the program rvatrees gets ready to climb a
  • Saw evidence of the growing controversy surrounding laruspark on a
  • The pawpaws are in along buttermilktrail They should ripen in
  • If you dont follow jamesriverpark you should The incomparable sandysdad
  • Wish I could have gotten closer to this fella to
  • Riding the wissahickon in philly is a blast every time
  • The richmondoutside road trip arrived on the potomacriver in time
Posted In: Fishing

Near miss on a big fish

May 8, 2013 6:44am

In Sunday’s Times-Dispatch I wrote about the fish and the fisherman pictured with this blog entry. Click here for the story. If you need a little prodding, there’s this: That giant striped bass was caught in Richmond city limits.

Steve Knox with his James River striper

Steve Knox with his James River striper


And the story gets better. I spoke with Gary Martel, one of the top fisheries biologists at the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and he cleared up some confusion I had with the fish when I wrote the story. The angler, Steve Knox, thought the fish, which he weighed on his boat at somewhere between 74-75 pounds, wouldn’t count as a state record striped bass (the current record is 74 pounds). He was right, but not because of where he caught it. Regulations state that when Virginia’s trophy striped bass season begins on May 1, anglers may keep one fish larger than 32 inches outside of the spawning reaches of the Chesapeake Bay’s tributary rivers. For the James, Martel explained, the upstream end of the spawning area is City Point in Hopewell.

Since Knox caught his fish near Rocketts Landing, he was outside of the spawning reach and could have kept the fish. That also means he could have gone through the process to have it certified as a state record — having it weighed at a certified location, witnessed by specific officials, taken certain measurements, etc. — if, and here’s the rub, he had caught it one day later. Knox caught his fish on April 30th, and the Trophy striper season began on May 1st.

It boils down to this: If Knox had caught his fish one day later, he would be the owner of the Virginia record striped bass.


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?