James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 6.67'
Flow: 11000 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 9:00am
Low Tide: 3:48am

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Sturgeon tours on the James

August 26, 2013 11:48am
Credit: VCU

Credit: VCU

I’ve got this in the Slate of Events, but I wanted to highlight it here with a post because it looks to be a really cool trip. Our friend Captain Mike Ostrander is offering two September boat tours on the tidal James in search of sturgeon. Along for the ride as the resident expert will be VCU sturgeon researcher Matt Balazik. Considering Atlantic sturgeon are a federally  endangered species, it’s likely this kind of tour is offered no where else on the East Coast. Why? Because no other river has a population viable enough to make it likely to see a sturgeon breach. Pretty cool stuff. Here’s Capt. Mike’s write-up with the details:

Sturgeon Tour on the James with Dr. Matt Balazik

On the evenings of September 4 and September 16, join Dr. Matt Balazik onboard the Spirit of the James for the Sturgeon of the James River Tour. The area on the James between the Appomattox River and Presquile Island is a prime area to see breaching Atlantic sturgeon. Watch carefully for these ancient behemoths to breach (leap completely out of the river) while Dr. Balazik shares information from his research on the sturgeon of the James River.

Atlantic sturgeon, recently placed on the endangered species list, are living fossils that have been swimming in the waters now known as the James River for 120 to 140 million years.

In August, Atlantic sturgeon return to the upper tidal James River on their annual Fall spawning run. They are in the river the entire month of September and into October. This remnant population of ancient sturgeon range from New Brunswick, Canada to the eastern coast of Florida.

We are incredibly lucky to have a spawning population of Atlantic sturgeon here, on the James River, and this tour is a great way for you and your friends to come out and have an excellent chance at seeing them.  There is no guarantee you will see a sturgeon, but we will put you in the best possible position, during the best time of year and at a great time of day to see them.

This 2 1/2-hour tour will depart from Jordan Point Marina at 5 p.m. and return at approximately 7:30 p.m. Join us during this magical tour and peer out over the expanse of river near Presquile Island for breaching sturgeon.

When:    Wednesday, September 4,  5:00 – 7:30pm  &  Monday, September 16,  5:00 – 7:30pm

Cost:      $55 per person 


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?