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Flow: 4160 cfps

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Posted In: James River

Good news swims in RVA’s ‘Outdoor Aquarium’

Andy Thompson

August 26, 2014 1:44pm

When you care about the outdoors, the natural resources around you, it’s easy to focus on the bad news. This bird population is in decline. There’s too much pollution in this section of river. This fish is being harvested unsustainably. You get the picture.

And, look, I get it. Bad news galvanizes us to action. If something’s broken, we should fix it. But at times I think we get caught up in the bad news and ignore the good news that’s right in front of us.

Take this video shot by local boater and James River-lover Chris Hull. He just took a GoPro to one of his favorite spots on “the Jimmy,” set it up under water and started shooting. There isn’t anything overly dramatic about it. He doesn’t catch a catfish eating a bluegill, and a sturgeon doesn’t swim into view. The video simply showcases a profusion of underwater life on a river with its share of challenges in the middle of a large urban area. The fact that anyone with a GoPro and a snorkel mask could go shoot a similar video on the James tomorrow, seems like very good news indeed.

So consider this a chance to sit and watch three minutes of good news on America’s Founding River.

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?