Government Island and Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve 2/29/2016

Government Island:

Another nice February day and off work early.  So, I had to explore! Additionally, I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to land a crappie on the fly. So, Dan Dutton of River Rock Outfitters recommended I check out the area around Government Island on Aquia Creek. Due to the amount of side cover from downed trees and bush, this creek is a pretty solid location for crappie, it at least that’s what my research suggested.

Panorama of the old quarry. You can run, jump, sit, play, etc… on the rocks. Would be a great spot to take the kids…I don’t have kids.

I did not have my rod with me. So, this was more of a recon mission than anything else. I need to start bringing a rod with me everywhere I go. It does get mighty hot here in the summer, but until then, I don’t think any damage could come from leaving it in the civic.

Nice viewpoint from the boardwalk. Government Island to the right, Aqua creek straight ahead and it flows around the top right of the island as pictured here. I’m sure it’s pretty with Spring/Summer/Fall foliage

Since Government Island is only a few minutes drive from my work I figured I would head there first. The day seemed perfect. Nice weather, lots of sunshine, a possible new fishing hot spot, and… a no fishing sign. This put a slight damper on the experience. However, it swayed me little from exploring the island and putting a few miles on my  footwear. I checked out the island. It was nice. Lots of history here. The stone from this island (in actuality, it’s a peninsula) made its way to Washington D.C. for a number of buildings, one of them being the White House. So, history lesson for the week, completed.

“No fishing from boardwalk or island.” This one cut me deep. It cut me real deep.

The boardwalk and red cedar trials around the 17 acre property created a pleasant atmosphere. The water looked good, but it was a little windy. That’s to be expected with open water near the Potomac.

I spotted a number of wildlife, but no fishies. The heron pictured below waded through the muddy tidal shallows searching for a meal. He/she stood about twenty yards away and didn’t seem to mind my company. Glad to see people treat him/her well.

Crane game. Sike, it’s a heron!

Still chillin’ when I strolled by on my way out.

Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve:

The place is new and seems promising. The county and state (?) purchased a large amount of land to create this wildlife refuge and outdoor adventure seeking persons’ paradise. I believe the total acreage is somewhere around 3,000. So, that’s nice. Lots of places of critters to flourish, undisturbed by humans.

New boardwalk the park put in to get past the marsh and onto Accokeek Creek. Also, the sign says “no fishing from the dock”

Nice display at the parking area telling about the history, present, and future of the site. Park hours listed at the bottom.

As I said, the site is new and still in development for parking/access points. That being said, the boardwalk pictured above and the parking area (not pictured) are both very nice. I would recommend paying a trip to this place. The plan is to put in another parking/hiking/boat access (?) location to the southeast of the preserve. The opening of the second location is to be determined mostly due to funding, I think.

Looking forward to hitting this once the weather warms up a bit.

One of the highlights, in my opinion, of Crow’s Nest is the water trail. The eight mile round trip, water trail begins at the boardwalk pictured above on Accokeek Creek. It flows out into Potomac Creek, and wraps around the peninsula back up into Potomac Creek where you can exist your vessel of choice, and hike. I want to check out the waters here as well. Maybe good crappie holes or other species flourish here? Short-nosed sturgeon also spawn here. However, they hold a spot on the threatened species list and therefore, I’ll avoid attempting to catch them. Before I visited the site for Crow’s Nest, I didn’t even know we had sturgeon in these parts. Crow’s Nest Facebook page is probably the easiest place to check for updates.

The water trail map blown up. It’s a good distance to cover, and you might want to time the tides, but it looks pretty fun to me. And, being a newly opened facility, it shouldn’t be too well explored yet.

Two park very close to where I live. For easy hiking and a quick trip, hit Government Island. Lots is signs to read along the way too, which, is great for all you history buffs. For more adventurous individuals, check out Crow’s Nest.

Closing Note: No fishing signs were present at both locations. I saw spin casters heading out of the parking lost to fish from Government island and the dock at Crow’s Nest. I like to spin cast from time-to-time, but this is exactly why stereotypes exist…. It’s food for thought, mobsters!

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