VIRGINIA LIVING MUSEUM
The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News holds public feedings
at their Chesapeake Bay Aquarium on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and
Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel’s pilings
and 625-foot south-island fishing pier provide
opportunities for all anglers.
HAMPTON ROADS TOURISM
Tall ships head up the Bay after
Virginia’s 2012 OpSail held in
Norfolk from June 1 to 12.
The museum was the perfect place to start
our two-day Hampton Roads visit. Exhibits
there represent Virginia species from the
mountains to the mouth of the Bay.
Walking along the three-quarter-mile
boardwalk loop through the outdoor habitats, we saw red wolves, beaver, racoons,
and two adorable river otters. Inside the
Coastal Plain Aviary, pelicans entertained
us with their fish-catching skills. Indoor
exhibit areas mimic Virginia’s varied landscapes from the Appalachian Mountains to
the Coastal Plains.
nation that helps make tourism a mainstay
of the area’s economy.
Even bigger than tourism, port-related industries like shipbuilding and cargo transfer are a
large part of Hampton Roads’ economy.
But the biggest chunk—almost 80 percent
of the region’s economy—is derived from
federal sources. The Hampton Roads area
has the largest concentration of military
bases and federal facilities of any metropol-Approximately 350 species of fish live in
the Chesapeake Bay. Some fish are year-round residents, while others swim into
the Bay from the ocean to feed, reproduce,
or find shelter. Hampton Roads’ location
between the Bay and Atlantic makes it a
natural interchange for catching migrating
fish, like flounder.
At the end of our tour, we
said good bye to George
and the aquarium’s giant
sea turtle and headed
across the Hampton
Roads Bridge Tunnel to
explore Virginia Beach.
The next day we were going fishing, and our
aim was to catch summer flounder, a brownish, bottom-dwelling, flatfish with a series of
spots and both eyes on the
top side of the body. These
fish visit the middle and
lower Chesapeake Bay from
spring through fall and are a
popular recreational catch.
itan area in the world. Nearly one-fourth of
the nation’s active-duty military personnel
are stationed in Hampton Roads.
In Virginia Beach, at the
mouth of the Lynnhaven,
Helen and I stopped at
Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant
and Crab House for a
fishing report. Boats
were still at the dock
unloading their catch.
Flounder had been good that day, but we
got no promises for the next. So, I
bought a lucky fishing hat and a pink
Charlie Fox said, ‘The angler forgets
most of the fish he catches, but he does
not forget the streams and lakes in
which they are caught.’
On that day, on that river,
I dared to say that Helen and I
would remember both.
It was more than 400 years
ago, in 1607, that the first
English colonists landed in
the same area aboard
Captain Newport’s Susan
Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery. After
some exploration of the enormous harbor, a
settlement was established on an easier-to-defend island on the James River.
“Jamestown” became the first English-speak-ing settlement to survive in the New World.
Today, along with Williamsburg and
Yorktown, Jamestown is part of Hampton
Roads’ Historical Triangle, a popular desti-The harbor also supports a thriving commercial and recreational fishing industry. In
Virginia Beach alone, recreational fishing
employs 2,856 people and brings in $218.5
million in sales and output annually, according to the last state study done in 2005.
The next morning, Helen and I met CBF
Hampton Roads Senior Scientist Chris
Moore at the Lynnhaven Boat and Beach
facility, just west of the Lynnhaven’s Lesner
Bridge. Although the sky looked threaten-
Summer 2012 ; cbf.org