May 1, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. – It’s not the ideal start to the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division season, but relentless rains have caused flood-like conditions on the James River leading to the cancellation of the entire event. This event was supposed to kick off the Northern Division season but it will now be the closing tournament for the division Aug. 21-23. The final details of the event have yet to be confirmed. “We did not feel like it was fair or safe to send our anglers out in this event,” said Rayovac FLW Series Tournament Director Ron Lappin. “They’re expecting the river to crest today nearly four feet above flood level, and with the extreme current and the tide pushing against each other it was creating unsafe conditions. From all reports the predictions were that the river was not going to be getting any better over the next two days so with the safety of our anglers in mind we had to make the decision to reschedule the event.” The watershed that encompasses the James River makes up nearly 25 percent of the state of Virginia. Torrential rains over that 10,000-square-mile area over the past few days is what helped create such dangerous conditions on the river. The Appomattox River and Chickahominy River are two of the larger tributaries – and more popular fisheries – that join the James before entering the Chesapeake Bay. These rivers can be found downstream where the James begins to widen making conditions only worsen with increased wave and shipping activity in that area. These areas see plenty of boat traffic from anglers on tournament day making it more risky to travel to. The National Weather Service declares flood stage for this portion of the James to be at 12 feet and when it crests the water level is predicted to be a little over 15 feet. Adding to the dangers of the high water is the debris – both seen and unseen – that litters the river. Many anglers quickly agreed with the decision as they witnessed logs the size of most of the competitor’s boats being swept past the ramp. The river near the Osborne Landing is relatively small. This causes the current to run much quicker than down near the Chesapeake. It also packs the debris closer together making it even more difficult to navigate through. As if flood condition weren’t bad enough for the James River a train carrying crude oil derailed near Lynchburg, Va., yesterday causing much of the oil to spill into the river. The James is the major water supply for the city of Richmond and surrounding area so much of the concern pertained to the potential for contaminated drinking water. Booms were put in place to collect any oil heading downstream. Check back later for more details about the rescheduled event. Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 on Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Ala. For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing. About FLW FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2014 over the course of 229 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.