Friday, June 24, 2016

Episode 322 (6-27-16): Fish, Wildlife, Habitats, and Human Interactions on the Agenda Since 1916 for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (3:47)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, photos, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 6-24-16.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 27, 2016.

SOUND – ~ 6 sec

The sound of a rattlesnake opens our introduction to a Virginia state natural resources agency that turned 100 in June 2016.  Have a listen for about 30 seconds to the following mystery sounds—all related to that agency’s missions—and see if you can guess the agency.  And here’s a hint: you’ll win this game by fishing for the answer.

SOUNDS - ~31 sec

If you guessed the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, you’re right!  Reptiles, frogs, boats, fishing, birds, elk, and much more fall within the scope of this department, tasked with managing wildlife, fish, and habitats across Virginia’s lands and inland waters.  The department began on June 17, 1916, with its first office in the Senate cloak room of Virginia’s Capitol building, and with its first priority to appoint game wardens who could reduce wildlife poaching. From that modest beginning, the department has grown into today’s central office in Richmond; regional and district offices in several locations; and nine fish hatcheries across the Commonwealth.  The Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, made up of 11 citizen members appointed by the governor, oversees the work of the department.   According to the department’s mission statement, that work includes the following five major areas: managing populations of wildlife and inland fish; providing opportunities for citizens to enjoy wildlife, fishing, boating, and related outdoor recreation; protecting the rights of citizens to hunt, fish, and harvest game as provided for in the Virginia Constitution; promoting safety in boating, hunting, and fishing; and providing educational programs about Virginia’s fish and wildlife.

From boats to game-check stations, catfish to frogs calls, fur-bearers to freshwater mussels to fishing-line recycling—the world of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries now occupies a very large "cloak room" indeed.


For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


The rattlesnake and elk sounds were taken from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Digital Library, The rattlesnake sound was accessed at; the elk sound was accessed at

All other sounds were recorded by Virginia Water Radio.


The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) produces the Virginia Wildlife Action Plan, a 10-year strategic plan that identifies species and habitats needed particular conservation attention.  VDGIF information about the plan, which was most recently updated in 2015, is available online at  Virginia Water Radio Episode154, 3/25/13, focuses on the Wildlife Action Plan and includes music recorded especially for the Plan in 2007 by Virginia musician Adrienne Young-Ramsey and her group Little Sadie.    

A sampler of the many activities of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries:
top – boater education (image accessed at;
middle – conservation policing (image accessed at;
lower – educating property-owners on providing wildlife habitat (image of the cover of VDGIF’s “Habitat at Home” booklet, accessed at


Used in Audio

Bill Cochran, “Virginia wildlife agency turns 100,” by Bill Cochran in The Roanoke Times, 6/12/16, online at

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), main Web site  See the “About VDGIF” link for the department’s mission statement.

VDGIF, “Elk Management and Restoration,” online at

VDGIF, “Fishing Line Recycling Sites,” online at

VDGIF, “Freshwater Mussels,” online at

VDGIF, “Game Check Stations,” online at

VDGIF, “On the Road to the 100th,” online at  The department’s first annual report (September 1917), available online (as PDF) at, describes the department’s first office and first tasks.

VDGIF, “Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail,” online at

VDGIF, “Virginia Frog & Toad Calling Survey,” online at

VDGIF, “Virginia Wildlife Action Plan,” online at

VDGIF, Virginia Wildlife magazine, online at  The May/June 2016 issue is a special 100th anniversary edition.

For More Information about the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)

You can contact the department’s main office at P.O. Box 90778, Henrico, VA 23228-0778; phone (804) 367-1000. The regional offices, district offices, and fish hatcheries are all listed at this Web site:

VDGIF videos on many topics are available online at

The “Fish Head Chronicles,” by Jason Hallacher, in VDGIF’s Region 4 office, cover a variety of aquatic life and fishery topics, such as sampling for Snakeheads at Mt. Vernon, invasive Water Chestnut removal, stream restoration on the Maury River, and population estimates of Smallmouth Bass in the New River. The videos are available online at


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (

For fisheries or boating episodes, see also the “Fish” and “Recreation” categories. Many of the episodes in the “Amphibians” category use frog calls from a CD sponsored by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. For previous episodes on other agencies or organizations involved with water in Virginia, please see the “Community/Organizations” subject category.

The following specific episodes have connections to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries:
Boating safety - EP111 – 5/21/12; EP214 – 5/19/14; EP270 – 6/15/15;
Fishing-line recycling - EP175 – 8/19/13;
Snakes - EP151 – 3/4/13;
Stream access law in Virginia - EP76 – 8/22/11;
Virginia Wildlife Action Plan - EP154 – 3/25/13.


This episode may help with the following Virginia’s 2010 Science Standards of Learning (SOLs):

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.11 - relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.8 - influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.

Biology Course
BIO.8 - dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

Civics and Economics Course
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Government Course
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.16 – role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at