Under choppy waters was the spawning ground of the Atlantic sturgeon, a big, prehistoric-looking fish credited with saving the early settlers from starvation. So abundant were the fish at that time that members of native tribes would wade into the river and catch them by hand.
By 40 years ago, however, the sturgeon were thought to be wiped out, the result of decades of overfishing.
Today, the fish are struggling to make a comeback as a federally protected endangered species in the James River.
To read the Washington Post story on Atlantic sturgeon and the Dominion Power plan,