Outdoor Notebook: The view from the lake
For a few minutes stop what you are doing and step outside and listen. If you live near a lake or river, and you listen carefully, you may hear the lonesome cry of a loon.
We have been seeing loons on most of the lakes where we stop to fish, or to just enjoy their song. The pair of adult loons that call Boom Lake home can be seen most afternoons swimming with their little chick. They are busy teaching their chick how to fish. Perhaps you live in an area where the song of the loon cannot be heard. In that case, pause long enough see the robins as they teach their youngsters how to find worms. We certainly live in a beautiful part of the state.
While traveling from lake to lake or on the lakes this week we have seen a variety of wildlife from a doe and fawn to loons, numerous families of geese and a family of ducks crossing the road.
Guiding anglers is a people business. Some customers are willing to stop fishing and watch loons, ducks or geese. The geese will usually have an adult in front and one in the back. The youngsters will fill in between as the group swims in a straight line.
Back to the topic of guides and the business of guiding anglers in the Rhinelander Area. Some people who hire a guide are looking for the opportunity to learn a lake. Others want to learn information about a particular species of fish. Some customers are truly a pleasure to share a boat with. Recently a couple who reside in California spent two weeks in the Rhinelander Area. They shared the boat with me, and enjoyed watching a variety of wildlife.
They reminded me about the time several years ago when we were driving on a gravel road. There were two cub bears scampering in front of our pick-up. They quickly climbed up two red pines. Numerous pictures were taken, and then we left the area. We did not see the sow, but are sure that she was near. I did not allow my guests to get out of the pick-up near the cubs.
Our friends from California certainly made guiding a pleasure. We look forward to sharing a boat with Louise and Walter next summer.
One recent day we slipped the boat off the trailer and onto a lake north of Rhinelander. We started the outboard and headed across the lake. Of course you know that the fishing is always better on the far side of the lake. Much to our chagrin the RPMs on the outboard began to drop. We had run into a thick growth of Eurasian Water-Milfoil. Milfoil is a highly invasive plant, which is able to form dense mats near the surface that entangle motorboat propellers and interfere with swimming.
To identify Euresian Milfoil, look for delicate feather-like leaves with long spaghetti-like stems. Identification cards for Eurasian Water-Milfoil are available at local DNR offices.
After seeing the extremely thick growth on the lake we were on, we gained a new respect for the persons who are working at boat landings throughout our area helping educate boaters and inspecting boats and trailers for weeds. This invasive species is easily spread from lake to lake by hitching a ride on boats, in live wells and on trailers.
Longtime Northwoods outdoors personality Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column appearing in the Star Journal.