Life at the Lake

a diary of living at a small lowland lake


Early moonrise over Lake Ketchum

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A breeding pair of Canadas


A parental pair of Canada geese across the lake with their new brood. First sighting this year. The goslings must have numbered ten or more—fluffy, yellow-brown, downy creatures, all swimming tightly clustered. If one gets straggled, it quickly strives to catch back up and join the—what's it called?—gaggle?

Many people hate the geese because of (1) their copious droppings, (2) their noise, even in the middle of the night. But they are a graceful, beautiful bird, and the way they look after each other's goslings reveals a strong sense of community.

We can learn much from the bird community.

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The lake during a less busy time


Yesterday, a Saturday, the lake was peppered with boats—crafts of all shapes and sizes, even though our lake is open year round. People flock to lowland lakes in Washington State on the third Saturday in April out of, I guess, some sort of migration instinct or cultural habit. The trout have been here for some time. And they were fairly ready takers to a variety of proven techniques. Trolling is one favorite method.

The trout were so small this year that they didn't not have the bulk to fight hard, and often three fishers to a boat (usually a family, dad and kids) did not even turn off the electric troll in order to play out a fish before reeling it is. They simply ploughed ahead and brought the 8-inch rainbow skipping along the surface to the net or boat itself. And, surprisingly, the fish got released, either because people don't really like to eat their catch, or their catch was too small to be deemed happily edible.

Maybe Mom would laugh at them with a basket of so small fish as a result of such early rising and elaborate preparation.

Opening day for decades was a Sunday, until some new hire with Fish and Wildlife thoughtlessly scheduled it for Easter Sunday. (I think it hilarious.) Then the tradition got changed because of public pressure. (Also, Moms didn't like it to be scheduled for family church-going day, all along.)

I did not fish for several good reasons. But maybe I'll give it a moment's attention on Monday, when the crowds will be down. But I was losing heart because of the smallness of the fish. This after a superb early spring for big holdover rainbows. The fresh hatchery plant comes as a big disappointment.

Or perhaps a small disappointment.

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