Perch Lake Annual Report, 2011
Fishing-started as an average year for walleyes but ended up good both in numbers caught as well as average size. Walleyes averaged longest in memory this year. Most of the walleye kept were 16-18 inches. Perch didn’t seem to be as abundant but a number of
13-14 inches were caught. Bluegills seemed down as well but the crappie fishing was good at least in the spring. Where are they during the summer? Trout fishing on several of the local streams was good once the water warmed up from a late spring.
Wildlife observations-spring fishing is a great time to be out in the woods after a long winter. Wildlife seems to be more observable at this time. Before the trees leaf out and if the warbler migration is on you can be treated to many species. We have seen as many as 12 warbler species during a day of trout fishing. We saw 3 bears and one wolf this spring as well as a badger on the side of the road. Mid September brought a Canada goose migration on several days that was spectacular. The geese were very high and moving south. There were flocks in sight almost all day if you really wanted to look.
Eagles seem to be increasing on the lake at the expense (I’m afraid) of the ospreys. Only saw one osprey this year. Rusty crawfish seem to be down (those big perch love to eat them). Loons were around all year although I keep looking for either the Red Throated Loon or Pacific Loon to no avail. Both are observed on Lake Superior. A large flock of pied billed grebes was seen in September-probably 100-125 birds. There were several hundred mallards roosting on the lake in late October and November that left in the predawn every morning and headed north perhaps to grain fields. Bear hunting was great this year and provided a chance to see critters coming into the bait that are generally tough to spot. We saw 5 wolves at our baits and had several of them howling very close in addition to three pine martens. Pileated woodpeckers are always fun to watch and they seem to be plentiful. Saw one flock of Tundra swans migrating during deer season. I watched an ermine under my deer stand one day. No bobcats, moose or fishers sighted this year but you can’t have everything!
Berry picking-2010 was a spectacular year for blueberries and we were hoping for a repeat. It did not happen-I am blaming it on the lack of rain at the right time. The red raspberries were good this year although they seemed to be late and the blackberries in September were exceptional. Blackberry pancakes are good but not quite as good as the blueberry variety. We have failed to find morels again this spring although we have been successful elsewhere. It is hard to commit time to mushroom picking when there are trout and walleyes to be caught.
Hunting-bear hunting was successful and a lot of work. We believe we feed 19-21 bears over the season including several that were truly exceptional. We were only able to get trail cam photos of the largest bears although we have enough bear meat to last a while. I think bear meat is one of the finest meats as long as you take care of it quickly. The bait required was more than most folks would imagine but was worth the effort.
Bird season was good although grouse numbers were not as strong as 2010. They seem to be spotty. Woodcock hunting was exceptional and just the ticket for friends who were running young pointers. Just for the record I hunt with a springer and won’t change to a pointer! Deer season was fun but no buck hung from my maple tree this year. Three of us hunted 5 days and each saw a good buck but only had one shot that did not find the mark.