Perch Lake 2014 Recap
This was another great year at Perch Lake. It seems to me that the heavy snow, rainfall, and late spring had significant effects on our treasured lake and area. The vegetation was almost “rainforest like” in the summer. The lake level was quite high. The water weeds were late perhaps due to water that was more stained and colder than usual. We had to put extensions on the dock. The vegetation during early October bird hunting was formidable!
Our crappie fishing was below average this year but is rarely good throughout the spring and summer. Perch fishing made up for it with more large perch than I recall in the last 4 or 5 years. I believe the rusty crawfish help grow big perch but lakes like Gogebic have had big perch many years before rusty crawfish arrived. I recall that we had many “wormy” perch when we first started coming up to Perch Lake almost 30 years ago but not now. Bluegill fishing was very good at times. Try to release the “big” ones (10”+) if you can to help ensure good fishing in the future. Walleye fishing was good but not as good as 2013. Perch Lake has a great population of big bullheads and a few folks target them.
All of the berries were late this year but those that were available stayed for a long time. Red raspberries (so tasty but a bit difficult to pick) are the first of the season and were plentiful. The dilemma was that the blueberries started producing and are much easier to pick than red raspberries. The downside of blueberries is that we had to drive towards Lake Superior a bit. The blueberries were as abundant as I have ever seen them. In fact, we still feel vulgarly rich with our supply in the freezer! Blackberries were a different story-we found few and those we did find were small. We did not pick choke cherries, pin cherries or thimbleberries but they seem to be abundant. They are all fun to pick and eat and I guess we take what natures offers.
It was a below average year for wildlife sighting as we did not see a bear or a moose although I found a bull moose skull while bird hunting. We did put out a trail cam over grouse and woodcock carcasses and got some great photos of pine marten, fisher, bear, raccoons, and mink in October. Once we got photos of all of those critters in the same night-I guess they were competing for an easy meal! We did see 2 wolves on Ponozzo Road and more deer than some folks would believe survived the winter.
The grouse cycle is at the low end but there is an old grouse hunter’s saying that you kill grouse with your feet. Each step you take is one closer to the next flush and potential shot. The grouse seem to hold in slightly different cover this year and we had enough to satisfy a reasonable hunter. Woodcock hunting was good at times in the first half of October but we seemed to miss the big migration. Both of our Springers enjoyed the season although this may be the last season for the 13 year old. Deer season was a challenge with over 30” snow before we arrived on 11-13. Three of us hunted for 2-5 days each and we saw a total of 3 doe. Deer seemed to be moving at night as there was plenty of sign each morning.
It was a boomer year for mosquitoes, black flies, and no-see-ums although this late (November 20) in the year it is hard to recall the specific annoyances. I am sure the wet weather helped their numbers. We have been fighting cluster flies in the fall at our cabin and this fall we seemed to be successful. We sprayed an insecticide on the exterior west wall of the cabin in early September and we had very few cluster flies throughout November.
As much as I love the quietude which comes occasionally with being the only occupied cabin at our end of the lake I also enjoy getting to know new neighbors and spending time with old neighbors at the lake. We had the right mix of solitude and social this year. We have lived in a number of places but I think our Perch Lake community is the one I am most comfortable in!