Park Residents

The Izaak Walton Park that the WIWL administers is a Nature Reserve.  Here are some of our Park's residents - please scroll down since new entries are added at the bottom of this page. 


Contributions welcome - please e-mail to

Heron by Vernon Guidry, 5/17/2019

Our neighbors seem to have noticed  that our lake's ecology and fish stock is improving!

Unfortunately seems to like the grass carp we obtained to control the weeds.  Oh well...

Eagle by Chris Barltrop, 5/6/2019

And if you were wondering what is under the surface, this is a mature catfish in the lake.  Estimated weight is 15-20 lbs.


We can expect more like this as our 2018 summer stocking matures. We stocked 6"-8" catfish and the 2 caught at the 2019 kids fishing derby were 12" and 14".  Expected growth is 10" a year.


This fish was returned to the lake and presents another exciting game fish for Chapter anglers.

Brian Callahan, 5/22/2019

Some of our residents are best admired from a distance. 


Member Adam Wentling took the photo - he and his two children were about to go fishing; wisely, they decided to fish a little further down the shore from the snake. 

Butch Kramer, 6/12/2019

President Dan Arico adds:  "They tend to stay near water.  Right now that's pretty much everywhere."

Photo by Richard Gorman - Taken at the SASP State Match.  One of the Barred Owls on a limb over the creek next to the range.  6/8/2019

Spotted on the gravel road next to the lake.  Very camera shy - ran for cover as soon as it saw my iPhone.  Amazing how fast it could move!  Photo by Chris Barltrop, 7/4/2019

Picture and content captured by Jason Hamm:  9.0 lbs!! Finally caught it!!!  7/7/2019


And yes, Jason did throw it back so others could test their angling expertise.  This is the kind of sport fishing (not for kitchen table) that justifies the efforts our Lake and Conservation Committee is making to improve our lake.

And of course we also have a thriving insect population (not just mosquitoes, which we do not expect to feature).

Above - Silvery Checkerspot, Chlosyne nycteis, on a stalk of golden ragwort on the road to the campground.  Photo by Vernon Guidry, 7/21/2019  (glad Vernon knew what to call both!)

Left - Red-spotted purple butterfly, Limenitis arthemis astyanax, on the road to the camp ground.  Photo by Vernon Guidry, 7/24/2019

We also have a wide variety of flora in our Park and will be adding pictures as they are submitted.  Virginia blue bells flowering in large banks along the creek on the road to the camp ground.  Captured by Vernon Guidry, 4/21/2019

Expert Angler Cailynn Gilson (8) snared her first fish. This was the first fish she caught, followed by three more.  Also her brother Braydon caught two and Dad caught another two. They were all bluegills/sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), most of them about the same size.  Dad got to use Cailynn's Princess Pole while she tried out her Dad's fishing pole.


We returned all fish to the lake and the extra worms to the worm farm.

It was a good morning.

Photo by her father, Dean Gilson and sent to us on 7/27/2019. 

The clumps of late summer yellow wildflowers around the lake this year are Nodding Beggarticks,  Bidens cernua

Captured by Vernon Guidry, 9/20/2019

One of our resident pollinators, posed very nicely for Mark Sunderlin past the picnic shelter / campground.  9/20/2019

A rafter of turkeys spotted at midday Oct. 11, 2019 grazing on the dam. Three more were out of frame.  Possibly the rafter seen periodically in the camping area.  No shotguns please.

Photo by Vernon Guidry

Spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata), 1/4" long, in the afternoon sun beside Lake Neff. Looks like a tiny jewel but is considered an agricultural pest.   

Captured by Vernon Guidry 10/10/2019

We also hosted a passing flock of geese - maybe on their way north for the winter.

Photo by Chris Barltrop 10/18/2019

Left - Dave Colf landed this catfish on or about 2/28/2020, showing that our lake residents are surviving the winter well (at least until caught)  Note that a catfish this size is part of our breeding stock and should be put back - signs will be posted showing size limits.

Below - the catfish at left was not alone, the one below met up with some olive oil and herbs....  Also caught late February 2020.

Opening Day catch - 5.92 lbs 22.5 in Koi - put back.  Contributed by Connor Gorman 3/14/2020

Purple Deadnettle (Lamium Purpureum) and two variations of Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor)

- Vernon Guidry, March 2020

Channel Catfish caught and released on 03/24/2020

Measuring in on the fish "truth" station at 29 inches and 9.15 pounds - Sean Gorman

Q. Why did the turkey cross the road?


A. To retrieve the fishing gear Sean forgot at the lake the night before while catching catfish

- Sean Gorman 03/25/2020

Great photography from Vernon Guidry:

left - Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly

right - Pair of Purple Martins

below - Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)

All photographed in May 2020

A fantastic catch by Mike Keenan​'s granddaughter.   The lake is producing well.   05/30/20

 Keep your cameras handy and send pictures to

© 2020 by Winchester Chapter of the Izaak Walton League