The Izaak Walton Park that the WIWL administers is a Nature Reserve. Here are some of our Park's residents.
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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 last year and the 2 caught at this year's 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 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
Missed critters (camera not at the ready) include a large crayfish during lake clean-up 7/2, a raccoon found in the trap set out to catch the groundhog that had taken up residence under the Chapter House porch, and a large blacksnake. Keep your cameras handy and send pictures to email@example.com