Jan. 25th, 2015
by Dave Kitson
A perfect Sunday found Joe Coker, Terri Morgan, Paul Woodcock, Alice Nissen, John Ohrt, Larry Peterson, Kent Walters, Matt Burns, Brandi Medus, Bob Millen and myself setting out from the boat launch at Champion Lake for a day on the water. The weather was cool and mostly cloudless and the water on the lake was at 7’, around 2’ more than it has been for the last couple of years. The water was at the very top of the overflow so this is most likely the best “Normal” height we can expect.
We first set out toward the dam but were stopped by the thickest duck weed I have seen and some water hyacinth about half way there so we turned around and headed up Big Caney Creek. The water was high enough that I saw no dry land back in the main part of the lake. We traveled up to marker 5 and then turned around and headed back down Caney to a point where we could head to the south shore through the most beautiful part of the lake. We got out there to stretch our legs and eat lunch then followed the south shore on out to the west end of the lake. After that it was time to call it a day so we paddled back to the take out.
There was not a huge population of birds on this day. One red tail hawk, a kestrel and a fair number of buzzards but not too many egrets or herons. The water hyacinth has died down pretty well and there is a lot of duck weed which makes for a beautiful paddle. Unfortunately, I noticed much more penny wort than I have seen in the past; hope this is not a trend because that stuff is miserable to paddle through. In any case it did not obstruct our way except on the way to the dam.
Now is the time to see the lake with the water high and minimal water weed so I recommend anyone who can should make a trip out there; you will have a beautiful day. Now is also a good time since significant portions of the lake are closed to paddlers on March 1 for bird nesting. The trip finished at 5.1 hours and 8.1 miles. Several folks have posted photos to the website so check them out. Joe and I had such a nice time on Sunday that we reprised the trip on Thursday; the photos I posted are for both days. Joe is planning on doing a write-up for the second trip.
Photo albums: Dave Kitson Paul Woodcock Terri Morgan Kent Walters
|The author, Dave Kitson