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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Loons, muskrats, eagles, oh my!

Greetings from Lake Wabatongushi! I hope that you are well on this fine, June day. July is just around the corner. Let's keep our fingers crossed that July is just as wonderful as June has been.

Last week I brought news about the loons which have been nesting around the lake. Well, I am happy to be the one to report to you that loon chicks have been spotted here at Lake Wabatong. Mr. Barry Patterson, a guest who has come up for a vacation with his father Neil, was very fortunate to be able to capture this photo of a mother loon with her chicks riding on her back. Barry photographed the happy family floating by at about 50 feet from his dock.

I have some interesting facts about the Common Loon that I would like to share with you today:

Did you know?

* Loons cannot walk on land

* There are 5 different species of loon: Common Loon, Red-throated Loon, the Arctic Loon, the Pacific Loon, and the Yellow-billed Loon.

* A loons main predators include Pike, gulls, ravens, crows, raccoons, weasels, and skunks.

* Loons can grow up to 3 feet (91 cm) in length and can weigh up to 12 pounds (5 kg)

* Loons winter along North America's Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as in Europe and Iceland.

Mr. Patterson captured this great shot of a Muskrat having his fill of fresh water clams. For anyone who may not be familiar with Muskrats, they are a large rodent that are commonly found in the wetlands and waterways of North America. The animal gets its name from the scent glands that are found at the rear of the animal. These glands produce a musky odor.

Here is another awesome photo from Barry. Check out the two mature Bald Eagles. Great photos, Barry!

Before I leave you today I would like to wish everyone a happy Canada Day. Let your red, and white shine, friends. That's it for me. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. I hope you enjoy reading it just as much as I enjoy writing it for you.

Happy fishing!

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life." ~Rachel Carson

From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Biggest Walleye so Far and More Fishing 2010

32 inch Trophy Walleye Fishing CanadaWell here it is, the 32 inch Walleye John Blair caught and released June 9, which is the biggest Walleye caught and released so far this fishing season. John was with his future father-in-law Tom Quaderer and Tom made sure he was ready with the net.
It has really been a fantastic Walleye season.
Many Walleyes caught and Released over 24 inches and up into the 30's, and here are some we have pictures of.
29 inch Trophy Walleye Fishing CanadaHere is Damian Starr with his 29 inch Walleye that he Caught & Released fishing June 21.
26 1/2 inch Trophy Walleye Fishing CanadaJim Rudnicki has been coming up for quite a number of years but this was his first fishing vacation here with his wife Dixie. Her first Walleye was this 26 1/2 incher Dixie Caught & released fishing June 20.
28 inch Trophy Walleye Fishing CanadaAnd Gary Giles and his wife started vacationing here with their 2 daughters about 30 years ago. This year Gary was out in the boat fishing with his Grand Daughter Alyssa June 22 and his first Walleye was this beautiful 28 inch Walleye he took out of the water just long enough to take this very quick picture.
From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort

Monday, 21 June 2010

Summer Solstice

Greetings from lake Wabatongushi! Today, June 21st, marks the first day of summer. How exciting is that? Happy summer, friends.

I have some exciting news to share with you. Last week while out fishing I came across a loon laying on her nest. As I passed by in the boat she was oblivious to my presence. However, about half an hour later I passed by the nest again only to be greeted by the male loon. Let me tell you, he was not happy that I was there! He kicked up quite a fuss, warning me to stay away which I graciously obliged.

Did you know that loon chicks can swim from the time they hatch but spend much of their time riding on the backs of their parents to avoid predators, conserve heat, as well as to just catch a break. The male and female loon look the same, although males are generally larger.

Moose calves have also been spotted on the shorelines with their mothers. Cow moose will head to islands to birth their calves. They do this to avoid predation from gray wolves,coyotes, and black bears. At the time of its birth the moose calf can weight between 11 and 16 kilograms. Within days of its birth, moose calves are already great swimmers.

Another noteworthy event that took place about 3 weeks ago was the dragonfly hatch. To hatch the dragonfly nymphs migrate to the shorelines and crawl out on the land. The hatching migration, and the hatch itself often occurs during the night. By the morning the adults are taking flight.

On the left is the dragonfly nymph. On the right is the newly hatched dragonfly.

Well that's it from lake Wabatong. I wish you all a great summer filled with joy, and great times with your friends and family.


"Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet." – Bob Marley

From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort

Friday, 18 June 2010

Shrubs and Wildflowers

Greetings from lake Wabatongushi! I just love spring, don’t you? The ice breaks up, trees begin to bud, flowers begin to bloom and the geese return. So long winter, hello warm sunny days, barbeques and sun tea. One of my favorite things about spring is the blooming flowers. The colours they bring, along with their sweet scents let me know that summer is just around the corner. Today I am going to introduce you to some plants and wild flowers that are now blooming around lake Wabatong.

The pink lady’s-slipper is the largest of our native orchids. The pink lady’s-slipper takes 10 years from germination to reach the flowering stage. This plant should not be picked. Here’s a bit of Canadian trivia for you: The pink lady’s-slipper is Prince Edward Island’s provincial flower.

Labrador tea is an evergreen shrub which habitats wet, organic sites. The leaves have a leathery feel to them. The underside of the leaves are a rusty colour and quite hairy. This plant was used by Aboriginal peoples to make teas, and as well as for medical purposes.

Bunchberry is a perennial herb that grows low to the ground. During the spring the bunchberry will have a small, white flower residing in the center of its leaves. During the summer months the flower will be replaced by the plants fruits which are bright red in colour. This plant is a favourite to white-tailed deer and spruce grouse.

Bluebead Lily is a perennial herb with greenish-yellow bell shaped flowers. This plant is very intolerant of the sun and can only be found in shaded areas of the forest. It takes two years for this plant to germinate, and several years for it to produce a flower.

As more flowers bloom I will be sure to let you know. Before I leave you today I would just like to wish my dad, and all the other dads out there a happy ( belated ) fathers day. I hope you had a wonderful day with your family.

Happy trails!

"Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers - for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are." ~Osho

From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort

Big fish

Greetings from lake Wabatongushi. Today’s topic is going to be about big fish. Before I begin I welcome you to tell us your big fish stories. Set up the scene for us: Where were you? What were you fishing for and what with? Was there anyone there to share the excitement with? How did you feel?

Over the past few weeks the topic around the lodge has been big fish. Gosh, hearing the stories from guests about their big catches brings so much excitement to the lodge.

I would like to tell you about our friend, Joy. Joy has a knack for catching fish. Over the few days that Joy was here she caught, and released a 26.5 inch Walleye, a 25 inch Walleye, and a 27.5 inch Northern pike. The 26.5 inch walleye is about 21 years of age and most likely a female. The 25 inch walleye is about 17 years of age and more likely a female. Joy’s 27.5 inch pike is about 7.5 years in age and there is a 60/40 chance that it is a male. Way to go, Joy! You are a true fisherwoman.

Other big catches that cannot be forgotten came from Mr. Larry Light for his 32 inch Pike. Mr Light’s pike is approximately 11 years in age. There is a 60/40 chance that this pike was a female. Congratulations to Mr. Eric Williams for his 29.5 inch Walleye, and 29.5 inch Pike. The walleye is about 26 years in age and chances are this walleye was a female. Except for genetic abnormalities male walleyes do not grow this large. Mr. Ross Auckland caught a 27.5 inch pike on his trip up to Wilderness Islands Resort. This pike is approximately 7.5 years in age and there is a 60/40 chance that it was a male. Mr. Pete Buley caught a 30.5 inch walleye as well as a 34 inch pike. The walleye is almost 30 years of age and most likely a female. The pike is about 14 years in age, and there is a 25/75 chance that it was a female. Way to go, guy! Thank you for returning these fish to lake Wabatongushi.

Well that is it for us here at the resort. I hope you enjoyed reading about our big catches and releases. I know myself it sure was a treat to be able to share in the excitement of a big catch with our guests.

Happy fishing!

"The two best times to fish is when it's rainin' and when it ain't"
Patrick F. McManus

From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort

Thursday, 10 June 2010

New additions to our Wabatong family

Greetings from Wabatong! I hope that you are doing well on this lovely June day. I have some thrilling news to share with you all. I am so excited my fingers just can’t seem to type fast enough!

Wilderness Islands would like to take the time to welcome some new additions to our wildlife family. I would like to begin by telling you about the largest family to grace us here at the resort. On island two we have a female ruffed grouse who is now mothering 11 chicks! Welcome to the world little ones.

For those of you who may have never seen a ruffed grouse before they are a large, chicken-like bird that have a colour range of red-brown, to gray-brown. They have a fan-shaped tail with a broad black band near the tip. Being secretive birds they generally are not seen until they are startled. You will find these birds on the ground or in the understory of deciduous or mixed woodlands.

While you were out in the woods have you ever heard what sounds like an ATV trying to start up but stopping short? This is the sound of a grouse beating its wings on its favourite drumming log, or rock. Ruffed grouse are docile birds however caution should be taken when approaching a mother and her young. As like any wild animal it is best to give them their space and admire their beauty from afar.

The second addition to our family comes all the way from bear point. We have a female black bear who is mothering twin cubs. Let me tell you, they are absolutely darling! Mom and twins have been spotted by staff here at the resort as well as guests. What a sight to see. The cubs will stay with their mother for about 17 months at which point they will leave home to find territory of their own. You should never try to approach a black bear, especially a mother who has cubs with her. Please use caution when admiring these wonderful animals.

Well that's it for me. I hope this post finds you well. Before I go I would like to invite you to share any baby stories that you might have. We sure would love to hear about it.

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.

-- George Gordon, Lord Byron

From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort

Busy Fishing Season

Wow, What a Walleye Spring. We started off our first week with lots of Walleyes and guite a number caught and released in the 20" to 24" range. Now this week it has really stepped up. So far this week in Walleyes we had a 28" Walleye Caught & Released Sunday by Brent who is up with his Grandfather Larry. Then Monday evening Carlos Caught & Released a 29-1/2" Walleye. Big day Tuesday with Carlos's fishing partner Bob Catching & Releasing a 30-1/2" Walleye and Joy up with her husband Ross Catching and Releasing a 26-1/2" Walleye. Yesterday was kind of rainy all day so most people rested more but long time guest Tom had his future son-in-law John with him. John Caught & Released a 32" Walleye yesterday evening. Can't wait to see what the rest of the summer brings. We got digital pictures of all the fish except the 32" Walleye. Tom still has a film camera. We will post a picture of John's walleye as soon as Tom sends it to us.
Have a Great Summer!
From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort

Monday, 7 June 2010

Staff fishing derby

Greetings from lake Wabatongushi! I hope that you've been having a lovely spring thus far. Mother nature has been quite kind to us here at lake Wabatong. The flowers are blooming, the trees are budding, and the fish are biting!

Saturday, June 5th we held the first staff fishing derby of the season and boy what a time we had! Three teams took to the lake: Al, Doris, and Morgan Errington in boat one, Lori and Larry in boat two, and newbie’s A.J and Vanessa in boat three. We took off from Heritage Island, motors roaring as we all sped to our favourite fishing holes.

Who was going to be the one to catch the first fish? Oh, the anticipation!

Categories included first Northern pike, first Walleye, and first Perch. You could also win a prize for the most of each species and the largest. Equipped with radios we were able to relay our information to each team announcing our catch. Cheers and congratulations sang over the radio waves when a call came through of a successful landing.

Each team had different strategies in mind as to how they were going to get their fish. Lori, from boat two, with her own exclusive approach, chose to sing to her Walleye's and it sure paid off! Lori caught 22 Walleye in two hours. Way to go, Lori! Doris used her speedy skills to catch the first fish of the night. Not only did Doris get the first catch but she also got the largest pike of the night measuring in at 25 inches. Congratulations Doris! Largest catch went to Al for his beautiful 23.5" Walleye. Way to go Al! Hot on fire, Morgan caught a grand total of 3 Northern Pike for the most pike caught during the evening. Great job, Morgan!

Al, Doris, and Morgan also had great luck with the wildlife as well. Before returning home to dock they had time to admire a beautiful cow moose eating her supper along the shoreline. What a wonderful end to a great night.

Well that’s it for me. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. I wish you a great spring, and an even better summer. Hope to see you on the lake!

"If fishing is interfering with your business, give up your business."
Alfred W. Miller

From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort