|Park map; Lake Springfield is circled in blue
Fort Parker receives 1,000 trout the last Saturday of January and holds a Trout Fishing Clinic where they teach kids how to fish. This year they had around 200 kids and landed about 75 trout. After Ranger Fisher shared that bit of good news, I figured the park would be crowded with about six or seven anglers fishing from the limited west shoreline. I was genuinely surprised when I arrived at the trail head to discover I would have the five acre lake all to myself. Be careful of your wishes!
When I reached the lake, I knew why I had it to myself. While the water level is the highest I have ever seen, it is in terrible condition due to some kind of algae and early duckweed.
|South shore--normally teeming with Largemouth Bass
Usually, the bottom is visible, but not with the water levels as they are; however, the water is still quite clear. Curious, I put my waterproof camera on a weighted selfie stick, and began searching for fish. The density of the growth has pushed the fish towards the middle of the lake. I saw no turtles--with the camera or ascending for air. There are a total of three bird nests in the trees surrounding the lake--two to the southeast and one in the west--the least number of nests I have personally seen. I counted three buzzards flying overhead, where in years past they have flown overhead in groups of six or more, even strafing us at times, observed from the trees, observed from the ground, but they just aren't present. The bird box at the east end of the lake is inaccessible by float tube, and there were no Herons present along the shore. Mounds of green algae were piled beside the overflow gate where an almost futile effort has been made to keep the grate clear. Green and brown algae were caked all over the grates.
|About the middle of the lake from east to west--looking eastward
|Only Sunfish of the day