During this time, I just kick back and enjoy the sights and sounds that echo all around me. No traffic, no people noise…just nature.
Remember the song “Dueling Banjos?” Well, in these backwaters, it’s dueling Canada geese. It’s all about territory and intruders are banished, chased off the water. For a while, that is! They will come back later and attempt to regain their territory. Then the honking begins building to a crescendo as all four geese honk away!
Time after time this happens. As a matter of fact, I have witnessed this event every spring since I first moved to the Iowa Great Lakes area in 1978! Same backwater, same fights, same sounds…it’s awesome! Add to this the other sights and sounds: it doesn’t get any better than this!
Drain those livewells!
As we get those boats out and as the Walleye Opener approaches, anglers are reminded the regulations about transporting fish from the lake that you have been fishing.
The regulation states: “Drain water from boat, livewell, bilge, ballast tank, bait bucket, and other equipment holding water before leaving a water access. Drain plugs and other water draining devices must be removed and/or remain open during transport. If you want to keep live bait when leaving a water access, you must replace water in bait containers with tap or bottle water.”
Anglers leaving with fish are recommended to put them on ice, whether in a cooler, a bucket or a live well (plug must still be removed and/or opened).
The regulation goes on to say: “Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody and to release aquatic animals from one waterbody into another.”
Reason for the regulation
It all comes down to two words: invasive species. We’re talking all kinds of invasives…this next part also comes from the 2015 regulations booklet: Bighead carp, silver carp, Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels and other nonnative aquatic species threaten Iowa waters. These aquatic invaders do not occur naturally in our lakes and rivers. When stocked into them, these invasive species can cause ecological and economic harm by displacing native plants and animals, damaging water resources, and interfering with water-based recreation, including fishing.
It is important to note that this is a statewide regulation that covers all bodies of water in Iowa. The regulation mirrors the regulations set by the state of Minnesota and now in the state of South Dakota for 2015. The bottom line is this: it is our duty to do whatever it takes to make sure that we limit the spread of invasive species in all of Iowa's water bodies!