45 degrees F Clear Wind 3mph NW
Sunrise 5:45am Sunset 8:33pm
Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans have headed out onto our lakes on this chilly May morning as part of the "Fishing Opener".
In fact news reports tell us that over one million fishermen will be out on the lakes on this beautiful morning.
A little further north as you approach the Canadian border, they are bundled up against the cold morning air which is actually below freezing in some areas.
Loons all across the state in all of our 10,000 lakes, for which Minnesota is so famous, find that they have many more 'neighbors' on the water this morning. Any state or province that has an abundance of lakes has something similar to 'fishing opener' even though the dates may vary from state to state and province to province.
Loons are very adaptable.
But the increased number of boats and people on the water brings increased pressure on our loons as they try to nest.
Very seldom have I ever seen fishermen who do anything malicious toward loons or their nests.
The biggest problem may be that we love loons too much.
That we want to get close to them. That we are fascinated when we see a loon on a nest and want to get closer to see it better. And by doing so, we can scare them off the nest and expose the eggs to the cold and to predators who are waiting for a meal.
So if you are a fisherman or know one, remind yourself to give loons a 'wide berth' on the lake especially around loons that are on a nest.
You would be very interested in what someone else is doing this morning.
Some of you know "Travis" from here at the LoonCam and Minnesota Bound. Many of you have communicated with Travis. What you may not know is that Travis is not only a nice guy at the LoonCam, he is a highly regarded fishing guide
Today Travis has the honor of being the official guide for the Minnesota Governor on this Fishing Opener.
Travis and the Governor were out on the lake at the stroke of midnight. No official word yet on how they did. Now that is pressure to perform. Congratulations, Travis!
The Opener today is the beginning of the season to take the beloved walleye and for northern pike.
But then in a couple weeks, there is another 'opener' that adds even more pressure for our loons. That is when the season to take largemouth bass and smallmouth bass opens.
People fishing for northerns and walleyes tend to fish in deeper water away from the shoreline.
But bass fishermen tend to work along the shorelines of the lakes as they cast their lures for bass. And of course the shoreline is where the loons are sitting on their nests. And the loons can be easily scared from their nests as fishermen approach close in their boats.
So remind yourself and your fishing friends to simply be aware of the loons and give them their space as you fish.
For 'our' loons, there still seem to be some territorial issues that are ongoing.
There were a couple instances yesterday of confrontations that drew the loon off the nest as another loon came into the territory. I am not sure if this is a single unattached loon or if it is one of the loons from the other pair that is apparently nesting once again this year on the lake.
There were even a couple chases yesterday that convinced the loon that he needed to leave the area.
So many challenges to loons nesting successfully.
Challenges that we never see nor even stop to think about.
Unless we take the time to slow down and watch and learn.
But once again today, you have the opportunity through the LoonCam to get within 3 feet of a loon on a nest. And watch and observe to your hearts content without ever causing a bit of concern or stress to the loons. What a miracle this is. Researchers in years past would have given anything to view and study and understand loons the way you are able to do from the comfort of your home! Sometimes even without getting out of bed.
So enjoy it today.
Marvel at the wonder and beauty of this magnificent bird.
And enjoy the beauty of all the miracles that are all around you.
Comments or Questions? LoonCam(at)yahoo(dot)com
Copyright 2012 Larry Backlund