What Was That Fish?

Griggs Reservoir tends to be where I go fishing most of the time. This is due both due to it’s proximity to our house and the fact that I’m fairly successful there. Usually the catch consists of large bluegills and not so large bass all of which find their way back into the lake. For me fishing offers a great excuse to spent an extended period of time out of doors looking at birds, water snakes, turtles, the numerous wild flowers that are always present on the reservoir, and just enjoying nature.

However every once and awhile I become riveted to the task at hand. Several years ago I hooked a 30 lb Mirror Carp that took two and a half hours to land using 6 lb test line. I had an audience watching as the fish slowly towed my boat under the Fishinger Road Bridge and then around the lake. More recently, again using light tackle, I hooked on to something that bent the pole over double. Try as I might, nothing could be done with the creature. The battle lasted about 30 seconds, after which I reeled in half of a fishing lure. Was it a big cat fish, another Mirror Carp, or a turtle?

So I continue to fish Griggs Reservoir, never quite sure what is going to happen, but all while enjoying the company of the Herons, Kingfishers, Painted Turtles, . . .

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I’ll Have a Beer With That Crayfish

This summer has been exciting due to the many new creatures we have discovered in and around Griggs Reservoir. Probably the most noteworthy have been the numerous Mink sightings. Who would have thought that Mink would live within the city limits of Columbus.

Apparently Mink are quite ferocious and will even kill muskrats which are about their size. Normally, they do quite nicely on a diet of crayfish and other small marine creatures.

Interestingly enough, one of our best sightings was of a Mink eating a crayfish. The Mink didn’t seem a bit alarmed as we sat watching from the canoe. This went on for about five minutes after which the Mink ambled off. The only negative was the empty beer can sitting right next to the Mink as we watched. Afterward, given the wonderful experience, we picked up the can for proper disposal.

Griggs Reservoir Mink

Not sure what we’ll discover next that will top seeing a Mink but we should have fun looking.

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Wooden Rowboats and Damselflies

Most passions in life start when you’re young. Days spent fishing with my Dad, on Upper Straits Lake outside of Detroit, provided fertile ground for my love of nature to sprout. In those days our fishing adventures were made possible by a leaky wooden livery rowboat powered by our trusty 1 ½ HP Sea King outboard. When I wasn’t fishing I was fascinated by very small blue insects that would land on the gunnels of the rowboat. They were so delicate, sometimes flying joined together and sometimes alone. When they landed, the closer you looked, the more beautiful they became.

Fast forward to today, close focus binoculars, a digital camera and paddling trips on Griggs Reservoir each week. The blue insects (damselflies) now land on the gunnels of our Oldtown canoe and on our gear and they are just as beautiful. However, my knowledge of them isn’t much greater than it was those many years ago on Upper Straits Lake.

So, with the aid of cameras, binoculars and field guides, my quest now has become to learn more about these beautiful insects. Unlike their dragonfly cousins some are small and others really small. They usually can be found around water, and are most noticeable on sunny days. Their diet consists of even smaller insects so I’m hoping that my interest will stay restricted to to the damselflies and not what they eat. Their eyes and body colors continue to fascinate. Below is a picture of a female Eastern Forktail, only about 1 inch long and never flying much above the low lying foliage.

Female Eastern Forktail

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