Clam Lake News At Home Edition – Hello Clam Lake!
This past week we’ve had winter and spring. After a gorgeous Saturday last weekend, we saw the return of winter on Sunday. Several inches of snow arrived with colder temps causing the snow to stick around for a few days. Quite a few, in fact. Ice went off the lakes and quickly re-formed. Thankfully, we’ve returned to sunny days with melt going on. I think we’re all anxious for spring to settle in for good. I spoke with Karen Schauer who said she was ahead of the game since she managed to get a lot of her yard work done while it was nice. I wasn’t as lucky. .
QUARANTINING in the woods it’s great to see all the animals coming to call. I was writing one day and felt eyes upon me. I looked out and there was a deer intently watching me. Gray squirrels stare at me as I do dishes with a fox running up and down the road with a quick glance in my direction. My loon is back yodeling and wailing to get my attention. And not let’s forget the eagle that is circling my house. And, of course, the elk. They make their rounds checking on all of us. Great to have this time to enjoy them and apparently, them us.
SYMPATHIES go out to Tammy McFadden on the loss of her mother Dee Brown. Dee passed on April 15th at the age of 84 in Chicago. I’d met Dee several times over the years when she would visit Clam Lake. Always an attractive lady whom was glad to see all of us Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tammy and her family at this time.
CONTINUATION: With our Stay at Home directive being extended until May 26th the State has asked all seasonal home owners not to return to their second homes at this time. This is to protect our health and theirs. These restrictions have been put into place to help flatten the curve regarding Covid-19. Ashland, Bayfield and Sawyer counties have all reported cases of Covid-19 from people whom have participated in domestic travel. Please follow CDC guidelines and quarantine for 14 days if returning from a different area.
REMINDER: The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest recreation sites remain closed until further notice due to continued concern over the spread of Covid-19. All campgrounds, trails (motorized and non-motorized), day recreation areas (trailheads, picnic areas, boat landings and beaches) dispersed (roadside Forest camping) and all restroom facilities remain closed at this time. Also closed are Lost Lake Cabins, the Great Lakes Visitor Center and Forest Lodge. All campground reservations for the month of May have been cancelled with refunds to be issued. The general Forest remains open to the public including Forest Roads for hiking, biking and scenic driving. All persons in the Forest should practice safe social distancing guidelines. The Forestry will continue to monitor this situation.
ELK UPDATE:- ELK ON THE MOVE: I spoke with Josh Speigel, Sawyer County Wildlife Biologist this past week. Josh oversees our Wisconsin elk program now that Laine Stowell has retired. He informed me that on February 5th of this year four elk (two adult cows, one bull calf and one cow calf) had been relocated to Clam Lake from the Flambeau State Forest. These animals were part of the group that were brought from Kentucky in April of 2019. The calves that have been relocated were born in the Flambeau State pen. This particular group of elk decided to distance themselves from the herd at the Flambeau Forest, proceeding to head into Phillips, Prentice, Rib Lake and finally to a farm field in the southern part of Taylor County near Medford. This is where it was decided to set up a corral style trap to bring the animals back to the forest area. Once in the corral trap they were transferred into a cattle trailer for their ride “home”.. A decision was made that Clam Lake would be a better habitat for them with hopes that they will join with one of our local groups. Upon arrival they were released near Buffalo Lake so they could be near the elk that reside by the old Girls Camp. So far, they seem to be settling in and are being monitored. This is the not the first time elk from the Flambeau herd have come to Clam Lake. A few years ago a cow took it upon herself to migrate from the Flambeau. eventually teaming up with the Moose Lake group. She has been here ever since. At this time Josh estimated that we have around 300 elk between Clam Lake and the Flambeau with more expected after the spring calving season. As always, Clam Lake remains the dominant prototype for elk in Wisconsin. We are happy to welcome these new animals into our group and hope that they grow and breed with our present elk.
Until next week…..stay home, stay safe and stay healthy!
Pictured are two of our most recent additions to our Clam Lake Elk herd right after they had been released into the Chequamegon. Photo courtesy of Josh Speigel.