story and photos by Gabrielle L. Wheeler
Last weekend, my boyfriend and I took our combination of four children to Sanford Lake, which is part of Birdseye State Forest in Savona, to do a little youth fishing. I took my camera along to occupy myself while they cast their lines since I don’t have a license. Here’s a chronicle of some of what I observed.
Sanford Lake (above) is located in Steuben county. The area rests on 30.6 acres, and the lake has a shoreline of 1.2 miles. I am bent on getting us a canoe next summer and was wishing during our whole visit that I had it already. The green in the water is not a harmful algal bloom, rather, the lake supports a healthy population of water lilies.
Phragmites, an invasive that takes over and replaces cattails, didn’t seem present at Sanford Lake. I got this shot at the boat launch.
Water willow or swamp loosestrife (Decodon verticillatus) is native and was abundant along the shores of Sanford Lake. My sandals sunk into the muck as I tried to get some photographs.
My boyfriend, Richard, did the supervising and helped the kids with putting the worms or lures on their hooks.
The fish were unwary when we first arrived and both Sandra and Rene got a bite.
After a quick photo, the fish, like this little pumpkinseed, were slipped back into the water and released.
It was a lovely day at the lake with the insects humming and the sun shining, and all four kids were asking when we can return again as we pulled out of the parking lot to head for home.
Gabrielle Wheeler is a freelance writer from the heart of the Finger Lakes Region. On her parenting blog, aplaceforlittlesproutstogrow.com, she writes about tending to the whole child and parent. She also works in a local health center as an interpreter/patient navigator.