Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some Thoughts Before We Try Lake Musconetcong Again

Sometimes Lake Musconetcong was worse than that--or better if you prefer. For years a strange, weed collecting boat prowled the back of the lake on occasion, and it dug through the thick, forming canals worth casting topwaters into and along the weedline edges.

I felt deeply appalled last summer both times I fished Lake Musconetcong. Now that they've bombed the lake with weed-killing chemicals to control water chestnuts, the lake is a turbid mess and the fishing very slow. For five years we had fished the lake at least a half dozen times each summer, and I didn't come back for a third last year. Water once vital and so clear you could make out a dime on the bottom (if it didn't sink in the muck, true) had died, turbid with vegetation particles. All those years we had never been skunked and usually did very well. Both times out last summer we got skunked. And to make matters worse, I noticed on that second outing that the cormorant population had increased about ten fold--now that they could swim under water without the weeds. Cormorants eat loads and loads of fish.

In May Steve Slota and I did fairly well. The water clarity is not right, but better. But the fish seem to be there and willing. I am skeptical. I feel as if Lake Musconetcong's soul has been destroyed. And the fish will largely vanish in turn. It's an unpopular position I take. People are happy they can waterski. For all the so-called improvement. I wonder if the water quality will ever be as pure as it was again.

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