March 13, 2020
The enthusiasm and support from 15 friends for the chance to head out on an Adventure made AWA’s Adventures for Wilderness first ever event, Friends-Fish-A-Thon, a tremendous success!
Our adventure started on Friday with a race against time; we boogied to set up our staging area and drill our holes in the ice before the weather socked in and the blowing snow kept us huddled by our fire. By Friday evening, we had 4cm of snow, with more to come. We bunkered down in our tent, hoping to catch some late roving and hungry walleyes. Saturday morning we woke up to -20°C, and welcomed some more friends that popped in for a day visit. We roamed around the lake, drilling holes and using a fishcam hoping to spot some schools of perch, or even just a single monster pike. We also took time to help our friends at Alberta Lake Management Society with one of their citizen science programs, the Winter Lakekeepers Program. We recorded the total dissolved oxygen at various depths of the lake, and took a sample of the water to test Total Phosphorous-all of which help indicate the overall health of the lake. As the day progressed, more snow arrived and some of our friends who couldn’t overnight on the lake had to leave. As the snow continued to fall, we resumed our posts hoping to pair our dinner with a side of fish, and eventually, our efforts paid off! We caught a 26 inch pike on a tip up located outside of the tent. It ended up being the only fish we caught over the weekend, but at least we can say we weren’t completely shut out! The catch rejuvenated our spirits, and we celebrated over a tasty meal. Sunday morning came, and it was time to pack up and head home, however it seemed that Mother Nature didn’t to want us to leave. By Sunday morning, a total of 9 cm of snow had accumulated bogging down our vehicles, in addition to a couple of frozen vehicle batteries. With some shoveling, pushing, and a little bit of kitty litter, we eventually made it out safely – with stories to tell!
Despite the challenging cold weather and some pretty slow fishing, our Adventure for Wilderness made for a memorable weekend, bringing good people together to celebrate a common passion: a love for Alberta’s wilderness.
I want to thank everyone who sponsored our adventure – while there are still some sponsorships coming in – we have already met our $2000 target. We are still hoping more of you might sponsor our Adventure; we are collecting until July 31!