March 22, 2012 —
Milder weather arrived in earnest during the first half of March, and that brought on an urge to launch the kayak and do a little paddling. During a sunny day just before the Ides of March, I set out on Walker Lake in Shohola, PA and found many signs that spring was well on the way.
Buffleheads and mergansers started appearing last month on area lakes due to the mild winter and lack of ice; many were out on the lake during my trip. Many migratory waterfowl species come through the area during the spring, and paddling on the lakes and rivers is a good way to spot them. You might even see or hear a loon or two during the next month or so.
The air may be warm, but the water will be cold for some weeks yet, so if you paddle through white water or otherwise expect to get wet, dressing for the occasion is recommended. Wear your life jacket, and don’t forget binoculars or a camera. For flat water paddling, lakes such as Shohola Lake in Pennsylvania or Rio Reservoir in New York offer just the ticket for springtime wildlife viewing.