The "DRAW DOWN" continues!
A few weeks ago (October 8th) "Fishing Fever" #40 focused on Marsh Creek Lake and the annual draw down of the water level. So today, as a follow up, I have posted some recent pictures from October 27th. Even to me, it was a surprise to see the lake level down this much. The Fish Commission had given prior notice and laid out their intentions to surpass the normal three foot drop with a never before eight foot draw down. On this visit I estimated the water level to be down five or at best six feet meaning that there is still a bit to go. Every time I see the water level drop I'am reminded of the town that once flurished in the flooded valley. Milford Mills is lost forever in the depths of the lake but more on that later.
My visit included a few different access areas where I parked and walked the exposed, but not so dry, lake bed. I say, "not so dry" because there are areas of quick sand to be cautious of. I found one of these as I made my way along the newly brought to light ground. Carefully placing each step and staying up from the waters edge I was shocked when I hit the bottomless area of muck. There I was alone, carrying a fishing pole in each hand, to suddenly find myself in knee deep black oozing gook that closed in around my legs. I didn't panic but realized the only way out was to flop down and get my weight redistributed over more area. It was a bit of luck that I could reach out far enough to grab a rock that lay just a few feet from the hazard. Pulling my feet loose was a real job without my boots coming off but I managed to succeed after a few tries. Finally being able to stand up again but covered in this thick black mud, probably half mud and half goose crap, I could only laugh at myself and chalk it up to experience. Anyway, after that I was a bit gun shy but continued my journey.
Now as mentioned in "Fishing Fever #40" I was looking for lures and any other treasure that would now be exposed to anyone with a good eye. Not surprisingly I did find many lures, most of which were rubber worms or other creature forms. Also a good many old green and brown glass bottles, a fishing rod that was unsalvageable and a ten pound mushroom anchor with chain attached. The sight of some of the old tree stumps left from when the lake was built were true art forms. I did not catch a fish today but that was secondary to my main cause. I just never go near water with a fishing rod in hand!
Anyway, also to be noted were many large fresh water clams, monstrous crawfish and a bunch of just plan old trash from the visitors that just don't appreciate the lake. This is the lake that I cut my teeth on, this is the lake that has gone through many changes over it's life span of four decades. I learned to ice fish here back in the late 70's and 80's. I honed my walleye fishing skills on this lake. Forever in my memory is the location of the humps, drop offs, road beds and other structures that hold fish. Hidden below the water is the town of Milford Mills and a few private farms. I remember riding my motor bike on the now submerged roads when I was seventeen years old. This is the lake that I love !
This area is rich in history. A great read, if you can find the book, is "THE STORY OF MILFORD MILLS and the Marsh Creek Valley" by Catherine C. Quillman. Printed in 1989 the book was a very limited edition of 2000 copies. My copy is number 1848. A good friend gave it to me in 1993. From the time that the Indians inhabited the landscape up to the building of the lake this story is fascinating and filled with facts and pictures. Put it on your "must read" list and you will not be disappointed.