Most likely no one knows exactly when milfoil effectively gained control of the Peninsula's Loomis Lake, no one noticed the day it reached the point where milfoil would begin to choke the life from Loomis.
As I sit on the dock where my eldest daughter caught her first fish, a five inch blue gill, and gaze out to where my son caught his first trout, an eight inch beauty, I see the stagnant surface looking more like a desert than a lake. Nothing, not even a Labor Day breeze, disturbs the flat, dull surface of the lake.
I find myself chuckling as I remember how shocked she was when my daughter saw in the clear water the blue gill as it zipped past the fingerling bass that had been harassing the worm she used for bait. And I'll never forget how my five year old son reeled the hatchery trout all the way to the split shot and as it dangled helplessly two feet from his rod tip, he shouted loud enough for everyone of the 300 opening day anglers on the lake to hear, "I got him, dad! I got him!"
I wonder, has the treatment of the defoliate, Sonar, repaired the lake to where it is ready to heal? The patient with the tumor that has just been exorcised or the person with the arteries recently cleared, all appear to be at their worst, when in fact they are at their most ready to begin the recovery process.
Is Loomis Lake at this point? Is Mother Nature poised to apply her nurturing, tenacious touch for survival? At this time next year, will I see from my familiar seat on the dock, hundreds of trout slurping flies in the waning twilight as I enjoyed a handful of summers ago?
I sure hope so. It won't be that long before I'll have grandkids and they'll need Loomis Lake to be healthy and ready to provide their first fish. And, hey, I'll need a lake that is full of life to muse by, too.
- KEVIN HEIMBIGNER