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by Pete Kallin
This has been a busy week with lots of Zoom meetings with some of the nonprofits I work with. As the governor has continued to loosen some of the COVID-19 restrictions in order to carefully reopen the economy, Belgrade Lakes Village is beginning to fill up with visitors. The boat ramps are busy as family groups are finding shelter in the lakes, fishing, swimming, tubing, etc. As the water in the lakes has been warming, the trout are heading for deeper, colder water while the bass and pike have finished spawning and are moving into the shallows to hunt sunfish and yellow perch that are now spawning. Bass fishing in particular, is picking up at most of the lakes.
One of the side effects of the pandemic restrictions is that my older grandkids' Ultimate Frisbee camps, tennis camps, and jazz camps have been canceled. I told my daughter-in-law that Grandpa's lakeside fishing, swimming, and hiking camp was still open and ready for business. Shortly thereafter, my teenage grandkids, Maddy and Nathan, checked in for a short stay. A quick dip in the lake when they arrived was followed by "make your own pizza" night.
The next morning, they were up early for a quick breakfast and we loaded the boat with fishing gear, swimsuits, and rain coats. We caught quite few nice bass in the morning and both kids learned how to use Grandpa's new trolling motor. We stopped at the 7-Lakes Alliance Fogg Island preserve for lunch and a bit of hiking that included some trail maintenance. Then it was back on the lake for a short swim in the "graveyard" that included exploring the rocks with an underwater camera. We then climbed back in the boat and headed north as the clouds darkened and it began to rain lightly.
As we got back to the dock, the sun came out again so we offloaded the fishing gear and grabbed the wake board for a few turns around the lake before the skies darkened again and we began to hear distant thunder. Then it was back to the house and their parents arrived for a bit of dinner before taking the kids back home. All in all, it was a busy couple of days and the kids had a great time getting reacquainted with the lake and some of the local hiking trails.
This area offers some great outdoor recreation, whether you like to hike, bike, birdwatch, fish, sail, or paddle a canoe or kayak. I encourage all parents and grandparents to take advantage of opportunities to get your kids and grandkids out on the lake for fishing or swimming or up in the hills for some hiking. All the experts agree that outside is the safest place you can be these days. Just be considerate of others and get out safely.
Pick up a map of the local trails at Day's Store or from the 7 Lakes Alliance at the Maine Lakes Resource Center. Individual trail maps can be downloaded from the 7 Lakes website. Make sure you take a kid along on your next outdoor adventure, and please also check the 7 LA Facebook page for details on some interesting events scheduled this summer.
Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, which merged with the Maine Lakes Resource Center in December 2017 to form the 7-Lakes Alliance.