Fishing the Snags at Goose Lake
Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Washington. July 19, 2014
Copyright © 2015 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved
Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: January 4, 2015
Goose Lake is a very interesting spot. It’s a small lake formed by a lava flow, filled with snags from later human engineering work. Originally, it’s level was a bit lower, hence the trees, but it’s level fluctuated during the year, very much like the South Prairie Lake a few miles away (though not as dramatically). At South Prairie, a lake forms in the spring from snowmelt, but then drains later in the spring through the lava flow. The best guess, though not yet confirmed, is that the prairie lake drains through lava tubes that are choked with ice until later in the season than the surface snow, and then, once the tubes melt clear, the lake quickly drains.
At Goose Lake, there was once such a drain, as well. However, this drain was located and plugged in 1930 by the Forest Service to “improve fishing” at the lake. This raised the level a bit, and killed off the trees whose tall stumps still rise mysteriously from the water here and there throughout the lake.
Such an act seems almost sacrilegious today, but back in the day, recreational use of the land was seen as a higher priority than the preservation of such a unique geological oddity, and in the long run, it could be argued that opening up the land to recreational use led to increased conservation in the region over all.
Plus, it gave us the stumps, which are pretty darn cool and gives this lake a truly unique feel.
And the fishing, apparently, is excellent. On the drive out to Goose, more often than not you’ll be following a boat to the lake.
On top of all of the interesting tidbits above, there is also this…
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