Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Patrol on Sudbury River to Weir Hill

After waiting for the early morning cold temperatures to moderate to near 40 degrees, I launched onto the lower Sudbury River at 11:00 am and began paddling upriver. The river has dropped quite a bit from the flood levels of the past 2 weeks. Encountered a good trash haul about 1/3 mile below the Sudbury Road bridge. Trash was in the water as well as on the bank near a pine grove landing on the river left. Landed just upstream of the bridge to store the first 36 pieces of trash below deck. One item was a cardboard box that was labelled Bud Lite Draught Cold Box. The now empty box had a nice large plastic bag that said "Don't Litter" inside. Somehow, I don't think the Bud people expected the box (and bag) to end up in the river.

About a 1/4 mile upstream of the bridge, I saw a red headed woodpecker, but he was gone before I could get a good look

Arriving at Fairhaven Bay, I began seeing large groups of ring-necked ducks. Sat just off of Brooke's Island while enjoying hot cocoa and a power bar. After passing under the new Lees Bridge, I saw many more ring-necked ducks all over the place. At Pantry Brook, the water level was still high enough to cross over the dam-like structure and enter the sanctuary. The staff guage showed a water level of 4.85.

Reaching my turnaround point at Weir Hill, I went ashore and enjoyed another cocoa break and then started the trip back downriver. Encountered the first outboard powered boat of the season. A couple of guys that probably launched at Sherman's Bridge and were heading to Fairhaven Bay for fishing. Later, I would see 4 other outboard boats, so it looks as though the fishing season is officially underway.

There is a nicely built beaver lodge on river left a few hundred yards downstream of Pantry Brook. This beaver is fairly active during the day and will readily tail slap warnings to passing boats.

After passing under Lees Bridge, I encountered another kayaker. A fellow named Richard paddling a Lincoln kayak. We chatted for a couple of minutes then went our separate ways. Only another hundred yards downriver on river left two white tailed does were spotted grazing on green grass out in an open meadow. They must have been hungry to be that exposed in mid-afternoon. They allowed me to approach fairly close, maybe 50 yards away, and I just had time to snap a photo before another outboard came along and spooked the deer. I watched them run to the top of a hill, where they stopped upon entering a cluster of trees.

I'm thinking this may have been my last paddle requiring pogies and footwarmers. Bring on those 50 degree temps!

By the time I reached my take-out location, at about 4 pm, my trash haul had reached 53 pieces. Twenty nine were recycleable containers and included a 1-gallon plastic water jug and a 5-gallon plastic pail.

YTD total = 694

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