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⚠ Before you head to the water check the latest COVID-19 updates. We encourage you to follow CDC recommendations.

Water and Wildlife

Water attracts not only boaters and anglers, but wildlife as well.  Among my sightings last year were an otter munching on crayfish, a family of black bears, and a fawn swimming in the Allegheny River. Experiences like this certainly make an outing memorable, whether the fish are biting or not.

Depending on your location this winter, open water may be at a premium and can concentrate wildlife.  Plus, there is generally less boating and fishing pressure on water resources during winter months.  This can mean some great wildlife viewing if you venture out. Sit quietly near water and you may get to see some of the “neighbors.” If your paths do cross, be sure to keep a respectful distance.

If you want to take wildlife pictures, protect your digital camera in a water resistant case.  During cold weather, try to keep the camera warm, perhaps inside your coat.  Try to plan ahead and make temperature transitions slowly. Sudden temperature changes fog lenses and hold moisture on sensitive electronic equipment. Additionally, cold temperatures lower battery life so carry a spare and try to keep it warm too.

This winter while I’m out ice fishing or casting in the river, I’m hoping to catch my first glimpse of an elusive fisher.

What wildlife have you seen? What would you like to see?
Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.