On May 10, 2019 QLIA Past-President Bob Dale and Water Quality Program Leader Bryan Neuswanger were engaged in the annual spring ritual of placing navigation hazard buoys out in Teal and Lost Land Lakes. Bryan was driving the boat across a deep area in the northern part of Lost Land Lake when he spied a Caspian tern that seemed to be “walkin’ on water.” The bird was just standing there — on the water surface — seemingly defying the laws of gravity and surface tension.
The team had to investigate. As their boat approached, the tern exercised due caution and flew away. What remained was a long, large, water-logged timber with only an inch of wood breaking the surface — the Prop Monster of Lost Land Lake! Anyone motoring along and not paying CLOSE attention would have hit this barely visible floater and been in for a hefty outboard motor repair bill, or worse. In fact, Bryan had bumped something hard in open water last year that fortunately caused no damage but had him wondering if he had encountered a remnant lake sturgeon basking near the surface. This Prop Monster now seems the likely culprit.
Bob and Bryan tied a rope to the Prop Monster, which barely put up a fight, and dragged it to the public boat landing recently renovated by the Wisconsin DNR. If you launch there, you may see it part way up the bank, drying out before anyone attempts to cut, lift, and move it permanently from the lake. Hopefully its sub-surface lurking days are over. But where will the Caspian tern go to rest?
Many thanks to Bob and Bryan for making our waters safe for navigation in 2019!