Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Poirier Lake

Another good round of commando kayaking on a summer day! I'm trying to learn all the buses in and around Sooke near Victoria. This time I hopped on the #63 again with my inflatable Lagoon (a dandy little kayak), and hopped off at the sign for Poirier Lake, with two five-car parking lots right beside Otter Point Road. Poirier is a little kidney-bean shaped lake a few hundred metres across, surrounded by tall trees and a hill, with a few houses peeking out from the trees. On the map it looks like the lake drains through a creek into Young Lake nearby. Poirier is one of several small lakes in and near Victoria that are part of a management plan.

As Hook and Bullet website says, 

Poirier Lake is a lake located just 2.5 miles from Sooke, in Capital Regional District, in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Whether you’re fly fishing, baitcasting or spinning your chances of getting a bite here are good. So grab your favorite fly fishing rod and reel, and head out to Poirier Lake. For Fishing License purchase, fishing rules, and fishing regulations please visit British Columbia Fish & Wildlife. Please remember to check with the local Fish and Wildlife department to ensure the stream is open to the public. Now get out there and fish!
As a matter of fact, one can go fishing only in lakes or the ocean on the whole island this summer. Long before the Department of Fisheries closed all the streams and rivers due to the dry weather, all the fly-fishing clubs and First Nations had announced that no one should fish in any of the streams or rivers. The poor fish are suffering from low water conditions, with some streams drying up to leave only a few warm pools of water.

I rolled up to the lakeshore and chatted with a pair of workers for Juan de Fuca Recreation and the Capital Regional District. I found the plans for park improvement online. There's a nice picnic shelter here above the shore, and a few picnic tables as well. The paths are crushed gravel, and there is a porta-john. Plans are in place to turn the two concrete pads into the base for good little docks for fishing, one of which will be a boat launch. No motor boats are allowed, but small rowboats, canoes, kayaks and the like are welcome. Swimming is not recommended.

The lake has a shallow muddy bottom on the north-west shore, with at least three kinds of water lilies growing. All around the lake are many sunken logs with branches sticking up near or to the surface. These would be places to look for fishes, and possibly turtles, but neither were visible today.

I turned on my SPOT beacon and sent an OK signal from the lake. Later I sent another from the bus stop a little way along the road while I was waiting for the bus. It's a nice way to let Bernie know at home that I've arrived at the lake, and then that I'm waiting at the bus stop after leaving the lake. Paddling alone is less dangerous when a person wears a PFD (always), chooses a sensible place sheltered from strong wind, and has a plan to avoid annoying problems when possible.

I can see why Poirier would be a popular lake for fishing. Not only is it right on a paved road (and a bus route!) but there are clouds of bugs fluttering over the lake so I'm sure the trout are snapping them up. While I was paddling slowly along the south-east shore near the steep hillside, the water looked deeper than where I launched. It was cool in the shade from the trees, there were dragonflies eating clouds of mosquitoes. Several big splashes told me there were big fish swimming unseen. All in all, a pleasant place to have a quiet and relaxed paddle in a small boat.

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