57 Fletcher Pond And Floodwaters
| directions and facility information
More than 25 nesting platforms help create
one of the highest concentrations of nesting ospreys
Ospreys sometimes plunge completely
underwater to snag their meal of fish.
Photos: Osprey, David Kenyon, MI DNR;
Nesting platform, © Dean Robison, Jack’s Landing
This 9,000-acre flooding was created by
damming the South Branch of the Thunder Bay River
for hydro electric power generation. Prior to its being flooded in the
1930s, this area was a large cedar swamp and historically provided
wintering habitat for over 5000 deer annually. The shoreline is privately
owned. Resort and cottage development is most heavy on the northern shores, the eastern and western shores are less
developed. Southern portions of the lakeshore are owned by several large,
private hunt clubs and are still largely in their natural state. The
lake, being a large flooding, is shallow and has many dead snags and
floating logs created when it was flooded. There are extensive areas of
cattails in the shallow shoreline areas, especially in the southern
portions of the lake. The lake is well-known for its fishing, both summer
and winter. A public boat access has been developed on the north shore
off Jack’s Landing Road.
Numerous private resorts along this portion of the lake provide boat
rentals, lodging and meals, camping, and other amenities.
Most wildlife viewing here is done by boat.
Although viewing opportunities are fairly good throughout the lake, the
better opportunities and best wildlife habitat are found in the more wild
and undeveloped southern portions. This large, shallow flooding provides
excellent habitat for ducks, geese, and other aquatic birds. Watch for
herons and egrets silently stalking fish and frogs in the shallows, and
the many coves and bays along the ragged shoreline. More than 25 osprey
nesting platforms have been installed on the flooding. Many of these are
used each year, creating one of, if not the highest concentration of
nesting ospreys in Michigan.
Do not approach nesting ospreys, but sit in your boat and watch these
amazing anglers snatch fish from the open water for their young. Ospreys
often go into the water up to their wings, and sometimes even plunge
completely underwater to snag their next meal. They have an unusual
ability of lifting themselves vertically out of the water by curving
their wings in front of them in an almost circular pattern, cupping the
air to get airborne.
Bald eagles often try to rob ospreys
of their catch. In 1782, when the
Founding Fathers named the eagle
our nation’s symbol,
Ben Franklin was clearly opposed. He thought the bird was lazy.
A disgruntled Franklin
wrote that the eagle "is of bad
moral character, he does not get his living honestly,
…he is too lazy to fish for himself."
choice was the turkey.
Eagle nests are located on nearby hunt clubs
to the south, and eagles are often seen fishing the lake. The flooding is
also a good place to see eagles in the winter months. Heavy ice fishing
on the lake attracts many eagles, which feed all winter on fish left for
them by anglers. Cormorant numbers have been increasing on the lake in
recent years. On a summer evening, take a casual drive down Farrier Road,
west of the lake and take advantage of the
opportunity to view deer and flocks of wild turkeys in adjacent farm
fields. Bear are also quite common in the area and an important bear
travel corridor lies in the forest areas just to the east of the
Portions of this area are open to
public hunting. Contact the michigan
department of natural resources for affected seasons and locations.