With the last loon calls echoing across the lake and winter cold whistling in through the bare trees, it’s time to reflect on the summer and enjoy the fall.
Although Loch Island was open last year in mid August, this was really the first full season of operation since 2019 and the fishing did not disappoint! It was great to see so many of you again after two years! We started off the year with a full new staff, with the exception of Jamie and Elorah. What a crew we had this year! For dockhands, Carley, Rowan, Simeon, Alanna, Benoit and Oliver were out of this world. On the cooking side, Lydia was absolutely amazing serving up all that great food. Vera, Ali, Alanna, Jethro and Ashleigh made everyone feel right at home. Jamie stayed at Camp Lochalsh for the most part, training new dockhands and doing maintenance while Elorah rounded up the crew managing and keeping it all together. All in all it was one of the best crews we have ever had and we really hope all return next season!
For 2023, we have a lot planned. We already took delivery of 5 new 20 hp Yamaha electric start outboards this fall and have 5 more on order for next spring. We purchased 3 new 18 foot cedar strips this last spring and have 3 more on order for next spring. New docks have been built this fall and more floaters are in store for early 2023. We are doing our best to make your trip to the lodge as easy and enjoyable as we possibly can!
Some of the nice catches in 2022! (Slideshow)
While the angling tapers off in mid-September, a number of staff stay on throughout October to do closing tasks and maintenance. Once guests leave, we pull the boats out of the water, remove the motors, seats and other fittings, then pressure wash them so that they are ready for a coat of varnish next spring. We leave a few boats in the water for fishing and working around the lake until the end of October or early November.
The moose hunts in September and October led to a bull and a cow being harvested. Being completely within the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve means our hunters have to cross the CPR tracks to hunt. We don’t get as many tags as we used to, but there does not seem to be any shortage of Moose out there! We’ve had a bumper crop of grouse this year and of course red foxes!
Loch Island Maintenance
We always have projects on the roster, as historical log buildings need plenty of attention. In the past few years, we’ve added decks and boardwalks quickly, but replacing entire walls becomes quite a task. A section of the front of Loch Island Lodge was becoming harshly weathered and needed replacement. We do all of the work from the ground up–– trees are harvested from the forest in the Lochalsh area, cut into logs, peeled, and grooved with a chainsaw. They have to be floated up to the island with the barge. Then the logs are meshed together into a new vertical log wall. Removing the front wall of the lodge allowed for a re-design of the position of the doors and windows, and we selected two new French doors which provide great views of the lake outside.
There will be much more natural light in the lodge, and more window space to watch the eagles swoop in for fish! In the future, we are planning to expand the size of the dining room.
Our other large project this fall is at Camp Lochalsh. The original dining room has been leveled and will be standing for years to come. Unfortunately the kitchen and laundry room additions had extensive footing and roof issues. We demolished the kitchen and laundry room and have been constructing a brand new frame addition which will house new laundry facilities and a smaller kitchen. The interior of the building will not be finished until next spring.
Footings had to be replaced beneath part of the dining room. Then we dug to bedrock and placed new footings for the beams and floor of the new addition. All together the new building is much smaller than the old kitchen, but it will be way more efficient and has been built to ensure that it is maintenance free for many years to come!
Looking Forward to Next Summer
We are glad to see that the Canadian border has been open to all since October 1st and we are filling fast for 2023! Make sure to get your reservations in soon!
— Andy and Amy
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