Enthusiastic anglers at Mosquito Creek Reservoir are venturing onto the water despite the vacillations in the spring weather. Highs in the 80s brought out plenty of pleasure anglers to enjoy the sunshine on Thursday, but it was the rainy weather Friday that brought out the dedicated few to practice their craft in preparation for a walleye tournament Sunday.
Nick Lary of Hermitage, Pa., was getting ready to launch his boat Friday afternoon. He's been fishing at the reservoir for about 10 years.
''I'm ready to see 60 and sunny,'' Lary said. ''I've got a walleye tournament to get ready for.''
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Toby Holzer of East Palestine casts his line into Mosquito Lake on Thursday afternoon while fishing for bass. Holzer said he travels to Mosquito Lake 40 to 50 times a year to fish.
Parked next to him by the boat launch was Mike Porter, who had just returned from the choppy waters.
''We had a tournament about two weeks ago, but we only caught one fish,'' he said.
Porter is hoping to finish in the top five at the upcoming walleye tournament.
Across the boat launch, Kathy Wilson was keeping shop in the small marina. She is hoping better weather will bring in more business.
''The weather won't make its mind up, but we've got water back and that makes everybody happy,'' she said.
Drought conditions last year led to lowered levels in the reservoir.
This year the marina will be renting boats for the first time. Wilson said fishing boats are available and later in the season will have kayaks and canoes for rent.
Mosquito Creek and Lake Milton are gearing up for spring with cleanup days. Mosquito held an Earth Day cleanup Saturday, while Lake Milton's will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday. In addition, there will be tire and appliance recycling at Lake Milton on May 18.
''Just trying to get the cleanup done, there are a lot of little things that need tweaked,'' said maintenance worker Ron Williams as he repaired the roof of the restroom near the Mosquito boat launch.
Williams said it is his first year working at the park after being laid off from his previous job. Being from Bazetta, he said he has always enjoyed walking around the park.
In addition to weekend fishing tournaments, Mosquito will be hosting a ''Garage Sale Campout''' from April 26 to 28, where registered campers will be able to sell their goods, and a ''Pets in the Park Campout'' May 4 and 5, featuring a costume contest and games for pets.
Operations at the parks will remain the same as last year with hours from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. in day use areas and swimming locations open dawn to dusk. Both parks will be featuring concert series and additional warm weather events during the summer.