This was our first visit here. We had read of the abundance of waterfowl at Wolf Lake. Most of the lake was frozen over and, at first glance, there did not seem to be much to see. Canada geese grazed on the scant winter grass by the visitors’ center. We drove north past the boat ramp, past the railroad tracks and onto the the elevated roadway along the Illinois-Indiana border to the edge of the. Wolf Lake Industrial Center. We passed several hunting blinds along the way; waterfowl hunting takes place during the fall. There was a fairly large opening in the ice where we spotted a couple of Canada geese, a few Common Goldeneyes and a pair of Mute swans. Then we noticed that the south end of Wolf Lake was had an even larger area of open water that was teeming with birds.
We drove back all the way to the southernmost parking lot. The open water was still quite a distance from where we stood, and the required the use of spotting scopes, binoculars or powerful zoom lenses to view the waterfowl. There were two species of swans, the common Mute swan (orange bills) and the Trumpeter swan (black bills). There were Canada geese, Herring gulls, and we also spotted a Bald eagle gliding in lazy circles high in the sky. Several duck species spotted: Mallard, Common mergansers, Redhead, Canvasback, Common goldeneye. There were several other birdwatchers with us on the edge of the lake taking in those views.
This is a state recreational area. Boating and fishing are popular warm-weather activities, apparently. Ice-fishing is possible during winter; there was nobody out on the ice during our visit. The fish found in Wolf Lake include largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, bullhead, carp, walleye, hybrid muskie, and yellow perch. Hunting, as mentioned, takes place in the fall. Of course there are hiking trails.
We will definitely be back in a few months when the spring migration is in full swing.