Big Walnut Nature Club members made repairs to the #2 Osprey Platform off the end of the Hoover Boardwalk recently.
The winter ice damages the signs and moves the platform.
The group had planned repairs in 2015 but were thwarted when a winter rain storm rapidly filled Hoover Reservoir. Dan Hall, Team Osprey leader for the club, organized the event.
Equipment and tools were hauled out onto the mudflats. Winches and spud bars were used to pull the platform pole level. Then rocks were ported to shore up around the pole. Hall cleaned nesting sticks off the platform. Warning signs were repaired as well.
Since the sticks were not removed in 2015, Canadian geese took up residence on the platforms instead of osprey, which are fish-eating birds of prey also known as a fish eagle or fish hawk. The osprey did build natural nests in two trees nearby as well as on a cell phone tower on the west side of Galena. Unfortunately, no successful fledglings were noted during 2016.
The signs and buoys warn boaters to stay clear of the platforms since they can scare the parents off the nest and leave eggs or chicks vulnerable to weather and predators.
The nature club hopes to get out again this season to repair platform #1 which is leaning significantly. It is much more difficult to reach due to crossing Big Walnut Creek.
Thanks to Hall, Dick Phillips, Dick Tuttle, Tom Domin, Dick Burrell, and Jeanna Burrell for their efforts.
Anyone interested in helping with local conservation efforts can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for this story was provided by the Village of Galena.