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This trip can actually be broken into two, very different sections. Put in at the Old Tip public access. The upper section is narrow, secluded, heavily wooded. Because of low water, we had to pull over fallen trees five different times, three of which we would have bumped over at normal water levels. If you are a bird watcher, this is an ideal stretch for you, as the songbirds are very numerous! The Tippecanoe just west of Warsaw has the largest Great Blue Heron rookery in the US, and these magnificent birds are very numerous here.
Once you pass under the SR 110 bridge, the nature of the river changes significantly. It widens and becomes shallower. The current picks up. The bottom changes from predominantly sand to predominantly gravel. No pullovers, and even at low water. At these water levels however, careful reading of the river is a must, lest you get stranded on a gravel bar. Having said that, we were never out of our canoes on this stretch.
We saw a lot of Kingfishers on this stretch. It is really fun to watch them fish. They make a big splash when they hit the water. Their success rate appears to be about 1 in 4.
This has to be a great stretch of river for fisherman! We saw lots of fish, and numerous varieties: Sunfish, Rock Bass, Smallies, Northerns, Suckers.
Word of warning: The public access at the takeout comes up on you very suddenly. Two of us, intently watching the river channel, shot right by and had to paddle back upstream. If you get to the old US 31 bridge, you have missed it! Next time, I'll put a red flag out.
A special thanks to Roy Calvert of Talma, who not only let us sit out a thunderstorm in his picnic shelter, but came down and entertained us with the history of the property, where his great, great, great, grandparents operated a grist mill. We had an extremely entertaining visit during our 1 1/2 hour layover.
At a steady paddle, this trip took 5 hours of paddling time, about 2 1/2 hours to Talma (where there is a nice public access also), and the same to the Menominee State Fish area landing.
Trip: Old Tip public access (SR 331), to Menominee State Fish area (just of Old US 31)
Time: 5 hours steady paddle.
Take out: Menoninee State FA: North of Rochester, just off Old US 31.
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