Is spring here to stay this time? Early last week the majority of the snow melted, only to have 11 inches of very wet and heavy new snow fall again. On the bright side the snow produced 1.2 inches of melted precipitation at the Brule DNR station, and, as of Thursday, most of the snow had once again melted.
One only has to go outside and listen to know spring is here. The sounds of red-winged blackbirds, common snipe, American woodcock, killdeer, brown creeper, kingfisher, phoebe and robins are filling the air.
Great horned owls, ravens and eagles should have chicks in their nests now, and wild canines like wolves, coyotes and foxes should be giving birth in dens. Sandhill cranes are making their unusual unison calls to each other. Salamanders will be moving to and from their breeding ponds when the first warm rain comes.
The snow melt runoff along the Brule River Valley has the river flowing high and fast. The water is muddy as the river was flowing at 337 cubic feet per second (cfs) on April 17. The 63-year average is 266 cfs.
Under normal circumstances, the Bois Brule River is very cold as spring waters feed into it. With cooler temperatures and the snow and ice melt, the water is exceptionally cold at this time, making hypothermia a very real concern.
Also, anglers need to be extra cautious along the riversides as many ice ledges have not yet melted. The ice ledges are not only slippery but have weakened because of the warm weather, making navigation on the ledges precarious.