Sunday, June 25, 2017

Fears of Asain Carp are Becoming More of a Reality

The fear that anglers, conservationist and outdoor enthusiast in general have been talking about is looking more like a reality each passing year.  On June 23, 2017 the IDNR and the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee announced the finding of a silver carp passed the electric barriers and 9 miles from Lake Michigan.   For those of us who are in the outdoor world we know this isn't good.   Back in January the IDNR released it's 2017 Action Plan to Manage Asian Carp.  If you're concerned about the spread of Asian Carp in Illinois then this is a must read.

Below, you'll see the press release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources with the details regarding the finding the silver carp.

Silver Carp Found Nine Miles from Lake Michigan

Fish Sent to Southern Illinois University for Analysis

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) today announced the preliminary finding of one silver carp in the Illinois Waterway below T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam, approximately nine miles away from Lake Michigan. The fish was captured with a gill net by a contracted commercial fisher the morning of June 22 as part of the ACRCC Monitoring Response Work Group’s seasonal intensive monitoring event. The silver carp was 28 inches in length and weighed approximately 8 pounds. The fish has been sent to Southern Illinois University for additional analysis.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Illinois Conservation Foundation Announces 2017 Conservation Achievement Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 Illinois Conservation Foundation.

Illinois Conservation Foundation Announces 2017 Conservation Achievement Scholarship Winners


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) today announced the selections of Patricia Calderon of Chicago and Jacob Handel of Sycamore as recipients of the 2017 Conservation Achievement Scholarships. Both high school seniors will receive $2,000 to apply to specified expenses at the two- or four-year college or university of their choice.

"Through the Conservation Achievement Scholarship program, the ICF is able to recognize and reward the hard work on conservation stewardship and natural resources protection being done by outstanding youth in Illinois,” said Wayne Rosenthal, chairman of the Illinois Conservation Foundation Board of Directors and Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “We congratulate Paty Calderon and Jacob Handel for their passion and dedication to making our natural world a better place, and setting a great example for all of us.”

Patricia Calderon, Whitney Young Magnet High School, Chicago
Paty Calderon’s interest in environmental stewardship included involvement in frog call monitoring, removing invasive plants, and participating in park and beach cleanups during her freshman year at Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago. As a sophomore, she interned at the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago, and helped organize high school students to attend a legislative lobby day in Springfield. Paty helped organize the Chicago Youth Alliance for Climate Action, working with students from throughout the city on issues including clean water and climate change. During her junior year, she and fellow students organized the Eco Warriors, a team hosting workshops on environmental issues for high school freshmen, while she also continued educating hundreds of neighborhood elementary school students about the importance of the environment. Paty received a scholarship to spend the summer of 2016 conducting marine research at the Island School of the Bahamas. Patricia Calderon plans to attend Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Jacob Handel, Sycamore High School, Sycamore
Jacob Handel focused his love of the outdoors and his interest in community service by constructing shelters at a local wildlife center as his Eagle Scout project. He has served as a volunteer at Russell Woods Forest Preserve in DeKalb Co., hosting information stations during community events and working on invasive species control and tree planting at the preserve. Jacob participated in aquatic invertebrate research as part of the Environmental Science Kishwaukee Watershed course in conjunction with Northern Illinois University, including summer field work and in-class research projects when school resumed. As a high school senior, he has served as a teaching assistant, working with students on collecting and identifying samples. Jacob wrote: “For just about every school project, I find some way to include the environment. I’m passionate about it. In my own backyard, I am working to restore an area to native tallgrass prairie.” Jacob Handel plans to attend Iowa State University in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Congratulations to our scholarship recipients, and thanks to the generosity of all of the donors to the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s scholarship fund,” said Eric Schenck, ICF Executive Director. “The Conservation Achievement Scholarship program has been able to provide more than $100,000 in support to the academic endeavors of young conservationists from throughout Illinois.”

Applicants for the ICF Conservation Achievement Scholarship program must be outstanding high school seniors in Illinois who have demonstrated effective, voluntary, long-term dedication to the preservation, protection, enhancement and/or promotion of Illinois' natural resources. Other criteria also apply. ICF Conservation Achievement Scholarships are made possible through donations to the foundation. For more information, check the ICF website at www.ilcf.org.

For information on donating to and supporting the Conservation Achievement Scholarships or other ICF programs, contact the foundation at 217-785-2003, or donate online at www.ilcf.org.

Illinois Conservation Foundation

William G Stratton Lock and Dam Resumes Full Time Operations

Fish, or boat on the Fox River?  This is for you!  The released the follwoing press release regarding opperations of the Stratton Lock and Dam on Fox River.  Please share and spread the word with those who boat or fish on the Fox River.

IDNR Announces Seven-Day Operating Schedule at Stratton Lock Resumes June 28

MCHENRY, IL - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has announced that the William G. Stratton Lock and Dam on the Fox River in McHenry will resume full-time daily operations for the remainder of the 2017 boating season beginning June 28. 

From June 28 through September 30, the Stratton lock tenders will operate the facility seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. until midnight. From October 1-31, operating hours will be 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. daily. The lock is closed for the season each year from November 1 through April 30.

Since the 2017 boating season lock operations began on May 3, Stratton lock hours have been 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Sunday and holidays; 10:00 a.m. until midnight on Thursday through Saturday; and, closed each Monday and Tuesday.



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Legislative Wrap Up for First Section of 100th General Assembly

Legislative Wrap-up for First Year of 100th General Assembly


The legislative deadline for the first year of the 100th G.A. (May 31st) has come and gone.  This year, the general assembly was focused on major reforms to try and combat the budget deficit and ultimately pass a budget.



The political back and forth and blame game continued throughout the session and no real reform happened and unfortunately this state is still without a budget.

Speaker Madigan has called for continuous session throughout the summer in an attempt to pass a budget before the June 30th deadline. 


In between all the budget discussions, there were in fact some hunting and fishing bills that made it through both chambers and now sit on the Governor's desk.    

If you would like more information on each bill, click on the link.

Bills that passed both chambers:


There are still some major hot button issues that sit in either chamber to be potentially voted on. Such as the Bobcat Prohibition Bill, Lead Ammunition Ban and the Crossbow Hunting bill

Be sure to subscribe so that you can stay up to date as things happen in the General Assembly. 

Know someone that needs to be informed of these issues?  Forward this along.  Let's unite and be informed hunters, anglers and outdoor men and women! 



Monday, June 5, 2017

A Message from Director Wayne Rosenthal and June's News Bits

A Message from Director Wayne Rosenthal


Last month, Illinois once again saw major flooding, with flood impacts seen on our big rivers and their tributaries in just about every part of the state. This was the third major flood event to occur in Illinois in a year. However, despite near-record flood levels in some parts of the state, flood damages were minimal. In comparison to some other states, major floods hardly made the news in Illinois.

Fish, Learn, Enjoy at the 26th Annual Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair

There are no excuses for not attending this event!  This is a great opportunity to get the family outside with things for everyone to enjoy. Have your little ones catch a fish and get a photo, win some prizes and much more.  Not the fishing type?  Well, its never to late to get your feet wet and learn some new things.  You and your kids will learn a great deal about conservation, fisheries and more.  

Get outside on June 10, 2017 at the Pere Marquette State Park for the 26th Annual Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair.  Below you can read the press release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources regarding this fantastic annual event.  

Fishing Event a Great Catch for Families on June 10 at Pere Marquette State Park


26th annual Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair


GRAFTON, IL – For a day filled with fun and educational activities for the entire family, check out the Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair on Saturday, June 10 at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton on Illinois Route 100. The 26th annual Fishing Fair – from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. – will include favorite activities from previous years, plus several new activities families should enjoy.

Activities include a new and improved catch-and-release bluegill pond, where young anglers can have their photograph taken with their catch; the popular One-Cast station, where everyone wins a prize; and, bowfishing stations where children can shoot at moving targets in a pool or at a 3D target. Every child who completes at least seven stations at the Fishing Fair will receive a prize and have the chance to catch a trout in the trout pond.

A new 4,000-gallon mobile aquarium – Texas Bass Tanks with Brad Campbell – will be featured this year, stocked with many of the fish species found in the Illinois River. Fishing seminars will be presented all day, including local experts demonstrating a variety of fishing techniques. Television personality Jeff Watson and his Grizzly Bear will be part of the festivities, as well. The Rockabilly Revival will be playing live music, and there will be food available for purchase.

“We want to get kids hooked on fishing, and not on some less desirable things that are available for our kids to choose from,” said IDNR Urban Fishing Coordinator Scott Isringhausen. “Thanks to our generous sponsors, we are able to continue to offer this free event. We are very fortunate to have Phillips 66 of Wood River as a Premier Sponsor, together with Farm & Home, Wal-Mart, Cabela’s of St. Charles, and the Jersey County Board.”

There is no charge to attend the Fishing Fair, or to catch a fish, and parking is free. No license or fishing gear are needed. For more information, contact Pere Marquette State Park at 618-786-3323 ext. 1 or the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge at 618-883-2524.

The event is hosted by Pere Marquette State Park (administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources), and co-sponsored by the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge (administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Friday, May 26, 2017

IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals Rescheduled for June 23-24 at Carlyle Lake

UPDATE JUNE 6, 2017

IHSA Bass Fishing has been RESCHEDULED AGAIN for JUNE 14-15 at Carlyle Lake. Read below for more information and the press release from the IHSA. Note this is a change from June 23 - 24 which was the original rescheduled date for the cancellation of the May 19 - 20, 2017.



IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals Rescheduled for June 14-15 at Carlyle Lake

June 05, 2017The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced today the 2017 IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals will be rescheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, June 14-15 on Carlyle Lake.

The tournament finals were originally scheduled for May 19-20, but the IHSA announced on May 10 that the event would be postponed due to high water levels caused by excessive rain throughout the spring. On May 26, the IHSA announced a new state final date of June 23-24, but was forced to rescind that date today (June 5) due to concerns by the Army Corp. Engineers who run Carlyle Lake.

“Carlyle Lake is a busy lake that gets significant use during the summer months, especially on weekends,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We worked together with the Army Corp. of Engineers to reschedule the tournament for June 23-24, but given more time to reflect, they had concerns about their ability to safely and efficiently facilitate the event, both on and off the water, on June 23-24. While a mid-week state final isn’t an ideal circumstance, if we didn’t proceed, we feared that cancelling the state finals may be the only recourse. Our high school anglers have earned the opportunity to fish for a state championship, and we wanted to make sure that happened.”

Boat safety checks will be conducted on the morning of June 14, which will alter the fishing competition schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fishing on June 15 will occur from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. as scheduled.
Posted in: General




The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) released the rescheduled state bass fishing tournament schedule.  While schools will be out for the summer, these athletes will be testing their skills against the best high school anglers in the state.  Want to watch, head on down to Carlyle Lake June 23 -24.  Below you'll see the press release from the IHSA.

IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals Rescheduled for June 23-24 at Carlyle Lake


The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced on May 26, 2017, that the IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals will be conducted on Friday and Saturday, June 23-24, on Carlyle Lake in Carlyle.

The State Final meet was initially scheduled for May 19-20, but the IHSA announced on May 10 that the event would be postponed due to high water levels caused by excessive rain throughout the spring.

Commercial Fishing, Electronic License, & Volunteer Trail Awaiting Governor

Commercial Fishing, Electronic License, & Volunteer Trail Awaiting Governor



There's been movement on the Illinois Senate floor.  All these bills have passed both the house and senate and now wait Governor Rauner's signature. 

With the legislative deadline approaching what else will come up for a vote?  Stay informed by following us. 

  • Wildlife-Hunting License-100th GA - HB 3093

  • COMMERCIAL FISHING REGULATION-100th GA - HB 3272

  • FISH-LAKE MICHIGAN COMMERC LIC-100th GA - HB 3273

  • DNR-VOLUNTEERS-TRAIL PROGRAM-100th GA - HB 3455

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe

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Starved Rock Goers Beware of Large Crowds and Parking Closures

What better way to remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice then looking at some of Illinois most beautiful landscapes and trails.  If you plan to attend Starved Rock, Illinois' number one state park, the IDNR has released the following information.  If you're looking for more information on Starved Rock try - Illinois Straved Rock State Park


Visitors to Starved Rock for Memorial Weekend Should Be Alert for Travel Delays, Possible Parking Closures


UTICA, IL – With large crowds expected to visit Starved Rock State Park near Utica for the Memorial Day weekend, visitors are encouraged to monitor Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates on traffic delays and temporary parking closures at the park.


Temporary parking closures occurred last year at Starved Rock State Park during holiday and fall color weekends. While Illinois River flooding has limited access to parking at Starved Rock this spring, all lots are expected to be open for the Memorial Day weekend.

“We encourage motorists to be patient and follow directions from Illinois Conservation Police officers and park staff at and near Starved Rock during the busy holiday weekend,” said Rafael Gutierrez, chief of the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement. “We want everyone visiting Starved Rock and all of our Illinois state parks to enjoy themselves, but also to remember to follow park rules and regulations.”

Conservation Police will strictly enforce the following safety rules at Starved Rock:

• No possession of alcohol on trails year-round
• No alcohol allowed anywhere in the park Jan. 1 – May 31
• No hiking off trails
• No climbing rock walls and cliffs
• No swimming
• No defacing sandstone walls with paint or etchings
• No littering
• No being on trails after dark

All hikers at Starved Rock State Park should stay on designated trails. St. Peter sandstone in Starved Rock can crumble and be slippery when wet.

When Starved Rock parking lots reach capacity, the park may be closed temporarily for safety reasons until parking becomes available. Motorists are reminded not to park along park roads or public highways as that may prevent emergency vehicles from getting through. Vehicles parked illegally will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Starved Rock Lodge guests and lodge restaurant guests with brunch reservations will be allowed to enter the park. Lodge parking will be restricted to lodge patrons with reservations.

To ease traffic congestion, motorists arriving from the east on Interstate 80 should consider taking an alternate route to the park. Travelers can exit at Ottawa, cross the Illinois River, and approach the park from the east on Illinois Rt. 71. Motorists also can exit southbound on Interstate 39 and take the Illinois Rt. 71 exit at Oglesby.


For updates, visitors may check for information on park activities and possible temporary closures as they near the park by tuning to the Starved Rock radio station on 1610 AM. Visitors can also check for updates via social media



Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sportsman’s Awareness Public Meeting Scheduled in Millstadt, IL

A MUST ATTEND EVENT FOR ILLINOIS HUNTERS AND ANGLERS

In order to pass our heritage on to the next generation, we need policies that reflect and protect our hunting and fishing lifestyle.  That's why the Sportsman's Awareness Public Meeting hosted by IFOR and Kaskaskia River Deltawaterfowl Chapter is a must attend event.  "The informational meeting is open to the public and will help sportsmen and women become more aware of legislation, regulatory changes, and issues that currently face hunters, anglers, and shooters in Southern Illinois."



Informational meetings like these help us as hunters and anglers stay informed and organized.

Sportsman’s Awareness Public Meeting Scheduled in Millstadt, IL

Sportsmen and women from throughout southern Illinois are invited to learn about issues currently facing hunters, anglers, and outdoors enthusiasts in Illinois



Millstadt, IL — The Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources (IFOR) and Kaskaskia River Delta Waterfowl Chapter announce the upcoming Sportsman’s Awareness Public Meeting. The informational meeting is open to the public and will help sportsmen and women become more aware of legislation, regulatory changes, and issues that currently face hunters, anglers, and shooters in Southern Illinois. The meeting will be held at Millstadt

Sportsmen’s Club, 4915 Schmidt Lane, Millstadt, IL on June 15, 2017 at 7:00PM . Scott Bryant, President of IFOR will be presenting an informational program that will help sportsmen better understand the regulatory process and current issues surrounding outdoor activities.

“There are so many new regulations, proposed regulations, and issues that sportsmen in IL face today,” said
Bryant. “It’s increasingly difficult for the average sportsman to keep up with the rapidly changing regulatory
environment as well as the increasing number of threats to the hunting and angling heritages that southern Illinois sportsmen and women hold so dear. “

The goal of the meeting is to help sportsmen understand the most pressing issues both from regulatory agencies as well as other community groups and how to appropriately address them.

All southern Illinois sportsmen are encouraged to attend. Admission is free.

For more information, press only:
Scott Bryant
618-535- 0151
skycarp@aol.com

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe

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