Showing posts with label Fishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fishing. Show all posts

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Our First Trip to ICAST 2017


Our First Trip to ICAST 2017



July 13, 2017 Orlando, FL - It was a surreal moment walking into the Convention Center in Sunny Orlando Florida to attend the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show, better known as ICAST. We were among many other media, exhibitors and manufacturers that gathered in Orlando to attend this worldwide conference. This year ICAST hosted about 500 exhibitors and had about 15,000 people registered for the show, including  people from over 70 countries.




On the Water Demonstrations

On Tuesday, we attended the On the Water event which allowed media and buyers the opportunity to test out new products.  This was held at the Orange County Convention Center North Campus.  There were many booths exhibiting their new items. During the demonstrations we had the opportunity to test out the Ultraskiff 360, the first and only patented portable round boat.  As you can see from the video below, it is very durable and has the ability to withhold rocking without tipping over. BOTE was also featuring their new Rover at ICAST, a paddleboard and microskiff in one.  This uniquely engineered product ended up winning Best of Show in the New Product Showcase.  You can read more about the specs for this amazing product here.  Throughout the event we also stopped and talked with Trapper Tackle who were debutting their Trapper Round Bend Treble hook and American Tackle demonstrating their JIGSKINZ “ProSkinz Color Series”.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

No Silver or Bighead Carps Found as Sampling Concludes in Illinois Waterway

The last round of sampling has concluded and we can breath easier, at least for now.  


No Silver or Bighead Carps Found as Sampling Concludes in Illinois Waterway

CHICAGO, IL – No silver or bighead Asian carp were seen or caught during two-weeks of intensive monitoring initiated by the capture of an adult male silver carp 9 miles from Lake Michigan on June 22. The silver carp was captured by a contracted commercial fisher below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam. The capture triggered the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee’s Contingency Response Plan. Contingency response becomes necessary when silver or bighead carps are discovered in unexpected places in the Chicago Area Waterway System. With the conclusion of the intensive monitoring event on July 7, barrier defense, removal and monitoring actions will continue to be guided by the 2017 Monitoring and Response Plan. The plan includes two-weeks of additional intensive Asian carp monitoring in the waterway upstream of the electric dispersal barriers in September.

Crews from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Illinois Natural History Survey and contracted commercial fishers conducted the monitoring operation. The U.S. Coast Guard provided notice to mariners of increased activity in the areas above and below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam. The field portion of the operation exceeded 1,950 person-hours. In addition, commercial fishers working with IDNR biologists set more than 43 miles of gill net, while crews with IDNR, USACE and USFWS conducted 365 electro-fishing runs for a total of more than 91 hours of effort.


Four electrofishing crews, three contracted commercial fishers, and a specially outfitted netting boat were deployed daily below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam, in Lake Calumet, and in an area from the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam to Calumet Harbor. The operation covered a 13-mile section of the waterway and Calumet Harbor with intensive monitoring.

Preceding the sampling efforts that resulted in the capture of a silver carp in late June, biologists collected environmental DNA (eDNA) samples at four sites above the electric dispersal barriers in the Chicago Area Waterway System. None of the 240 samples, collected the week of June 5, were positive for the presence of genetic material from either bighead or silver carps.

The silver carp captured June 22 was sent to Southern Illinois University for analysis to determine the fish’s age and origin. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee is a consortium of provincial, federal, state and local partners united in their efforts to prevent the spread and establishment of Asian carp in the Great Lakes. For more information, please visit www.AsianCarp.us. Downloadable images of the contingency response are available at www.flickr.com/ACRCC.

http://www.asiancarp.us


Monday, June 26, 2017

First Annual Land of Lincoln Invitational Team Bass Tournament was a Success


First Annual Land of Lincoln Invitational Team Bass Tournament was a Success

This weekend 35 boats hit Lake Springfield for the 1st Annual Land of Lincoln Invitational Team Bass Tournament.  Anglers from across Central Illinois and as far away as Southern, Missouri tested their skills during a beautiful but windy weekend.  This two day tournament was presented by Scheels and sponsored by Angler Assets, Boat Works,  Get Bit Custom Painted BaitsGreen Toyota, Lew's, Lucas Oil, Phoenix Boats, Reinstone BrewerySweet Tees, Staab Tree Service and Tom Finch Automotive.



The tournament started out like they all do, with a meeting to discuss rules, regulations.  During the Friday night meeting, guest speaker, Terry Brown, President of Wired to Fish spoke on the importance of sportsmanship and his love of fishing .  As the sun broke over the horizon on day one, anglers could be seen launching their boats and doing their kill switch safety checks. During the next 8 hours, anglers shared smiles, high fives and even profanity, but ended the day with enthusiasm.

Leaders after Day 1:

1st place 16.37 lbs 
Lopp & Gardner

2nd place 15.6 lbs
Lemasters & Lemasters

3rd place 14.33 lbs 
Reeves & Weikle


After day 1; 19 of the 35 boats weighed in a limit of 5 bass.  After the two day tournament payouts went to the top seven anglers.

Final Results Day 2:

1st place 29.58 lbs 
Lopp & Gardner
$4500

2nd place 27.11 lbs 
Reeves & Weikle
$2100

3rd place 26.58 lbs
DiGiovanna & Cravens
$1400

4th place 25.92 lbs
Whalen & Murray
$600

5th place 24.68 lbs
Brooks & Sjuts
$500

6th place 23.80 lbs
Daley & Pierce
$360

7th place 23.23 lbs
Bohlke & Beffa
$250

First Big Bass was 5.7 lbs.
LeMasters & LeMasters
$500

Second Big Bass was 5.05 lbs
Lopp & Gardner
$250

Day Two, ended a little different than the first when only five of those 19 boats weighed in a limit of fish. A total of 9 out of 35 anglers caught a limit on day two. Check out the results board below.


Anglers also had the option of having their names put in for a raffle. Tournament Director Robert Danielson said "the purpose of this tournament was to have a large payout for the anglers and have sponsors provide monetary and product donations", having anglers fish for more than their entry fees.

As anglers were wrapping up and congratulating each other on a weekend well done, one team was recognized but not with a check or trophy.  Chase Mundhenke and Chase Law, a high school team from Glenwood were the youngest team out on the water. These two anglers can teach us all something about sportsmanship. 

Glenwood HS Anglers received recognition from their fellow
anglers for sportsmanship.
Robert Danielson explained how him and his partner came up on these rising anglers. After small chit chat they gave up their fishing spot because they were not in contention for a check and Rob's team was. 

 WOW! This is by far the ultimate act of sportsmanship. But then you hear another gentlemen in the crowd say "Ya they did the same thing for us"!  These gentlemen are a class act, and are great ambassadors for the fishing world. Well done!  Capitol Outdoors tips our hat and wishes these anglers all the best in their fishing endeavors.

A big thanks goes out to all the volunteers who helped make this day possible: Stephanie Danielson, Craig Law and the Chatham HS Bass Team (Griffin Harms, Connor Jones, Ty Mundhenke, Michael Stottler), Eric Doan and the Edinburg HS Bass Team (Julian Doan). I would also like to thank Mike McGill, Justin Parrot and Justin Henkel for taking anglers out for a ride on their Phoenix Boats. 

If you wish to see pictures of the Land of Lincoln Invitational Team Bass Tournament make sure to check out Capitol Outdoors Facebook page. If you're interested in fishing this tournament, you'll have to wait until next year, but make sure to like them on Facebook to stay up to date.






Sunday, June 25, 2017

Fears of Asain Carp are Becoming More of a Reality

UPDATE: June 30, 2017


The fear that asian carp have passed the electric barrier and are just miles away from Lake Michigan was made real last week as the IDNR announced that a Silver Carp passed the electric barrier.

This finding made the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee’s implement their Contingency Response Plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have contracted commercial fishers who are monitoring the waterways.

Since last week "An intensive monitoring operation in the Chicago Area Waterway System is currently underway". No Silver or Bighead Carps Found as Sampling Continues.  Please read the press release from AsianCarp.us


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Magna Carpa deployed to Calumet Harbor on June 27, 2017. Photo courtesy of IL DNR
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Magna Carpa deployed to Calumet Harbor on June 27, 2017. Photo courtesy of IL DNR.



CHICAGO, IL – No silver or bighead Asian carp have been seen or caught since the capture of an adult male silver carp 9 miles from Lake Michigan on June 22 by contracted commercial fisher below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam. The silver carp capture triggered the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee’s Contingency Response Plan (PDF). An intensive monitoring operation in the Chicago Area Waterway System is currently underway this week.

As part of the coordinated contingency response, crews from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and contracted commercial fishers are conducting a monitoring operation that is expected to last two weeks. The U.S. Coast Guard has provided notice to mariners of increased activity in the areas above and below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam.

Four electrofishing crews, three contracted commercial fishers, and a specially outfitted netting boat have been deployed daily below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam, in Lake Calumet, and in an area from the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam to Calumet Harbor. The operation, which covers a 13-mile section of the waterway with intensive monitoring, is scheduled to continue through July 7. Work continues weekdays, including the Fourth of July. Mariners should watch for the presence of nets that are marked with floats. For more information on the coordinated contingency response, please refer to the Incident Action Plan: Operation Silver Bullet (PDF).

The silver carp captured June 22 has been sent to Southern Illinois University for analysis to determine the fish’s age and origin. More information will be shared as it becomes available.


Original Post: 

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

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.



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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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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BOWFISHING 101 – LEARN ABOUT BOWFISHING!

Ever wanted to try bowfishing?  On June 10th from 9:00 am to 12:00 PM you can get the 411 when it comes to this fast growing sport.  

"Misguided Bowfishing in cooperation with The Bowfishing Association of America (BAA) is hosting an educational event, “Bowfishing 101 – Learn About Bowfishing!”  If you've ever wanted to try or are new to bowfishing then this is a must attended event.  Read below for the full description on this truly educational event.

BOWFISHING 101 – LEARN ABOUT BOWFISHING!


Misguided Bowfishing in cooperation with Bowfishing Association of America to present program to the public providing education and hands on opportunities to learn about bowfishing.

Baldwin, IL – Misguided Bowfishing in cooperation with The Bowfishing Association of America (BAA) will behosting an educational event, “Bowfishing 101 – Learn About Bowfishing!” program at Baldwin Lake, Kaskaskia River SFWA in Baldwin, Illinois, Saturday June 10 th from 9AM-12PM.

“Bowfishing is one of the fastest growing outdoor sports right now. Our goal with this program is to give the public an opportunity to learn about bowfishing combined with the opportunity to have a hands on experience using bowfishing equipment. Bowfishing is and excellent family friendly sport that can be enjoyed by all ages and provides a method to remove invasive and injurious fish from our waters in IL” said Dwayne Durr, program coordinator and IL BAA State Representative.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Reminders to Boaters from the IDNR - Wear PFD and Stay Sober

With summer just around the corner the IDNR is reminding boaters to stay sober on the water and wear them life jackets.  Regardless, if you take your buddies out on a bass boat or your family on a pantoon boat, you are a part of the club.  We may not have a special wave like the motorcyclist but we do wave and watch out for each other.  If you're going to be drinking let someone else drive.  It's not worth risking a OUI, or worse.  As for life jackets, I'll let this video do the talking.  Below you'll find a press release from the IDNR with some of the rules and regulations while boating in Illinois.  

Stay Sober, Wear Life Jackets While Boating in Illinois

National Safe Boating Week is May 20-26


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Conservation Police officers are reminding boaters that safety on the water in Illinois starts with boat operators staying sober and all boaters wearing life jackets. Illinois’ busiest boating season is about to begin, and waterway safety reminders are part of the observance of National Safe Boating Week, May 20-26.

“It takes only a few seconds to fasten a life jacket, and wearing a life jacket can save your life,” said Illinois Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez. “In addition, just like driving a car or truck, staying sober while operating a boat is the law in Illinois.”

Statistics compiled by the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement show that there were 73 boating-related accidents in Illinois in 2016 resulting in 36 injuries and 11 fatalities. The number of boating-related accidents last year was below the five-year average, and compares with 74 accidents with 49 injuries and 14 fatalities in 2015. (Annual boating accident statistics are compiled based on the Federal Fiscal Year of October 1 through September 30).

In enforcing Illinois boating laws, Conservation Police officers (CPOs) in 2016 issued 1,721 citations and 5,258 warnings. CPOs made 147 arrests for boaters operating under the influence (OUI) in 2016.

IDNR statistics indicate that eight of the 11 people who died in boating accidents last year may have survived if they had worn a life jacket or other personal flotation device (PFD); three of the 11 boating-related fatalities involved alcohol or drug impairment.

Illinois law requires that properly-fitting PFDs – life jackets or life vests – be available for each person aboard a boat or other watercraft. State law also requires that anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while aboard any watercraft under 26 feet in length at all times the boat is underway, unless they are below deck in an enclosed cabin or operating on private property. Illinois law also requires persons of any age to wear a PFD while operating a personal watercraft or Jet Ski.
The IDNR offers free boating safety courses providing a review of boating laws and regulations and instruction on safe and attentive operation of watercraft. The IDNR encourages boaters of all ages to take a safety course. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1998 must pass a course and have a valid Boating Safety Certificate to operate a motorboat (with over 10 horsepower); and, state law requires boating safety education for persons ages 12 to 17 to operate a motorboat.

The free safety courses taught by volunteer instructors are available throughout Illinois, and schedules are available by checking the IDNR website’s boating information page at

https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/BoatingSafety.aspx

For a fee, online boating safety courses are also available.

There were 248,948 registered boats in Illinois in 2016, and the IDNR issued 58,067 annual Water Usage Stamps, which are required for non-powered watercraft.

To review a copy of the latest edition of the Illinois DNR Boating Report, compiled by the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, go to the IDNR website.

https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Documents/BoatingAccidentReport2016.pdf

National Safe Boating Week is observed each year during the week prior to the Memorial Day holiday weekend. For more information on the national safe boating campaign, go to the website at www.safeboatingcampaign.com.

https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Documents/BoatingAccidentReport2016.pdf

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe

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Monday, May 8, 2017

IDNR Releases Management Plan for Reintroduction of Alligator Gar in Illinois Waters

IDNR Releases Management Plan for Reintroduction of Alligator Gar in Illinois Waters


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Fisheries has published its Fish Species Management Plan for Alligator Gar in Illinois, which details IDNR’s effort to reintroduce alligator gar to Illinois waters.

A fish native to Illinois, the alligator gar was determined to be extirpated, or extinct from Illinois waters. The last known catch of the fish, prior to the start of the reintroduction effort, was in the Cache River basin in southern Illinois in 1966.

“The plan details our efforts and activities as we attempt to reestablish and manage alligator gar populations in Illinois,” said IDNR Fisheries Chief Dan Stephenson. “They are a large, unique species that we would like to see thriving in Illinois waters again. There has been a lot of interest in our reintroduction efforts already, and we encourage anyone interested in sport fishing and this project to look at the plan.”

The alligator gar is the largest of the gar species and second largest freshwater fish in North America, next to the white sturgeon. The current all-tackle record alligator gar, caught in 1953 in Texas, weighed 302 pounds and measured 7-ft., 6-in. in length. Researchers determined that prior to extirpation, Illinois produced some individual gar measured at more than eight feet in length, with the heaviest weighing 176 pounds.

IDNR Fisheries personnel last fall stocked approximately 1,600 alligator gar as part of the reintroduction program at Powerton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area (Tazewell Co.), Sanganois State Fish and Wildlife Area (Cass Co.), Horseshoe Lake State Park (Madison Co.), and Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area (St. Clair Co.). Tiny electronic tracking tags were attached to those fish for biologists to monitor their progress.

The success of the plan will be documented through annual progress and achievement reports for each management objective, and the plan will be updated as needed.

The Fish Species Management Plan for Alligator Gar in Illinois is posted online at the link below:
https://www.ifishillinois.org/programs/ALG_Plan_2017.pdf

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Friday, April 28, 2017

DNR- Ashes in State Parks-100th GA - SB 1586

DNR- Ashes in State Parks-100th GA - SB 1586



Senator Bill Cunningham
Filed: SB 1586 on 2-9-17

Amends the State Parks Act. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources may establish rules for the public to safely and appropriately scatter cremated remains in a State park. Defines "cremated remains."

Senate Committee Amendment No. 1

Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Crematory Regulation Act. Provides that "scattering area" also includes property used for outdoor recreation or natural resource conservation owned by the Department of Natural Resources and designated as a scattering area.

  • Date Chamber Action
    • 2/9/2017 Senate Filed with Secretary by Sen. Bill Cunningham
    • 2/9/2017 Senate First Reading
    • 2/9/2017 Senate Referred to Assignments
    • 2/28/2017 Senate Assigned to Public Health
    • 3/8/2017 Senate Postponed - Public Health
    • 3/15/2017 Senate Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 Filed with Secretary by Sen. Bill Cunningham
    • 3/15/2017 Senate Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 Referred to Assignments
    • 3/17/2017 Senate Rule 2-10 Committee Deadline Established As April 7, 2017
    • 3/22/2017 Senate Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 Assignments Refers to Public Health
    • 3/28/2017 Senate Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 Adopted
    • 3/29/2017 Senate Do Pass as Amended Public Health; 008-000-000
    • 3/29/2017 Senate Placed on Calendar Order of 2nd Reading March 30, 2017
    • 4/6/2017 Senate Second Reading
    • 4/6/2017 Senate Placed on Calendar Order of 3rd Reading April 25, 2017
    • 4/27/2017 Senate Third Reading - Passed; 056-000-000
    • 4/27/2017 House Arrived in House
    • 4/27/2017 House Chief House Sponsor Rep. Stephanie A. Kifowit
    • 4/27/2017 House First Reading

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Two Things for Illinois Anglers to Remember Before going Fishing this Weekend.

Two Things for Illinois Anglers to Remember Before going Fishing this Weekend.


There's so much going on this weekend for Illinois anglers.  There is Multiple bass tournaments, trout fishing, salmon run along the lake front, the long held tradition of smelt fishing and the opening of Heidecke Lake.  While we're all doing something different, there's two things we wish for you to remember before heading to that secret spot.


  • Fishing License - April 1st starts the date where last years license is expired.  So make sure to buy all necessary stamps as well stamps especially for trout and salmon.  This link will connect you to the IDNR website where you can find fees and buy online.  


  • 2017 Rules and Regulations - Here's a tip for you.  Since so many of you have a smart phone make sure to download the PDF so you have it everywhere you go.  Download it just in case the lake you're on has no cell service.  While many of these rules are the same, there have been some changes. So do your due dillegence and make sure to read the book.  Even if you have in the past its a great idea to have so you can help inform others that may not know.  

If you haven't been out yet with the unseasonably warm weather make sure to get out this weekend and enjoy all the adventures Illinois has to offer! 

Check back to see what we did this weekend. 

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Can Fish See Fishing Line


Source: Fix.com Blog