Showing posts with label Outdoor News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Outdoor News. Show all posts

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Illinois Governor Signs Four Hunting/Fishing Related Bills

Yesterday, the Governor signed four hunting/fishing related bills:


  • HB 2685-Green Hides 
    • Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that except as provided in the Code, it is unlawful to have in his or her possession the green hides of fur bearing mammals without a valid hunting or trapping license.  Learn More
  • HB 3093-Electronic Licenses
    • Amends the Wildlife Code. Defines "hunting license" as an electronic or physical license authorizing the person to take a certain type of animal during a specified period of time. Effective immediately. Learn More
  • HB 3272- Commercial Fishing 
    • A Department of Natural Resources initiative  providing that all trout, including lake trout, salmon, and lake whitefish may not be taken by commercial fishing devices, including gill or pound net. Learn More
  • HB 3273- Lake Michigan Fishing
    • Provides that the Department of Natural Resources may issue a maximum of 5 commercial fishing licenses for taking from the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan yellow perch, bloater chub, and other commercial fish species designated by Department rule. Learn More
There are still two bills that we are waiting for Governor Action on:



He has until the end of September (60 days from when he was sent them) to either Veto
or Sign them or they become law. 

Be Informed!  Follow us on social media and check back often for updates! 



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

IDNR Bringing Back Outdoor Illinois

Ever talk to an IDNR employee and feel like they could care less.  Maybe that's just people in general today.  Maybe, it has to do with the lack of money the agency has and they know the ideas won't go anywhere.  For awhile now the IDNR has been in the works of bringing back Outdoor Illinois.  They finally made their release announcing the comeback of this new online journal.



This is great news in the hunting, fishing and conservation world.  As outdoor enthusiasts this is a way for the IDNR to finally be able to release information on research studies, land and wildlife management and other updates. We look forward to seeing what information gets published and how this resource will improve the outdoors.

During our reporting and meeting people throughout the state over the years, we've heard people complain about how it's hard to find information and how there is a lack of a user friendly interface for the DNR website.  Illinois' has been lacking in transparency and upgrades. However, this is a great step to making the IDNR more user friendly and transparent.

Some of you might have received the email below:

Illinois Conservationist:
It is my pleasure to announce that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGGREC) to bring back Outdoor Illinois!  This time it is a wildlife-specific online journal that contains articles on Wildlife, People, Land, Research, and Recreation.  Please take a few moments to look through the site, and to visit our annual hunting forecasts (https://outdoor.wildlifeillinois.org/).  Right now, we have posted deer/turkey/squirrel and furbearer forecasts.  Upland game and waterfowl forecasts will be coming soon! There are plenty of other short articles to look at as well while you're there.  If you have ideas for Outdoor Illinois: Wildlife Journal, or areas that you think we need to provide more information on, please e-mail me at mark.alessi@illinois.gov and let me know.

To visit other websites regarding wildlife in Illinois, please visit our Living with Wildlife in Illinois (http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/) and our White-tailed Deer: Illinois websites (https://deer.wildlifeillinois.org/).

Sincerely,

Mark Alessi
Chief
Division of Wildlife Resources
Illinois Department of Natural Resources


Friday, August 11, 2017

Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Welcomes Becker, Nelson, Wanless and Zanders

Below you'll see a press release from the Illinois Conservation Foundation  releasing their 2017 Hall of Fame recipients.  Congratulations to all these dedicated outdoor enthusiast.  

Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Welcomes Becker, Nelson, Wanless and Zanders


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) today announced the selections of four longtime Illinois conservationists as the newest members of the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame. C.E. (Bob) Becker, David Nelson, Michael (Mick) Wanless, and Glenda Zanders were selected from among dozens of individuals nominated by Illinois citizens and conservation organizations for induction as the Class of 2017 for the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame.

Monday, August 7, 2017

2017 - 2018 Waterfowl Season Dates Announced for Illinois

While hundreds of lucky blind winners prepare to build, repair and brush their blinds for the 2017 -2018 season the Illinois Department of Natural Resources released their season dates.  Trying to find a place to go, but don't want to head home after waking up at 2:00 AM?  Then try your luck in the permit draw.  You'll find it at the end of the press release.  The draw starts August 16th.  Good Luck!

As it has been for my entire waterfowl hunting career, the 2017 -2018 duck season will be 60 days for ducks and 107 days for goose.  The older generation may remember a 45 or 30 day waterfowl season. However, with strong conservation efforts from local, state and federal agencies along with private organizations the possibility for a 60 day season has increased. 

NOTE: Central Illinois Goose Hunters: there is a split season! 

If you're looking for other dates for various hunting seasons check out the 2017 - 2018 Hunters Digest.  The 2017 - 2018 Waterfowl Digest has not been released yet.  Please make sure to check back.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Unofficial Start of Waterfowl Season

Unofficial Start of Waterfowl Season

State parks around Illinois were host to hundreds of waterfowlers this weekend as they tried their luck to win a blind for the 2017 - 2018 season.  This is the unofficial start to waterfowl season.  Blind winners only have a few short weeks to get their information in to the state, build, brush and take care of any other maintenance needed.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

IDNR releases Upland Hunting Information and Date of application Availability

Hard to think about but hunting season is just around the corner.  On August 7, 2017 the online application for IDNR managed sites will be live.  There's nothing quite like being behind a dog on point, so make sure you apply and enjoy some great upland opportunities.  You can watch our adventures out at Jim Edgar Panther Creek one of the many sites to hunt upland game  Below you'll see the press release from the IDNR regarding the controlled pheasant hunting reservation and information.

2017 Illinois Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation Information Now Available Online

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, July 3, 2017

Buffalo Rock State Park to reopen on July 4

Just in time for the 4th of July.  Get outdoors tomorrow!

Buffalo Rock State Park to reopen on July 4

OTTAWA, IL – Buffalo Rock State Park in La Salle Co. will reopen to visitors on Tuesday, July 4 at 8:00 a.m.

The park has been closed since significant damage to trees at the park occurred as a result of a tornado that struck the area on February 28.

Buffalo Rock’s River Bluff Trail and Woodland Trail will remain closed until further notice while cleanup of fallen and damaged trees on and along the trails continues. Other areas of the park, including the Effigy Tumuli trail, picnic areas and shelter will be open again beginning July 4.

Holiday weekend travelers are reminded that Buffalo Rock State Park will remain closed to drive-in and walk-in visitors through Monday, July 3 prior to the July 4 reopening.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Starved Rock - The Early Bird Gets the Worm

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is advising visitors to arrive early to Illinois' most visited park.  Starved Rock has exploded over the past few years with visitors coming from across the state to take in the sites at this great park.  Regardless, if you're heading to Starved Rock or heading to one of the many other state parks, get outside this weekend and enjoy our Nation's Birthday.  The IDNR has released the following press release and provided rules to enjoy your weekend.

Arrive Early if Planning a Visit to Starved Rock During Holiday Weekend


Expect temporary closures of the park when parking lots are full


UTICA, IL – Independence Day weekend is expected to be busy at Starved Rock State Park, and anyone planning a visit to the site should arrive early in the day and be alert to likely temporary closures on Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4.

During the Memorial Day weekend in late May, more than 93,000 people visited Starved Rock, and nearly 22,000 people visited nearby Matthiessen State Park during that three-day weekend. Starved Rock State Park was closed temporarily for several hours each of those days when parking lots reached capacity.

For regular updates, social media users should check the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Facebook and Twitter feeds during the extended holiday weekend.

IDNR Conservation Police will strictly enforce safety rules at Starved Rock, including:

• No possession of alcohol on trails
• No entering restricted areas
• 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 the park can crumble and be slippery when wet.

When Starved Rock parking lots reach capacity, access to the park will be closed temporarily for safety reasons until parking becomes available. Motorists should not 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.

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. For updates via social media, like the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Facebook and follow the IDNR on Twitter @IllinoisDNR.


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

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.



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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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.

Can Fish See Fishing Line


Source: Fix.com Blog