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

Monday, May 7, 2018

Outdoor Events During the Month of May 2018

A variety of outdoor and cultural experiences are listed in this months IDNR Newsbits.

IDNR Newbits – May 2018

Firearm Deer Permit Applications: Resident and non-resident deer hunters can apply for the second lottery drawing for 2018 Illinois Firearm Deer and Muzzleloader-only Deer permits. The deadline to apply for the second lottery is June 30. For more information, check the IDNR website at

Mushroom Collecting: Reminder to mushroom collectors – no license is required, but mushroom collectors must have landowner permission and, on public sites, must adhere to approved collecting regulations and hours. Collection of mushrooms is allowed at many IDNR sites, but it is prohibited in any area designated as a dedicated nature preserve. Areas under the jurisdiction of the IDNR that offer spring turkey hunting are not open to mushroom collecting until after 1 p.m. daily during the spring turkey season to ensure the safety of all site visitors. Be sure to call ahead to the state site you intend to visit to learn of any site-specific regulations regarding mushroom collecting.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Illinois Bowfishing Comes Back to Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area for Festival and Conservation Shoot

What a great opportunity to get the family involved in the outdoors.  Take a look at the press release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  The Illinois Bowfishing Festival will be held on May 19 at Des Plaines SFWA.

Illinois Bowfishing Festival and Conservation Shoot Set for May 19 at Des Plaines SFWA

WILMINGTON, IL – Illinois’ Bowfishing Festival and Conservation Shoot at the Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area boat access area is scheduled for Saturday, May 19.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Week of April 9th 2018 - Illinois 100th General Assembly Legislative Wrap-up

Capitol Outdoors

Both the House and Senate were busy with committees this week.  Below you will find a breakdown of some of the action taken on outdoor related bills.  Click on each link to read more about each bill.


Agriculture Committee Action on April 9, 2018:
  • HB 4231 - Blaze Pink Clothing (Passed 17-0-0)
    • Authorizes certain hunters to wear solid blaze pink colored clothing (in addition to blaze orange colored clothing).
  • HB 5293 - Endangered Species (Passed 11-1-2)
    • States that 2 members of the Endangered Species Board shall be landowners representing the State's largest general farm organization.
  • HB 5317 - Poached Deer Restitution Value  (Passed 17-0-0)
    • Increases the restitution that the DNR will receive when someone illegally takes wildlife.  
      • For example: 
        • Whitetail Deer- increase from $250 to $1000
        • Trumpeter Swan - increase from $250 to $1000
        • Eagle - increase from $500 to $1000
        • Wild Turkey - increase from $250 to $500
  • HB 5440 - Youth Hunting (Passed 17-0-0)
    • Provides the the fee for resident and non-resident youth archery deer permit shall be the same. 
      • For example, out of state family under the age of 18 would be able to hunt for the same cost as a resident youth of the State of Illinois. 
  • HB 5692 - River Otter Limit (Passed 17-0-0)
    • By deleting the provision that states that the River Otter limit should not exceed five per season, the DNR is able to better manage the population and change the River Otter limit according to the biologists data. 
  • HB 5693 - Trapping Tags  (Passed 17-0-0)
    • Currently trappers are required to put their name and address on their traps.  This bill would allow trappers to use their DNR Customer # instead for privacy reasons. 

Revenue Committee Action from April 11, 2018:
Passed the HOUSE
  • HB 4783 - Youth Hunt/Trap (Passed 113-0-0)
    • Amends the Wildlife Code to provide a universal definition of youth to be "under 18" for consistency when it comes to youth hunting programs.
Capitol Outdoors

Agriculture Committee Action on April 12, 2018 
  • SB 2493 - Deer Feed (Passed 10-0-0)
    • Provides that a person may supplementally feed deer with items otherwise prohibited by the Code when not in active deer hunting season
    • This bill is being held on Second Reading so that Senator Rose can file an amendment 
  • SB 2962 - River Otter Limit (Passed 8-1-0)
    • By deleting the provision that states that the River Otter limit should not exceed five per season, the DNR is able to better manage the population and change the River Otter limit according to the biologists data.
  • SB 2963 - Trapping Tags (Passed 9-0-0)
    • Currently trappers are required to put their name and address on their traps.  This bill would allow trappers to use their DNR Customer # instead for privacy reasons. 
Both the House and Senate are back next week.  We will likely see some action on the floor regarding these bills that passed out of committee.  Be sure to check back often so that you can stay informed from the Legislative Floors to the Great Outdoors! 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Illinois General Assembly Back in Springfield After Spring Break

With the primary election in their rear view mirror and the general election around the bend, Illinois legislators are back in Session this week (April 9 - 13th).

Capitol Outdoors

Both the House and Senate are holding committee hearings where some outdoor related bills may be heard.  We will be following along and keeping you up to date as things happen, so be sure to "Like" our Facebook page to get the latest information.

Below you will find each committee broken down with links to more information related to each bill.  The following bills are listed to be heard on that day, but that is not always the case.  We will do a wrap-up at the end of the week to inform you of what happened. 


Agriculture Committee
April 9, 2018 1:00pm

Revenue Committee
April 11, 2018 3:00pm 

On the House Floor to be voted on: 

Capitol Outdoors
Agriculture Committee
April 12, 2018 8:00am
April 10, 2018 3:00pm 
On the Senate Floor to be voted on: 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Illinois CPOs Asking for Public's Help in White Pelican Deaths

The Illinois Conservation Police Officers are asking for the public's help in regards to five white pelicans shot at Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Jasper County.  Please see below for the full details provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  

White Pelicans Shot at Newton Lake in Jasper County

Illinois Conservation Police Ask for the Public’s Help in the Investigation

Picture provided by IDNR

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring Trout Fishing Season Right around Corner

For years here at Capitol Outdoors we've told you, informed and participated in the Spring Trout Fishing.  This year it takes a little different meaning as our daughter hits 2 years old. This is the perfect way to get her and other kids involved in fishing.  Below you'll see locations that have a Fly Fishing Season which starts March 24th and those sites that have regular season which starts April 7th. 

Hit one of the lakes during opening week.  Crowds are light and the bite can be just as good!

 The most important thing to remember is "Anglers will need both a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp to participate, unless they are under the age of 16, blind, disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces."

Make sure to check out some of our tips and tactics articles and one of our YouTube Videos at South Wind Park in Springfield . 

Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 7

Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Season Opens March 24 at select sites

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2018 Illinois Spring Trout fishing season is just a few weeks away. Anglers will need both a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp to participate, unless they are under the age of 16, blind, disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces.

Licenses and trout stamps will be available for purchase on the Illinois Department of Resources (IDNR) website and at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets, starting Thursday, March 1.

The Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing season opens at nine sites on March 24. Anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch trout at that time, but they cannot keep the fish. All trout must be released until after the opening of the regular spring trout season, which begins at 5 a.m. on April 7. Anyone attempting to take trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year, with 54 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state being stocked for the spring season, and an additional 80,000 trout stocked for the fall season.

For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at

For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. Not all sites open at 5 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite sites prior to the opening date.

The 54 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below:

2018 Illinois Spring Trout Locations
(** Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Early Season)

North --- Boone County --- Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere
North --- Bureau County --- Hennepin Canal Parkway
North --- Cook County --- Wolf Lake at William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago
North --- Cook County --- Green Lake in Calumet City, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- Cook County --- Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- Cook County --- Belleau Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- Cook County --- Sag Quarry East, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- Cook County --- Horsetail Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- DuPage County --- Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North --- DuPage County --- Pickerel Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North --- DuPage County--- Grove Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North --- Jo Daviess County --- Apple River, Apple River State Park **
North --- Kankakee County --- Bird Park Quarry, Kankakee
North --- Kankakee County --- Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park **
North --- Kendall County --- Big Lake, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
North --- Lake County --- Banana Lake, Lake County Forest Preserve District
North --- Lake County --- Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park
North --- LaSalle County --- Illinois and Michigan Canal, LaSalle
North --- LaSalle County --- Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota
North --- McHenry County --- Lake Atwood, McHenry County Conservation District
North --- McHenry County --- Piscasaw Creek, McHenry County Conservation District
North --- Ogle County --- Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park **
North--- Rock Island County--- Prospect Park, Moline
North --- Stephenson --- Waddams Creek, Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreation Area
North --- Stephenson --- Yellow Creek in Krape Park, Freeport
North --- Whiteside County --- Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls
North --- Will County --- Lake Milliken, Des Plaines Conservation Area
North --- Winnebago County --- Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District

Central --- Adams County --- Siloam Springs State Park Lake **
Central --- Cass County --- Gridley Lake, Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA **
Central --- Champaign County --- Lake of the Woods, Champaign Co. Forest Preserve Dist.
Central --- Christian County --- Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
Central --- Coles County --- Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
Central --- Hancock County --- Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park **
Central --- Macon County --- Sportsman’s Club Pond, Macon County Conservation District
Central --- McLean County --- Miller Park Lake, Bloomington
Central --- Morgan County --- Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville **
Central --- Moultrie County --- Wyman Lake, Sullivan
Central --- Pike County --- Kings Park Pond, Pittsfield
Central --- Sangamon County --- Southwind Park, Springfield
Central --- Sangamon County --- IDOT Lake, Springfield **
Central --- Sangamon County --- Washington Park Pond, Springfield
Central --- Shelby County --- Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
Central --- Vermilion County --- Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area

South --- Jefferson County --- Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
South --- Johnson County --- Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
South --- Marion County --- Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
South --- Massac County --- Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park
South --- Randolph County --- Derby Lake, Sparta (World Shooting and Recreational Complex)
South --- St. Clair County --- Frank Holten State Park Main Lake
South --- St. Clair County --- Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
South --- St. Claire County --- Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area **
South --- Wabash County --- Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
South --- Wayne County --- Sam Dale Trout Pond, Sam Dale Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Illinois DNR Newsbits for February 2018

 With the integration of Historic Preservation into the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Newsbits into the future will have a lot of events that may not always interest you.  However, I challenge you all to try and attend some of these events to enjoy all of what the IDNR has to offer here in Illinois.  

Illinois DNR Newsbits for February 2018

Spring Turkey Applications: Hunters can apply for the third lottery for 2018 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits by the application deadline of Feb. 9. Go to the IDNR website for more information:

Friday, February 2, 2018

HB 4279-DNR-RECREATIONAL BOAT FUNDING - Illinois 100th General Assembly

House Sponsors
Rep. Jerry Costello, II

Filed: HB 4279 on 1/18/2018

Synopsis As Introduced:Amends the Department of Natural Resources Act. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources has the authority to accept, receive, and administer on behalf of the State, federal grant funds associated with the development or preservation of recreational boating infrastructure on this State's waterways and distribute those funds as prescribed by the appropriate federal agency. Provides that funds received by the Department shall be deposited into the Natural Resources Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant Dollars Fund and used for these purposes. Makes conforming changes in the State Finance Act.

Last Actions:

HB 4487 - Funding State Parks through Lottery Game - Illinois 100th General Assembly

House Sponsor
Rep. John M. Cabello

Filed: HB 4487 on 1/31/2018

Synopsis As Introduced:
Amends the Illinois Lottery Law. Requires the Department of the Lottery, beginning on January 1, 2019 or as soon thereafter as is practical, to offer a special instant scratch-off game for the purposes of upkeep, maintenance, and improvements to Illinois State and local parks. Provides that the net revenue from the special instant scratch-off game must be deposited into the Illinois Parks Scratch-off Fund. Provides that the moneys deposited in the Fund shall be used by the Department of Natural Resources for upkeep, maintenance, and improvements to Illinois State and local parks, including grants for those purposes. Authorizes the Department of the Lottery to adopt rules necessary to implement and administer the game. Defines "net revenue". Amends the State Finance Act to create the Illinois Parks Scratch-off Fund. Effective immediately.

Last Actions:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

"Catch to Course" puts Asian Carp on Table

It's been said by many people even former Governor Pat Quinn, if you can't beat'em than eat'em.  Well Lt. Governor Sanguinetti did just that earlier this week.  Check out the press release from the Lt. Governors office.

Picture provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti celebrates partnership with Louisiana to market Asian Carp as food

Illinois, Louisiana promote invasive fish as healthy food source

CHAMPAIGN - Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti joined partners from Illinois and Louisiana at a luncheon in Champaign today to showcase and encourage the human consumption of Asian Carp as a healthy food source in America. These efforts can have a positive ecological and economic impact for both states.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Natural Resources Advisory Board of Illinois

Over the past several years, Capitol Outdoors has been attending NRAB meetings. Now, if you haven't heard of NRAB don't worry, 99% of hunters and anglers haven't. NRAB stands for the Natural Resources Advisory Board and according to the DNR is as follows:

The Advisory Board is statutorily created to advise the agency on long range policies to assist in guiding the protection and conservation of renewable resources of the state and recommend changes in hunting and trapping seasons and bag or possession limits. They also recommend to the Director which projects receive funding in bike, boat, and Open Space Lands Aquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant programs. Members serve six year terms and are appointed by the Governor. The Board holds quarterly meetings with time allotted for public comment on any topic.
In other words, NRAB hears proposals from the DNR and other constituents in order to recommend changes within hunting and fishing seasons, as well as our state parks.

Each quarter NRAB meets to discuss what has happened in the last few months and to discuss any of those possible changes.

Over these past years as we have attended these meetings Capitol Outdoors has realized how there is a gap in how this information travels to the public.  That is why starting at the first 2018 meeting of NRAB we will be broadcasting these meetings live on our Facebook.  This is so that you the hunter, angler and outdoor enthusiast are given the opportunity to be as informed as possible.

2018 Meeting Dates: 

January 22nd - IDNR Headquarters, Springfield, IL - Meeting Agenda

April 30th - IDNR Headquarters, Springfield, IL

July 30th - IDNR Headquarters, Springfield, IL

November 19th - To Be Determined - Whittington, IL - 11:00 a.m.

Want to know who is on the Board?

*Information provided on this website is outdated.  Way to go Illinois!  We've reached out to the IDNR  to get an updated list and roll calls with no response.

Be sure to tune in Monday at 3 p.m. CST to see what NRAB is all about.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Champions are Made in the Off Season

Any high school, college or professional athlete that plays a sport has heard these lines from their coach during the off season.  For softball and baseball players it's practicing your swing and football players, lifting weights and studying film.  Bass fishing is no different, put the work in now and see the success later.  As a pro, your off season probably consists of doing commercials for sponsors, seminars and research for the upcoming lake schedule.

Anglers listen at the Student Angler Bass Education Series

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Epic Way to Start a New Year

As temperatures drop, ice anglers get excited.  Walking on water isn't for everyone, however there are those that have the faith.  As colder weather approached hard water anglers start chatting on social media and other forums looking for safe ice.  In fact, we did a little of our own chatting providing viewers with a few updates at Jim Edgar Panther Creek and our excitement was growing as we saw the future weather forecast.

The New Year brought some frigid temperatures and many chose to stay in on New Year's Day, however, the weather didn't stop Capitol Outdoors and Matt Steele from hitting the ice.  We headed to Jim Edgar Panther Creek and in negative degree temperatures searched for some big crappie. However, it didn't quite go as expected.  Enjoy the video below: "Box of Chocolates, You Never Know What Your Going to Catch.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Farm Bill Forums Being Held for Sportsmen and Women

Keeping you informed from the Legislative Floors to the Great Outdoors means taking advantage of opportunities like this in order to better educate oneself.  Sportsmen and women have been invited to attend a forum on the Farm Bill.  Many of you may know how the Farm Bill plays an important role in conservation here in Illinois.   These forums are being held by the Theodore Reosevelt Conservation Partners and the Illinois Conservation Foundation which they've entitled "Illinois Sportsmen's Guide to the 2018 Farm Bill".

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tracker Releases New boat for 40th Anniversary

If you have a Facebook account it was hard not to see the sponsored ads by Tracker Boats for their 40th Anniversary boat. Each day they had a new post dropping the price a little each day until December 15th.  On that day they revealed the final price, along with the specs and what the boat included.  In front of a large crowd legend Johnny Morris, Bill Dance, Roland Martin and Jimmy Houston revealed the 40th Heritage Edition Tracker Boat.

Tracker Boats' staple to fame is to have an angler be able to purchase a boat with an electronic, a trolling motor and outboard at an easy to afford price.  Johnny Morris along with the team at Tracker Boats did just that!  For $9,995 including the trailer, this unique retro looking boat will have anglers across the country hitting the water in no time.  Coming with a 40 hp four stroke Mercury engine, a 12 volt 45 lb thrust MinnKota trolling motor and so much more, this boat is priced for anyone to enjoy some time on the water.  If you are a new angler or looking to get to onto some of those smaller waters here in Illinois then you really need to look at this boat!

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Picture provided by

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Illinois CPOs Hard at Work Issuing Over 1,800 Citations and Warnings

While we're out in the field waterfowl hunting, deer hunting or just doing a little fishing, Illinois CPOs are hard at work enforcing Illinois wildlife laws.  It's easy to forget about law enforcement officers when you obey the law.  However, just because you and I are responsible doesn't mean accidents or negligence in the field doesn't happen.  Below you'll read about how our CPOs issued over 1,800 citations and warnings in less than a month.  While reading this don't forget about the last big bust in regards to fishing, CPOs cited a father and son who were in possession of over 115 perch!  

Our CPOs are doing the best job the can, especially being understaffed. (IDNR is Seeking Applicants for Conservation Police Officer Training).  But, they can't do it by themselves.  Poaching and those in violations of the law need to be reported and that's where you can help.  Make sure to take out your cell phones and add this number.  Call 1-877-2DNRLAW (236-7529) to report anyone you see who is doing something they shouldn't be!

IDNR Conservation Police Issue More Than 1,800 Citations and Warnings to Violators During Illinois’ Busiest Hunting Season

SPRINGFIELD, IL – While firearm deer hunters in Illinois took more than 80,000 deer during the state’s busiest hunting season, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police report just four hunting-related accidents were reported, three of them involving injuries resulting from tree stand falls.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fishing, Hunting and Outdoor Show List for 2018

2018 Illinois Outdoor, Hunting and Fishing Expos

Expo season is right around the corner and we will once again be attending many of the expos around the State of Illinois.  Here at Capitol Outdoors this is a time where we see old friends, and meet some new ones as well.  It's also a time for local businesses that have come to light in the last year to promote their business.

Here is a list of some of the expos we know that are coming up. Send us information for your expo or other outdoor shows at

Illinois Hunting Shows
Outdoor shows are the perfect opportunity to get ready for the upcoming season and find once a year deals

Milwaukee Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
December 8 - 10th 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hunting and Fishing Black Friday Ads 2017

Hunting and Fishing Black Friday Ads 2017

Outdoor Black Friday Ads 2017

Who doesn't like a good deal, right? Whether you are out this Black Fridays shopping for deals or in the blind hunting for ducks, we have gathered some ads for you to look at.

Many people shop on Black Friday for Christmas gifts, however a better idea is to look for deals to replenish your supplies. Stock up on that hunting and fishing gear so that you don't feel it in the wallet when that time comes.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 Fishing Careers Workshop Offers Advice and Insight into Fishing Industry

The old question among anglers, 'how do I make a career in the fishing industry?'   This question drove fishing legend Al Lindner, his son Troy Lindner and ten other top notch fishing industry leaders to share their passion, successes and advice with a room full of eager participants at Cragun's Resort in Brainerd Minnesota.

Capitol Outdoors, Al Lindner,
Various high schoolers and established industry leaders from 14 states and Providence of Quebec, attended the 2017 Fishing Careers Workshop and then there's little ole' me.

Growing up in the 90's, In-Fisherman was the YouTube of today, anglers read and watched Al Lindner and others teach fishing tactics and how to's.  He wasn't just a TV personality, he was someone I looked up to.  What kid/adult wouldn't want his job?  Making videos about fishing, the dream job!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Lessons from My Rookie Year of Illinois Tournament Bass Fishing

Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, posts are popping up already about tournament fishing for the 2018 Illinois Tournament Season.  It's hunting season and ice fishing is right around the corner and people are already talking tournaments in 2018.  That's cool though, I have too!  It inspired me to drop a few lines about my rookie year of fishing tournaments and what I learned along the way.

Jim Edgar Panther Creek
Mike Iaconelli would tell you "never give up"!  This is a picture from the Lincoln Bass Club's two day tournament out at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.  Two days  and we only weighed in one fish. Within the final hour of the tournament I reeled in my biggest tournament fish at 5 pounds 13 ounces.  Never overlook a small victory.