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Wednesday, July 17th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Wednesday, July 17th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Ralph Loos

Ralph Loos: Instead of a beauty pageant, solicit votes for Illinois DNR projects

Illinois has gone ahead and gotten itself into the beauty pageant business, which is what the “I Love My State Park” campaign really sort of is.
According to DNR and the Illinois Conservation Foundation, every dollar donated by me and you to the campaign during the month of June equals one vote. All we have to do is go online, pick our favorite state park, cough up cash and our vote counts. Think of it as a small town pageant. Candidates raise money, asking every neighbor, pew dweller and Dairy Queen loiterer in town for a buck or three. The candidate who raises the most money is crowned queen!

Ralph Loos: Instead of a beauty pageant, solicit votes for Illinois DNR projects Read More »

Black carp movement is evident in Illinois

Efforts to monitor black carp in Illinois rivers continue to strengthen, with a bounty program that pays anglers for catches remaining in place and the species receiving increased emphasis in the federal Invasive Carp Action Plan for 2024.
Also, Southern Illinois University Carbondale has been focused on the fish, publishing a thesis paper in 2023 reporting evidence of frequent upstream movement, as well as regular lock and dam passage by black carp on the Mississippi River.

Black carp movement is evident in Illinois Read More »

Illinois gobbler ranked 7th heaviest in state history, top tom taken by female hunter

As she did with the first five turkeys she shot in her hunting career, Jennifer Cheely grabbed the freshly-harvested Edgar County tom and threw it over her shoulder.
That’s what first made her go “hmmm” on that otherwise typical Illinois April morning.
Following up on that feeling – and on advice from a taxidermist – Cheely soon went hunting through National Wild Turkey Federation records and learned the 28.88-pound bird was the heaviest turkey ever taken by a female hunter in Illinois. That weight also ranks her turkey No. 7 overall in Illinois and 66th in the entire U.S.

Illinois gobbler ranked 7th heaviest in state history, top tom taken by female hunter Read More »

Sightings, catches part of Rice Lake mystic in Illinois’ Fulton County

A pair of fishermen wandering about in the wetlands just outside of Banner were among witnesses to a rare site almost four years ago.
In April 2020, just as the COVID pandemic was taking hold and lockdowns were beginning, two whooping cranes were spotted by a handful of people that day. The tall birds – ”whoopers” are the tallest of all cranes – were seen in an area of the Illinois River floodplain between Banner Marsh and Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area.

Sightings, catches part of Rice Lake mystic in Illinois’ Fulton County Read More »

Ralph Loos: Another angler casts himself into the river of scandal, this time in Illinois bass tournament

Almost exactly a year after jail time was ordered for two fishermen caught stuffing weights into Ohio walleyes, cheating jumped in the water and quickly swam right over to a competitive fishing event here in Illinois.
Details were a bit fuzzy for the first few days, but the organization that hosted the tournament quickly made things clear. What Cal Sag Bass Anglers did was admirable. It got straight to the point with a message on its Facebook page May 15.

Ralph Loos: Another angler casts himself into the river of scandal, this time in Illinois bass tournament Read More »

New brown trout strain stocked by Illinois DNR could benefit Lake Michigan anglers

Illinois DNR is stocking a new strain of brown trout into Lake Michigan this year, hoping to see better survival rates among young fish.
For more than two decades, eggs from the Plymouth Rock strain were reared at the Jake Wolf fish Hatchery in Illinois and stocked as 5- to 6-inch fingerlings in July. This year, Crawford strain brown trout eggs were obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s federal hatchery system and reared at Jake Wolf.

New brown trout strain stocked by Illinois DNR could benefit Lake Michigan anglers Read More »

First taste of duck season in Illinois with blind drawings beginning June 2

Prepared or not, duck hunters in Illinois are getting their first taste of the 2024-25 season.
DNR has scheduled the first round of public waterfowl blind drawings. Blind drawings for the Mississippi River State Fish and Wildlife Area and Horseshoe Lake State Park in Madison County will be held June 2.

First taste of duck season in Illinois with blind drawings beginning June 2 Read More »

With Illinois’ spring turkey season in the books, hunters wait for numbers

The last turkey has been called in in Illinois this spring, the last turkey hunter has tagged a bird – now it’s a matter of waiting as biologists do some calculating.
Will 2024 finally be the year a spring turkey harvest record is broken?
The north zone season ended May 16, a week after south zone hunters put away their calls and gear. As of May 10, DNR had not given any indication of what the harvest numbers look like. But the five-week regular season was given an early boost by youth hunters who set a new record by taking 2,006 birds.

With Illinois’ spring turkey season in the books, hunters wait for numbers Read More »

Survey gives a small peek at Wolf Lake’s pike in Cook County, Ill.

DNR points out in its most recent report on Wolf Lake that “electrofishing is not a standard method to evaluate northern pike populations.”
But from an angler’s perspective, that line of the report should be followed by a quick “that being said . . . “ As in: “That being said, the Spring 2023 electrofishing survey resulted in the collection of a northern pike measuring 27.4 inches.”

Survey gives a small peek at Wolf Lake’s pike in Cook County, Ill. Read More »

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