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Print
Illinois hunting and fishing

Carp jumped and lawsuits flew in 2010

January 02, 2011 at 07:52 AM

The State Journal-Register

The very definition of news requires us to share information that is of interest to many people.

But sometimes, we experience things outdoors that would make headlines – if only everyone else had been there.

The perfect sunrise; a buck emerging from the fog; a rare bird perched in plain view; fall colors that linger.

So, on the first day of 2011, we offer a roundup of people and places that made news in the outdoors in 2010.

We also offer a pictorial look back – images of the outdoors that make it worth getting up early and staying out late.

Resolve to spend more time outside in the coming year.

And share the experience with a child.


January

Asian carp DNA is found beyond the electric barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal fueling debate on how to keep the invasive fish out of Lake Michigan.

February

The federal government pledges more than $78 million to battle Asian carp.

Snow geese arrive in force.

Statewide eagle surveys showed numbers substantially down.


April

Ford and Iroquois Counties are added to the emerald ash borer quarantine making 23 of the state’s 102 counties under restrictions.


May

Turkey hunters bagged a preliminary total of 16,565 birds during the spring season, the second-best season on record and not far behind 2006’s record harvest of 16,605.

The Illinois High School Association held its second state high school bass fishing tournament at Carlyle Lake. Illini West High School of Carthage won the title.

Former Gov. Jim Thompson bought a rare decoy at auction for over $100,000. Robert Elliston of Bureau carved the decoy about 110 years ago.


June

Federal officials rule out closing Chicago shipping locks to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan.


Illinois hunting and fishing


June is “Leave No Child Inside” month.

A bighead carp was found in Lake Calumet, a few miles from Lake Michigan.


July

Greg Bernal landed a blue catfish weighing 130 pounds, setting a new world record. Bernal was fishing in the Missouri River near its confluence with the Mississippi River.

Lawsuits start to fly between states as an answer is sought to keep Asian carp from spreading further.

Illinois fish processing company signs agreement to send 30 million pounds of Asian carp back to China.

Friends group forms to support Rice Lake, Banner Marsh and Double T State Fish and Wildlife Areas.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources finally hires a turkey biologist – Paul Brewer – eight years after his predecessor retired. A grassland specialist, Mike Wefer, also comes on board.

August

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture announces a general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program. With half of the country’s CRP acreage set to expire by 2013, conservationists feared a loss of habitat for wildlife. There had been no general signup since 2006.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency denied a petition to ban lead in hunting ammunition.

Illinois continues to push for a fourth waterfowl zone.


September

Former Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Joel Brunsvold of Milan died of a stroke. He was a longtime state legislator – serving for 20 years - and was chair of the Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. He was DNR director from 2003 – 2005.


Illinois hunting and fishing


Retired DNR biologist William McClain, former Illinois Natural History Survey chief David Thomas and Donald Dann of Highland Park are appointed to the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

An alligator is captured in a Chicago suburb, and a boa constrictor was on the loose in Maroa.

A fish kill in McLean County claims 40,000 fish, mussels and other organisms over several miles of Lone Tree Creek feeding the Sangamon River.


October

Fall hunting seasons get underway, but unseasonably warm weather keeps the hunting slow.

Large, and tasty, “hen of the woods” mushrooms are the first “trophies” produced by Illinois woodlands this hunting season.

The Nature Conservancy pushes forward with construction of a new visitor use area at its Emiquon Preserve in Fulton County, due to be opened sometime in 2011.

An Asian carp barrier is erected to keep fish from moving from the Des Plaines River to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal during floods.


November

Ducks start arriving in Louisiana to less damage from the oil spill than feared.

Hennepin and Hopper Lakes received a restoration reboot after common carp spoiled the wetlands. The 2,600-acre marsh was drained and the site was restocked.

Ted Gilles played host for 150 kids who came for an after-Thanksgiving pheasant hunt at his farm near Princeville.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency denies a petition to ban lead fishing tackle.

A bobcat found dead outside of Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site near Petersburg stirs imaginations. Bobcats are secretive, but are becoming more common, particularly in southern Illinois.

A high water table creates additional wetlands in Mason County and brings new duck hunting opportunities.

December

Professional waterfowl hunter Jeff Foiles, who operates a hunting club and business in Pike County, was indicted for killing ducks and geese in excess of legal limits to improve hunting videos.

Levee repairs were completed at the Sanganois State Fish and Wildlife Area near Chandlerville – eight years after a break left the site’s refuge open to the Sangamon River during high water.

The scheduled stocking of blue catfish into Lake Springfield was postponed a year after a private hatchery was unable to deliver the 5,500 fish ordered. Catfish anglers have relocated blue cats from the Mississippi River to Lake Springfield, and plan to try again next year.

Everyone who loves the outdoors mourned the loss of Michael Hallor, 15, of Canton who died in an ice-fishing accident at Banner Marsh. The boy and his father fell through the ice as they walked back to their vehicle. The father was pulled to safety.

For a photo gallery of our favorite outdoors images from 2010, visit:
http://www.sj-r.com/outdoors/x2135336263/Photo-Gallery-Best-of-the-Outdoors-2010?photo=0

Chris Young can be reached at (217) 788-1528.

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