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Headaches for Central Zone waterfowlers

October 29, 2009 at 10:31 PM

A rising Illinois River is creating headaches for waterfowlers heading into Saturday’s Central Zone season opener.

Duck blinds are underwater. And hunters are scrambling to lengthen decoy cords or to build blinds on their boats. Impacts are worst downstream of Peoria, where the predicted river crest for next Wednesday is 17.8 feet at Havana and 18.6 feet at Beardstown.

With that in mind, anyone planning on hunting a public area connected to the Illinois River is advised to call ahead first.

At Marshall and Woodford, hunters will likely be asked to hunt from boats at the site of their flooded blinds. And anyone hoping to hunt Anderson Lake’s West Point walk-in area should call the site first (309-759-4484), since there’s a good chance the access road to the site will be flooded.

Waterfowlers should also be aware that hunting will not be allowed in any of the South Globe portion of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge.

Finally, due to poor weather, a scheduled aerial survey of the Illinois River was not flown this week. Ducks are headed our way, though. Surveys of the Upper Mississippi River (Pools 4-11) showed 501,055 ducks, geese and swans on Monday — nearly double that of one week earlier. Of those, 298,880 were canvasbacks.

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Give us a break Mother Nature…PLEASE!!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 11:28 PM

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