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Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Wild Things 3-23-08

March 23, 2008 at 02:14 AM


Number of fish caught in last year’s Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit tournament on the Illinois River.

Sauger season at hand

What will the Illinois River do this week? That’s the hot question among anglers preparing for the 22nd annual Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit out of Spring Valley on Saturday and next Sunday.

Whatever the weather, all involved hope there’s no repeat of last spring, when high water hampered fishing. Winners Marty and Mickey Stuefen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa earned $60,360 for a 2.71-pound sauger.

Weigh-in starts at 1 p.m. both days and spectators should park at Hall High School and then ride shuttles to Barto Landing.

Did you know?

The Eastern wood rat is one of five endangered mammals in Illinois and Southern Illinois University biologists are releasing rats. So far the stocked rats are faring well and reproducing.
Eastern wood rats are known as “pack rats” because they collect and trade shiny items in their nests.

Bass tourney sign-up

Sign-ups for the 27th annual Peoria Sportsmen’s Club/Watkin’s Marine tournament at Spring Lake are Saturday starting at 9 a.m. at the clubhouse west of Manito. Cost is $100 for the April 26-27 event.

Anglers can also sign up for a $150 buddy elimination tourney June 28-29. Call (309) 545-2761.

IHSA fishing committee

The Illinois High School Association is moving forward with plans for a prep bass fishing tournament in the spring of 2009. An advisory committee meeting is set for April 3 to write rules for the tournament, whose logo is “The Future Fishes Here.”

Dave Gannaway, IHAS assistant executive director, said the meeting will create a structure for the tournament, which will be open to one team from each of the 756 member schools. Teams may be comprised of male or female high school students.

Birding bits

Purple martins started showing up at Rich Klockenga’s Edwards home on March 14 — the earliest males have arrived since he started putting up gourd houses for the birds.

“Since martins only feed on flying insects I ended up supplemental feeding my birds last year during the cold wet spell the end of March and the first days of April,” Klockenga said. “I fed 2,000 meal worms and around 4,000 crickets and managed to keep all my martins alive then.”

Tip of the week

The Illinois River Valley chapter of Pheasants Forever will give away sunflower and corn seed for food plots Saturday at the Field Shopping Center parking lot in Morton at 8:30 a.m. Call (309) 444-3416.

Kudos corner

Long-time Illinois fisheries chief Mike Conlin was recently honored by the Illinois chapter of the American Fisheries Society for his “significant contributions to the fisheries profession and to Illinois aquatic resources.” Conlin now heads up the Department of Natural Resource’s office of resource conservation.

Bass stocking study

A study of bass in 15 Illinois lakes showed “limited contribution of stocked fish to adult largemouth bass populations.” If bass are stocked, four-inch fingerlings are most cost effective according to research by Diana Matthew and David Wahl of the Illinois Natural History Survey.

This ‘n that

... Watch next Sunday’s paper for the 16-page Prairie State Outdoors spring fishing section.

... Pheasants Forever will hold its national Pheasant Fest to Madison, Wisc. Feb. 6-8, 2009.

... Spring trout season opens April 5.

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