Illinois Outdoors at
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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 3-30-08

March 30, 2008 at 03:47 AM


Number of Illinois sites that open to trout fishing Saturday, including Siloam Springs State Park, the I&M Canal at Utica and the Hennepin Canal visitor’s center pond.

Keck leaving NWTF

Rumors are floating Rob Keck’s resignation as CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation. says Keck is leaving as of June 1 due to the recent firing of two high-level NWTF executives: Chief Operating Officer Carl Brown and Senior Vice President Dick Rosenlieb.

Keck, 57, joined NWTF in the 1970s and has been CEO for the past 27 years, helping grow the organization to 550,000 members. In 2006 his salary topped $380,000.

Otter, bobcat bill snared

Bobcats and river otters can breathe a collective sigh of relief. A bill that would have opened trapping seasons for those furbearers in Illinois has not advanced out of committee this spring and likely will not be pushed forward.

INHS scientist dies

Long-time Illinois Natural History Survey Center for Wildlife Research director Dr. Glen C. Sanderson of Champaign, 85, died on March 22.

A member of the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame, Sanderson was one of three people promoted to the rank of Principal Scientist in the 133-year history of the INHS.

The family requests memorials be made to: University of Illinois, INHS Waterfowl Research Station, and mailed to INHS, P.O. Box 590, Havana, Illinois 62644.

Carlyle Lake hotspot

This is the year to plan a fishing trip to Carlyle Lake in southwestern Illinois. Fishing prospects for white bass, channel catfish and crappie are all very good to excellent for the massive
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir. Flathead catfish are also rated excellent while largemouth bass and sauger should be fair to good.

April brings changes

Anglers and hunters are reminded they need a new 2008 license starting Tuesday. Woodchuck hunting and beaver trapping also end Monday, as does the statewide snow goose conservation order season. Also Tuesday, the hot-water discharge arm at Clinton Lake opens to anglers.

You speak

“The Wightman Lake project, a wetland restoration joint effort between Ducks Unlimited and the Audubon Society on the edge of Sparland is now complete. Trees were planted last summer and I hear the levees will be seeded soon.

“It is amazing how quickly things began to happen. Gulls arrived immediately and waterfowl are now very active. I have seen bald eagles sitting on the levees as well as many turkey buzzards. And pelicans have arrived.

“Although this is much smaller than the ‘Hennepin Hopper’ project it should attract the same amount of different species.”
— Lou Lenz, Sparland

Tip of the week

Looking for a place to camp in central Illinois? My advice remains the same: you can’t beat Comlara Park on Evergreen Lake. So it’s worth noting campers can reserve Comlara sites in person starting Saturday at 8 a.m. Call (309) 726-2022, Ext. 221.

Critter corner

  • In the wilds of Illinois in April…
  • Peak breeding season for toads.
  • Walleye and muskellunge spawning.
  • Whip-poor-wills call.
  • Wild turkeys gobble.
  • Snipe begin courtship flights.
  • Woodchucks, coyotes and raccoons are born.

This ‘n that

A Kansas landowner killed that state’s first confirmed mountain lion in more than 100 years.

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