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

Illinois hunting and fishing

June 6: Picture of the Day

June 06, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Well, all the sudden seeing 300,000 miles on the odometer does not look so likely.

Damn tornado.

Story and comments

Wild Things 6-6-10

June 06, 2010 at 08:09 PM


Maximum size in inches of an adult round goby, though most in the Great Lake are less than 7 inches long.

Gobies in Peoria

At first Jim Dunne wasn’t sure what he had caught while fishing with redworms in Peoria’s Detweiller Marina.

Only after careful review did Dunne identify the ugly little fish as a round goby, pictured above courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant ( Gobies are a non-native species that came to the Great Lakes in 1990 in the ballast water of ships from the Black and Caspian seas.

Biologist Rob Hilsabeck said gobies have been sampled in the Illinois River before, with the largest concentrations seen below Peoria Lock and Dam or in other rocky areas.

“There’s not much rock or clear water in the Illinois River, which is really what they like,” Hilsabeck said. “At one time they were a big panic, but the Asian carp have kind of taken care of that.”

Fish fry fund-raiser

Bragging rights are on the line in a unique fishing tournament today in Peoria. Forty anglers will fish area strip-mine lakes and return to Kelleher’s Irish Pub in Peoria in time for a 4:30 p.m. weigh-in as part of the first ALIPRO Snag & Brag tournament.

All proceeds benefit The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria. There will also be a fish fry starting at 4 p.m. at Kelleher’s. Fish fry tickets are $10 for adults and free for children 10 and under.

Birding bits

Last summer Illinois had its first documented nesting colony of white pelicans on Woodruffs Island near the town of Thomson in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Last year 20 nesting pairs produced about 50 young.

Pelicans have been nesting at Cormorant Island on the Iowa side of Pool 13 for several years but reached capacity maximum there and sought new territory.

Did you know?

On average, 58 people are killed by lightning strikes each year in the U.S. and more than 1,000 are injured. Of those injuries, 70 percent occur at recreational events.

Tip of the week

Applications for the first lottery of fall shotgun turkey hunting permits will be accepted at through July 6.

And applications for dove hunting permits on Illinois public ground will be accepted at from Tuesday through June 25.

Flooded again

In what has become an all-too-familiar pattern, flooding along the Illinois River will likely impact planting of public waterfowl refuges.
Managers at Rice Lake and Anderson Lake are virtually resigned to scrapping plans to plant corn in their refuges. The best option remaining, said Ed Oest at Anderson Lake, will be to aerial seed the refuges with millet later this summer.

This ‘n that

Banding of resident Canada geese is scheduled for June 21 around Canton and Wee-Ma-Tuk, June 22 near Victoria, Farmington and possibly Fairview and June 23 at CILCO, Buckheart and Banner Marsh. Dates and places may change depending on the weather. ... Mark Samp’s smallmouth state record appears likely to survive for another year, though there was at least one possible challenger. On May 26 Charlie Patrick of Oak Forest caught and released a 6.3-pound, 23-ounce smally on Lake Michigan. He did not have the fish weighed on a certified scale. 


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Illinois hunting and fishing

High winds hurt Elmwood again

June 06, 2010 at 12:18 PM

I’m starting to think June might be a good month to take a vacation from the otherwise lovely town of Elmwood.

Last night, for the second year in a row, our town was devastated by high winds. Last year got the trees. This year may have been even worse, as the storm took out most of the old buildings downtown.

The good news is nobody was killed by the tornado pictured above, a photograph taken by Richard Coon.

The bad news is this town, a town I no gladly call home, is left to rebuild yet again. And to see the war zone that is downtown was enough to turn my stomach. More to come.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

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