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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

Asian carp also impacting the South

March 22, 2010 at 10:23 AM

While most of the recent talk about Asian carp has focused on the Great Lakes, there are plenty of lakes and rivers in other areas that have also been impacted by the invasive species.

Proof of that is being seen in Tennessee. Writes Anne Paine in a March 21 article in The Tennessean:

“They already know the fish are swimming in growing numbers deeper into the state through locks and dams on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers.

“One of Peach’s colleagues has hauled in as much as 5,000 pounds of silver carp in a day from the northern portion of Kentucky Lake. The lake, which runs from Kentucky to Pickwick Dam south of Savannah, Tenn., is part of the Tennessee River.”

Click here to read the rest of Paine’s interesting article.


Story and comments

Winter’s grip loosens

March 03, 2010 at 09:43 AM

February was a long month. Some ice fishing. But lots of cold. And ice. And snow. And even work.

For all those reasons, the arrival of March has been a blessing.

For the past few days, to walk into work has been to pass a symphony of bird sounds. Songbirds are calling everywhere. And overhead, flocks of geese are headed north. Even at night. As the oldest boy and I walked home from a meeting last night I could hear snow geese passing overhead in the dark, loud enough to be heard over the sounds of a passing train and the usual street sounds.

The critters are letting us know that winter’s grip is loosening.

These are wonderful signs. This is a wonderful time of year.

Somehow all the hope out there made me think of Phil Connors and one of my favorite films, Groundhog Day. As Phil noted:

“When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.”

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

Albino otter photographed in S. Illinois

February 18, 2010 at 09:42 AM

Nature photographer Dave Austin e-mailed some cool pictures of an albino otter swimming in the wild.

Austin took these pictures Feb. 10 in a swamp and writes, “I was amazed when I saw a White Otter swimming with the younger one.”

Same here. Enjoy.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

Cool pictures of eagle attacking deer

February 16, 2010 at 10:25 AM

On the Illinois Birder’s Forum, Eric Walters has posted an awesome sequence of pictures of a golden eagle attempting to take down a whitetail deer at the Nachusa Grasslands in Lee County.

Walters was there on Saturday and got pictures, including the one above. This is one sequence worth checking out.

Click here to see the rest and to read an account of the attempted attack.

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

Fox caught on trail cam

February 11, 2010 at 03:15 PM

I’m hearing red fox stories more and more frequently these days. That’s due in part to the success of at least two dens of foxes in my hometown Elmwood.

But the foxes are doing well other places, too. While red foxes remain relatively rare in the country, city dwellers are seeing more of these pretty little canines in town.

Here’s a picture of one from Don Osborne’s backyard in Mattoon. “I finally caught him on the trail camera,” Osborne reports.

I for one would rather have a fox in the yard than a rabbit any day. Kind of nice to see them making a comeback somewhere.

Story and comments

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