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Jeff Lampe
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

Open Blog Thursday

August 13, 2009 at 06:38 AM

Welcome back to my main man Stan “The Man” Morris. Stan took a few months off this summer but is back to help with fishing reports, etc. Even so, after my latest three-day vacation, there’s way too much to get through. Can you help me?

FROM Ken Schaffnit of Peoria:

“I had a late backout on one of my goose pits in Canton that I lease out each year. It is located in the main 200 + acre field just across from the Ameren property. There is only one other pit in that field so each pit hunts on about a 100-acre parcel each. I lease that 5 man pit for 3000.00 per year with a five year lock on the price. If you know of a good hunter or a group of hunters that might be interested in a no-hassle, non-crowded field to hunt for ducks and geese on the North end of Duck Creek I would greatly appreciate you letting them know of the availability.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Anyone interested in this pit let me know and I will forward your information to Schaffnit.

FROM Frank Docherty:

“Most police,  wildlife officials,  government officials refuse to comment on mountain lion issues for fear of reprisals. The recent spike in mountain lion sightings and attacks is grabbing the attention of all concerned parties,  in both the USA and Canada. Create a “google news alert” for mountain lions and you will see for yourself.  Apparently this “endangered species” is not so endangered,  and,  it is us,  people,  who are the ones who are endangered by their presence in and around our communities.”

FROM Mike Conlin of Auburn:

Looking at the photos from Southern Illinois this am looked like reprints which I saw yesterday early am just a short distance from arriving at my deer/turkey area in Morgan Co.  I was driving slowly because of the winding, hilly terrain and all the deer in the area.  Came slowly around a corner and there was a doe with her rear end in the middle of the road chewing on the outside row of a corn field.  Went a quarter of a mile and there was a nice buck and a doe doing the same thing.  They are in the corn, that’s for sure.  My neighbor has one end of his corn field which looks like a combined hail storm/twister hit it.  Our food plots showed the deer are eating the beans with gusto.  Keeping them chewed down low.  Also using the alfalfa.  We have a variety of food crops in our three new food plots, so we will see how the deer like what we have on the menu (milo, turnips, peas, clover, etc.) later this fall.

FROM Dan Stephenson:

Mike Conlin, may not have been solely responsible for all of the new initiatives listed below but all came under his charge as Division Chief. Through his strength of conviction, determination and great love of the natural resources of our state Mike forged a Fisheries Division that not so long ago was the nation’s leader. We’ve fallen on hard times lately but we’ll be back.

Took over as division chief- 1975
Began a hiring process that was free from patronage. Only the top applicants were hired as biologists from states and universities all over the country. Nearly all biologists hired since Mike took office have had their Master’s degree. Those few without, had their B.S and years of experience.

Put-n-Take Trout fishing throughout the state-1981

Expansion of the hatchery system-1984 with the construction of Jake Wolf, the re-habilitation of Little Grassy, Spring Grove and the acquisition of La Salle hatchery.

In cooperation with and through research grants with the Illinois Natural History Survey developed the Fisheries Analysis System (fisheries computer software program) which vaulted the division into the computer age. This includes to, standardized fish sampling protocol and increased number of creel surveys-1984.  This put Illinois’ fisheries science onto the cutting edge nationally.

Cooperative fishery management agreements with all municipal and utility entities were developed. A city owned lake could now be managed as if it were state owned. This brought hundreds of lakes into the state system. Name a village, town, park district, city, Corp of Engineer or power plant lake and it’s probably managed by the IDNR through one of these agreements. -1984

Urban Fishing program- 1984 in Chicago.  Now has become statewide in every city over 50,000.  Tens of thousands of school children go through this program annually.

Created the Fisheries Management Committee- 1987- formal avenue for input from field biologists into Fisheries’ policy and the development of Administrative Rules.

Created employee awards to recognize outstanding achievements by division personnel.  including the Golden Gar Award-1987

Developed species management plans especially necessary after the expansion of the hatchery system, when we began stocking non-native fish

Created the Streams and Rivers program.  Prior to that the district biologists handled all work on streams and rivers as well as lakes.

Created the Illinois Sportfishing Awards program.

Began strategic planning, including angler surveys to give direction to Fisheries management and research.

Developed ties with academic institutions for Fisheries research, INHS, SIU, EIU, WIU

Developed ties with every fishing organizationin and out of the state. BASS, MUE, IL MUE alliance, Trout and Salmon unlimited.

The same is true of his ties with outdoor writers and broadcasters.

Was President of the Association of the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Fish Illinois Initiative 1994. Increased fishing license allowed the division to nearly double in size of the Fisheries division.

IHSA Bass tourney in 2009.




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