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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

Wild Things 1-10-10

January 10, 2010 at 02:59 AM

Powerton cats

Frigid cold hasn’t hurt fishing at Powerton Lake.

The cooling lake west of Pekin has produced numerous catches of big blue catfish in the past week along with a few flathead catfish. Hybrid striped bass are also biting well. “But I haven’t heard anything about smallmouth bass out there,” said Jason Grider, who has reopened Riverside Bait in Pekin.

Jeff Gillis (pictured above) was among those who caught plump blue cats. He was fishing last Monday in the hot-water discharge area.


Anglers competing in the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series, none of whom are from Illinois.

Environmental hero

The late Bert Princen of Peoria received one of 22 Environmental Hero Awards presented for 2009 by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Princen, known as the Bird Man of Peoria, was honored for helping run Christmas Bird Counts since 1962, for starting spring bird counts in 1972 and for his overall enthusiasm for the outdoors, science and birds.

Deer details

Permits are still available over the counter for the second segment of the late-winter firearm season, which is Friday through next Sunday, Jan. 17. Unfilled permits from the 2009 firearm, muzzleloader, youth seasons may also be used, provided the county for which they were issued is open to the late-winter hunt.

All hunting in the late-winter season is for antlerless-only deer.

During the frigid first segment of the late-winter season, hunters shot 9,491 deer, including 378 in Fulton County—which was second only to Pike County (441) in overall harvest. Last year hunters shot 12,552 deer during the late-winter hunt.

From the past

In a Jan. 13, 1960 article, former Journal Star writer Howard Kenny wrote about a 48-foot long whale shark that was brought to Peoria by barge for an exhibition in the mid-1920s. The whale shark had apparently been shot offshore of Miami before eventually making its way north.

Did you know?

According to the 1958 publication, “Investigations of Ring-Necked Pheasants in Illinois” by William B. Robertson, Jr., “Most detailed studies of the nesting of the ring-necked pheasant have found that from one half to as many as 81.8 percent of the nests were located in hayfields.”

This ‘n that

... The Henry Decoy Show will be Feb. 14. This year’s event is in memory of founder Don Clark, who passed away on Dec. 16, 2009.

... Official totals for Anderson Lake during the 2009 duck season were 612 hunters, 794 ducks (404 mallards) and a 1.3 ducks per hunter average.

... Applications for the second lottery for spring turkey hunting permits are due by Monday. Starting Tuesday through Feb. 9, hunters may apply online ( for a second permit.

... Applications will be accepted through March 15 for the 2010 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest (


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