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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 6-28-09

June 28, 2009 at 02:50 AM


Weight in pounds and ounces of the Illinois state record grass carp caught by Josh Pryer on July 13, 2000 out of Lake Petersburg.

Born to be caught

A study by the University of Illinois shows that vulnerability to being caught is an inherited trait in largemouth bass.

Research at Ridge Lake in Charleston showed one bass was caught three times in two days and another was caught 16 times in one year. Offspring of bass like those also proved to be more likely to be caught.

Bad news for geese

A late winter in the Hudson Bay area of Canada is expected to wipe out the breeding season for Canada geese and several other species of migratory birds.

According to Robert Alison of the Winnipeg Free Press, the first Canada goose nests were started June 7 — a month later than normal. That will probably not be early enough for most goslings to mature and to make the migration south. Snow geese and various shorebirds are also expected to be impacted by the late spring.

Birding bits

While this was a poor nesting year for bald eagles in much of Illinois, a pair north of Putnam successfully reared three eaglets according to Dave Clark of East Peoria.

Stop aching, itching

The makers of Absorbine Jr. are finally starting to spread the word about an unexpected benefit of their herbal formula, traditionally used to relieve sore muscles and joints.

In recent years outdoors enthusiasts across the Midwest have increasingly turned to Absorbine Jr. to help fend off gnats. As a result, production of Absorbine Jr. has actually been increased to meet demand.

“We’re hearing from lots of folks, especially fishermen and other people who are on or near water, that Absorbine Jr. has an extremely powerful effect on gnats,” said Robert J. Wallace, an executive with the company that makes the herbal product.

Kudos corner

Local angler Logan Heberer, 17, of Spring Lake recently won his age division at the National Guard Junior World Championship qualifier held at Clinton Lake.

Heberer caught 6.74 pounds of bass and had big fish of 4.91 pounds to advance to the world championship July 29-Aug. 2 on Pools 6 and 7 of the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania.

Wild on the Web

Great Northern Outdoors promises fresh content focused on hunting and fishing around the Great Lakes and upper Midwest.

Critter corner

In the wilds of Illinois in July ...
Tiger salamanders change to their adult shape.
Biologists band wood ducks.
Some wild turkey hens renest.
Quail are hatching.
Canada geese, wood ducks and bald eagles fledge.
Second litter of squirrels are born.
Blazing star and rattlesnake master bloom.

This ‘n that

Recreational boaters beware: Illinois conservation police officers will be out in force today as part of Operation Dry Water. ...  A Swiss angler recently caught a 1,056-pound, 12-foot, 9-inch bluntnose six-gill shark off the coast of Ireland on rod and reel. ... Applications for the first lottery for fall wild turkey hunting permits are due by July 6. ... Jon and Lori Sarver have called off their August decoy show at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe. Word is a new show may be starting in Utica. ... The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said a wolf hunt in that state is likely at least five years off.


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