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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 7-11-10

July 11, 2010 at 03:28 AM


Brooder bass stocked at Hennepin-Hopper lakes from the Emiquon Preserve and other lakes.

Hennepin-Hopper full

After being drained and rehabilitated in the past six months, Hennepin-Hopper lakes are once again full of water, fish, birds and plants.

“Plants are coming back like they were shot out of a cannon, and it’s even early in the growing season,” said Gary Sullivan, an ecologist for the Wetland Initiative, which manages Hennepin-Hopper. “We have seen sago pondweed and water celery, two of the most important species for fish and waterfowl that were once extremely abundant, but are now rarely seen in the Illinois River Valley.”

Fishing could start as early as 2011, depending on how well the fishery progresses according to biologist Wayne Herndon.

“We’ve stocked a tremendous number of fry or fingerlings of northern pike, muskie, bass, channel catfish and just about any gamefish,” Herndon said.

In addition to 125,000 muskie fry, another 500 fingerlings of 6-7 inches were stocked this week. All muskie were surplus fish, meaning no lakes on the Illinois stocking list will have to be skipped. Muskie had not been previously stocked at Hennepin-
Hopper, but the toothy rascals were added to help keep carp under control.

“Based on what I’m seeing from the plants that are there it’s going to be phenomenal when migration starts as far as waterfowl using the site,” Herndon said.

Did you know?

The Illinois Forestry Development Council estimates there are 236 million oak trees and 208 million maple trees in Illinois. But the more shade-tolerant maples are spreading faster than oaks, which are more beneficial to wildlife but do not tolerate shade and are negatively impacted by invasive garlic mustard.

You speak

“The oil spill is an environmental disaster that could affect ducks and duck hunters for years to come. It would appear that diving ducks like scaup, canvasbacks and redheads will be most at risk because they sit in the coastal bays where there has been a lot of oil in recent weeks.”
— Dr. Frank Rohwer, Louisiana State University

Monster carp in Chicago

At least two huge bighead carp have been found dead in Chicago’s Garfield Park lagoon this week. Angler Spencer Miller weighed an 84-pounder at Henry’s Sports in Chicago and another 73-pounder was hauled in by another angler.

Henry’s owner Tom Palmisano said he has been seeing Asian carp out of Chicago lagoons for 10 years.

If Asian carp are already in Chicago’s lagoons in such numbers and sizes, it makes you wonder why the state and federal government are spending millions of dollars to keep these fish out of Lake Michigan.

Kudos corner

Hats off to hunter safety instructors in Peoria County, who annually put on more hunter safety classes than any other Illinois county.

This ‘n that

At the request of conservation police officers, Illinois has reinstated mandatory reporting for anyone who claims road-killed deer. Word is not requiring reporting had created a huge loophole for deer poachers and headaches for CPOs. ... Biologists plan to release 50 Regal Fritillary butterflies Monday at 11 a.m. at the Sundrop Prairie Nature Preserve in Markham. The rare butterflies were raised in captivity. ... Friends of Rice Lake meet at Presley’s Outdoors Tuesday at 6 p.m.



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