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Heartland Outdoors

Evergreen Lake seeking intern

Fri, February 11, 2011

The McLean County Department of Parks & Recreation is now accepting applications for the McLean County Sportsmen’s Association Scholarship Program for a summer 2011 Intern at Evergreen Lake/COMLARA Park.  Successful applicant must be a Parks & Recreation major, biology major, or a major from a related field.  Successful applicant must be from McLean County.  Successful applicant must be available for this internship program from May 15, 2011 to August 15, 2011.  This is a paid internship position for the summer of 2011.

This Internship Program is a very valuable program for the McLean County Department of Parks and Recreation.  This program allows the department to assist the Illinois Department of Natural Resources with Lake Enhancement projects, incorporate additional programming for kids, and assist with overall departmental goals and objectives.  In return, the intern gains valuable knowledge and experience that will help them in the future.

Please find an employment application attached.  APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY APRIL 1, 2011!

Please send applications to:  McLean County Dept. of Parks & Recreation; 13001 Recreation Area Dr.; Hudson, IL 61748; ATTN: Summer Internship Coordinator


Iowa fishing report 2-10-11

Thu, February 10, 2011

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.


Crawford Creek Impoundment

There is about 14 inches of ice with a foot of snow on top.  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegills are being caught on wax worms fishing in 10 to 20 feet of water.

Brushy Creek Lake

There is a lot of snow on the ice.  Few anglers have been out.  Some small fish have been caught.

Bacon Creek Lake

The DNR stocked 1,500 rainbow trout on January 8.  Ice is at least 12 inches thick.  Anglers need a trout stamp in addition to their regular fishing license to fish for or keep trout.  Daily limit of trout is 5.  Rainbow Trout - Good: Anglers are still catching rainbow trout on wax worms and artificials.  Bluegill - Fair: Some 6 to 7-inch bluegill are being caught.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

There is about 18 inches of ice on Storm Lake.  However, use caution as there may be weak areas.  There was recently a pocket of open water near Frank Starr Park.  Fishing has been pretty slow.  Out of a dozen anglers last weekend only 4 or 5 walleye were caught.

Swan Lake

Ice at Swan Lake is anywhere from 8 to 10 inches thick.  The aeration system has been turned on so there is open water and weak ice around the fish house, the fish cleaning station, and east of the fish house.  A few small bluegills have been caught.  There have not been many anglers out.

Arrowhead Lake

Arrowhead Lake has about 14 inches of good ice.  There are a lot fish using the new habitat structures on the west side of the lake.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are averaging 8.5 inches.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Most of the yellow perch that have been caught are small.

Lizard Lake

Yellow perch fishing has slowed down quite a bit on Lizard Lake.

For more information on the lakes and rivers in this area contact Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at the Black Hawk Fish Management Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.

Lake Smith

Ice thickness is 18 to 20 inches. Bluegills are biting in the late afternoon on wax worms.

Lake Catherine

Ice thickness is 16 to 20 inches. Bluegills are biting on wax worms at dusk.

Clear Lake

Ice thickness is 20 to 22 inches. Yellow bass fishing is fair, fishing in 8 to 10 feet of water using a small jig tipped with a wax worm or small minnow. The best bite is from 3 p.m. until dark. A few walleye, crappie and perch are being caught using the same technique.

Lake Cornelia

Ice thickness is 20 to 22 inches.

Rice Lake

Ice thickness is 20 to 22 inches. Yellow perch are biting on wax worms and minnows; it’s going to take some sorting to get a limit of keepers.

Silver Lake (Worth)

Ice thickness is 22 to 24 inches. No fishing activity reported

Blue Pit

Ice thickness is 20 to 22 inches. Rainbow trout fishing is fair, try using small jigs tipped with wax worms.

Bluebill Lake

Ice thickness is 22 to 24 inches. Bluegill and a few perch are biting on wax worms. The best bite is a first light.

Interstate Park Lake

Ice thickness is 20 to 22 inches. A few bluegill and crappie are biting at dusk.

For more information on fishing in the area lakes and rivers, call the Clear Lake fisheries office at 641-357-3517.

Big Spirit Lake

Overall fishing slowed this week with the cold weather, look for it to pick up this weekend with the warm weather coming.  Bluegill - Good: Anglers are reporting good numbers of bluegill fishing by the north grade about 50 feet from the road.  Some crappies are being reported while fishing for bluegill.  Yellow Perch - Good: Fishing has slowed for this species.  However, many anglers are still bringing off good numbers of perch.  Fish are being caught on the main lake basin using small ice jigs tipped with wigglers, wax worms, and artificial blood worms. Anglers are experiencing successful catches at Buffalo Run, Marble Beach, Big Stoney and Cottonwood points.  Some success has been reported in Angler’s Bay.  Walleye - Good: Fish rock bars or weed lines before sunrise or after sunset with jigging lures tipped with a minnow head and dead sticking with a minnow on a small hook below a split shot.  Remember that walleye season closes on Monday night, February 14, at midnight.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill - Good: Fish in the bays with small ice jigs tipped with wax worms/wigglers or plastics.  Bluegills are still aggressively biting, but sorting is needed for larger bluegill.  Yellow Perch - Good: Some anglers are reporting good catches of perch off of Triboji access and Hayward’s Bay.  Walleye - Good: Some walleye are being reported right before sunrise while fishing for bluegill in the bays. Remember that walleye season closes on Monday night, February 14th at midnight.

Scharnberg Pond

The second round of trout stocking happened January 22.  Refer to the Iowa fishing regulations booklet or the Iowa DNR website for trout stamp requirements.  Rainbow Trout - Good: Trout anglers at other lakes in Iowa have reported great success using jigging spoons tipped with wax worms or synthetic trout baits.

Ice conditions are good on area lakes; however extreme caution should be used when ever going out onto the ice.  Lakes north of U.S. Highway 20 have received an extension on leaving permanent ice houses on the ice overnight until February 27 or until ice conditions become poor.  This extra week should be used to remove houses from area lakes.  Once February 27 has passed, anglers can still fish out of permanent houses, but they just cannot leave them unattended overnight on the lakes.


Brinker Lake

Crappies have been slow to fair on Brinker Lake.  Crappie - Fair: Morning into early afternoon hours have been best.

George Wyth Lake

Catches of bluegill have been reported on George Wyth Lake.  Bluegill - Fair: Most pressure has taken place out from the north parking lot. Morning hours through early afternoon have been best.

Avenue of the Saints Pond

Reports have been crappie being caught during evening hours after sunset.  Bluegill - Fair: Day time hours have been best but fish tend to run small in size, some sorting may be necessary.  Crappie - Fair: Try jig and wax worm or minnow under a bobber during evening hours.

Ice fishing pressure has declined due to recent cold weather and snowfall events. Trout streams remain in excellent conditions in northeast Iowa. For further information contact the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.


Mississippi River Pool 9

Ice depth generally over 12 inches but conditions could change with the predicted warm weather. Caution should be used in areas like Minnesota Slough that have current and near shorelines or areas of runoff.  Generally the fishing has been slow over the past week but the warm weather could trigger better fishing.  Northern Pike - Fair: A few reports of pike are being taken on tip ups in the Minnesota Slough area.  The northern pike population is very robust, and many are present in most backwater systems.  Setting up tip-ups is going to require a snow mobile to move around in the thick snow.  Use caution as some open water exists in unusual places this year.  Bluegill - Fair: Minnesota Slough and Indian Lake by New Albin are fair.  Some bluegills are being reported from Becks Lake but action is slow.  Near Lansing, fishing in the Marina and in Phillippi Lake has been good at times.  DeSoto Bay on the Wisconsin side has seen lots of fishing pressure.  Yellow Perch - Fair: A few nice perch reported from Shore Slough and Minnesota Slough although fishing pressure tapered this week due to the two winter storms. The yellow perch bit can get better later in the winter and some jumbo yellow perch are being reported in Pool 9.

Mississippi River Pool 10

Ice depth generally over 12 inches but conditions could change with the predicted warm weather. Caution should be used in areas like Sny Magill that have current and near shorelines or areas of runoff. Anglers should use caution crossing into Norwegian and crossing over to Methodist Lake may become unsafe. Generally the ice fishing has been slow over the past week but the warm weather may trigger better fishing.  Northern Pike - Fair: Some smaller northern pike were being caught on tip-ups using larger shiners as bait.  The warm weather and run off may trigger better pike fishing.  Bluegill - Fair: Good catches of bluegills reported near Ambrough Slough by Prairie Du Chien and in the Sny Magill area decent catches reported in Ice Lake, Sandbar Slough and Methodist Lake.  Bussey Lake has slowed a bit but still is cranking out some bluegills.  Anglers are reporting that if the fish are biting it is usually a “day bite”. The last warm up we had triggered a good bite on Bussey Lake and the predicted warm up may do the same.  Crappie - Fair: A few nice crappies in Bussey but fishing has slowed.  A few nice crappies in Sny Magill area of Ice and Methodist lakes.  Yellow Perch - Fair: Some nice perch reported from sloughs in the Prairie Du Chien area and a few in Bussey Lake.  Yellow perch fishing can get better later in the winter and some jumbo yellow perch exist in many of the backwaters of Pool 10.  Sauger - Slow: The tail waters still have a lot of current due to the high water going into the winter.  This has made fishing for sauger difficult as they do not appear to be in their normal winter locations.  Feel free to call on ramp conditions as the city ramp use is variable and may ice back in.

Mississippi River Pool 11

Ice conditions in most backwaters is over 12 inches, but the condition of the ice could change with the predicted warm weather.  Unsafe ice condition could develop around shorelines and areas with current should be avoided.  With the recent cold weather the city ramp at Guttenberg has iced in but predicted warm weather may open it up again.  Anglers can call the DNR office in Guttenberg for current ramp conditions.  Bluegill - Fair: Zollicoffer’s in lower Pool 11 is still “hit or miss,” but some nice fish have been taken.  The better bite still seems to be in the afternoon.  Warm weather should trigger a better bluegill bite.  Crappie - Slow: A few nice crappies in Zollicoffer’s Lake by Dubuque and Swift Slough by Guttenberg.  Yellow Perch - Fair: During later season ice often yellow perch fishing can get better.  Perch can withstand a slight bit of current and sometimes are found in backwater areas with minimal flow.  Bluegills typically avoid such areas.  Sauger - Fair: With the recent cold weather the city ramp at Guttenberg has iced in but predicted warm weather may open it up.  Anglers can call the DNR office in Guttenberg for current ramp conditions.  Walleye - Slow: With the recent cold weather the city ramp at Guttenberg has iced in but predicted warm weather may open it up.  Anglers can call the DNR office in Guttenberg for current ramp conditions.

Ice conditions in most backwaters is over 12 inches but the condition of the ice could change with the predicted warm weather.  Unsafe ice condition could develop around shorelines and areas with current should be avoided.

Mississippi River Pool 16

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 7.43 feet. The Marquette St. ramp is being reported as frozen in. There is also a lot of large ice chunks floating in the main channel. Ice fishing has been slow.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 17

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 6.26 feet. The ramps in Muscatine are frozen in.  The access road to Big Timber is open. The access road and parking area may be ice covered so use caution when driving in and out of Big Timber. We have received no ice fishing information for Big Timber.  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Sauger - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 18

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 8.62 feet. No fishing information for this pool has been received.  Bluegill - No Report:  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 19

Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 4.76 feet. We have received reports that anglers have been able to launch boats on the Illinois side of the river below the dam. Ramp conditions could change. We have received no ice fishing information for this pool.  Sauger - Good: Saugers are being caught on jigs and minnows in the tail waters.

Pools 16 to 19: Most boat ramps throughout the pools are being reported as frozen in. There is large chunks of ice floating in the main channel. Ice fishing has been slow throughout the pools. For more fishing information on Pools 16 to 19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.


Lake Geode

The cold weather has made the ice about 8 inches thick now in most places.  There is a considerable amount of snow (18 inches) on the ice from last week’s storm.  Both the beach parking lot and the parking lot at the main boat ramp have been plowed for angler parking.  Bluegill - Slow: The bluegill fishing remains slow.

Lake Belva Deer

Angler pressure has dropped off.  Those who are coming out are still catching fish. There is about 14 inches of snow on the ice.  Bluegill - Slow: The catch rate has slowed way down.  Anglers seem to be concentrating their efforts more over towards the North side of the lake.  Crappie - Slow: The bite has slowed down.

Lake of the Hills

Last week’s weather as well as that of earlier this week has really decreased the number of anglers out on the ice. As always stay away from the boathouse where there is an aerator to protect the docks from ice damage.  Rainbow Trout - Fair: The trout seem to be in small schools, move regularly to find new schools.  Bluegill - Fair: Work the brush piles in the deeper water. Wax worms and variety of different jig colors are still producing fish.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up crappies in the same places they are catching the bluegills.  Look for the crappies to be suspended above the bluegills.

Lambach Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are again catching some nice bluegills.  Crappie - Fair: Some nice crappies are being caught on this lake in West Lake Park.  The crappies are near or just off the bottom around the habitat.

For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at 319- 694-2430

Iowa Lake

Bluegill - Good: Limits of bluegills have been reported in the mornings. Fish around brush or pallets with a jig/waxie.

Kent Park Lake

Fishing has been slow lately due to cold and heavy snow on the ice.  Bluegill - Slow: Fish around brush with a jig/waxie.

Lake Macbride

There has not been much fishing activity on the lake this week and reports are limited.  Bluegill - Fair: Fish around almost any structure in 10 to 20 feet. Size is generally small.  Crappie - Slow: There are still a few fish being caught but most reports are of smaller fish. Keep moving until you find fish. Find areas that have not had much pressure.

Pleasant Creek Lake

Channel Catfish - Slow: A few catfish have been found in 25 to 35 feet of water. Try a small jigging spoon tipped with waxies, minnow heads, or GULP.  Bluegill - Slow: Try around brush piles in the mornings and evenings. Depths of 10 to 15 feet have been reported as best.  Yellow Perch - Slow: Fish deep water with a jig/waxie. Fish have been ranging from 4 to 11 inches with most around 7 inches.

Diamond Lake

Bluegill - Good: Fish around brush. Size has been generally small but nice ones will be mixed in.  Crappie - Good: Look for suspended fish about 6 to 8 feet down. Size has been generally small.

Otter Creek Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill size has been good. Look for brush piles in 10 feet or more of water.

Union Grove Lake

Bluegill - Fair: Fish around brush. The area west of the east ramp has been most popular.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being picked up along with the bluegills. Dusk has been the most productive time.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Red Haw Lake

Ice depths have been reported to be around 10 inches.  Use caution when venturing out because there have been some variation in ice thickness.  The geese had been keeping an area open by the dam and the beach so avoid that area.  Bluegill - Good: Use teardrop jigs tipped with a wax worm.

Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)

The lake has been drained for a lake renovation and work has begun around the lake.  New fish habitat areas are being built along with some new jetties.

Albia (lower)

The Albia Reservoir is currently closed due to snow removal efforts in the town of Albia.

Lake Miami

Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Try areas along the dam.

Lake Sugema

Use caution when venturing onto the ice.  Standing timber can impede the formation of good ice.  There is open water along the north shore around the fishing pier.  There is about 10 inches of ice up lake where most of the fishing is taking place.  Angling is also occurring on Tug Forks West with some bluegill being caught.  Tug Forks East still has some areas of variable ice thickness so use caution.  Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Try fishing within a foot of the lake bottom.  Crappie - Fair: Try using wax worms or minnows tipped on a small jig.  Try different depths until finding active fish.

Rathbun Reservoir

The lake level is at 902.77 feet with 904.0 feet being normal pool.  Ice thickness reports are as follows:  Island View Dedication site boat ramp - 10 inches, Glenwood ramp -10 inches, and Atwell’s Landing - 10.5 inches.  Use caution because ice thickness has been variable.  Crappie - Slow: Use teardrops jigs tipped with a wax worm or a minnow.  Find areas with submerged structure and fish over them.  Look for structure in the Honey Creek cove or in Buck Creek.

For further fishing reports in south central Iowa, call the Rathbun fish hatchery at 641-647-2406


Beaver Lake

Bluegill - Good: There have been some reports of good bluegill catches coming out of Beaver lake.  Try the northeast and southeast portions of the lake on some of the 15 feet deep ridges and humps close to the deeper water.

Rock Creek Lake

Crappie - Good: Anglers are still coming up with some decent panfish catches.  Both bluegill and crappie are being caught in good numbers fishing with wax worms in 8 to 12 feet of water in the southern portion of the lake.  Late afternoon has been the best time.

Roberts Creek Lake

Bluegill - Good: Ice anglers are having a good season on Roberts Creek.  Limits of fair sized bluegills are consistently being caught.  Crappie - Good: Good catches of 8 to 10 inch crappies. Unlike most lakes this year, many of the crappie are being caught during daylight.

Big Creek Lake

Bluegill - Fair: The bluegill bite is a little slow.  Anglers willing to search are still catching fair amounts of good size fish.  The brush piles on the west side of the lake south of the West ramp have been good.  The best time seems to be late afternoon, especially the hour before dark, but occasionally there has been a decent morning bite.  Waxies are the preferred bait.  Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being caught at sunset and after.  The fish that are being caught are coming from the roadbed and the 30 to 40 feet deep creek channel running between the east ramp and Ensign shelter.  Use glowing tackle with wax worms, small live minnows, or just minnow heads.

Hickory Grove Lake

Bluegill - Good: The bluegill bite is still a little off from what it had been, but anglers can still expect a decent day.  The best bite is the hour before dark, over sunken habitat in depths of 15 feet or greater.  The habitat in the deeper water in the lower half of the lake has been producing the best.  There is plenty of good habitat to search for out from many of the points, and southeast of the island.  Crappie - Good: Crappie are being caught.  For better success stay out the hour or two past sunset.  They are coming off some of the same habitat as the bluegills.  However, better crappie success is coming from more main lake habitat than back in the coves.  Glow jigs with wax worms or minnows are working.

Lake Ahquabi

Bluegill - Fair: Good bluegills are still being picked up around the large sunken cedars 16 to 20 feet out from the steep, west bank across from the beach area.

Ankeny Lake (DMACC)

Rainbow Trout - Good: Good numbers of trout remain from the last stocking.  They were biting well on jigs tipped with wax worms.  Three trophy sized brood fish were also released.  Only one is known to have been caught so far.  Bluegill - Good: Decent sized bluegills as well as an occasional nice sized crappie are being pulled through the ice.  Concentrate on the south central portion of the lake.

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake

Rainbow Trout - Good: Trout are being caught in good numbers mostly along the east shore of the north pit.  Anglers fishing earlier in the morning are having the best luck.  The trout don’t seem to travel the deep water so try staying in the 5 to 15 feet contour interval.  They can be caught on most ice fishing jigs or jigging spoons tipped with wax worms or fish with a small live minnow on a hook.  They are confined to the north pit.

Moving past mid season, the slower bite that has been experienced towards the end of January should begin to pick up.  Ice conditions remain excellent.  Most bodies of water have 17-plus inches.  In general, the best bites have been happening early in the morning and again after 4 p.m.  For questions on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.

Nodaway Lake

Nodaway Lake is two miles south of Greenfield. The best bite has been in the afternoon after 4:30. Ice thickness is 12 inches.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills can be caught on teardrops tipped with wax worms. Sorting is necessary for 7 to 8-inch fish.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught with wax worms around cedar tree piles. Fish are 9 to 10 inches.

Littlefield Lake

Littlefield is reported to have 12 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills can be caught with wax worms in 10 to 13 feet of water. Fish average 8 inches.  Crappie - Slow: Crappies are scattered with a few are being caught in the evenings using minnows. Fish average 9 inches.

Lake Anita

Late season crappie fishing has picked up. There is 14 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are being caught on jigs tipped with wax worms in 18 to 20 feet of water. Bluegills are averaging 8 inches with fish up to 9.5 inches being caught.  Crappie - Good: Crappie fishing is good using wax worms or minnows early morning and late afternoon. Fish are suspended 6 to 8 feet off the bottom.

Willow Lake

Willow Lake has 14 plus inches of good ice and extremely good water clarity.  Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching 8-inch bluegills with wax worms in 20 feet of water close to structure.  Crappie - Slow: An angler reported to have caught a few 10 inch crappies in 15 to 20 feet of water in the late afternoon.

DeSoto Bend

Desoto has 14 inches of ice.  Crappie - Fair: A few large white crappies are being caught around sunken cedar trees.

Lake Manawa

Manawa has variable ice thickness. Reports are anywhere from 10 to 14 inches. Most fishing has taken place around Tin Can Alley or the new and old beach.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught with minnows and wax worms. Most fish are 8 to 10 inches.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds

Numerous farm ponds in southern Iowa provides a good opportunity for a quality ice fishing trip. Remember to always get permission before fishing private ponds.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are being caught using tear drops tipped with wax worms.  Crappie - Slow: Crappies are being caught using minnows or wax worms on larger ponds that support crappie populations. Later in the afternoon has been the best time to target crappies.

Ice conditions are good now but warm temperatures in the forecast could cause ice to deteriorate. For more information on fishing or ice conditions call the southwest district office in Lewis at 712-769-2587.

Lake Icaria

Most of the lake has good ice but the water kept an area of the north arm open.  Check thickness frequently.  Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being picked up off the old road across the big arm and just north of the beach point.  Walleye - Fair: Anglers are catching a few walleye from the old roadway and just north of the beach point.

Fogle Lake S.W.A.

The creek channels are producing a lot of fish.  Bluegill - Fair: A few mid-sized bluegills are being caught from the tree pile just north of the center of the dam the old creek channel all the way up the middle of the lake.  Crappie - Fair: Several real big crappies are being caught from the creek channel.  Minnows are far better than wax worms.

Lake of Three Fires

Most of the lower portion has ice 8 to 10 inches.  Check often.  Bluegill - Fair: Several nice bluegills are being caught from the brush pile just north of the center of the dam.  A few are coming from the deeper channel just off the picnic area.  Crappie - Fair: A few nice crappies are being caught on wax worms by the bluegill anglers.

Green Valley Lake

The lake has been lowered to complete a sediment removal project.  The lake contains a lot of nice bluegills and crappies.  Anglers are doing well around the brush pile just north of the dam.  Bluegill - Good: A lot of real chunky bluegill are being caught from the brush pile just north of the center of the dam.

Summit Lake

The lake has been drained to complete a shoreline rip rap project and replace the spillway.  Refilling is expected later in the summer.

Three Mile Lake

Most of the lake has ice from 6 to 8 inches thick.  Check thickness frequently.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching either real big crappie or fish a little too small from the timbered creek channel at mid lake.  Walleye - Slow: A few walleye are being caught by the crappie anglers.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake

A lot of anglers are driving on the ice.  Check thickness frequently.  Bluegill - Good: Several big bluegills are being caught from the creek channel along the west shore and all the way up lake.  Walleye - Fair: A few walleye are being picked up by the bluegill and crappie anglers fishing the old roadway or the creek channel.

Most lakes have good ice fishing.  Crappies are better in the evenings.  Some vehicles are driving on the ice.  Some thin areas may still exist.  Use caution and check the thickness frequently.


Wildlife Prairie Park ice tourney

Thu, February 10, 2011

Wildlife Prairie State Park at Hanna City will host its 2nd annual Ice Fishing Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 12 from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Raffles on ice plus heated, full-service fishing chalets and grand prizes are new this year.

Gates open at 6 a.m. with registration at the Parkside Pavilion.

Registration entry fee on the day of the tournament is $15 each with two drink tickets.

Tournament is limited to 300 spaces on a first-come, first-reserved basis. Registrants must have a valid Illinois fishing license. Contact the park at 309-676-0998 for reservations.


DU lauded for conservation

Thu, February 10, 2011

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - DU received the highest mark of distinction in land conservation when the Land Trust Accreditation Commission approved accreditation to both Ducks Unlimited Inc. and Wetlands America Trust, DU’s supporting foundation that raises significant philanthropic gifts and manages DU’s endowments and land holdings.

“The Land Trust Accreditation seal signifies that both DU and WAT operate under the highest legal, ethical, fiscal and procedural standards,” said Darin Blunck, DU director of conservation programs. “Accreditation indicates to funders, partners and landowners that DU takes seriously our legal responsibilities as stewards of conservation easements and that we engage in real estate transactions using the highest ethical and legal standards. Success of our partnerships, and thus the achievement of our conservation mission, depends on establishing and maintaining a mutual trust among all players.”

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission was incorporated in April 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. The commission was designed to operate a land trust accreditation program that recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.

The commission is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. The commission conducts an extensive review of an applicant’s policies and programs before making a determination to award accreditation and the right to display the trademarked seal. The commission tested the voluntary accreditation program in 2007 and began operations in 2008. There are now more than 100 accredited land trusts across the United States.

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres, thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.


Rock, Pecatonica commercial fishing

Wed, February 09, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will hold its annual drawing for the commercial removal of rough fish on the Rock/Pecatonica River at 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at the IDNR regional office, located at 2317 E. Lincolnway in Sterling. 

Any commercial fisherman drawn may only harvest specific types of rough fish within the Rock/Pecatonica Rivers with the overall goal of improving the health of the fishery in these areas.

Commercial fishing for these rough species of fish has been occurring on the Rock River prior to the 1950s.  The IDNR holds drawings annually for the commercial removal of these fishes to help enhance sport fish populations on the Rock River.  ‘Rough’ fishes such as carp and buffalo compete directly with sport fish for food resources and spawning habitat.  During the last 10 years more than two million pounds of rough fish have been harvested commercially from the Rock River.

Species that may be harvested are carp, buffalo, freshwater drum, suckers, carp suckers, gar, bowfin, grass carp, Asian carp and gizzard shad.  Commercial fishermen drawn are eligible to fish for these specific species from April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012.  All other fish species including catfish and bullheads must be released immediately.

Any licensed commercial fisherman with a minimum of 15 hoop nets or three 100-yard trammel nets with a bar mesh size of 2¾ inch or larger who has not been found guilty of a Fish and Aquatic Life Code or Fish Administrative Rules violation within the past 12 months, and can post a $300 bond, is eligible for the drawing.  Fishermen must be in attendance during the drawing and are awarded on a first draw-first choice basis.


Iowa bur oaks face threat

Wed, February 09, 2011

DES MOINES – One of Iowa’s most identifiable trees is under attack from a newly named disease that is currently causing more problems in the state than the high profile emerald ash borer or gypsy moth.

Bur oak blight has been in Iowa since the early 2000s and is already killing trees.  Symptoms of bur oak blight include a v-shaped brown discoloration of leaves and browning veins in July and August.  This disease can cause severe defoliation that can lead to morality of branches or entire trees.  Trees die after the fourth of fifth year of defoliation, usually from a secondary pest.

“Early detection of the disease is the key to managing it,” said Tivon Feeley, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources forest health program.

Infected bur oaks tend to not drop the leaves in the fall like a healthy tree would. These infected leaves act as a source of inoculums for the healthy leaves that emerge and grow in the spring. The emerging leaves become infected with bur oak blight and the symptoms progress slowly until the leaves start browning in late summer.

Bur oak is native to all 99 Iowa counties and more than half of the counties have bur oak blight.  The disease is killing oaks from southwest Wisconsin to southern Minnesota, most of Iowa and to eastern Nebraska.

In 2008, bur oak ranked second among all tree species in volume of saw timber on forest land and provides substantial value for wood products. It is one of the most beneficial trees for wildlife habitat and provides food through its acorns for many game and non-game species.  It is a significant part of the largest forest type in Iowa.  Wild turkey and deer depend on forests for cover and search out oaks for mast before winter.

The loss of bur oak within the oak-hickory forest type will negatively impact the $1.5 billion contribution that fish and wildlife recreation provides to Iowa’s economy.  Additionally, Iowa’s 3 million acres of forest support an estimated 1.1 billion board feet of merchantable size bur oak, with an economic value to landowners of $330 million.

“Right now we are recommending that woodland owners do salvage cuts of infected trees to get maximum value of the tree before it dies, because we will not get rid of this,” Feeley said. “Bur oak blight is here to stay.”

While the outlook for bur oaks in the countryside is bleak, the outlook for those in town is slightly better.

In urban areas, injecting the fungicide, Alamo™, into the tree appears to have helped trees with their ability to recover.  Trees appeared symptomless for the first two seasons after being injected. However, it is likely that subsequent injections would be required when bur oak blight starts to defoliate the tree again.

“It’s important for tree owners to not re-apply the treatment until the tree starts to defoliate from the pathogen,” Feeley said. 

Iowa’s overall urban tree canopy has 12 percent tree cover, of which, 3 percent of the trees are bur oak.  The estimated landscape value and removal cost for urban trees is more than $500 million.  Homeowners can have leaves tested for the disease by sending samples to Iowa State University’s Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic to have the fungus confirmed.  Information on the click and how to submit samples is online at

Proper woodland and community tree management have a critical role in creating healthy trees. Maintaining a diversity of trees is the best insurance a landowner can have.  Communities can create tree diversity by not having more than 10 percent of any one species represented.


Pure fishing acquires Sebile

Tue, February 08, 2011

Columbia, SC _ Pure Fishing, Inc., a leading global provider of fishing tackle and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jarden Corporation, today announced that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of the Sebile fishing lure business from Sebile International SA and its subsidiaries, a global supplier of fresh and saltwater fishing lures marketed under the Sebile® brand name.

“We are excited to add Sebile lures to our offering, as they provide a strong complement to our current product lines,” commented John Doerr, President and CEO of Pure Fishing.  “Sebile’s award winning products, paired with our global distribution network, creates a powerful combination.  We look forward to working with Patrick Sebile to ensure that Pure Fishing stays at the forefront of delivering innovation to anglers around the globe.”

Sebile® lures are well recognized by the fishing tackle industry and anglers world-wide.  The brand has distinguished itself in the industry as the only brand to ever win, in a single year, both the Best Hard Lure and Best Soft Lure awards at ICAST (USA - 2009), three awards at EFTTEX (Europe -2010), and four awards at AFTA (Australia - 2010).

“Our goal was not to start just another lure business but to provide anglers around the globe with a new and unique range of lures borne from innovative concepts and ideas,” stated Patrick Sebile.  “Joining the Pure Fishing team will dramatically expand our opportunities for global growth.  I am very excited to have Sebile become a part of Pure Fishing’s portfolio of industry leading brands.”

Mr. Sebile, the namesake of the Sebile® brand, started his lure business in 2006.  He has fished in sixty-three countries around the world, has caught over 600 species of fish, and has compiled 327 IGFA, EFSA and FFPM records.