I know Wild Sunday is running a couple days late. Forgive me, it was a weekend swamp of kids stuff and celebrating my birthday.
Part of my birthday was fishing the Chicago River Sunday with Mike Skwira. We launched from the new small-boat launch at Western and the Sanitary and Ship Canal, and spot jumped to downtown.
The fishing was on the tough side, though we ended up with some 30 fish in nine species.
And the species are key. What is this species?
I was casting a white diving crankbait across the discharge at the community hole at Franklin Street when it hit.
At first glance coming in, I thought it was a white bass. Then Mike and I thought it was hybrid striped bass. He held the fish so I could get a photo before we released it.
At home, I checked my books and online, and now don't think it is either a white bass or hybrid striper. There have been similar fish coming from that area in the past year or so.
I emailed some people for their opinions.
Carl Vizzone, long-time prowler of the Chicago River system, sent this explanation.
``In recent years we're consistently getting more mixes of this type in the river. More yellow bass, of course white perch as well as white bass. I believe that what is in this picture is a white perch-yellow bass mix. We should be sending some of these samples in to Des Plaines for analysis. I'm sure we have hybrids mixed in also.''
(Added mid-day). I reached one of the biologists in Des Plaines. Lake Michigan program biologist Steve Robillard e-mailed that it was a white bass and said they collected one on the Cal in July.
I will bow his knowledge, but I've caught a lot of white bass in my life and thought it was something else.
If you have thoughts, post here, or, if you fear public comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.