Chicago Sun-Times
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More fish into Rock River: Channel cats

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So when the IDNR stocked northern pike and smallmouth into section of the Rock River devastated by the kill in June, a flathead fanatic made a crack about the species deemed essential to stock. OK, maybe it isn't flatheads just yet, but there will be channel catfish added.

About 4,000 hatchery raised channel catfish will be released in Dixon tomorrow.

Here's the complete word from the IDNR:

IDNR to Release More Fish Into Rock River

Stocking to assist recovery of fishery following June fish kill

DIXON, IL - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), on Tuesday, August 4 will release hatchery-raised channel catfish into the Rock River to further assist the recovery of the river fishery following a significant fish kill that occurred in late June.

Nearly 4,000 channel catfish raised at the IDNR Little Grassy Hatchery will be released into the Rock River on Tuesday, August 4. Personnel from the IDNR Division of Fisheries will release fish at 2:00 p.m. at the boat ramp at Page Park in Dixon. Page Park is on the northwest bank of the Rock River just downstream from Dixon High School in Dixon, Illinois

Channel catfish are native to the Rock River. The fish to be stocked this week average about eight inches in length and will be expected to offset lost spawning opportunity in the area of the river that was effected by the recent fish kill. The IDNR previously stocked more than 50,000 smallmouth bass and 4,000 northern pike into the Rock River since the fish kill. These and other fish stockings should provide a boost to recreational fishing opportunities on the Rock.

IDNR biologists estimated more than 72,000 fish valued at more than $272,000 were lost in the Rock River fish kill event first reported on June 20-21. The Illinois EPA is working with the Illinois Attorney General's office on enforcement action.

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Okay Im confused, didnt the june fish kill originate in Rockford? So why are the fish being stocked in Dixon and Oregon instead of Rockford?

No a very large stretch (miles) of the Rock River had a fish kill. Rockford's train wreck was thought to be, and now uncertain, the cause. So Rockford had the accident, rock river was affected.

Hi Dale, I'm no biologist, but I doubt that stocking flatheads in the Rock River is the best answer for recovery of the species. The reason flatheads were so successful there is because they were wild, natural fish, perfectly evolved over time for that habitat. Instead of stocking, how about no-kill fishing for a few years to help the river restock itself?

P.S. I haven't figured out how to comment on your blog or I would've just posted there.

Dale Bowman posting for ``Call me P. Olivarus''

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 3, 2009 9:20 PM.

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