Thursday afternoon. Dripping and dismal outside. I'm behind on my Chicago Marathon work, behind in Sunday's outdoors stuff. Just gray all over in and out. God I hate fall. How's that for a cheery leadin to this Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.
And the phone rings
(This is a year-old photo of Bruce Zolna and me, and it falls in the department of wish I was back there--and you have to love the friendly welcomes on our hats and shirts)
I recognize the number of Fremont guide Bill Stoeger, but the voice doesn't have that Wisconsin draw to it.
``When are you coming up?''
What? Tthen Chicago fireman Dennis Marcinek launches into a tale of what a great afternoon they had crappie fishing on the Wolf River.
``I am telling you they are size they are the ones in Kentucky,'' said Marcinek, who was fishing with his cousin Bruce Kiel and Stoeger. ``In three hours, we had our 75 of these giant crappie. You said in the report they were committing suicide, well I had to call and tell you are they committing [something I'm uncomfortable writing even in a Web log] suicide. I finally hit it right.''
Stoeger, who can best be reached at his cell 920 570-1187, said they caught crappie up to 12 1/2 inches, and probably averaged 10 1/2 to 11 inches.
That's a road trip I could use, but not this weekend.
DRIVE NORTH AND COLOR FALL: ``Hey Leaf Lovers - it's drive time. The fall colors in northern Wisconsin will be very near peak this weekend with most counties predicting peak next week.'' The next week or so is a good time to double up on fall colors and fall fishing. The Wisconsin Fall Color Report is at travelwisconsin.com/fallcolor_report.aspx
LAKEFRONT SNAGGING: The salmon are in, and snaggers are taking a good number of still silver fish. Jackson Park has been the best and most consistent.
Snagging for chinook and coho salmon is open at these select areas only on the lakefront: inner and outer harbors at Jackson Park, Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon, Winnetka power plant discharge area and Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only). No snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted. Salmon snagging season ends Dec. 31.
ROOT RIVER: Speaking of salmon, the recent rains have brought fish in big time on the Root. Most remain stacked up below the weir, according to the WDNR's regularly updated Root River Report.
YOUTH DEER HUNT: Remember the youth deer hunt is this weekend. If bowhunting, follow blaze orange regulations in all but Cook, Lake and the part of Kane east of Route 47.
YOUTH WATERFOWL: The north zone's youth waterfowl hunt in Illinois is also this weekend. Crops, especially in the northeast, remain virtually unharvested. That means most will have difficutly hunting, but those with an open field or fields should have a bonanza.
HAWK WATCH: The Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch celebrates its 10th year of raptor migration monitoring from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. From Vic:
Here's a brief description of our planned activities:
Live Raptors from the Great Lakes Falconer's Association and the
Northern Illinois Raptor Center on Saturday October 10th
Children's Activities - learning about raptors
Instructive aid from our hawk watch volunteers
All of our data from the last 9 years will be available for viewing
Early morning bird walk starting at 7:30AM (advance registration
Penny jar fund raiser - Vote for your favorite buteo
DIRECTIONS TO THE HAWK WATCH
Take I-94 to Route 173, exit and head east to Sheridan Road (approx. 8
Go north on Sheridan Road to 17th Street turn and go east.
Take 17th St to the park entrance road, go past Sand Pond
Turn right at the sign for the Sand Prairie Day Use Area
The count site is located at the first pavilion on the right.
Any questions? Please email me direct.
FOX CLEANUP: The Elgin Association of Firefighters Local 439 and the Friends of the Fox River will do a Fox Rescue River Clean-Up at Festival Park in Elgin from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday.
Here are the details:
It will be a shoreline clean-up on both banks of the river starting from the Chicago Street Bridge. This will be the second annual
clean-up for the Elgin Fire Department after removing tons of trash from the river itself using diving equipment last year on September 11th. The group will be adopting this site for future annual clean-ups and are seeking volunteers to come out and help pick up trash and debris to give back to our river and community.
Volunteers should meet just south of the playground in Festival Park near Grove Ave.
Please wear appropriate footwear. Gloves, bags and other equipment are provided through a generous grant program through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Please join us as we "Keep on Fixin' the Fox."
PERSONAL PICKS: I am covering the Chicago marathon on Sunday, so that day is out. Saturday i may be out to watch some kids in the youth waterfowl hunt. Otherwise, might try to sneak in some final weekend on LaSalle Lake.