Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Out of my mind: Chicago WWW (photo named)

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It started with an innocent e-mail question.


Would I like to rappel down 27 floors of theWit Hotel as part of a media day for a Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago fundraiser? That's not me above, but Chicagoan Jamie Leavitt rappelling in Grand Rapids, Mich. for a similar fundraiser.

My answer to that question gives a whacky lead to Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.

RAPPElLING FOR RESPIRATION: Maybe my yes goes back to some deep-seated guilt over being a reformed and redeemed former smoker. I quit a couple weeks before our second boy was born, and it will 13 years without a cig come New Year's Day.

So at 2 p.m. Saturday, after an hour of teaching and prep, I plan to rappel 27 stories down theWit Hotel at State and Lake. That's media day for ``Skyline Plunge! Chicago.'' The formal event, with 100 people rappelling down the hotel on Sunday, is a fundraiser with a goal of more than $100,000. Some $90,000 has already been raised. Go to or call (312) 628-0210.

ROOT RIVER FISHING: The flow in the Root River spiked big time today. Check the flow rate at,00060 So the fishing should be exploding.

The Wisconsin DNR has a regularly updated Root River report at

Here's the word on Friday:

Racine Co.
Shore anglers fishing in the Racine harbor have been catching a few browns on spawn. The Root River is holding good numbers of chinooks, along with increasing numbers of coho and a few steelhead and browns below the Root River Steelhead Facility. Large black or olive colored flies have been productive. Over 600 fish were processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility on Thursday, October 22. So far this season, a total of 1,516 chinooks, 183 coho, 16 steelhead, and 13 browns have been passed upstream. The next processing day is tentatively Monday, October 26.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER REHAB:Rehabilitation of the Hennepin-Hopper restoration project is beginning to remove common carp, which are rooting out of plants and muddying the waters, generally destroying the restored ecosystem.

I have extended thoughts and more information on that posted here.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and The Wetlands Initiative will work on removing the carp.

Efforts are already underway to move other species to ``an disclosed spot,'' from where they will be returned to Hennepin-Hopper when rehabilitation is complete. ``You should see these bass [being moved], they would make your mouth water,'' site super Rick Seibert said.

An information session for the public will be held at the observation tower at 11 a.m. Monday. For more information, go to

HUNTING: The big news is bowhunting for deer, which remains on a record pace, and that is even before the rut really kicks in. Though I have seen deer starting to move and reports from hunters second more movement in the field.

The central zone youth waterfowl hunt is this weekend in Illinois. Shotgun turkey season began today. And crow hunting opens Wednesday.

FALL COLORS: Timing may be off a couple days on this. The weather the last day or so really knocked down the leaves, but there is a Fall Color Walk at Kankakee River SP at 10 a.m. Saturday.

CAMPFIRE TALES: So this is a reach, but it is a good excuse to take the kids out to enjoy Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington. At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, enjoy tall tales, legends, and ghost stories around a campfire.

Staff suggests that you ``bring your own camp chair or pull up a log. Experienced story tellers Lorin Schab and Floyd Catchpole will share traditional tales that will captivate listeners of all ages.''

The program will take place at the campfire ring at the Iron Bridge Trailhead, located on Highway 53 about 2 miles north of the Midewin Welcome Center.

Email or call (815) 423-2170 and leave a message with your name and your contact information.

PERSONAL PICKS: Obviously tomorrow, I will be rappeling down theWit at 2 p.m. My tentative plans now are to catch the end of Conservation Congress in Springfield on Sunday, but we shall see.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 23, 2009 9:54 AM.

Hennepin-Hopper rehab: Digging up memories was the previous entry in this blog.

Down on the ground: Taking another breath is the next entry in this blog.

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