``We is hosed for the opener,'' Jeff Norris e-mailed Thursday. It's a weekend for openers.
The Saturday openers for fall trout fishing and north zone waterfowl hunting headline this Wild Weekend Wanderings for Chicago outdoors. Actually, there's all kinds of stuff this weekend, inside (movie shorts) and out (trout, geese, Root River tour), for the outdoor sort.
The difference between this year and the photo above of limits for geese is the Kane County field we are standing in. Three years ago, that field and the ones surrounding it were harvested. This year the crop harvest lags far behind, nearly at a record slow pace in northeast Illinois.
Norris, he of the Fox Valley Guide Service, sent one of typically snappy notes earlier this week:
We is hosed for the opener. All we have huntable is a five acre mowed weed patch for lay-out blinds.
But let's begin with fall trout opener.
ILLINOIS FALL TROUT: Fall trout season opens Saturday. The formal state posting does not list the lakes in DuPage or Horsetail in Cook County.
To the best of my knowledge here are the stocked area lakes: Axehead, Belleau and Horsetail (Cook County), Silver, Deep Quarry and Grove (DuPage); Bird Park Quarry (Kankakee); Big lake at Silver Springs SP (Kendall); and Sand Lake at Illinois Beach SP and Banana (Lake).
Anglers must have a fishing license and an inland trout stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily bag is five.
BLUE ISLAND DERBY: Sort of in conjuction with the opening of fall trout, Blue Island Fishing Derby is being revived and there will be trout fishing from noon-7 p.m. Saturday at the Memorial Park Pool.
Annie West said,
We haven't done this in over 20 years but are trying to bring back many of the non-traditional events that make this town what it truly is.
Go to blueislandparks.org or call (708) 385-3304.
NORTH ZONE WATERFOWL: Duck and goose seasons open in Illinois' north zone on Saturday. With the extremely slow crop harvest, the trick will be either hunting big water or finding the rare open fields.
There were some indications, both by a posting here and on the DU Migration Map, of an influx of birds earlier this week. I am not sure if today's north winds will bring fresh birds, too.
The daily bag is now six ducks not to include more than four mallards (two of which can be hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two scaup (entire 60 days this year), one canvasback (full 60-day season), one black duck and one pintail (full 60-day season).
The daily bag on Canada geese is two.
The DU Migration Map is posted at
SALMON SNAGGING: Action has been good at both Waukegan and in Chicago. Snagging for chinook and coho salmon is open at select areas 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.
WOLF RIVER CRAPPIE: We're about due for the fall white bass run on the Wolf River in Wisconsin, but the crappie bite remains the hot ticket around Fremont and upstream.
FALL COLORS: There's fall color events all around, not to mention just good colors up in central and northern Wisconsin.
But closer to home there's a Fall Color Walk at Kankakee River SP, 10 a.m. this weekend. There's the Fall Colors Weekend at Starved Rock SP, at both 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
And don't forget Morton Arboretum in Lisle is another good spot. We haven't done that as a family for several years, but that's something I highly recommend.
HALL OF FAME REMINDER: Today is the extended deadline for nominations to the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame. Forms are at www.ilcf.org. Or call Ron Allen at (217) 785-2003.
SHOWTIME: Here's something different that sounds kind of cool.
Running Down the Man, a short film on Frank Smethurst's quest to catch Baja's roosterfish on a fly rod, will wrap up a MountainFilm on Tour event at Piper's Alley 4 Theaters, 1608 N. Wells on this evening. Legendary mountaineers Jim Whittaker and Ed Viesturs will speak and sign books around the various films, which begin at 7 p.m.
ILLINOIS RIVER MULTIPLE SPECIES: We are in one of those periods where boaters are doing well for both sauger and white bass on the Illinois River. And crappie are starting around snags and bridge pilings.
ROOT RIVER TOUR: The Wisconsin DNR holds its first public open house to showcase the Root River Steelhead Facility in Racine, Wis. from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Check the Root River Report at dnr.wi.gov/fish/lakemich/rootriverreport.htm.
DES PLAINES RIVER CLEAN-UP: The Hofmann Dam River Rats are doing their annual Des Plaines River cleanup from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. Meet in the forest preserve area north of Barrypoint Road in Lyons. Wear long pant & sleeves, sturdy shoes & gloves. Bags & pokersticks provided by Cook Cty, Forest Preserve Dist.
PERSONAL PICKS: I wish I could do that Root River facility tour, that just sounds neat, but there is just no way to fit it in between duck hunting and helping to coach my daughter's soccer team. And the movie event tonight at Pipers Alley sounds neat too.
I plan to hunt the dawn for wood ducks with Norris Saturday, then have to run for my daughter's soccer game. My friend Pete Riedesel is bugging me to sneak in some Downstate fishing. And, considering the Bears are playing the night game Sunday, that might be doable.