SPRING VALLEY, Ill.--If one thing came out of the 24th MWC tournament Sunday, it was that the Illinois River is prime for the sauger and walleye spawn, and fishing.
LaSalle Fish Hatchery manager Ed Hansen, loading sauger above, said, ``We have enough good-sized females and more than enough males.''
One of the great advantages of the MWC event is that it usually provides the breeding stock for the sauger stockings, not to mention the money and time that the Spring Valley Walleye Club put back into habitat and related matters for the river.
``Overall, this is working out good with the river level and temperature,'' Hansen said.
After the fish are spawned, Hansen said they are returned to the Illinois at a mix of places: Starved Rock, South Shore Boat Club and Spring Valley.
With temperatures pushing 80 later in the week, I asked veteran fish technician Randy Petges if he thought it would speed up the spawn.
He said he doubted it, that it seemed to take about the same amount of time with some fish always spawning earlier (some fish were already spent) and others spawning later (the majority should go in the next week or so).
This should be the week to hit the Illinois River: good temperatures for fishermen to be on the water, good water levels and the middle of the spawn.