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Chicago fishing: Protesting lakefront perch closure

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It's odd the things that ignite a person to action.

perchclosure07-01-10

``Jumbo Jimmy'' Baczek has the fire.

Maybe, his beginning protest on Thursday--first day of the annual month-long closure for perch fishing on the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan--will finally spark change.

In doing a column for the Sun-Times on Baczek repeating as champ of Henry's eighth annual perch derby at Northerly Island, I happened to ask Baczek what he thought of the July closure for perch fishing.

He hesitated, then came out with a bland answer about how at least you can take kids fishing (15 and younger) during the closure.

He called yesterday and said, ``That was a weak-ass answer.'' He said it was the kind of thing a politician would say.

That prompted him to take action. He called at 5 a.m. this morning and said he was protesting with his bike and dog around the Shedd.

His one-man protest has sent a bunch of things in motion.

There's much more to come, including a more organized protest. For now, a not-for-profit has offered their answering machine as a gathering place for numbers. Call (312) 225-FISH (3474).

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7 Comments

The state has raised the price of fishing and hunting licences. and they are now installing a Parking meter for boaters at Cal Park. (I HOPE they use that money to repair the parking lot.) they should at least erase this ridiculous July closure. All this revenue coming in, and I still have to give money to the state of Indiana to fish the same damn lake!? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!

Doesn't anyone realize the reason people are finally catching those HUGE perch is because of the "limits" the DNR have in force. Back when I was a kid (35 yrs ago) the biggest perch caught was usually around 8 or 10 inches, but since they now have a chance to grow to their potential we are seeing 15 to 20 inch perch.
At least that's my take on it, and I for one am glad they do it. The JUMBO'S are really JUMBO's now!

But the limits are gone, only the closure remains. They should be more flexible and allow July perching in a year like this, where not too many perch were caught. Since it's not a spawning issue, more of a numbers caught issue, from what I understand, closing July only insures a bad perch season.

My guess is that the perch are JUMBO'S for the same reason the smallmouth are bigger than ever; they're EATIN' GOBIES. Has little or nothing to do with the July closure......Jumbo Jimmy For Mayor!

Carl,

I see you point, however Lake MI isn't being managed like a local bass farm pond to try and produce trophy fish: our perch fishery isn't like a trophy musky fishery either. I like you, remember a long time ago when the perch numbers were huge and you'd catch maybe 100 and be lucky to have a 14 inch "jumbo." The shame I see out there are the guys that have this "jumbo" mentality and throw back 12 inchers to get a 14 incher. What makes me even sicker is when the guys do this in the spring off of Waukegan and Gary light from 50-60ft of water, stressing those spawning fish out and literally killing them because they can't survive returning to those deep depths. I'm sorry, but that's just plain ignorant throwing back 10,11,12 inch perch with hopes of a 14 or 15 incher when they are full of eggs. Perch were put on this earth to be consumed not to be sorted through! When you go to any restaurant, what size are the lake perch on your plate? 8-9 inchers and know why? Cuz their the best eaters!

While I think your point is valid (especially in the summer when fish are shallow and are very easy to catch & release/sort through without hurting them), some guys aren't as respectful to the spawning fish. If the states were smart, they'd shut the season down in the spring when they are full of eggs instead of July.

Does the geat state of Illinois realise that they are aiding tourisim in Indiana? Lots of Indiana non resident licences sold during July. Way do go IDNR !6x

Is Marc Miller for real? I read his paragraphs to you Dale and it's hogwash. Why doesn't the idiot just close the season in Illinois for the SPAWNING SEASON? Duh!!!!!! By the way the state biologists are can't do any perch studys this year. They are up to their elbows in doing the Asian Carp work.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 1, 2010 1:15 PM.

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