Chicago Sun-Times
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Ramble with Storm: Low water & muck

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storm3x Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

The water barely trickles through the neckdown between the two old clay pits that make our town pond.

I stood on the bridge this morning, while the meathead surged to pick up the scent trail of a feral cat working shoreline brush, and wondered, considering the dry forecast, if there will be two bodies of water by late week instead of the connected town pond.

In our 11 years living here, I don't ever remember the two pits of the town pond being separated before.

What a change from early summer when there was too much water.

Not that I am particularly complaining.

The low water has made it easy getting back and forth to our blind on the Kankakee River. This is about as low as I remember the Kankakee.

The kids and I marvel at how the sand bar at Aroma Park, where we wade to sometimes and thousands of paddlers rest in summer, has almost extended to the railroad bridge.

I am not sure water this low is a good thing heading into winter, especially on our shallower ponds and lakes.

Well, ice fishermen might welcome it. Ice should form quicker with shallower water.

On Saturday, my wife and I stopped for an evening walk with the kids at one of our favorite spots, Whispering Willows Park.

It has become a family favorite preserve on par with Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve.

Whispering Willows only opened in 2006, but this is by far the shallowest it has been since the opening. Muck flats extend far into the pond.

The 6-year-old couldn't resist running into the muck. Of course, he got stuck and I had to haul him out by the arm. The muck sucked off his left sneaker.

The stink of the muck clung to his shoes.

In that stink is life.

It hung in the car on the ride home.

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It's interesting that you mention the low water conditions around our area. While it is a good thing to some folks, it's a bad thing to some waterfowlers like myself who have seen shallow marshes (we used to hunt) go bone dry this fall. That also being said, as a fisherman I'd also be concerned about shallow marshes and long cold winters producing significant fish kills due to lack of oxygen. Places like Willow Slough (which currently is about 16 inches below lake level and didn't even have enough water to flood their corn hunting units for ducks) will most definitely have a fish kill this winter. If that happens, a prime bluegill spot might be no longer. Only time will tell, but there still is time for a big rain. Lets hope!!

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on November 8, 2010 9:04 AM.

First blind: Buck, duck, goose was the previous entry in this blog.

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