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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

WWW Chicago outdoors: Hither and yon

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It's one of those weekends with an eclectic mix for Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.

I have a love of the Kankakee River; and an long interest in the film project, "Everglades of the North: The Grand Kankakee Marsh." so I am looking forward to Wednesday.

That film and "Stemming the Tide," a video produced by the Kankakee River Roundtable, will be shown as part of "The Kankakee River--Its Past, Present and Future," from 6-7:45 Wednesday night at the Bradley Library, 296 N. Fulton Ave., Bradley.

For more information, contact Bert Jacobson at (815) 802-8243 or Marilyn Campbell at (815) 935-1177.

WADING/FLOATING FOR SMALLMOUTH: That's a good segue into this. It's multiple exclamation point time on the rivers, for those who do fall wading or floating.

Dan Grabon, in a comment for Stray Casts on fishing the state park on the Kankakee River last weekend, put it this way, ``The feed is on!!'' In his Des Plaines River report earlier this week, Dan Sims of Sims Spinners said, ``Things are looking GOOD!!!'' In his DuPage River report, Frank Macikas said, ``Some people like to argue that live bait is cheating; the only thing I have to say to that is I like to catch fish and that means switching it up when needed.'' I say with colder water and weather that's being smart. And this is a smart time to fish our rivers.

WATERFOWL HUNTING: On Saturday, the regular duck and Canada geese seasons open in Illinois' central zone, which means goose hunting will be open now in that weird triangle in Grundy, Cook and Will Counties between the north zone duck line and the north zone goose line: the goose zones line shift north to I-80 while the duck zones line remain where it was the past five years. I am curious to see how much impact the big blow on Wednesday and Thursday will have on bringing fresh ducks and geese in.

KIDS STUFF: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum on Chicago's North Side opens "Eww! What's Eating You?" That's fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, tapeworms and bed bugs in a "carnival-themed invasion will give guests the unique opportunity to connect with the science occurring inside their own bodies."

Here's the word from the Notebaert:

Parasites Invade the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Eww! What's Eating You? First-Run Exhibition Debuts in Lincoln Park

CHICAGO - October 20, 2011 -I
t's not the typical Ferris wheels and funnel cakes, but a new type of carnival is coming to town - at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Beginning Saturday, the Museum is welcoming fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, tapeworms and bed bugs to its newest exhibition,
Eww! What's Eating You? This carnival-themed invasion will give guests the unique opportunity to connect with the science occurring inside their own bodies.

Eww! What's Eating You? uncovers every detail of the mysterious and microscopic world of the parasites that live inside us. The highly interactive 5,000-square exhibition details how parasites interact with humans and why they have such complex life cycles. Guests will have the chance to:

* Explore life from the perspective of a parasite
* Control a mosquito as it feasts on the best part of the human body
* Venture through an oversized scalp to explore a forest of head lice
* Roll the ball down the "tract" to feed your tapeworm
* Extract a guinea worm from a foot without sounding the alarm

"We always say that nature and science is all around us; and in this case, the science is literally inside of us," said Deborah Lahey, the Nature Museum's President and CEO. "In a fun way filled with
18-interactive experiences, Eww! What's Eating You? digs into the science behind the relationships between parasites and humans. You will never think about parasites the same way again."

Ranging in size from microscopic organisms to larger worms, parasites acquire their nourishment and protection from other living organisms known as hosts. Parasites can both transmit disease and infect through undercooked foods but can also help humans become healthier.

The exhibition is curated by Dr. M. Lee Goff, a world-renowned forensic entomologist and technical consultant for the CBS crime series drama CSI. Dr. Goff is an advisor to CSI, providing plotlines and scientific expertise. Prop comedian Carrot Top serves as the exhibition's virtual guide.

An addendum exhibition entitled Feasting on Feathers: What's Eating Your Stuff? features specimens and artifacts from the Chicago Academy of Sciences' 150-year old collection to illustrate the damage pests can inflict on objects over time. Tips are provided to prevent pest damage in your own home.

Exhibit IQ produced and designed Eww! What's Eating You? Following its run at the Nature Museum in February 2012, the exhibition will tour 15 major cities over a five-year span. The traveling exhibition is expected to reach up to five million museum visitors during its 60-month tour.

Admission to the Nature Museum, including special exhibitions, is $9/adult, $6/child 3-12, $7/seniors and students. Illinois Residents can enjoy free admission on Thursdays. Located at 2430 North Cannon Drive in Chicago's Lincoln Park, the Nature Museum is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 773-755-5100.

STREAMS FOR SALMON/TROUT: Indiana received more rain, so the streams shot up, but I suspect that will only help. There are more coho coming in, especially in Trail and Salt, but there's some kings and steelhead, too.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER: One of the better fall runs on the St. Joe keeps going. Wild numbers of salmonids--4,259 as of last week--keep moving past the South Bend Fish Ladder, according to the Indiana DNR. The DNR said the best steelhead and coho fishing has been below the Twin Branch and Mishawaka Dams in Mishawaka; best for kings has been at Leeper Park in South Bend and Lincoln Park in Mishawaka by Kamms Island. . . . Earlier in the week, Tyler Harmon messaged that some steelhead were showing up around St. Joseph, Mich.

Click here for the Indiana DNR report on the St. Joe, which tends to get updated usually after the weekend fishing.

PADDLING: Chicago River Canoe & Kayak holds its Crane Viewing Trips to English Lake, Ind., beginning Saturday and Sunday. There's also trips to paddle and view sandhill cranes planned on Oct. 29, 30 and Nov. 6. Make reservations at (773) 704-2663 or e-mail

FALL TROUT: There should be some leftover trout, one of the big events in fall Chicago fishing. Open lakes in the nine-county area include: Axehead, Belleau, Horsetail (Cook County); Pickerel, Grove, Silver (DuPage); Bird Park Quarry (Kankakee); Big Lake at Silver Springs SFWA (Kendall); and Sand lake at Illinois Beach SP and Banana (Lake). As usual, those 16 and older need a fishing license and inland trout stamp. The daily bag is five.

BOWHUNTING: Bucks, at least the smaller ones are beginning to move. I expect to hear some good stories and decent harvest numbers to come out of this weekend.

HUNTING BITS: Firearm turkey hunting opens Saturday in Illinois. Previous permits are required.

ILLINOIS PERMITS/SEASONS: On Tuesday, apply online for late-winter deer special hunt area permits.

SHORELINE SALMON/TROUT: The bite has been winding down in Chicago, but there is a few steelhead and browns being taken, too. Go with lighter line and float some spawn.

FALL COLORS: Around here, I think this weekend will be about the peak of fall colors. Southern Wisconsin is slipping past peak or right around it.

SALMON SNAGGING: Henry's said Jackson Park remains best; while the Salmon Stop said Waukegan has been good, too. Snagging for chinook and coho is open on the Illinois lakefront at four locations only: Lincoln Park Lagoon south of Fullerton Avenue, Waukegan Harbor (North Harbor Basin only); Winnetka Power Plant discharge area and Jackson Park Harbor (inner and outer harbors). No snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted.

ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.

PERSONAL PICKS: I expect to be at the "The Kankakee River--Its Past, Present and Future" Wednesday night at the Bradley Library. . . . The family hike will be Saturday. Might have to do Plum Grove near Crete again. Unless I decide to cover a high school bass fishing tournament. . . . I think more duck or goose hunting is going to have to wait a bit. . . . I need to stop by and check with my farmer about deer hunting. He just started picking beans. I suspect the corn will have to wait with this wet, cool weather. . . . Work continues on an ongoing writing project. . . . As always, a fair amount of my spare time is spent working on ``Outside,'' the radio show Joel Greenberg and I are doing at 4:30 p.m. Mondays on WKCC-FM (91.1).

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What a fascinating story. WIsh I could attend the viewing on Wednesday and watch the rest of the documentary. Please let us know how the viewing went and suggestions are made for preserving the Kankakee valley wetlands.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 21, 2011 10:37 AM.

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