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WWW Chicago outdoors: Beat the heat takes many forms

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Time to go slow when out for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors; and there are some odder or at least different options this weekend.



Time to get out and enjoy our rivers up close and personal. On Independence Day, our entire family went wading on the Kankakee. It is a simple pleasure, but a good one.

While doing it, I spotted several families pictured above. They lashed together a mess of tubes and other floating things, then took hours to float a few miles down the river. It was easy enough that the kids jumped out time to time and splashed around.

And another couple was off to the side fishing.

Reed's Canoe Trips offers rentals for the Kankakee River. I take them about once a year. Click here.

On the lower Fox, Geneva Kayak Center's Yorkville Outdoor Center has many options, including whitewater ones, but also simple tube rentals. Click here.

Chicago River Canoe and Kayak holds many rentals and trips, especially on the Chicago River. Click here or call (773) 704-2663.

WADING AND FISHING: Rivers are low, near record low in spots, so fish are getting concentrated with advantages and disadvantages.

Ken Gortowski, who is back to guiding again for waders with the Fox River Guide Service, recommended checking here for the USGS gauges in Illinois.

I would also note that the rivers are so warm, I would advice handling fish little as possible and getting them back in the water quickly. Or if keeping fish to eat, having ice to put them on immediately.

WATER WILLOW PLANTING: The Illinois Smallmouth Alliance holds a Water Willow planting at Fox River in Batavia from 8-11:30 a.m. Saturday. Meet at the VFW post 1197, 645 River St.( RTE. 25), Batavia. Cold drinks and lunch provided, fishing afterward. More hands make it go faster in this heat. Click here.

MIDNIGHT MADNESS AT MONEE: The Forest Preserve District of Will County has Midnight Madness at Monee Reservoir from 6 a.m.-midnight Saturday. The preserve and concession stand at Monee Reservoir open until midnight. Click here.

BERRIES: Found blackberries that looked wonderful this week. It's quite the contrast to the few and scrawny mulberries and raspberries I found this spring and early summer.

SALMON: The salmon fishing was bit tougher this week, but it is still maybe the best bite going. This is a good year to book a charter or find a buddy who goes out.

PERCH FISHING: The hated July closure for perch fishing in Illinois waters is here; however, those 15 and younger may catch and keep 10 perch daily in July. And the perch have been all over the lakefront. Take a kid fishing.

KANKAKEE DERBY: The Kankakee River Fishing Derby runs through Sunday. Click here.

BULLFROGGING IN ILLINOIS: And yes, that subtitle is having a little fun with Trout Fishing in America, as I give away my age and tangential interests. Here is the general words on bullfrogging:

A sport fishing license is required to take bull-frogs. Bullfrogs may be taken by hand, pole and line fishing methods, pitchfork, landing net, bow and arrow or bow and arrow device, spear or gig. Firearms, air guns, gas guns or commercial fishing devices such as dip nets, hoop nets, traps or seines are not allowed in the taking of bullfrogs. Bullfrogs may be taken from June 15 to August 31 (both days inclusive). The daily limit is 8 bullfrogs with 16 bullfrogs being the possession limit.

DALEY DERBY: In July, catfish, carp, perch, coho, Chinook, steelhead and perch (15 and younger) are the species for the Richard J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby. Check fish in at Henry's Sports & Bait. It runs through September with cash prizes for the heaviest three fish from selected species caught around Chicago fishing each month.

ILLINOIS HUNTING PERMITS: The second lottery for free dove hunting site applications run through July 17. Click here.

ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.

PERSONAL PICKS: I will be wading again with the kids today, that may sub for the usual family hike. . . . I plan to do a wet wade and might take my daughter along her first wade fishing. . . . Otherwise, I am catching up my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). I am enjoying pulling shows together. . . . Work nears the end on a writing project, sorta.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 6, 2012 8:47 AM.

Fish of the Week: Doubling largemouth bass was the previous entry in this blog.

Radio waves: Meg Matthews on sustainability at the Shedd is the next entry in this blog.

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