Much like the weather, there's an eclectic mix for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
WILD TELEVISION: For those who love wild television, there's a good hour Wednesday on Nature with Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo. It is 8-9 p.m. on WTTW-TV (Channel 11).The photo is a pile up of wolves chasing buffalo on the northern edge of North America's central plains in the Canadian wilderness. Photo Credit: Jeff Turner © River Road Films, Ltd.
WINTER FESTIVAL: The Northern Illinois Conservation Club's 53rd annual Chain O'Lakes Ice Fishing Derby and Winter Festival, headquartered at the Thirsty Turtle, is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Top prize is $1,500. Call 847-395-NICC or go to lakeonline.com/nicc/event-info/fishin-derby/.
Free decoy and call appraisals and some 90 display tables highlight the Henry Decoy Show on Sunday at Henry-Senachwine High School.
Jim Saric, Spence Petros, Capt. ``Ranger Rick'' Krueger and Mike Mladenik headline the Rockford Boat, Vacation and Fishing Show Friday and Saturday at the Indoor Sports Center.
STURGEON SPEARING: Sturgeon spearing season on the Lake Winnebago systems in Wisconsin opens Saturday. Licenses needed to be purchased earlier. But this is one of the great natural cultural events in our greater area. Everybody should experience it at least once, even it is just to watch other people watching a big hole in the ice for hours.
VOLUNTEERING: If you interested in helping outdoors, Sunday is the day for you. The first Chicago Volunteer Expo will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
Here's the word from Natural Museum PR staff:
We thought you might be interested in sharing with your readers information on the first Chicago Volunteer Expo, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
If someone has a passion for the outdoors but is unsure of which non-profit to volunteer for, this is a one-stop shop to discover more. The full list of non-profits can be found here, but some of the opportunities we thought your readers would be most interested in are:
· Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
· Chicago Conservation Corp
· Alliance for the Great Lake
· Chicago Bird Collision Monitors
· Chicago Park District
· Climate Cycle
· Friends of the Forest Preserves
· Lincoln Park Conservancy
· Lincoln Park Zoo
· Shedd Aquarium
· Student Conservation Association
· Working Bikes Cooperative
The Facebook page for the expo can be found here.
CONSERVATION CONGRESS: Online registration will soon open for the 2013 Illinois Conservation Congress in September. There will also be regional meetings this month and next.
ICE FISHING: North and west of the city, there is some snow cover, but the ice is generally holding. South of the city is unsafe or iffy at best.
CHICAGO PERCH FISHING: There was spotty ice fishing earlier in the week, but that changes almost daily. Some reports of perch being caught by those punching holes in the ice. Just one of those weeks where conditions could change quickly. Still reports in the river at 92nd and 95th, but it has mainly been small ones.
CHICAGO PIER PASSES: Probably a good time to remember that the $6 pier passes for Chicago harbors, except 31st, are available now at Henry's Sports and Bait, 3130 S. Canal.
INDIANA STREAMS: Not sure what the rain and snow melt did, but Indiana's Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert expected the increased flow to bring in fresh steelhead. There have been steelhead in the streams and Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez's Bait in Lake Station said experienced fishermen are catching ``beautiful, big winter-run steelhead,'' with some to 12 pounds. . . . Click here for the Indiana DNR's map of Trail Creek access.
SLEDDING: Managed to get in some sledding with the kids last weekend. Depending where you live, you will be able to get it done this weekend. I highly suggest taking advantage of the opportunity, if you have kids. It is a simple pleasure in life, but a good one.
TURKEY PERMITS: The deadline for the third lottery for spring turkey permits is Monday. Click here to apply online.
YOUTH TURKEY PERMITS: Youth (younger than 16 years old before turkey season) may apply now for outdoors access for youth turkey hunting in one of 23 counties. Click here.
HUNTING: Hunting for raccoon and opossum, in Illinois' north zone, ends Sunday.
POWERTON FISHING: If you're itching for some cooling lake fishing, shore fishing is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Powerton, just outside of Pekin. Boat fishing reopens next Friday.
PERSONAL PICKS: Most of my weekend will be taken up covering Beat the Champs bowling for the Sun-Times. . . . But tonight I plan to go to the opening a nature photography exhibit on Lincoln Avenue on Chicago's North Side. More on that later I expect. . . . The only time I have to hit the 20th year for the Tinley show is early Saturday morning, so that is when I am doing it. I expect it to be packed. . . . Working on upcoming shows for my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1).