Feeds and fundraisers are featured in Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors, but we begin with the Braidwood opener.
BRAIDWOOD OPENER: Click here for Sunday's column, a hopeful look at the reopening of fishing at Braidwood Lake on Friday. Boaters should probably have sand or salt with them for the ramps. Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset daily. Despite the fish kill last July, fishing looks promising, including bass. The hybrid striped bass appear to be doing well, as do the blue catfish. REMINDER: Anchoring outside the restricted area on the north end, then casting in is illegal.
FISHING FOR A CURE: Registration is open for Braidwood Generating Station's 2013 Fishing for a Cure tournament, benefiting the Alzheimer's Association this year. It will be May 18 on Braidwood Lake. Click here for more info and entry forms.
FISHING FUNDS SATURDAY: Saturday will have a host of fish/fund-raising gatherings.
Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet is at the River Park Moose Lodge in River Grove. It opens at 7 a.m. Get there early, stuff goes fast.
Jeff Little headlines the March 2: Illinois Smallmouth Alliance's Bronzeback Blowout at the Elmhurst American Legion from 3-9 p.m.
The Fox River Valley chapter of Muskies Inc. holds its annual awards banquet and fundraiser, beginning at 5 p.m., at Chandler's Chop House in Schaumburg.
SHED HUNTING: We are in the peak. Faithful readers have sent some neat photos of nice finds. Even running one on Sunday.
FISHING SEMINAR: Mike Norris will give a seminar on ``Successful Strategies for Catching Big Fish All Year Long'' to the Oswegoland Fishin' Fools at 7 p.m. Monday at Allied First Bank in Oswego. Call Tony at (630) 553-0826.
ICE FISHING: This is becoming a broken record. North and west, ice fishing is on. To the south, remains iffier or open and unsafe. Chicago harbors have had spotty action. Milwaukee Harbor continues to be the destination point, but it has been fair in recent days.
SLEDDING: We have snow. Utilize it. Get the kids out. It is one of the most ways.
DUCKS UNLIMITED: Tonight is the banquet of the Central Kane County chapter at Riverside Receptions in Geneva. Contact Phil Eggen, (815) 482-3999; or Bob Walker, (630) 234-8491.
BREAKFAST FOR MUSKIE: On Sunday, the 27th annual Dick Cole Memorial Breakfast by Quad County Hawg Hunters chapter of Muskies Inc. is from 7-11 a.m. Sunday at the Plano American Legion.
MAPLE SYRUP: The sap is flowing. If you're a family guy, I highly recommend finding a program at your forest preserve district or park district. I know we love doing.
WISCONSIN NOTES: Gamefish season ends at midnight Sunday. . . . Remember, ice shelters need to be off of waters south of Highway 64 by Sunday.
STEELHEAD IN INDIANA STREAMS: Steelhead remain in the Indiana streams, especially for those willing to do some moving around, said Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez's Bait in Lake Station.
Click here for the Indiana DNR's map of Trail Creek access.
SHOW SEASON: Think deer-head mounts on the bleachers. Taking the ideas of the Tinley Park show Downstate, the Elmwood All Outdoors Show is at Elmwood High School and Grade School this weekend.
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.
CONSERVATION CONGRESS: Registration and planning for the 2013 Illinois Conservation Congress is underway. There will also be regional meetings this month and next. To register for the regional meetings (the evenings of March 12-14 in Chicago), click here, then go down to the ``get involved'' section and click on the date you wish to register for.
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.
POWERTON REMINDER: The lake is closed to all fishing, boat and shore, through April 7 for levee repair.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.
PERSONAL PICKS: Because of Gov. Pat Quinn doing a ceremony today, I had to miss my traditional sunrise at Braidwood Lake. But I hope to get in a couple hours later this morning or afterward this afternoon. . . . I suspect we will get in some family sledding on Saturday, well, after tax time. . . . On Sunday, my day will be spent covering Beat the Champs charity bowling contest for the Sun-Times. . . . Need to pull together another batch of shows for my my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). Suggestions are always welcome. The shows force me to look ahead, and I realize spring is near.