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Outdoors folks should avoid downtown during NATO Summit

Part lakefront will be off-limits outdoors people during NATO Summit. | Dale Bowman~For Sun-Times Media

Part of the lakefront will be off-limits to outdoors people during the NATO Summit. | Dale Bowman~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 17, 2012 8:19AM

Around the NATO Summit, the general idea for fishermen, boaters, bikers and walkers/
runners on the Chicago lakefront from Friday through Monday will be to avoid the area from the Museum Campus to 39th.

‘‘Common sense tells you to stay the hell away from downtown,’’ a lakefront regular said. ‘‘This isn’t the greatest week for fishing, unless the stupid perch come.’’

‘‘What people need to remember is 50 heads of state are in town,’’ a top lakefront official said. ‘‘There will be closures. It is not business as usual. Just go north or south; the center of the city is just going to be hard to get around in.’’

Burnham Harbor already has been cleared. Most boats were relocated to the recently opened 31st Street Harbor. Otherwise, harbors should be accessible. Burnham should reopen May 24.

The launches at Burnham and 31st Street won’t be open. The Diversey and 95th Street launches should be open, as should the Western Avenue launch on the Sanitary and Ship Canal.

As for shore fishing, Burnham/Northerly Island will be off-limits, and that will extend south to 39th. Monroe and DuSable harbors should be open for shore fishing, as should areas to the north and lakefront points south of 39th.

Those ‘‘stupid perch’’ are the crux of the matter in May for shore fishermen.

‘‘Some days are better than others, but the perch are around,’’ said Mike Repa, the morning counter man at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor.

A jumbo perch of
1 pound, 6 ounces was caught off the south side of Montrose Harbor last week and weighed at Park Bait. Blake Koch caught a 14-incher thick enough to awe his friends Thursday at Belmont Harbor.

Frankly, those North Side harbors — generally the hot spots for perch — should not be affected too greatly, other than by traffic issues.

Places and faces

Only the paperwork needs to be finalized for Illinois’ first burbot record. Illinois’ first whitefish record might get interesting. At least two whitefish appear to be candidates, one caught April 27 and another caught May 8. . . . David Kleszyk of Oakbrook Terrace took fifth ($9,500) at the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour on Lake Erie. On the co-angler side, Philip Maher of Lincoln Park was third ($2,000).

Wild things

The big moth that landed on the Kentucky Derby story Pat Fosnacht was reading in the Sun-Times is a ‘‘newly emerged cecropia moth,’’ emailed Carl Strang, a naturalist for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

Stray cast

For a weekly celebrity columnist, Dan McNeil drops Tribune references on air as thickly as whitewash and owl pellets litter a hemlock roost.

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