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This week’s field notes

Dale’s mailbag

Q: Just a question about Heidecke. Is there a way to open up the rest of the lake for fishing? The plant isn’t there anymore, and some lakes that are still running, like Newton, you can fish the discharge. And on LaSalle, go up the outlet channel. —Todd

A: The good news is that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is finalizing a long-term agreement with Midwest Generation to continue fishing at the former cooling lake near Morris. Unfortunately, from a fisherman’s perspective (mine included), the protected area west of the buoys will not be changed. On the other hand, fisheries biologist Rob Miller said it acts like a fish sanctuary.

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



WILD OF WEEK

Bob Gosman sent this photo of the cinnamon teal spotted by Celeste Troon, Director of Living Collections at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, in mid-March. He said the Chicago Ornithological Society put it as the first sighting for North Pond. Until Morel of the Week starts in a few weeks, we will run WOTW. E-mail nominations to straycasts@sbcglobal.net.

TOP OUTDOORSMAN

Bass Pro Shops is again holding the Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge. The Gurnee store will hold the first qualifying round of events Saturday and next Sunday. Check for other stores and times at basspro.com.

WILD TIMES

POLISH-ONLY HUNTER SAFETY

April 29-30: Schaumburg, (847) 995-0200.

REPTILES

Saturday-next Sunday: Chicago Herpetological Society’s 18th annual ReptileFest, University of Illinois-Chicago Physical Education Building, ReptileFest.com.

PADDLING

Today: Final day, grand reopening of Geneva Kayak Club, Yorkville. Paddle with GKC owner Ryan Rushton and Kelly Blades (Yorkville to Silver Springs), 1-4 p.m., (630) 232-0320 or genevakayak.com.

BANQUETS

Friday: West Suburban Ducks Unlimited, Willowbrook ­Ballroom, 8900 Archer, Willow Springs. Contact Keith Bucholz at (630) 364-9337.

ILLINOIS PERMITS/SEASONS

Monday: First turkey season, south zone, opens.

BIG NUMBER: 92,000

Number of entries topped in checklists submitted to the Great Backyard Bird Count. New bird checklist records were set in 11 states and in seven out of 13 Canadian provinces and territories, resulting in a new overall checklist record for Canada. Altogether, an estimated 60,000 people took part, identifying 596 species and making 11.4 million bird observations.

THE LAST WORD

“The governor has made it very clear to me: ‘We are not going to close the parks.’  ”

— Marc Miller, IDNR director, in a wide-ranging interview Wednesday, about the possibility of some parks being closed because of budget restrictions



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