Archive for October, 2008

Oct
28

Walleye limit to increase on Chain O Lakes

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Walleye limit to increase on Chain O Lakes, Increased limit might be on tap for next spring. The keeper slot on the Fox Chain O’ Lakes for walleye is two of 14-18 inches and one 24 inches or longer. I’m getting tons of reports on my site (foxlakefishing) of good healthy 17 “eyes And JD Spinners reports on some nice eyes through out the year

 walleye

There’s been a lot of good walleye like that caught on the Chain the last couple years. In fact, the Chain never has had walleye fishing like this. So much so, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will increase the daily bag next year, according to district fisheries biologist Frank Jakubicek. Jakubicek said the regulatory process is nearly complete to increase the daily bag to three between 14 and 18 inches. It would take effect April 1.

I attribute it to the high water,” the former science teacher said. “It concentrates fish in current neckdowns and makes the fisherman’s job a little easier, and fish are more aggressive under those circumstances.”

“We have been catching a lot of fish in our spring (netting surveys),” Jakubicek said. ”And we are meeting or exceeding our goals for 2-inch (stockings).” This spring, they netted about 1,000 walleye in two nights. “Around 2001 or 2002, it would have taken us a week and a half to catch a thousand,” he said. Back then, a peak night would produce 20 walleye per net. This spring, it was 52 per net per night at peak.

About three-quarters of the walleye netted are males, which rarely exceed 18 inches. That’s the purpose of the protected slot from 18 to 24 inches, while the one allowed longer than 24 inches allows trophies to be taken. Females reaching that size do not have as much fertility in their eggs. The protected slot (18-24) protects about 70 percent of the females of egg-bearing age, Jakubicek figures.

posted by paul jones FLF

Categories : Fishing Stories
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Oct
14

Illinois DNR To Close 11 State Parks

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Illinois To Close 11 State Parks

 

The state of Illinois will be closing 11 state park properties, 25 historical landmarks, and laying off 39 DNR employees after state budgets dropped $14 million of DNR funding in the state.

The state of Illinois is being forced to close 11 state parks after lawmakers recent made a $14 million dollar cut to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources funding.  All eleven parks will be closed on November 1st, 2008.  The Illinois DNR is also being forced to layoff 39 employees, 36 of whom are full-time.  These employees include park rangers, security, superintendants, and park technicians.

Earlier this summer, Illinois’ General Assembly passed the state budget which included a 24% decrease in DNR general funding.  This funding is used to pay park salaries and maintain the current park system.  Many of Illinois’ lawmakers are attributing the cuts to a poor economy, but Illinois’ DNR claims that these parks are one of few areas that actually profit in the state.  The Illinois state park system had over 45 million visitors in 2007, many of which spend more funds in local economies.  It is thought that the loss in local revenue from visitors will far outweigh any savings that the state hopes to gain by the closures.

The Illinois DNR was actually in the process of making a proposal to slightly raise park fees in an effort to compensate for the state’s shortcomings on funding, when the measure to close the parks was handed down.

The parks in question (which I will list shortly) do have the possibility of being reopened at a future date, but DNR officials worry that without proper maintenance, it will take much more money to get these parks back in line.  With a shortcoming on funds, they fear that this option may be a far stretch and future funding will not allow for the kind of work involved to reopen the parks.

Illinois’ DNR currently manages and maintains 320 state parks, natural areas, state forests, historical areas, and public property throughout Illinois.  The fear now comes that even more state managed land will be closed in the future due to funding.

The Illinois state parks that will be closing on November 1st, 2008 include the following:

  • Castle Rock State Park, Oregon
  • Lowden State Park, Oregon
  • Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, Sheffield
  • Illini State Park, Marseilles
  • Channahon Parkway State Park, Channahon
  • Gebhard Woods State Park, Morris
  • Hidden Springs State Forrest, Strasburg
  • Kickapoo State Park, Oakwood
  • Moraine View State Park, Leroy
  • Weldon Springs State Park, Clinton
  • Wolf Creek State Park, Windsor

BikingBis, a blog dedicated to everything ‘cycling’, has mentioned that one of the biggest blows to the state will be the closure of Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park.  This park boasts over 90 miles of trails and roadways dedicated to the bicycling enthusiast.

Along with the state park closings, Illinois will also be closing 25 historical landmarks, including four National historic Landmarks.  These closings will take effect on October 1st, 2008.  These closures will definitely be hitting the local economies pretty hard.  Many of these historical landmarks are big tourist attractions and bring in much needed funds across smaller communities while also drawing in visitors and tourists to little known areas.

To see a list of the historical landmarks being closed across Illinois, please visit this site.

The economy is definitely hitting many areas hard right now.  With state budgets in the billions of dollars, it just seems like there would be a way to cut funding to more ‘less meaningful’ projects, then to take away something that is meant ‘for the people’.  $14 million dollars is not a lot of money to a state whose budget is in the billions.  One less road would do the trick.  Just something to think about..

I would appreciate any comments you might have on this issue.  Is there a better way of handling Illinois’ DNR budget shortfall?  I would like to hear your answers.  Comment below.

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