News from Salmon Unlimited

At our October meeting, the top three captains from our club tournament series, Capt. Jim Maechtle, Capt. Kevin Massard, Capt. Jim Nelligan held a round-table discussion, comparing the tactics and strategies they used to achieve their success.  Not surprisingly, all three captains agreed on many of the methods that they like to employ.  They also talked about some of the locations that they’ve found to hold fish, year after year.  The open discussion format was a great way for the guys to share a lot of quality information with the other members of the club.  Thanks, Captains.

Reminder:  Elections for the club’s Board of Directors will be held at this months’ meeting.  There are several open positions, including the offices of President and Treasurer.  This is a great opportunity to get involved in your club.

Salmon Unlimited Office
General Membership Meetings at VFW HALL- 7:30 to 10:00 PM
400 E Devon Ave, Elk Grove Village, IL
Website Address:

President’s Report

Considering it’s Halloween, how about a few words from a true scary visionary, Marilyn Munster:  What does Ramone look like?  Lily Munster:  He looks a little like Cary Grant, the poor man.  Lily Munster: Grandpa, if you want the ketchup, just say "Please pass the ketchup", not "Shoot me the plasma!"

The leaves have fallen, so for me, it’s time to head to the St. Joe River in southwest Michigan for some river steelhead fishing.  I’ve mentioned this before, but if you don’t have a boat, you can hire some great charter captains for a great day of fishing on that beautiful river.  Two that come to mind for me are Captain Bill Doak of Four Seasons Charters, and Captain Jerry Link of Originator Charters:

Both of these guys are good fishermen, who know the river well and have always put me on fish.  This is a great day trip from the Chicago area and only an hour and half away.

The club is holding elections for President and 2 board member positions at the next general meeting on Tuesday, November 14, 2012 at the Elk Grove Village VFW. Please come out and vote, or better yet, volunteer your name for one of these important positions in your club.

The new fish cleaning station at Northpoint Marina should be installed the week of October 29, 2012, so if we have the time before this newsletter goes out, we’ll get everyone some pictures.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone.

Jim Nelligan - President

Stormy Seas
Salmon Unlimited extends our deepest sympathies to Ron Taylor and his family, after the passing of Ron’s wife, Carol.  She died on October 15th, following a brief battle with cancer.  She was 56 years old.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Ron and his family during this difficult time.

Club Elections
As has been the case in recent years, we are again faced with having more vacant positions than candidates.  This year, the openings include the offices of President and Treasurer, as well as six board members.  So far, only four of the incumbent board members have decided to run again.  Thanks to Bill Meier, Jack Edens, John Messina and Nick Pataki for volunteering to continue serving on the board.  We still need candidates to fill the remaining posts.  This is your chance to have a voice in the direction the club is going.  Get involved inyourclub!

Did You Know?
Five to six million years ago salmon had fangs, weighed over 500 pounds, and were ten feet long. The modern Pacific Salmon emerged about two million years ago in the cold mountain streams of the Pacific Northwest.  Can you imagine our sport with 500 lb. salmon… with fangs!?!

Near-Record Low Water Level Predicted for Lake Michigan

For your situational awareness, water levels on all the Great Lakes are lower than average due to the very dry weather, lack of snow pack last winter, warm air temperatures, and resulting increased evaporation. Levels are currently below low water datum on Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron and are expected to remain below datum at least through March 2013.  Levels are expected to near record lows on Lakes Michigan and Huron.  We are sending out this note because of the obvious impact this will have on navigation.

The Corps of Engineers updates the six-month water level forecast on a monthly basis.  These forecasts can be found on our website at:

Background: Water levels on Lake Michigan-Huron are currently almost a foot below low water datum and are forecasted to decline to about 1.5 feet below datum by February 2013. The Army Corps of Engineers is forecasting near record low water levels on LakeMichigan-Huron in October.  Several months of dry weather have dropped the water supply to the lake to near record low for this time of year.  In an average year, Lake Michigan-Huron's seasonal rise during the spring months is close to 12 inches.  In 2012, the seasonal rise4 was only 4 inches.  The lake has declined almost 12 inches since reaching
its peak in June and is currently almost a foot below low water datum.  The current forecast is for Lake Michigan-Huron to decline to about 1.5 feet below datum by March 2013. Water levels in November 2012 through March 2013 are expected to tie or break record lows. The current record low water levels on Michigan-Huron were set in 1964.

Water levels on Lake Superior are currently about 4 inches below low water
datum and are forecasted to drop to about 1 foot below datum by March 2013.  The October water level is forecasted to remain 1 inch above the record low.  The current level is about 4 inches below low water datum. Levels from November 2012 - March 2013 are expected to drop to about 1 foot below low water datum by March, but are expected to remain 3 to 5 inches above record lows.  The current record low levels on Lake Superior were set in the mid 1920s.

Bottom line for navigation interests:  Lake Superior is forecasted to remain 4 to 14 inches below chart datum through March.  Lake Michigan-Huron are forecasted to remain 11 to 19 inches below chart datum through March.  Water levels on Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and LakeOntario are forecasted to remain above chart datum through March, although they will also experience levels significantly below average.

If you need any additional information, please let me know.

Marie Strum
US Army Corps of Engineers
Great Lakes Navigation Team
(313) 226-6794

Proposed Club Tournament Schedule for 2013

Club Tournaments:
May 4, 2013
May 18, 2013
June 8, 2013
June 29, 2013
July 20, 2013
Aug 10, 2013
Aug 24, 2013  (Make-up Date)

Other Important Events:

Hoosier Coho Classic – May 4 & 5, Michigan City, IN

Salmon Unlimited WI Open – June 1, Racine, WI

Kenosha Coho Classic – June 15, Kenosha, WI

PFC Geoffrey Morris – June 21 & 22, Winthrop Harbor, IL

Port Salmon Shootout – July 6, Port Washington, WI

Super Sweepstakes – July 13, Racine, WI

Two in the Boat – July 14,  Racine, WI

Brew City – August  3,  Milwaukee, WI

Salmon Unlimited Open – August 17  Winthrop Harbor, IL

This is the proposed schedule for the 2013 tournament fishing season.  I am working hard to confirm these dates and to see if any conflicts arise from this schedule.  These dates correspond closely to the same weekends these events were held in 2012, but until we have the dates verified, this schedule is tentative.

There are no plans to change the rules or prizes for 2013, so if you fished last season, you know what to expect.

Capt. Jim Nelligan, Tournament Chairman

More on Water Levels
The following is a letter from Roger Mellem, North Point Harbormaster

October 2, 2012

Hi Everyone,

It seems like every conversation that I’ve been in with boaters, of late, eventually touches on marina water depths and the larger issue of water depths in the Great Lakes.  On September 22, 2012, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel published a front page article written by Dan Egan that explains the history of the water depth issue/problem and is probably one of the better articles that I’ve seen written on the subject.  Please check it out on:  .   In the site’s Search box, type in ‘Great Lakes Water Levels’ and look for the 9/22/12 article.

Should you wish to comment to the International Joint Commission that reports to both the Canadian and U.S. governments, please go to

[We] will start dredging in early spring and are already permitted to do so.

Roger Mellem - Harbormaster

Membership Renewal Notices to be Mailed in December
Membership dues statements will be mailed out in December.  Your prompt reply will save the club money on printing and postage for 2nd notices.  Also, we must have your renewal in order to include you in the annual roster book.

Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet - new & used fishing equipment sale and swap
SATURDAY, MARCH 2nd, 2013 – 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Doors Open for Exhibitors’ Setup at 5:30 a.m.
Lots of FREE Parking


MEMBERS:  $25/Table
NON-MEMBERS:  $40/Table

DIRECTIONS:  Exit Eisenhower expressway (I-290) from the east or west at  1st Avenue.  Go north on 1st Ave for 3.3 miles.  Turn left on River Road and go .6 miles to Fullerton.  From the north, exit I-294 at Irving Park Road.  Go east on Irving Park Road 1.8 miles to River Road.  Go south on River Road 2.3 miles to Fullerton.  The Moose Lodge is at the intersection of Fullerton Avenue and River Road.

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