Outdoor News and Photos

Here’s the latest outdoor news along with some shared photos.  Got new?  Photos? If you want to share send them to me at iloutdoors@comcast.net.

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Tonight on the Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show News.

Tonight Don Dziedzina and Jim DaRosa will be talking with the newly appointed Illinois Dept of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal. We’ll be asking; What’s in store for the IL DNR? Goals? Challenges?

Next up will be world famous Trivia Question…listen carefully we always give the answer.

After the ABC news we go to the Plano Frabill Illinois High School Fish Here Segment. Tonight we interview Joliet West High School’s head coach John Barber.  Then we’ll wrap up the show with a BassMasters Classic conversation with second place finisher Bobby Lane.

Great Show…be sure to listen today, Wednesday at 6:30 PM.  Tune in at WCSJ AM 1550, WCSJ FM 103.1, WSPY FM 107.1, WSPY AM 1480, WSQR FM 93.5 and WSQR AM 1180.

Illinois Fishing Licenses Expire March 31, 2015

I’ts time to get your new 2015 Illinois Fishing License.  Illinois fishing licenses and stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets.  For a location near you, check the IDNR website at this link:  http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx

Fishing licenses and stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).

If you plan on enjoying Fishing AND Hunting in Illinois get a Sportsman’s license which will cover both at a discount.

Local Pond Report from Ken HUSKER O’Malley

Hey Don, With a very busy weekend schedule, I had a few hours today to get out and hit a lake that I have never ice fished before. I concentrated on drop off areas. 12 flags in only 3 hours, but managed only 2 bass. I also loss two nice ones while jigging with a sebile vibrato blade bait. Good action, but I was off on my game today.  Regardless, fishing new waters can be a rewarding challenge. Definitely will add this one to the list.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team

More Than 1,000 Youth to Compete in Illinois State Archery Tournament  by Chris Young, IL DNR

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Illinois State Tournament on Saturday, March 21 at the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Participation continues to grow as 1,056 archers from 38 schools have qualified to compete. Participation in the State Tournament has climbed steadily from 400 in 2012 to 700 in 2013 and 873 in 2014. Top finishers qualify for the NASP National Tournament to be held May 7-9 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“We are proud of the student-athletes who have worked hard to qualify for the State Tournament,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. “I am gratified to see the growth of archery as an extra-curricular sport. I invite anyone who is interested in archery and youth sports to come and see these accomplished archers compete.”

Students will compete in three divisions, including Elementary (Grades 4-5), Middle School (Grades 6-8) and High School (Grades 9-12). Members of the Illinois Archery Association provide volunteer support for the event. Last year’s state champions were Schlarman Academy High School of Danville (Grades 9-12), Jefferson Middle School of Champaign (Grades 6-8), and Armstrong-Potomac Grade School (Grades 4-5).

NASP is a nationally acclaimed youth archery program that implements a curriculum-based archery education program into the public/private school system through the physical education department. The program started in Kentucky in 2002 and has expanded to include thousands of participating schools in five countries. Illinois was one of the first 10 states registered in the program.

Visit the IDNR YouTube Channel for a video of last year’s Illinois State Archery Tournament: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poI8UYMqQn8

Spring Trout Opens in Illinois

The 2015 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 4 at 46 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.   The new Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only season will be available at nine sites beginning on March 21.   For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at www.ifishillinois.org.

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Good reports this week from a number of areas.  Longer days and angle of sun getting fish more active.  Better reports coming from off of Pine Island, 26 – 31 feet as well as in main basin.  A mixed bag of walleyes and saugers.  Fish still going well up by Garden Island and adjacent deep mud.  Reefs on west end still giving up some meals of fish.  Lots of tulibees everywhere.  Colors, gold, glow red, and pink.  Pike activity heating up.  Good reports from in front of Morris Point gap and just west of Zippel Bay. Pike 40″+ in decent numbers.  Live suckers, frozen ciscoes and smelt on quick strike rig in 9-14′.

On the Rainy River, some big walleyes showing up in 15-18′.   Orange is the go to color for walleyes.  Best mode of travel is a snowmobile. Caution on river as water begins to flow with melting this week.

Up at the NW Angle good fishing continues.  Walleyes being caught in the mud on the south side of Oak Island in 18-22′ and by Crow Duck Island in 24-28′.  Crappie anglers doing well with slabs up to 16″.   Fish houses on ice through March 31st.  Walleye season open to April 14th.  Pike open all year.  Openings for ice fishing around the lake at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism | www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com

Niagara New York Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – Temperatures into the 40s have triggered some much-needed melting and help improve some open water conditions at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek for trout. A few more fishermen should start showing up at Fisherman’s Park to target trout and caution is advised along ice shelves as it deteriorates. Look for steelhead and the occasional brown trout to be hitting jigs tipped with a wax worm or grub and fished under a float. Plastics are also working as are eggs or egg imitations. Ice fishermen still have some options available in Wilson and Olcott harbors, but as water flows increase, Olcott Harbor will be the first to be impacted in the main channel. Northern pike are still being reported with regularity above the bridge in Olcott along with a mix of panfish. Pike season closes March 15. Over in Wilson, there was a report of good steelhead numbers in the harbor getting ready to do their spring spawning thing. The State of Lake Ontario open public meeting will be held Monday, March `16 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue (Route 78), Lockport starting at 6:30 pm. If you have any interest in Lake Ontario, the free presentation is important to attend.

2.       Lower Niagara River – Trout action was on fire last weekend for anglers taking advantage of the mild weather and relatively ice-free conditions in the main river. Minnows topped the list of favorite baits that also included Kwikfish, MapLips and egg sacs or single egg presentations with the super clear water. Drifters are hoping for a little stain to the water from the snow and ice melt, but so far that still hasn’t happened. This past week, boaters are working a little harder to take trout but they are spread throughout the river system from Devil’s Hole to the mouth of the river. Brown trout are more likely downriver; steelhead upriver. Slack water areas were holding lake trout. Three-way rigs are the way to go to maintain contact with the bottom. Lengthen your leads for clear water and downsize your line, hook size and baits to help take fish. You may have to slide out to slightly deeper water and stay away from boat pressure. Shore anglers have been picking up some trout but once again caution is advised with the melting shoreline ice. Spinners or spoons will work, as will eggs or egg imitations and fished under a float. Tip of the week comes from Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston. Walleye season closes in New York waters on March 15, but they are already closed on the Canadian side of the river. Make sure you have a license for both sides of the river if you are fishing both sides. The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding its John Long Sr. Memorial Raffle and Feast at St. Vincent de Paul Hall on Military Road, Niagara Falls Sunday, March 22 starting at 2 pm. Call 628-1460 for tickets or more info. Watch the Outdoor Beat on LCTV next Wednesday at 4 pm to hear more about it with Paul Jackson and Jo Jo Allen. The Second Annual Fire House Tavern Ice Fishing Tournament is set for Saturday, March 14 at Wilson Harbor. Anglers can sign up anytime at The Firehouse Tavern, 283 Young St. in Wilson. A 6:30 am pre-tourney meeting will be held at 315 Catherine St. in Wilson. Scales open at 3 pm at the tavern.

3.       Upper Niagara River – Not too much changed from last week other than there’s a bit more open water around. Ice fishing is still taking place in all of the same areas like Buffalo Boat Harbor, around Grand Island and the like. Remember that March 15 is the date that any ice huts must come off the ice. The Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper will be talking emerald shiners, invasive species and a world trout initiative on Saturday, March 14 at Buffalo State’s Bulger Communications Center, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo from noon to 4 pm.

Bill Hilts, Jr. Niagara Tourism

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