Perch, people, parks & 87th: Mayor’s Fishing Committee

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A perfectly clear morning before the Mayor’s Fishing Committee meeting at 31st Street Harbor.Credit: Dale Bowman

I am going to try to do this on a regular basis, give a snapshot of stuff from the monthly Mayor’s Fishing Committee meeting.

This is stuff from the meeting today, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 at 31st Street Harbor. This meeting was chaired on an emergency basis by Bob Long Jr., “The Fishin’ Guy’’ for the Chicago Park District.

I will go in descending order of what I consider interesting and/or important.

Ken Schneider brought up a question why signs are up for a dusk closing for the park, “Steelworker’s Park’’ (unofficial name), by the 87th Street slip, the winter hotspot for perch fishing. Long said the only other fishing areas that he knew with dusk closings were Park 568, “Rosehill Cemetery’’ (unofficial name), and Northerly Island. There was more discussions about policing and such at 87th. . . . Then Long said there is a strip of park district land on the north side of the slip, but it needs to be accessed legally from the bike path coming out of 79th. I intend to investigate.

Long gave the report from the Chicago Park District. He went through the procedure for reporting fishing issues. This is important and guys should make use of this info. Long should be called at (312) 656-3852 with fishing related issues. But even better would be emailing the Chicago Park District with fishing-related concerns and also CCing Long at Click here to report a park district fishing issue.. . . The budget is not expected until January, when plans will be made for next year. . . . Looking at possibility of putting aerators in at “Rosehill Cemetery’’ park to prevent winter kills and help keep the water clean.

FYI, pier passes, which allow access to select piers in many Chicago harbors are now available for $6 at Henry’s Sports and Bait.

Vic Santucci, Lake Michigan Program head for the IDNR, said there will not be a winter/spring informational meeting on Lake Michigan, but instead he will pull together a newsletter after the various meetings around the lake. . . . It was a good perch spawn, maybe biggest ever, question is whether they will make it to the next level. Frankly, that is the $1,000,000 question around the lake. . . . He said it looks good for eggs for salmon and trout, even though the returning fish in Wisconsin were very sparse. The fin clip of coho will occur this spring, though size may be smaller because eggs coming are smaller. . . . As to budget mess, he said, “Lucky so far. The vendors are working with us, even though they are not going to get paid [until the budget is solved].’’

Steve Silic, fisheries biologist for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, said things should not be changing for programming or stocking next year. “Flat is the term they are using for budget.’’ . . . In response to a question, goldfish are indeed taking over Cermak Quarry. “Public thinks it is cool to release their pets.’’ It is not. Those releases combined with the severe winter kill a couple years ago meant an explosion. Since then, they have been working on taking out the goldfish and re-establishing panfish and gamefish.

Brenda McKinney said the Urban Fishing Program is going into schools almost every day, that is mostly Chicago Public Schools. Yes, indeed.

From the CAPS guys, there was 22 outings last year, down from the previous year. But the hope is a new deputy superintendent could spike it next year. . . . One of the things done at CAPS events is to try to have a uniformed officer there fishing, too. . . . To schedule a CAPS fishing event, call (312) 752-5900

NOTES: Tom Palmisano said he hoped that a representative from the Army Corps of Engineers would be at the next meeting to talk about Northerly Island. . . . Next meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 17 at 31st Street Harbor. . . . Christmas Ship Fireworks Cruise is Saturday night. Click here.

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