River green, record crappie, mango salsa: Notes, Chicago outdoors

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Workers dye the Chicago River green during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Chicago Saturday, March 14, 2015. | Tim Boyle/For Sun-Times

Notes from around Chicago outdoors. I’m changing the format slightly this week to get “Dale’s Mailbag,” with the email on dying the Chicago River green, up top.

DALE’S MAILBAG

COMMENT: An email fromWillie Levenson, Ringleader, Human Access Project, came on dying the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Levenson was a featured speaker at the Chicago River Summit a few days before the traditional dying of the river green. Here is his note:

As a visitor to Chicago and a River Activist from Portland. As a follow up to your story [click here for the column on March 10 on swimming the Chicago River]: (letter to the editor maybe ) As an outsider from Portland when Friends of the Chicago River told me that Chicago dyes the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Parade Day I was flabbergasted and couldn’t completely imagine what that would look like. The Friends are obviously against this and is beginning the hard, nuanced work of changing this behavior. It is an annual humiliation of a river. People who support this tradition, that started in the 1960’s (or have never given it much thought) say the solvent (what plumbers use to detect leaks) is completely safe to the environment. That may be or may not be – but to the otters and fish and other critters who have returned to the Chicago River and call it home – losing all visibility to a pee green river for 24 hours must be, at minimum very distressing. Plus come on – humans – we should not be dying rivers whether we have the ability to do it or not! Chicago LOVES Lake Michigan – it would never be contemplated to dye the Lakefront. After experiencing Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Parade Day it provided some insight – it is a very important and fun day to celebrate and a big source of cultural pride. I had a blast being a part of the day. Every city and our country and internationally and as individuals we all have many bad behaviors, accepted as social norms, that need a spot light and a mirror – no doubt have our own long list of our own in Portland. Cheers to our family at the Friends of Chicago River for all the great work you do and thank you again for your hospitality for my visit. Chicago – St. Patrick’s Day can be celebrated without humiliating your river and freaking out the poor otters! As Chicago’s relationship with their city’s river is slowly but surely changing like Portland, one day the dying will be stopped and maybe replaced with a floating river parade!

ANSWER:Levenson was an inspiring speaker at the Chicago River Summit last month. But the lack of structure/cover concerns me far more than the one day of dying the river green. The dying of the river I think may actually have some value in gaining the attention of ordinary citizens.

FIELD NOTES

Ryan Povolish with the Illinois-record crappie (either black or hybrid), he caught March 28, 2017 from Kinkaid Lake.<br>Credit: Les Winkeler/The Southern

Ryan Povolish with the Illinois-record crappie (either black or hybrid), he caught March 28, 2017 from Kinkaid Lake.
Credit: Les Winkeler/The Southern

RECORD CRAPPIE

Here’s an update onRyan Povolishand the Illinois-record crappie (4 pounds, 8.8 ounces) he caught Tuesday, March 28, from Kinkaid Lake.

The fish is going to the Bass Pro Shop in East Peoria.

Whether the 18 1/8th-inch fish is the black or hybrid crappie record will not be known until DNA analysis comes back.

John Hampton caught black crappie record (4-8, Rend Lake, May 15, 1976. Marcus Miller caught the hybrid crappie record (4.52 pounds, Jefferson County farm pond, May 14, 2008).

BIG NUMBER

1: Ranking of the West Suburban chapter of Ducks Unlimited as the top fundraisers in the Chairman’s Elite ($1 million-plus)

LAST WORD

“Just picked up some mango salsa and now looking forward to dinner.’’

Victor “The DIZZ’’ Blackful, properly completing a good perch outing last week on the Chicago lakefront

WILD TIMES

HUNTER SAFETY

(Click here for full package of northeast Illinois hunter safety classes)

April 4, 6, 11, 13: Downers Grove, (630) 963-1300 class 471009-01

April 8-9: Chicago, (630) 479-0708

April 29-30: Palatine, click here and it is program number 203560

FISH GATHERING

Monday, April 3: Capt. Pat Harrison, Oswegoland Fishin’ Fools, Allied First Bank, Oswego, 7 p.m. click here for info

DUCKS UNLIMITED

(Click here for the general list of Illinois DU events)

Thursday, April 6: Chicago Downtown Networking Event, One North Kitchen and Bar

Friday, April 7: Marengo Dinner, Starline Factory, Harvard

ILLINOIS SEASONS

Saturday, April 8,-April 13: First turkey season, south zone.

SHOWTIME

(Click here or the exhaustive list of shows, seminars, swap meets and auctions)

Saturday-Sunday, April 8-9: Open House with local fishing reps (St. Croix and Daiwa), free food, FishTech, Morton Grove. Click here for info on FishTech.

Saturday, April 8: First Used & Antique Sportsman’s Fleamarket: Fishing or hunting related (no guns or ammo), Top Fuel Saloon, Braidwood, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact Chris at (779) 456-0263 or Angusgibson@gmail.com

NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION

(Click here for general list of banquets and events)

PHEASANTS FOREVER

(Click here for general list of Illinois PF events)


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