Chicago outdoors: City mink, nod to Illinois bucks from afar, tagged fish record and ‘safe ice’

A Chicago River mink, a nod to Illinois bucks from far away, a world-record tagged fish and “safe ice” are among the notes around Chicago outdoors.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: City mink, nod to Illinois bucks from afar, tagged fish record and ‘safe ice’

A young mink on the Chicago River.

Paul Vriend

Notes come from all over Chicago outdoors.


Paul Vriend made several spottings of American mink on the Chicago River and emailed, “It’s cool that they are in the city. Don’t know if this is your interest.” Oh it is. The wildlife section of the Forest Preserves of Cook County thought this one was a young female born last year. They also reminded that otter have been observed on the Chicago River.

WOTW, the celebration of wild stories and photos around Chicago outdoors, runs most weeks in the special two-page outdoors section in the Sun-Times Sports Saturday. Send nominations to @BowmanOutside on Twitter or Instagram, to Dale Bowman on Facebook or email



March 13-14: Wheeling,


Next weekend, Feb. 22-23: “About Boating Safely,” Cabela’s, Hammond, Ind., (708) 960-4040.


Click here for the master list of shows, classes and seminars.

Saturday, Feb. 22: DRiFT’s 27th annual Fly Fishing Auction, Villa Park VFW, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Next weekend, Feb. 22-23: Fish On, Woodland Park, Portage, Ind.

Through today, Feb. 16: Bedford Sales 50th Anniversary Open House, Morris. . . . Chicago RV & Camping Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont. . . . Muskie Expo Milwaukee, Washington County Fair Park, West Bend, Wis.

Through Feb. 23: Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds


Tuesday, Feb. 18: Andrew Ragas, “Ten Keys to Monster Bass,” Arlington Anglers, Poplar Creek Banquets, Hoffman Estates, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 20: Capt. Ralph Steiger, “Early Spring Fishing on Lake Michigan,” Fish Tales Fishing Club, Worth Township offices, Alsip, 7 p.m.


Monday, Feb. 17, to Friday, Feb. 21: Illinois residents only, click here for info


Through Monday, Feb. 17: Great Backyard Bird Count


“How is ice safe in Will County, but not Cook?’’ John Phillip Kudia on Tuesday

A: “Safe ice’’ depends on the size and depth of a lake or pond, shoreline shade, springs, wind protection. Especially this time of year, I have seen open water on one water and nearby there’s fishable ice. Pablo Bleens also added that Canada geese have become a factor in keeping water open.


9,507: World-record number of days (26 years) that a tagged freshwater fish spent at liberty. The Australian bass was tagged Jan. 20, 1994 and recaptured on Feb. 9, 2020, according to Fisheries Research and Development Corporation via


“In the past, we’d expect that quality of trophy hunting in Saskatchewan or Illinois, not in Massachusetts.”

Mark Blazis, in the Worcester Telegram, recapping the deer season in Massachusetts

The Latest
At least two defendants were expected to be released from prison Tuesday.
“There’s the grieving process — I think that’s normal,” the former Bears head coach said. “But you have to use that to be better.”
El hombre no se detuvo después de chocar, pero después fue arrestado.
Después de haber organizado varios desfiles este verano, el superintendente de policía señaló que los funcionarios de la ciudad ahora están “echando un vistazo urgente a la inteligencia”.
Durante las próximas cuatro semanas se realizarán unos 250 cortes de pelo, con citas disponibles en el sitio web de la organización