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Chicago outdoors/coronavirus: Mac canceled, trout, lakefront, Ind. licenses, Crab Orchard NWR, Wis. camping

Updates for Chicago outdoors and coronavirus come on the Mac being canceled, Cook County trout, the lakefront, Indiana licenses, Crab Orchard NWR access and Wisconsin camping.

File photo of Lindsey Duda Coe, at Belmont Harbor last summer, prepping to sail the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. Credit: Dale Bowman
File photo of Lindsey Duda Coe, at Belmont Harbor last summer, prepping to sail the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.
Dale Bowman

The Mac is canceled.

The 112th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, the 333-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Mich., has been moved to July 16 and 17, 2021.

Here is the lead paragraph today, June 5, in the announcement:

CHICAGO- The Chicago Yacht Club and the Race to Mackinac (CYCRTM) Committee announced today that it has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Race to Mackinac due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Forest Preserves of Cook County made some changes on access and use Thursday, but did not announce any decision on what to do about the lakes stocked with trout, originally scheduled to open on April 4 but closed because of the pandemic.

If any updates come, I will update.

Click here for the latest access and closure notice from the FPCC.

* * *

There whispers and discussions on opening Chicago’s lakefront, but a stunning lack of mention of fishing. Perch season, by the way, reopens on June 16 on Lake Michigan.

Click here for the latest from Fran Spielman on opening the lakefront.

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Indiana has once again extended its 2019-20 licenses to run through the end of June.

Here is the word from the Indiana DNR:

All 2019-20 basic hunting, basic fishing, hunt/fish combo, youth licenses, and stamps set to expire March 31, 2020 are now valid until the end of June. After that, you will need a 2020-21 license and/or stamp to hunt, fish, or trap.

Keep a printed or electronic copy with you while hunting or fishing. If you do not have a 2019-20 annual license or stamp, a 2020-21 annual license is required. One hundred percent of your purchase goes directly toward the conservation of Indiana’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Purchase online at on.IN.gov/INhuntfish.

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Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in southern Illinois is opening more access.

Here are the key updates from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

. . .

Beginning June 4th, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge reopened public access to the Blue Heron and Little Grassy Campgrounds and Marinas for the summer season. Beginning June 11th, the Crab Orchard Lake Campground will also open.

Please note these changes at the campground are in compliance with state guidance:

Campsites can only accommodate the single-family unit occupying that campsite

Campers are encouraged use any self-contained restroom in their own camper

No tent camping

No outside visitors at any campsite

Limited showers available

More than 12 miles of trails are available for hiking and the 14-mile auto tour route is open for cars and bikes within CDC social distancing guidance. Entry fees also remain waived until further notice.

The health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and employees remains our number one priority and the following facilities or areas remain closed until further notice:

Devils Kitchen Lake Campground

Crab Orchard Lake Beach

Little Grassy Lake Beach

Visitor center will remain closed

. . .

Please visit the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge website for current updates and status.

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The Wisconsin DNR will reopen state campgrounds on Wednesday, June 10 with special conditions.

Here is the word:

COVID-19 Update

Beginning June 10, 2020 standard campgrounds at Wisconsin State Parks will open. Group campsites, day use facilities (shelters and amphitheaters) and Rock Island State Park will remain closed through June 30.

Property offices will remain closed and campers should head directly to their reserved campsite upon arrival. Check-in will be automatic via the Camis reservation system.

Reservations are required for all sites and may be made online or by calling 1-888-947-2757.

Firewood and concessions are not available at state parks at this time and should be purchased before campers arrive.

COVID-19 Information Webpage

Click here to read a detailed breakdown on special conditions and other notices on camping.