Chicago outdoors: American bittern in Chicago, wild turkeys in Chicago, eating smelt, Winnebago sturgeon

More wild turkeys in Chicago, an American bittern in Chicago, places to eat fried smelt and the count on Winnebago sturgeon are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: American bittern in Chicago, wild turkeys in Chicago, eating smelt, Winnebago sturgeon
American bittern on Chicago’s North Side. Credit: Jeff Wade

American bittern on Chicago’s North Side.

Jeff Wade

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

WILD OF THE WEEK

Jeff Wade spotted an American bittern at West Ridge Nature Park on the North Side. “Quite something to see these in the city, as I believe they were once listed as `threatened’ in Illinois,” he emailed. As of last year, the American bittern is still listed as endangered in Illinois. Click here for the endangered and threatened listings in Illinois.

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. To make submissions, email (BowmanOutside@gmail.com) or contact me onFacebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).

WILD TIMES

CLEANUP

Today, April 17: Busse Woods Litter Obliteration, meet at boating center, bring own garbage bags and gloves, 9 a.m.

FISH GATHERING

Tuesday, April 20: Capt. Jerry Constabile, Arlington Anglers, Poplar Creek Banquets, Hoffman Estates, 6:30 p.m., arlingtonanglers.com.

ILLINOIS SEASONS

Turkey hunting: Through Thursday, April 22, second season, north zone; Friday, April 23, to April 28, third season, north: through Wednesday, April 21, third season, south; Thursday, April 22, to April 28, fourth season, south.

DALE’S MAILBAG

“Where can we get some cooked smelt nearby? I Googled it and found we can buy frozen smelt, but my husband is insistent on having it cooked for him like in the old days when you could just pop into a diner and order it off the menu.” Tina (and Michael) Roth, Homewood

A: Downtown has multiple options for fried smelt, but closer to their home, I suggested Calumet Fisheries on 95th at the bridge for fried smelt. Calumet Fisheries is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives.

BIG NUMBER

1,832: Sturgeon harvested during the 2021 spearing system on the Lake Winnebago system: 1,468 speared on Lake Winnebago and 364 speared on the Upriver Lakes. Click here for more breakdowns.

LAST WORD

“While fishing the Anglers Choice tournament [last weekend] we were waiting in the [O’Brien Lock and Dam] and saw a tom and hen turkey wandering around. “

Jeff Wolfe, reporting another sighting of wild turkeys within Chicago

Wild turkeys at the O’Brien Lock and Dam. Provided by Jeff Wolfe

Wild turkeys at the O’Brien Lock and Dam.

Provided by Jeff Wolfe

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