Chicago outdoors: Raccoon kits, Atlantic salmon, Wis. color, personal watercraft jerks downtown/lakefront

A wonderful photo of raccoon kits on the North Side, an Atlantic salmon note, Wisconsin fall color and thoughts on personal-watercraft jerks downtown and on the lakefront are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: Raccoon kits, Atlantic salmon, Wis. color, personal watercraft jerks downtown/lakefront
Raccoon kits at North Park Village Nature Center.  Credit: Paul vriend

Raccoon kits at North Park Village Nature Center.

Paul Vriend

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


Paul Vriend sent a photo of these young raccoons at North Park Village Nature Center earlier this summer. “Looks like a close family,” emailed Vriend ( I had trouble running this earlier as I as coming out eradicating a raccoon family from our attic.

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 or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).



Sept. 10-11: Morris, or (815) 343-7330

Sept. 11-12: Diamond,

Sept. 18-19: Kankakee, (815) 935-2700

Sept. 25-26: Joliet, (815) 727-4811

Sept. 30 and Oct. 1: Chicago Heights,


Tuesday, Aug. 31: Deadline, applications, first lottery, duck/goose blinds,

Tuesday, Aug. 31: Deadline, applications for free upland game permit

Wednesday, Sept. 1: Dove hunting opens . . . Early Canada goose season opens


“Monty and Rose 2: The World of Monty and Rose”: Follow-up on the Montrose piping plovers, Saturday, Sept. 4, at 1 p.m. and Sept. 6 at 2:30 p.m., Music Box Theatre in Chicago. Ticket information (portion of proceeds benefit Chicago Ornithological Society), to go


Sept. 12: Save the Dunes celebration of monarch butterflies in the region, music and food at Michigan City’s Brewery Lodge & Supper Club; a portion of the proceeds benefits Save the Dunes’ work to protect and advocate for the Indiana dunes. Tickets start at $40, click here for more infor,,mation.


“Just a note to say I couldn’t agree more with your call for a crackdown on disrespectful use of ‘personal watercraft,’ not only on the Chicago River, but all along the city’s lakeshore.” Thomas Simpson

A: It is a problem up and down the lakefront, it’s just worst downtown in the river because of the traffic and the hard walls. Years ago, when I was younger and not so smart (and before I had the Sun-Times column), I kept an old spincast rod with a two-ounce sinker handy at Montrose for personal watercraft users who thought it was cool to fly through the shoreline and the lines of anglers.


18-11.25: Pounds-ounces of the Illinois-record Atlantic salmon, caught May 26, 1979 in Cook County waters of Lake Michigan by Robert Lueckhoff of Downers Grove.


“Side note, due to the drought up this way the sugar maples are turning red and the birch are showing early signs that change is in the air. The could be a year when colorama peak hits in mid-September.”

Christian Howe, in his fishing report from a Wisconsin trip to Vilas County.

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