Chicago outdoors: North Side wood ducks, Bassmaster all-staters, Illinois’ invasive fish

Observing wood duck matting and nesting behavior on Chicago’s North Side, three Chicago-area Bassmaster all-staters and a question on handling invasive fish in Illinois are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: North Side wood ducks, Bassmaster all-staters, Illinois’ invasive fish
A wood duck pair on Chicago’s North Side. Credit: Jeff Wade

A wood duck pair on Chicago’s North Side.

Jeff Wade

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


Jeff Wade watched mated wood ducks for years on the North Side. On April 9, he found one of their nest holes, with the hen “excavating and exploring after hanging with her drake.”

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).

A wood duck hen cleaning out a tree hole for nesting. Credit: Jeff Wade

A wood duck hen cleaning out a tree hole for nesting.

Jeff Wade


“1) [Are there] northern snakeheads in Illinois? 2) Are there any invasive species which, when caught in Illinois, we are supposed to kill?” Glen Gorman

A: Illinois had only one confirmed snakehead (Burnham Harbor, 2004). As to question 2, see the “Injurious Species” entry on page 7 of the Illinois Fishing Regulations booklet. Careful with killing suspect species. Snakeheads and native bowfin are often confused. If not positive of ID, take a photo, then immediately return to where caught. Never keep suspect live fish in your possession.


3: Chicago-area anglers earning spots on the 2023 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team: Brett Mouw, Joliet Catholic, Hunter Petrovic, Minooka, Zach Wolfe (Honorable Mention) Lincoln-Way Central. Students were selected based on their success in bass tournament competition, academic achievement and leadership in conservation and community service.



Tuesday to next Saturday, April 25-29: North American Vintage Decoy and Sporting Collectibles Show, Westin Chicago Lombard

Next Saturday, April 29: Riverside Fishing Club swap meet, Berwyn Moose Lodge


Wednesday, April 26: Andrew Ragas, “Multi-Species Strategies for Spring & Early Summer,” Walleyes Unlimited, Gurnee American Legion, 7 p.m.


Next Saturday, April 29: Help send autistic angler Robbie “Goose” Henderson, currently ranked sixth in the nation, to the National Bass Trail National Championships, Lake Hartwell, South Carolina, Musky Tales, Antioch, 5-9 p.m., contact Jeff Henderson 847-409-1410 or


Next Saturday, April 29: Boat America, Chicago, Boat America, Don Leonard, . . . Chicago, Boat America, Robert James Allen, . . . Chicago, Boat America, Dan O’Connell,


May 6 or 7:Introductory, Des Plaines SFWA, Wilmington, click here for details


Turkey hunting: Through Wednesday, April 26: Fourth season, south zone, and third, north. Thursday, April 27, to May 4, fifth, south; Thursday, April 27, to May 3, fourth, north.

Through April 30: First lottery, Illinois residents only, firearm or muzzleloader deer permits


April 28-29:Morris, or (815) 343-7330

April 29-30: Diamond, (815) 907-7345

May 6-7: Ingleside, S.FREY2008@YAHOO.COM

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