Chicago outdoors: Snapper eggs, Chicago catfish, Laura Ingalls Wilder, O.H. Ivie Lake

A suburban snapping turtle laying eggs, a question on the stocking of Chicago catfish, Laura Ingalls Wilder on prairie and O.H. Ivie ranking as top bass lake are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

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A snapping turtle laying eggs near Salt Creek. Credit: Alan Anderson

A snapping turtle laying eggs near Salt Creek.

Alan Anderson

Bowman’s outdoor notes for July 1, 2023. WOTW photo attached

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


While monitoring a nesting bird area, Alan Anderson spotted a snapping turtle laying eggs in a scrape near Salt Creek in DuPage County. “I didn’t want to have it abandon its task, so I didn’t go by it to my monitoring point,” he emailed and took a few photos instead. “Not anywhere as big as `Chonkosaurus’ but the first time I’ve found one laying eggs.”

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).


“Do you know if they are stocking catfish this year. I heard they did 75th park this morning.” Wayne Hankins on June 19

A: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has no channel catfish for stocking this year, but have been stocking bluegill into the Chicago lagoons. Hope is within a year or two to solve the problem of obtaining catfish for stocking. Some groups have procured small numbers of catfish for individual events. The IDNR did stock some advanced growth channel catfish from their hatchery last year; there’s a chance some of those are still around.


1: Ranking of O.H. Ivie Lake in Texas in the 2023 Bassmaster Magazine 100 Best Bass Lakes standings.


“We had no choice. Sadness was [as] dangerous as panthers and bears. the wilderness needs your whole attention.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder, attributed by



July 13 & 15: Newark, (773) 858-3917

July 25, 27 & 29: Elmhurst, (773) 562-4856

Aug. 10 & 12: Mundelein, (847) 918-6145


Next Saturday, July 8: Weekend Navigator, Waukegan, David Colen, ILLINOIS PERMITS/SEASONS

Thursday, July 6, to July 20: Applications, second lottery, free dove permits


Through July 9: Annual multi-species Kankakee River Fishing Derby, $20 per family. Details at


July 14: Deadline to make nominations for the 2023 Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame. Click here for the nomination form. For info, or (217) 785-2003.

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