I fall easily into the rhythms of summer with the two youngest out of school for the year. Plus, I find my own summer rhythms. That’s as good a lead in to this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors as anything.
On Memorial Day, I got in both wet wading, my first of the year and what a great day to wet wade, and some pond hopping in memory of Norm Minas. Caught fish, but not as many as I had expected to. So it goes.
Today, I did my usual volunteering to work on an edible trail, a pretty cool idea. Just as an aside, I hope all find some way to volunteer in the outdoors. There are a multitude of opportunities around.
It’s summer I will get in some more hiking today and this weekend and some fishing.
Otherwise, I am tracking down another big fish story today.
On Sunday, my plan is to finally make the Lake Geneva Fishing Club’s 29th Kids Day at Bigfoot Beach State Park in Lake Geneva, Wis. It is from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
With that, on to some general suggestions for Wild Weekend Wandering, including some updates on nonpowered boat regulations.
Oh, and remember to keep your eyes open for such things as the black squirrel I spotted while hunting morels a week or so ago.
BOATING/PADDLING CHANGES (HOWEVER): Remember there are significant changes in boating and paddling regulations as of today. Not the least of which is the repeal of the Water Usage Stamp for nonpowered watercraft in Illinois. Click here for details.
However, for those on the Chain O’Lakes, there are still some nonpowered vessels that need a Fox Waterway Sticker. Click here to get that straight.
HALL OF FAME: Nominations for the next Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame must be in by June 15. Here are the key points:
Nominations must be submitted on the official Hall of Fame Nomination Form. Nominations should be submitted to the ICF Springfield Office by June 15, 2018 to be considered for that calendar year’s induction class.
For more information on the 2018 ICF Outdoor Hall of Fame Gala, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271- (217) 785-2003.
FISHING: It is summer and the living is easy and time to take your pick of fishing from style to species to river or lake. Just fish.
PERCH REMINDER: Perch fishing on the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River system and the Calumet River is closed through June 15.
FREE WEEKENDS: There are a couple free weekends this weekend. Saturday and Sunday is Free Fun Weekend in Wisconsin, which includes free admission to all Wisconsin State Park System properties. No state park admission stickers or trail passes are required.
It is also Wisconsin’s Free Fishing Weekend No license is needed to fish anywhere in the state. Applies to Wisconsin residents and nonresidents alike.
The oddball in all this is Indiana, which has free fishing days on Saturday and Sunday, but it only applies to Indiana residents.
WILD ASPARAGUS: I am still finding wild asparagus, but most of it is bolted already. It is June already.
MIDEWIN: The seasonal guided hikes at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie run weekends through October. The Ranger Trailer is open for the weekends, weather permitting, at the Iron Bridge Trailhead.
Throughout the season, you can talk to volunteer rangers at the Ranger Trailer from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. During April, check updates–at www.facebook.com/Midewin or on Twitter at @MidewinNatTP –on whether, depending on weather, the Ranger Trailer will be operating.
Trails are open daily, 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Come out and explore. #ItsAllYours! For the full list of 2018 programs, activities and events at Midewin, see: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd535052.pdf.
ZOO TURNS 150: The Lincoln Park Zoo, a major family favorite for us, turns 150 and the exhibit, From Swans to Science: 150 Years of Lincoln Park Zoo, runs through the summer.
Click here for details and much more information.