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Ramble with Storm: Politics & perch

Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

Nothing like politics to pull you from your sleep.

Which explains why the meathead and I set out this morning in darkness.

Since last week, I have been having an email exchange with an operative for a Republican candidate for governor, trying to explain the bitterness fishermen in northeast Illinois feel over how regulations for perch fishing on Lake Michigan are administrated in Illinois.

It begins with the unfilled promise from the 1990s that the four Lake Michigan states would have similar regulations. Never happened then, and hasn’t since.

Illinois has had the oddest and most restrictive regulations, from the early regulations after the perch crash, which included the absurdity of a protected slot for perch of 8-10 inches.

I think that regulation set the tone.

Not to mention the forced closure for a month. For the past 13 or 14 years, that closure has been in July. And will be here again next year, the election year of 2014.

The point isn’t just the restrictive regulations. Fishermen know perch are in trouble and had no trouble going along with the drastic reduction in the daily bag to 15.

The problem is the closure for a month of the fishing that defines shore fishing for the ordinary fishermen in Chicago. That is unacceptable.

But here is the question: Is it enough to make Chicago Democrats vote for a Downstate Republican?

The anger over the lack of input from the public runs deep, but I don’t know if runs that deep.

As a lifelong Democrat. I vote for Republicans on the local level routinely, because I either know them or know their voting record on local issues.

But on state and national levels, I rarely can get past the stance by Republicans on social issues, no matter how much I may think they have more sensible ideas on economic issues.

And I despise the idea of bringing politics into the management of the outdoors. But politics have always been part of managing the outdoors. And on perch, we are at the point where the general public is flat out ignored on the issue and has regulations stuffed down its throat.

Too early, too dark, for much moving in wildlife.

A lone Canada goose flew over low from the lake to the west as we started the extended ramble.

It was early enough that mourning doves still roosted in trees along the south side of the north old clay pit. They fluttered off noisily as we passed.

A lone Canada goose floated on the south shore of the north pit, and gave me a good honking to when I tried to get a better photo of the unknown blue flower. It did not turn out with the flash in the dark.

The corn was picked yesterday on the field along the far edge of the extended ramble.

When I stopped to try to capture the fog lifting off the south pit, I noticed a big fish (don’t know what kind) exploded from the water.

No doves on the edge of town. No squirrels any where. No rabbits.

Quiet morning, quiet other than the fury of the thoughts churning through my head, making me step livelier than usual.