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Chicago outdoors: Giant swallowtail, families and charters, new boat sales, and yellow jackets

A giant swallowtail photo, families and charters, new boat sales and first yellow jackets are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

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Red swamp crayfish: Studying and trapping the invasive crayfish on the Chicago River system

The Keller Lab at Loyola University is in its third year of studying crayfish and trapping invasive red swamp crayfish on the Chicago River system.

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Park Bait Update: The bait shop at Montrose Harbor on the Chicago lakefront reopens Friday

Park Bait, the bait and tackle shop on the Chicago lakefront at Montrose Harbor since the 1930s, is set to reopen Friday, Aug. 7, after being closed since the lakefront shutdown on March 26.

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Outside cartoons: God, cartoons, hunting, fishing, and Tim ‘Spike’ Davis’ ‘Scattered Thoughts’ and life

Tim "Spike" Davis has led a richly varied life and just released his first book of outdoors cartoons, "Scattered Thoughts," to much interest.

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Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Turning kings, lakers, catfish, smallies, dogs, last blue Rapala

Turning Chinook and excellent fishing for lakers on southern Lake Michigan along with largemouth, catfish and smallmouth inland lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; with a couple bonuses from a dog photo and the tale of a last blue Rapala story.

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Really big muskie: Fish for a lifetime earns Fish of the Week

Mike Sheils caught a really big muskie, probably the fish of a lifetime, and earned Fish of the Week.

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Chicago outdoors: Make that black swallowtail, Buehrle & deer/duck hunting, cicada flags, milkweed & monarchs

Remembering Mark Buehrle and his perfect game in a duck and deer hunting context, make that a black swallowtail (corrected) butterfly, cicada flags, and thoughts on milkweed and monarch butterflies are among the notes around Chicago outdoors.

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Lake Michigan salmon/trout: Lakewide study reveals some of the changes in the diet; more to come

A wide-ranging lakewide study of the diet of salmon and trout in Lake Michigan shows some of the changes; more knowledge will come.

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Great American Outdoors Act: Some local and state perspective

The passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is a rare bipartisan effort that should prove historic in impacts from the local level on up.

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Illinois hunting: More public access options (archery deer, squirrel) offered through IRAP

Some more archery deer and squirrel access options are being offered for Illinois hunters through IRAP.

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Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Kings turning, lakers, steelhead, catfish, bass, cooler by water

A Chinook already turning color, lots of lakers and some active steelhead on southern Lake Michigan, steady catfish and largemouth bass inland and cooler weather settling in lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

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Fish of the Week: Tips for catching largemouth bass on the Chicago River downtown

Police Marine Unit’s Lucas Wise gives some tips on what is working for catching largemouth bass on the Chicago River downtown.

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Chicago outdoors: Fireflies, Chicago chanterelle, Wisconsin waterfalls, and John Muir and racism

Chicago chanterelle, some top Wisconsin waterfall spots, John Muir and racism, and thoughts on fireflies are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

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Fishing spike and youth: Some anecdotal evidence comes from around Chicago outdoors

Three anecdotal stories from around Chicago fishing add evidence that the spike in fishing during the pandemic also includes youth.

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Illinois hunting: Daily draws? ‘We are working on that right now.’ (UPDATE 1)

Initial word (more to come) came late Friday on how the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will handle or not daily draws for such things as public site dove hunting and duck hunting.

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Gar spotted: Rare sighting of gar at Montrose Harbor determined to be a longnose, not a spotted

Robert Hughes photographed a gar at Montrose Harbor, which turned out to be a longnose gar.

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Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Catfish, bass, bluegill and lakers in the summer heat

Catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill on inland waters and lake trout on Lake Michigan lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

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Boy who would be king: 6-year-old reels in really big Chinook to earn Fish of the Week

Charlie Nega, 6, reeled in a really big Chinook to earn Fish of the Week.

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Chicago outdoors: Quillback carpsucker, lake memories, Park Bait, eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar

A thought on Park Bait, memories of the Chicago lakefront, a Michigan record quillback carpsucker and a brilliant photo of an eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

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Chicago lakefront: First day back on water shows enduring pull of its beauty and recent changes

The first day of the year on Lake Michigan showed the enduring pull of the beauty of the Chicago lakefront and some recent changes from the pandemic and the high water.

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Personal best: Sign of the times with a PB largemouth bass for Fish of the Week

Walter Russell earned Fish of the Week for his personal-best largemouth bass, a sign of the resurgence of fishing during the pandemic.

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Park(ed) Bait: Iconic Chicago lakefront bait shop remains in limbo

Park Bait remains closed on the Chicago lakefront at Montrose Harbor.

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Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Summer lake/pond fishing, wading rivers and bullhead nugget

Leading the sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report are summer patterns on inland lakes and ponds around Chicago,and fishing/wading area rivers; a bonus comes with a bullhead nugget.

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Piping plovers: Unveiling meaningful names for three fledged piping plover chicks at Montrose Beach

Monty and Rose’s three fledged piping plover chicks had meaningful names unveiled on Saturday at Montrose Beach.

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Black bear there: In Illinois? Next? What? When? Where? Taking care the next time? There will be next time.

District wildlife biologist Stefanie Fitzsimons experienced the surprise of another black bear wandering into Illinois just as she added wildlife disease and large carnivore biologist to her duties; and she gives some advice and perspective on bears in Illinois.

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Fish kills, cooling lakes: Update on 7-9-20 on fish kills (better than first look) at LaSalle and Braidwood lakes

The Thursday update on the fish kills at LaSalle and Braidwood lakes: Not nearly as bad as first looked and there’s hope wind and storms will help.

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Illinois hunting: IDNR’s five-year plan for waterfowl hunting, later seasons key change, zone lines same

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources submitted it’s five-year plan for waterfowl hunting with the key change coming in later seasons while zone lines remain the same.

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Jumbo of jumbo perch: When a really big jumbo perch dwarfs other jumbos

Danny "Taks" Borgert caught the jumbo yellow perch of his life in late June.

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Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Summer patterns, hot fishing and at least one fish kill

The heat wave even warms Lake Michigan quicker than usual, but fishing also picks up on inland waters as well as the big lake for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; and at least one fish kill is underway.

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Fish of the Week: Rare big walleye on southern Lake Michigan

Barry O’Flynn caught and released a big walleye from the Indiana waters of Lake Michigan with Mike Thomas doing netting duties.

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Chicago outdoors: Egg-laying turtle, Clear Lake tops bass list, dearth of fireflies, plea for TIP number

An egg-laying turtle, Clear Lake tops list for bass, a dearth of fireflies and a plea for TIP number are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

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Illinois’ fishing license sales: Up more than 60,000 as a morning at Henry’s Sports and Bait backs up

Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait have known for months that fishing license sales were spiking; numbers from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources back that up.