There’s an eclectic mix of outdoors and indoors stuff for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

Weather forecast is for eclectic conditions, too, this weekend.

I ran the photo of dawn this morning because it may be one of the last wintry scenes seen for awhile, considering the rain and warmth forecast.

So far, my hopes have been largely dashed for my outdoors plans.

This morning I had wanted to ice fish with Ed Schmitt at Mazonia South, but I need to crank out some stories and columns.

Then I had hoped to catch Phil Willink tonight talking about the Morgan Shoal at the Chicago Maritime Museum, but my wife roped me in for one of her plans.

I do get to take the youngest kids to  archery tomorrow, which always gives me a chance to catch up on some the latest in deer-hunting gossip.

My biggest thing coming up is Thursday when the area’s biggest outdoors show,  the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo opens at the Schaumburg Convention Center.

With that, on to the mix of things, indoors and out, for this Wild Weekend Wandering.

 

Polar Adventure Days at Northerly Island.
Credit: Chicago Park District

POLAR ADVENTURE DAYS: The Chicago Park District has one of its Polar Adventure Days on Northerly Island from noon to 4 p.m.  Saturday. This is a major family-friendly event with lots of animals and in a good setting. Click here for more information.

PERCH: Conditions keep changing. I suspect ice should go out or stay out at Navy Pier. Not sure how things will shape up at Steelworkers Park, which has legal access to North Slip by the mouth at  Calumet Harbor.

Harbor ice should hold, at least for a few days, for ice fishermen to try for perch. The water had been dirtied up earlier this week, making perching tougher. But hopefully that will be cleared up for this weekend.

Otherwise, it will be using piers and pier passes. Pier passes for the select Chicago harbors are available at Henry’s Sports and Bait.  The passes allow for legal access to select piers. They cost $6 cash with one per valid fishing license.

MORGAN SHOAL PRESENTATION: Phil Willink, Shedd’s senior research biologist, will talk about the biodiversity of Lake Michigan as seen through the Morgan Shoal at 7:30 tonight at the Chicago Maritime Museum. Sticking with a theme, Willink has eclectic interests and history in the outdoors. Morgan Shoal is one of them. The Shedd is doing some cool research on the shoals off Chicago and I have been fortunate to tag along on occasion. Click here for more information.

SHOWTIME: The big show, the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo opens Thursday at the Schaumburg Convention Center. I expect to see the usual crush for opening day and throughout the show. More on that next week and I suspect the show will take up much of my time next week.

Otherwise, the Greater Chicago RV Show opened today at the Schaumburg Convention Center and runs through Sunday.

Click here for the complete general list of shows this winter. If you have any adds or tweaks for the master list of shows, please let me know.

FREE SHEDD DAYS: The Shedd Aquarium has free days for Illinois residents today, then again Monday through next Saturday, Jan. 26. Click here for more information.

ICE FISHING: Especially those who ice fish south, I would suggest getting after it this weekend. Neither the long forecast, nor the weekend forecast, favor quality ice conditions. Click here for the update on ice-fishing regulations for local waters.

RABBIT HUNTING: Rabbit hunting in Illinois runs through Feb. 15. I had hoped to sneak in a few hours kicking out brush with the last of the snow cover, but I’m not sure I will get it done before the snow melts.

TOURING INDIANA DUNES: The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore offers bus tours on Sunday–9:00 am to 11:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m.–in heated buses. Meet at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center. It’s free, but you need to register by calling (219) 395-1882. Bus tours of the park will also be offered on February 4th and March 25th.

WISCONSIN FREE FISHING: Wisconsin has a free fishing weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

GOOSE HUNTING: Goose hunting in the central zone, near many readers, runs through Jan. 31.