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Snow-day sturgeon, upside-down, private-public: Notes around Chicago outdoors

Resized/Sun-Times

James Dutscheck of Oshkosh with his 63-inch, 75.7-pound sturgeon taken on a snow day Tuesday.
Provided by Wisconsin DNR

Notes from around Chicago outdoors.
FIELD NOTES
WILD OF THE WEEK
Richard Anzalone
photographed some upside-down feeders, including a red-breasted nuthatch and downy woodpecker (below). WOTW, the celebration of wild scenes around Chicago outdoors, runs as warranted on Sundays on the Sun-Times outdoors page. Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email straycasts@sbcglobal.net.

DALE’S MAILBAG
“This is not your local body of water and, as such, you frankly do not have the right to go about broadcasting this information to the masses. Talking about fishing Lake Michigan is one thing–that is a well known big body of water and has a suitable fishery to support the audience you are capable of reaching in your paper. The Jump River is not a big enough body of water to support many fishermen.” Nathaniel Wick (abbreviated for space)
A: Wick is referencing my Fish of the Year column, with a great video, about a muskie that got away on a float trip for smallmouth bass. Muskies in the Jump River have been written in magazines, hyped by local entities in Wisconsin, featured in YouTube videos, listed by the Wisconsin DNR and discussed in open social media groups. Public waters aren’t for the special secret few, they’re public.
BIG NUMBER

Resized/Sun-Times

The situation at Montrose Harbor on Monday.
Provided by Luis Gonzalez

1: Days of west winds it took to blow out the ice packed at Montrose Harbor, according to Luis Gonzalez on Thursday. Compare contrast photos, top and bottom.

Resized/Sun-Times

The situation on Thursday at Montrose Harbor after a day of west winds.
Provided by Luis Gonzalez

LAST WORD
“What better way to spend a snow day off school than out on Lake Poygan sturgeon spearing? Congratulations to James Dutscheck of Oshkosh on your 63-inch, 75.7-pound fish!”
Ryan Koenigs, Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist, in Tuesday’s daily recap of sturgeon spearing season. Photo is at the top.
WILD TIMES
LAKE MICHIGAN MEETING
Wednesday, Feb. 20:
IDNR Lake Michigan Program meeting, Des Plaines office, 7-9 p.m.
FISH GATHERINGS
Tuesday: Steve Sarley
 on the media and fishing industry, Arlington Anglers, Cabela’s, Hoffman Estates, 6 p.m.
Thursday: Tod Todd on ice fishing, Fish Tales Fishing Club, Oak Forest Community Center, 7 p.m.
BIRDS
Today, Feb. 18: Final day, Great Backyard Bird Count
HUNTER SAFETY
(Click here for full package of northeast Illinois hunter safety classes)
Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 23-24: Essex, (815) 458-3568
March 9-10: Bridgeview, (708) 594-1818 . . . Dyer, Ind., (219) 515-2197
SHOWTIME
(Click here for the list of shows, classes and seminars)
Through Sunday, Feb. 24: Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds
Friday-Sunday: National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, Schaumburg Convention Center
Saturday: Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet, River Grove Moose Lodge
PHEASANTS FOREVER
(Click here for general list of Illinois PF events)
DUCKS UNLIMITED
(Click here for the general list of Illinois DU events)
NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION
(Click here for general list of banquets and events)
U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY
(Click here for full listings of classes in the area)