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Suburban turkeys, muskies, blue cats, urban mergansers: Notes, Chicago outdoors

Resized/Sun-Times

Roscoe Moyer photographed these turkeys in Lake Villa.
Provided

Notes from around Chicago outdoors.
FIELD NOTES
WILD OF THE WEEK
Roscoe Moyer
emailed, “These two turkeys were stopping traffic up by Fairfield and Monaville roads in Lake Villa recently.” It’s sight more common in recent years around the Chicago suburbs. 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
“As I walk over the South Branch walking to work heading east on Washington Street I’m greeted by as many as eight or 10 mergansers in a group, diving, investigating, hanging out. Morning and evening. What’s up? More bait fish for them to eat? Less competition from fellow ducks on the lake?” Ed Marshall, CBS political producer
A: If I wonder if that indicates some of the perch from the big school that has been in the Chicago River much of the winter are there. Hmm.
BIG NUMBER
124:
Pounds of Illinois-record blue catfish, caught May 21, 2005 by Tim Pruitt from the Mississippi River near Alton.
LAST WORD
“Although our estimates are rough, we think muskie numbers went from a peak of nearly 5,000 in 2005 to fewer than 500 in 2014 [on Webster Lake]. Since then, the number has risen to around 1,000. We’d like to see that number eventually double.”
Indiana fisheries biologist Jed Pearson, on a rebound on Indiana’s most popular muskie fishery
WILD TIMES
FISH GATHERINGS
Tuesday, March 19:
Capt. Pat Harrison, Friends of Fishing, Rogers-Lakewood Park, Valparaiso, Ind., 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 19: Darrell Toliver, “Why Weight? The saga of the Sinker,” Arlington Anglers, Poplar Creek Banquets, Hoffman Estates, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: Capt. Ralph Steiger, Fish Tales Fishing Club, Oak Forest Community Center, 7 p.m.
SHOWTIME
(Click here for the list of shows, classes and seminars)
Friday, March 22: Evergreen Park Police Lodge #27 Sports Show, Bourbon Street, Merrionette Park, 7-11 p.m.
Friday-Sunday: March 22-24: Greater Chicago Boat Show, Schaumburg Convention Center
ILLINOIS PERMITS
Tuesday, March 19:
Remaining spring turkey permits go on sale over the counter, click here for more info
Through April 30: Applications (limit of one) accepted for first lottery for resident firearm and muzzleloader deer hunting, click here for more info
HUNTER SAFETY
(Click here for full package of northeast Illinois hunter safety classes)
March 28 and 30: Chicago Heights, ducks56@comcast.net
March 30-31: Chicago (taught in Polish), (630) 479-0708
April 9, 11, 16, 18: Downers Grove, (630) 963-1300 Class #271006-01
April 12-13: Morris, philliparnold3@gmail.com or (815) 343-7330
April 18-20: Bonfield, (815) 635-3198
April 27-28: Coal City, (815) 634-4552
FUNDRAISER
Saturday, March 23:
Fox River Valley chapter of Muskies Inc. banquet, Chandlers Chop House, Schaumburg,  call (312) 320-6721
DUCKS UNLIMITED
(Click here for the general list of Illinois DU events)
Thursday, March 21: Windy City dinner, The Elmcrest, Elmwood Park. Bill Fester, (847) 455-3304
U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY
(Click here for full listings of classes in the area)
Saturday, March 23: “About Boating Safely,” Chicago, Jay Samstag, jsamstag@gmail.com . . . “About Boating Safely Hammond, Ind., Rich Persiani, richpersiani@gmail.com
NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION
(Click here for general list of banquets and events)
PHEASANTS FOREVER
(Click here for general list of Illinois PF events)