May 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • People
Meet the New Kid in Class: Fish!
Aquaculture in the classroom helps inspire the next generation of students
by Claire Snyder

When you think of fish in a classroom, you may not be picturing fish tanks the size of hot tubs, complete with recirculating pipes, biofiltration, and chemical management systems, but that’s just what some students across the state get to experience.

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May 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Research
Chicago River Study is Tracking Fish Movement in These Busy Waters
by Irene Miles

Efforts in recent years to clean up the Chicago River system have led to increases in fish numbers and diversity in this waterway, but the environment still poses challenges to fish living in the river system. Do fish have the conditions they need to thrive?

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May 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Recreation
Harnessing the Power of Bowfishing: A Conservation Tool for Modern Times
by Gretchen Steele

Few outdoor sports activities evoke the raw thrill of bowfishing. It’s an unique blend of archery prowess and angler finesse, where enthusiasts aim not for trophies mounted on walls but for conservation and ecological balance.

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May 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
Catfish Fish are Jumping “For Joy” on the Mississippi River
by Matt OHara

After decades of river modifications, siltation and habitat loss, the Upper Mississippi River has become a major focus of ecological restorations in the Midwest. Not only is critical habitat on the river being saved and restored through the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Habitat and Restoration and Enhancement Programs, but these projects also promote a healthier and more resilient Upper Mississippi River ecosystem.

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May 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Recreation
Fishing on a Budget
by Frank Sladek

One of the best aspects about fishing, especially for new anglers, is that it is budget friendly. Despite what outfitters, tackle companies and hardcore anglers might have you believe, functional fishing gear can be purchased for the cost of an oil change or fancy haircut. With proper care, fishing gear including rods, reels and lures, can be used for decades.

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May 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Research
A Day on the Clifford J – Assessing Illinois’ Lake Michigan Fisheries
by

The April sun was just revealing itself as the strangely shaped boat crawled past the Waukegan Harbor lighthouse. The captain rocked the throttle, and the engine responded with an increased roar and the building whine of a turbocharger. Inside the belly of the vessel, IDNR Lake Michigan Program biologists settled in for a 45-minute run to the first of two bottom set gill nets set as part of the annual Lake Michigan Spring Index Assessment.

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May 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Land
  • Recreation
  • Wildlife
The Lower Mississippi River Bottomlands Natural Division: A Land of Rare and Unusual Animals
by Kathy Andrews Wright

The diverse and unique habitats of southwestern Illinois’ Lower Mississippi River Bottomlands Natural Division host rare reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals and fishes. Plan a trip to southwestern Illinois where you will find soggy landscapes reminiscent of swamps of the South that hold a gleam of promise as home to an amazing diversity of plants and animals.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Recreation
IDNR Urban Fishing Instruction in the Classroom Expands in 2024 with Bussing Grants
by IDNR ENTICE, Urban Fishing Program Staff

The Urban Fishing Program is gearing up for another season of fun-filled fishing with schools across the state. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is thrilled to announce that grant money is now available to cover the cost of transportation to fishing locations.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
A Fish of a Different Color
by Cory Suski, Justin Lombardo

Fish are the most biodiverse vertebrates on planet Earth, so it is no surprise that they come in a variety of different colors and patterns. The color scheme that a fish expresses is far more than just eye candy to the devout angler, but an integral component of a fish’s ability to navigate life in a harsh aquatic ecosystem.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Recreation
Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation of Recreational Anglers in Illinois
by North Joffe-Nelson, Carena J. Van Riper

Who is and isn’t fishing? What are the ages and genders of current anglers? Where do Illinois anglers live? Why are fewer people buying fishing licenses over time? Researchers are working to gain insights into recruitment, retention and reactivation of recreational anglers in Illinois to benefit the management of fisheries resources to meet the needs of all Illinoisians.

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Welcome to the May 2024 edition of the online magazine OutdoorIllinois Journal, featuring timely, seasonally based stories about the Prairie State’s wildlife resources, with an expansion of content to include a broader range of subjects—including endangered and threatened species and Illinois’ unique, high-quality habitats and the people working to preserve, protect and manage these resources.

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