Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Northern and central Illinois stream fishing

I visited my parents over the weekend, so I poked around in some new and old fishing spots. First was the Kishwaukee River in Belvidere. Never been to this river before, but you could tell by the high water marks and exposed rocks that the water level is extremely low this summer. The main river only gave up one channel cat, but a small offshoot below a pond in the municipal park gave up a little more variety. Got a black bullhead, brown bullhead (my largest to date), largemouth bass, green sunfish, and blackstripe topminnow.

Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)

Black Bullhead (Ameiurus melas)

Blackstripe Topminnow female (Fundulus notatus)

Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus)

As usual I had to do some sampling in the stream by my parents' house in Edelstein. My girlfriend caught a couple central stonerollers there this spring, but I still needed one for my life list. On Saturday I re-caught all the species I already had: creek chub, southern redbelly dace, blacknose dace, and orangethroat darter, but on Sunday I was able to find a small central stoneroller. Hopefully I'll get a more distinguished male sometime. None-the-less, a lifer is a lifer!

Creek Chub (Semotilus atromaculatus)

Southern Redbelly Dace (Chrosomus erythrogaster)

Blacknose Dace (Rhinichthys atratulus)

Orangethroat Darter female (Etheostoma spectabile)

Central Stoneroller juvenile (Campostoma anomalum) - new hook & line species #65

I was rocking out with my new NANFA hat that covers my neck and polarized sunglasses that go over my regular glasses.

On my way out of town, I stopped by an access spot on the Illinois River that I've always been meaning to check out. Water was very low and very warm. Saw thousands of mosquitofish, but couldn't get one hooked. (I netted one for a picture.) Found a silver carp and a bighead carp washed up on shore. Cool to see future lifers, but I think I'll need to fish below a dam to get either of those two.

Western Mosquitofish female (Gambusia affinis)

Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)

Last stop was the Senachwine Creek near Lake Thunderbird. Always looked promising but I've never checked it out. Spotted a school of highfin carpsuckers and quillbacks. Very cool to see up close, but I guess I haven't earned the right to catch one yet, because they wouldn't bite. Caught a spotfin shiner, logperch, golden redhorse, and green sunfish.

Spotfin Shiner (Cyprinella spiloptera )

Logperch (Percina caprodes)

Golden Redhorse (Moxostoma erythrurum)

Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)

In total, 14 species caught, 1 new lifer, and 5 future lifers spotted.