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home : outdoors : outdoors   February 5, 2016

3/27/2014 6:31:00 AM
Popular Mendota spot and Lock 14, La Salle get trout
Newly released rainbow trout churn up the water of Lake Mendota shortly after being released this week by Richard Potter of Crystal Lake Fisheries, Ava, Mo. as part of Illinois’ spring trout season that opens at 5 a.m. April 5. Trout also will be stocked at Lock 14 in La Salle and in the lagoon behind the Hennepin Canal State Parkway office southwest of the Interstate 80-Route 40 interchange.NewsTribune photos/Tamara Abbey
+ click to enlarge
Newly released rainbow trout churn up the water of Lake Mendota shortly after being released this week by Richard Potter of Crystal Lake Fisheries, Ava, Mo. as part of Illinois’ spring trout season that opens at 5 a.m. April 5. Trout also will be stocked at Lock 14 in La Salle and in the lagoon behind the Hennepin Canal State Parkway office southwest of the Interstate 80-Route 40 interchange.
NewsTribune photos/Tamara Abbey
One of the 1,848 rainbow trout released into Lake Mendota. The fish averaged over one pound with some as large as two pounds.
+ click to enlarge
One of the 1,848 rainbow trout released into Lake Mendota. The fish averaged over one pound with some as large as two pounds.
Tamara Abbey
Mendota Bureau Chief



MENDOTA — Keep those fishing poles far away from Lake Mendota until 5 a.m. April 5 when it opens for spring trout season.

Parks department supervisor Carl Ambler said there will be no fishing allowed until the season opens, and he suspects the Illinois Conservation Police will help enforce the temporary ban.

But when the lake re-opens, Ambler expects the banks will be crowded with anglers fishing for some of the 1,848 rainbow trout that were stocked in the lake Tuesday afternoon.

Ambler doesn’t recall a trout season in Mendota before, so he expects fishermen from all over the area to take advantage of this opportunity which may not come again.

The trout, all averaging over one pound and as large as two pounds, most likely won’t last into the summer months. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources stocks trout in waterways around the state to give anglers something to do before the weather warms.

“(The IDNR) intends for these fish to be caught,” Ambler said. “They won’t make it through the dog days.”

Trout inhabit much cooler waters than those of Lake Mendota in the summer, he said. Anglers should have good luck catching trout in April with no more than their usual fishing gear.
Ambler said trout stamps ($6.50) will be required along with valid Illinois fishing licenses that are available at various retail locations or online at www.dnr.illinois.gov. He also suspects conservation police will be monitoring licenses and trout stamps.

The fish were stocked from Crystal Lake Fisheries in Ava, Mo. The temporary fishing ban does not affect Lake Kakusha which is adjacent to Lake Mendota.

Low-water mark for Utica
Illinois regional fisheries biologist Rob Miller expects a big bloom of aquatic vegetation in the canal at Utica. He said after last year’s catastrophic flooding blew out sections of the canal near Pecumsaugan Creek south of Senica’s Oak Ridge and east of Split Rock, the repairs in that area may have altered the way in which the Utica section of the canal receives water.

As a result, the canal at Utica is about a foot lower than it had been at this time last year.

Tamara Abbey can be reached at (815) 539-5200 or mendota@newstrib.com.




I&M Canal trout fishing moved from Utica to La Salle

Illinois regional fisheries biologist Rob Miller went to the Illinois and Michigan Canal at Utica early this week to check on conditions before the annual stocking of “catchable trout” and noticed a major fish kill and shallower than normal water.

The conditions prompted him to move the trout fishing event opportunity from the canal at Utica to the Lock 14 area at La Salle.
He said he’s not sure when stocking will occur, but once it does, the trout cannot be taken until 5 a.m. Saturday, April 5.










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