Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois
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Fishing in the Forest Preserve
Nature Bulletin No. 21   June 30, 1945
Forest Preserve District of Cook County
Clayton F. Smith, President
Roberts Mann, Supt. of Conservation

Maple Lake at 95th Street and Wolf Road, near Willow Springs, offers the best fishing in the forest preserves this year, 32 boats are available for hire. This 50 acre lake is accessible by the bus-line on Archer Avenue and some veteran anglers maintain that their catches of largemouth black bass, bluegills and warmouth bass have equalled those they obtain in Wisconsin. Several large bass have been caught, including one 4-pounder. There is a big crop of bass fingerlings, now 5 to 8 inches long, which will provide even better fishing next year.

The bluegills are biting well and are larger than in recent years, averaging 5 to the pound. Some good strings of warmouth bass and yellow perch have been taken. Earlier in the season, black crappies 8 inches or more in length were caught, and many unusually large bullheads.

During the past week the following fish were caught in the DesPlaines River between Touhy Avenue and Lake County: 80 crappies, 3 pickerel from 4 to 6 pounds, 50 bullheads from 1/2 to I 1/4 pounds, one bass weighing 1 3/4 pounds, and 30 carp weighing up to 4 pounds. These indicate that fishing in this river is almost normal. When hundreds of carp were observed dead at Dam No. 1, due to suffocation under the thick, snow-blanketed ice that covered the river all last winter, a complete kill of all species had been feared.

At McGinnes Slough, near Orland Park, a few bullheads survived, sufficient to restock that shallow lake, but none are being caught.

An almost complete winter-kill in the Skokie Lagoons is evidenced by the fact that no fish are being caught except a few bullheads and carp below the dam at Willow Road. The Illinois Department of Conservation, at our request, placed a number of large breeder bass in these lagoons this spring, and will add several thousand bass fingerlings as soon as available. Bluegills will be added later this summer, and crappies next summer, provided that the bass have had a successful spawn and enough survive to insure a balanced fish population.

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