The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


March 16, 2013

Standing tall in support of area dams

DANVILLE — There has been a lot of people contacting me this week about the removal of the dams in Danville and I’ve not talked to anyone who is for their removal.

In fact, I personally believe it should be a county decision due to the fact that it will affect the drainage of much of the county to our west and north.

We need to pack the city council meeting on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and let them know how everyone feels. Contact your alderman and the mayor — let them know how you feel about this action.

My wife and I visited Idaho Falls this past fall, ate at a restaurant across the street and enjoyed a few hours there. The city of Danville is always promoting tourism in the area and we have more acres of public land in our county than other counties throughout the state except for the counties within the Shawnee National Forest to our south.

We have a state park, three wonderful county parks, a scenic river, a state wildlife area and a county with five rivers within its boundaries.

We have one of the best smallmouth populations anywhere in the state. These are just a few things of what Danville has to offer.

When my wife and I saw the tourists at Idaho Falls come from throughout the country we were amazed at how the falls attracted people.

The falls were not tall like those we saw in Yellowstone Park or at Niagara Falls, rather they were small beautiful falls and people would walk along the river, eat lunch at picnic tables and enjoy the day. No one seemed to worry about liability as there were no fences or barriers.

I read the dam reports this week. Has the state ever been wrong? Let’s go back to the filling of Lake Mingo. I trapped Windfall Lake at Indian Springs for years.

There was a need to kill out all the fish above the Lake Mingo before they filled it to keep out the rough fish. I was there when they killed the fish in Windfall Lake.

I have a degree in biology with a major area of concentration in fisheries biology.

 When I told the biologists doing the killing of the lake that they needed to go to the origin of the ditch feeding the lake I was told that they only needed to go where the ditch was three feet wide. They told me I didn’t know anything about the matter.

Four years after Lake Mingo was filled, a year in which a new lake should be in its prime, they had to kill the fish in the lake; too many rough fish!

  Remember the Lake Vermilion walleye fiasco? The state dropped 660,000 walleye fry into the lake and told us Lake Vermilion would be one of the best walleye lakes in the state.

The fish grew and grew for two years until they reached about 14 inches; legal size. At 14 inches they look like a long cigar with fins and eyes.

  In the spring we had a large amount of rainfall and the gates to the Lake Vermilion dam were opened to accommodate the excess water. The walleyes all went over the dam and into the river system. Our smallmouth will most likely do the same; head for the fastest water. Now try to catch a walleye in Lake Vermilion!

Here is food for thought. The city of Danville owns the land from Main Street down to the river. If they want tourism don’t make our scenic river the Middle Fork Creek and lose the canoeists and the fishermen.

Instead put a tall iron fence along the river from the bridge to the dam if liability is an issue.

Build a walking trail with points along the river to view it from platforms. Have areas for picnics; put a couple eating places on top for tourists, along with clean restroom facilities.

Place piles rocks along the dam to make it a small waterfall with several platforms for viewing and photography and make a beautiful park along the river.

The waterfall could be named after the young lady that lost her life at the dam and the park could and should be named in Bill Black’s honor for all his service to the area. There is not a more respected man in Danville today and that would be a fitting tribute!

I lost two students to the Big Vermilion River; neither was around a dam. Whenever you have water you will have people that will drown! You can do all you can to prevent it but you won’t stop it; it happens! Don’t do something you will regret down the road; as I said last week, once you take the dams out, you can’t put them back!

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Fridays and Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail:


Text Only
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing [Duplicate] Harvick sets the pace at Indy INDIANAPOLIS — Growing up in Bakersfield, Calif., IndyCar driver Rick Mears was the childhood hero for Kevin Harvick.Mears is one of three men to have won four Indianapolis 500s and he has won a career-best six poles for the “Greatest Spectacle in Ra

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0727 - Dustbowl photo 1 Click Clak Tre wins consolation championship DANVILLE — Saturday’s Dustbowl action at the David S. Palmer Arena had a full day of action ending with the Men’s Division Consolation Championship Game. The Consolation Championship was played between Rantoul’s Mon Stars (Rantoul) and Click Clak Tre

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • No Headline Provided DANVILLE — Adult action started at the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Saturday with one title decided. Stacy Wells won the women's open singles division with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win over Katie Larck. The rest of the action was mostly semifinal play. IN

    July 27, 2014

  • Dans photo 27.jpg Dans get past Cavemen

    Shumaker hits a home run with two RBIs as Danville defeats Hannibal after delay

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0726 - Dans photo 1 Dans make most of second chance DANVILLE — Baseball can be a funny game, and as often is the case, a player can be the goat one minute, and the hero the next.Trevor Rucker blooped a shot down the right field line that caromed off the glove of Hannibal second baseman Jeff Smith to d

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0725 - Dustbowl photo 2 Stars advance to boys final DANVILLE — The 42nd Annual Dustbowl action continued Thursday at David S. Palmer Arena with the High School Boys basketball division in full swing as four games were played and all eight teams participated. In game one of the winner’s bracket of sem

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0725 - Atwood photo Baseball community to honor Atwood DANVILLE — Whether it was working on the field or running a tournament, there wasn’t anything that Frank Atwood wouldn’t do for the game of baseball.His love for the game created numerous opportunities for the youth of the Danville area as Atwood ser

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dans get a split of doubleheader with Cavemen HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Danville Dans won the first game of a doubleheader with the Hannibal Cavemen 3-1 on Thursday before losing the second game 5-3 to get a split.In the first game, Corbin Olmstead pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts to get th

    July 25, 2014

  • Danville Post 210 Speakers fall to Rantoul CHARLESTON — Playing five games in five days finally took its toll on the Danville Post 210 Speakers.Rantoul’s Tanner McLain delivered a game-winning, two-out single to left to give his team a 6-5 victory over Danville in an elimination game of the F

    July 24, 2014

  • Juniors continue to play at Danville Tennis Open DANVILLE — The juniors were still on the court in the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Wednesday as three division titles were given out.Rachael Lewis won the girls 18 and under singles title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lauren Ellis, while the team of Er

    July 24, 2014

NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014

Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here:

Must Read
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot