The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 28, 2013

Time to support the rivers

BY SAM VAN CAMP
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — What makes this Vermilion River Country you might ask? It is our treasure of beautiful rivers that traverse our county supplying us with water, recreation, and wildlife while draining our farmland and countryside.

Few areas in Illinois are as blessed as we are when it comes to clean and beautiful rivers all running swiftly toward the Wabash River which lies just across our eastern border. Not only do we have five wonderful rivers but we host the only designated National Scenic River, the Middle Fork.

Of all the rivers in Illinois, the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River was chosen above river such as the Kankakee and Illinois to be a Designated Scenic River.

The Middle Fork drains 450 square miles of land. Beginning at the Big Four Ditch northeast of Paxton, the Middle Fork is about 106 miles in length as it travels through about seven miles of Kennekuk County Park and then proceeds along the western boundary of Kickapoo State Park until it joins with the Salt Fork of the Vermilion River just north of Catlin.

The Middle Fork, known for its scenic beauty cuts through the rock and shale layers that hold the past history of our county, winding like a snake through the parks. The river has a very narrow flood plain so water is channeled into the river making it great for canoeing, kayaking, or wading.

The river can get treacherous, so know the weather and water conditions before entering the Middle Fork.

This beautiful river, along with the Salt Fork, the North Fork and the Big Vermilion will be a topic of interest at a meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday evening at the David S. Palmer Civic Center.

Please come and support your rivers as the City of Danville is considering removing two dams which might adversely affect them.

Bluegill season

starting slowly


Where are the bluegills now one of my readers asked me the other day as he was having a hard time finding them in a pond? Many people are used to finding bluegill on nesting beds or at least beginning to move up on them as spring arrives.

The crazy weather patterns are messing with normal fish patterns; one day it is darn right hot, the next freezing cold. Not only are the fish affected but the mushroom season, which looked like it might be a banner season, is messed up as well.

Many times bluegill are getting ready to nest or at least thinking about it by now. Look for them deeper off the bedding areas, maybe as deep as six to eight feet deep. If a bluegill is going to bite, it will be hard for it not to go after a bee moth, the best of all bluegill baits.

Fish bee moth along with the good old night crawler on a plain hook or attached to a tube jig. Fish them deeper and slower than normal especially on a cold day. You can fish them with a bobber or tight line the baits which is how I prefer to fish them.

The bluegills are there they just aren’t where you might think they would be this time of the year.

The only reports of mushrooms I’ve gotten is a few gray sponge that are being found. I’ve not gotten a report of a big mess yet but a couple of warm days will change that.

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