The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 5, 2013

Lilacs mean mushrooms


DANVILLE — The lilacs are in full bloom and have been all week long. My dad was quite a mushroom hunter and he always told me that the big yellow sponge mushrooms are best when the lilacs are in full bloom.

I’ve not had any e-mails on big mushroom finds, either they aren’t being found in large amounts or people are not talking much about their finds. Remember, they aren’t gold nuggets; just mushrooms

The wooded areas are definitely wet enough to support mushroom growth and the warm days should have made the mushrooms pop. I’ve read many articles on how long it takes for a mushroom to form. Some reports have them forming in only a few minutes; others a half hour to an hour.

Mushrooms come from a mass of threads that eventually send up a cap full of spores. I talked with one person last week who found two under one tree in the morning and over a dozen that afternoon under the same tree. All of those came up in short period of time.

The old question as to whether a mushroom will grow once it is up comes down to who is going to let one go and then check on it from time to time. I’ve had some tell me they grow; others say they don’t. I generally don’t leave one long enough to see as someone else may find it.

Mushroom hunting is a peaceful relaxing time in the woods for me. It makes a great family activity unless you are like me and just want to be alone. Walking through the woods, a walking and poking stick in my hand is relaxing as it can be for me. It seems only fun, however, when I’m finding them

Dam meeting raises questions

The dam meeting last Tuesday evening raised many questions concerning safety and how fishing might change around the rivers if the dams are removed. Many area residents showed up supporting retaining the dams. Area residents are to send comments to the IDNR concerning their thoughts and opinions.

It was pretty well concluded that the boat ramp in Ellsworth Park would be useless during the later part of summer and fall and it is questionable if there will be enough water in the North Fork River to reach the Big Vermilion River by boat.

The IDNR’s opinion is that the removal of the Danville Dam will not affect the Middle Fork River as many feared. As I see it, removing the Danville Dam will allow for more waling the banks of the river. Most of the people I talked with after the meeting were of the same opinion; it is a done deal!

I was asked at the meeting what my favorite bass bait was in the spring of the year. I like the spinner baits during the spring better than anything else I have in my tackle box. The plastic worm comes in a distant second for me. We are past what I call the good jig and pig season but one year I fished that bait all year long and was surprised with the results I had.

If you are night fishing the spinner baits are definitely best but don’t be afraid to use the plastic worms at night. Believe it or not the bass can actually see them without a problem and I’ve taken some big stringers in tournaments using the plastic worms after dark.

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