The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

June 21, 2013

Hummingbird count down so far


DANVILLE —  I’ve had a lot of calls on hummingbirds. People are telling me that they only have a few at their feeders this year. Is this true at your feeders? Send me an e-mail and let me know if you have a few or a bunch of hummers at your feeders.

My wife and I have had very few and normally only one or two at a time. We normally spend the summer and fall being entertained by these fast-flying little birds.

I had a good response to Sunday’s column on registering your watercraft in Illinois. Most people didn’t know that they are now on their own to register their watercraft in Illinois and that they will not be given a notice by the IDNR as has been done in the past.

Below are the registration fees which are determined by the length of your boat:

Class A (all canoes and kayaks used commercially): $13

Class 1 (all other watercraft less than 16 feet): $22

Class 2 (16 feet to less than 26 feet): $52

Class 3 (26 feet to less than 40 feet): $82

Class 4 (40 feet and longer): $107

Some boaters will have to register their boat by June 30. If you go to their website your will find you can register your boat by going online or by phone and you will pay a convenience fee for the transaction. The amount of the fee and the boat length information above is not shown on that page.

I need to register my 12-foot jon boat, which will cost me $22 — up approximately 40 percent from the $15 charged three years ago. One of my friends needs to register a 17-foot boat for $52 — up approximately 40 percent from the $30 he paid three years ago.

When you go to the website to register your boat please make sure you read the statement above written in red. It says, “If you experience an error, please do NOT re-attempt the transaction; please call 1-866-867-3542. If you re-attempt after an error, you may be double-billed.

This problem is being investigated/remedied.”

If you do not use a motor to operate your watercraft please make note of this press release on Usage Stamps.

Illinois’ new Water Usage Stamp is now available from DNR Direct license and permit point of sale vendors. Non-motorized watercraft, canoes, kayaks and paddle boats in Illinois are no longer required to be titled/registered in Illinois, unless the vessels have a motor or sail.

They are now required to purchase a Water Usage Stamp for $6 per calendar year for the each of the first three vessels, and $3 each for any additional vessels. All of the new Water Usage Stamps must be purchased at the same time to receive the discount. Water Usage Stamps are mandatory for all non-powered watercraft.

As of June 19, the stamps are now available over the counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Use this link to find vendor locations for purchase of the water usage stamp:

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