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#1 zooshooter

zooshooter
  • NANFA Guest
  • Tinley Park, IL

Posted 10 November 2015 - 03:35 PM

Hello NANFA,

 

Like the title says, I'm new to this board.  Just signed up this week.  Been reading around and checking out some of the info and tools like FishMap.  I was wondering if anyone here is from the Southern Chicago Suburbs area and still active, seems like the discussion in this particular forum is a little slow/spotty.  I've been wanting to do some native species aquariums for a long time and recently came into ownership of 55 and 45gal aquariums.  The 45 I currently have set up as a plant/quarantine tank but one 55 is sitting empty and ready for a build and I have another 55 that needs a glass panel replaced before it'll be ready.  I'd love to get some Rainbow, Orangethroat, or Greenside Darters and some Southern Redbelly Dace.  From what I read I believe these can be kept together, if not please advise.  I'm hoping to check out some of the creeks South of Monee and North of Manteno tomorrow. 

 

Anywho, looking forward to hearing from you's.



#2 MtFallsTodd

MtFallsTodd
  • NANFA Member
  • Mountain Falls, Virginia

Posted 10 November 2015 - 05:21 PM

Welcome aboard. Good luck with keeping natives, it's very rewarding. I keep rainbow and greenside darters,they have given me hours of fun. Hope you can find some.
Deep in the hills of Great North Mountain

#3 keepnatives

keepnatives
  • Regional Rep

Posted 10 November 2015 - 07:29 PM

All those would do well together.  Set up the 55 with 2/3rds rocky riffle area and the other third with some driftwood around the perimeter with lots of thin branches right on or above the surface. Red belly dace love a sanctuary of overhanging brush. You can add some back ground plants even behind the rocky section and/or a few spots in the rocks.  Greenside darters are often found in rocky riffles with moss like plants on the rocks.  Put in a power head to push water across the front towards the driftwood section don't be shy with the rocks. Use any other tanks or containers to grow a mess of snails the darters especially the greensides will appreciate it.  You will not be able to keep a snail colony in that tank try to raise some scuds with the snails too.  Put a hob filter in the driftwood section for some mechanical filtration.  Some dwarf crayfish would be a nice addition. You can also do the riffle tank design with the pvc under the sand/gravel.  Google riffle tanks or search forum for lots of variations.


Mike Lucas
Mohawk-Hudson Watershed
Schenectady NY

#4 BenCantrell

BenCantrell
  • Moderator
  • San Diego, CA

Posted 10 November 2015 - 08:45 PM

Welcome to the board!  I'm the Illinois rep, so please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Illinois doesn't have the clearest laws about collecting native fish for aquaria, so I would recommend calling your region's DNR office before you go out collecting.  Get the ok from someone and write down their name and phone number in case a DNR officer or game warden questions you when you're out in the field.



#5 zooshooter

zooshooter
  • NANFA Guest
  • Tinley Park, IL

Posted 12 November 2015 - 10:23 AM

Welcome to the board!  I'm the Illinois rep, so please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Illinois doesn't have the clearest laws about collecting native fish for aquaria, so I would recommend calling your region's DNR office before you go out collecting.  Get the ok from someone and write down their name and phone number in case a DNR officer or game warden questions you when you're out in the field.

Will do.  I actually went out with the SO to Def Leppard Lagoon and Prairie Creek yesterday.  I believe the roads leading to Prairie Creek are either seasonally closed, or permanently closed.  Both entrances were gated and locked with the western end being heavily overgrown.  We got there around 11 A.M. so if they were going to be open I imagine they would have been by then.  I spent a lot of the time at Prairie wading in the water.  SO glad I brought wool socks because that water was quite cold. 



#6 fundulus

fundulus
  • Global Moderator

Posted 12 November 2015 - 11:21 AM

Def Leppard Lagoon? Can I find that in Google Earth? Inquiring minds want to know...


Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#7 zooshooter

zooshooter
  • NANFA Guest
  • Tinley Park, IL

Posted 12 November 2015 - 11:57 AM

Def Leppard Lagoon? Can I find that in Google Earth? Inquiring minds want to know...

You can find it, but I don't think you can find it by googling for it as a phrase, and it's not really a lagoon.  It just happened to be the closest spot that FishMap had for me to check out for Rainbow Darters and Southern Redbelly Dace.  Neither of which I found while there unfortunately.  It's a small spot on the Rock Creek as it passes under S. Center Road SW of Peotone.  https://www.google.c...f15825064115956



#8 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 12 November 2015 - 05:02 PM

You better not be angling there two handed. Not PC at all.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#9 zooshooter

zooshooter
  • NANFA Guest
  • Tinley Park, IL

Posted 12 November 2015 - 05:36 PM

You better not be angling there two handed. Not PC at all.

I'm honestly not sure what you mean by this.



#10 Mrfipp

Mrfipp
  • NANFA Member
  • Runaway Bay, Texas

Posted 12 November 2015 - 06:52 PM

Def Leppard's drummer lost his arm, played the snare with a foot pedal I believe...

There's something fishy about this place...


#11 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 12 November 2015 - 07:08 PM

I don't care for the band, but he is quite the story of overcoming adversity. So anyway if I were fishing there, might have to stay one armed. Really was not expecting someone to get it that quick, but those NANFA members are a quick bunch.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#12 strat guy

strat guy
  • NANFA Guest
  • Orland Park, IL

Posted 23 November 2015 - 11:31 PM

Hey there, I haven't been posting for a while due to a busy summer, but I think I'm one of the few here in Chicagoland that is actually active on the forums. Good to see someone else here from the area.
 

As far as species go, unfortunately, I've had to drive a half hour south to get anything of interest. Im near Orland Park, and we don't really have much around here by way of clear streams. Lots of the Cook county ponds have blackstripe topminnows, which are really cool, but the nice cyprinids are difficult to come by. The Des Plaines is filled with Gobies. I haven't come across any streams with large amounts of any darters besides Johnnys. Hickory Creek in New Lenox is clear and cold, and has good populations of Stonerollers, but I didn't see much else in there. For Darters I go all the way out to the Fox in Sandwich, its the only place I've found that has reliable populations of multiple species (I'm sworn to secrecy about my spot).
FishMap2 has only two spots in the area listed as holding Southern Redbelly Dace, and they're out near Manhattan which is a good ways out, and the two creeks amount to nothing more than drainage ditches, so I don't know how reliable they are, I've never been to either. The catch reports only had one specimen at one location and 17 at the other. I accidentally went to the wrong creek out that way looking for them, managed to find a longear sunfish, which I've never caught before in this area.

 

The fish are around, but you've got to be willing to travel a bit to get to the interesting ones. When I first started, it was hard finding more than a couple species, and I just took anything I could get my hands on. I found it better to be patient and pick times to drive to good locations rather than sticking with what was immediately local.


120 low tech native planted - Blackstriped Topminnow, Central Stoneroller, Fathead minnow, Golden Shiner, Black chin shiner, Carmine Shiner, Emerald Shiner, Sand Shiner, Spotfin Shiner, Orangethroat darter, Johnny Darter, and Banded Darter.


#13 zooshooter

zooshooter
  • NANFA Guest
  • Tinley Park, IL

Posted 24 November 2015 - 04:11 PM

 

The fish are around, but you've got to be willing to travel a bit to get to the interesting ones. When I first started, it was hard finding more than a couple species, and I just took anything I could get my hands on. I found it better to be patient and pick times to drive to good locations rather than sticking with what was immediately local.

I found the same to be true on my trip down to Peotone area.  Wound up with a few creek chubs of varying ages and 2 johnny darters.  I enjoy the johnnies for their personality but I am setting up a stream tank that I would like to get some rainbows or orangethroats for.  Might not get around to going out again until Spring though.  I got a pair of waders from a cousin but he says they have a leak in them so I need to see if I can find it and patch it.



#14 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 24 November 2015 - 04:41 PM

I found the same to be true on my trip down to Peotone area.  Wound up with a few creek chubs of varying ages and 2 johnny darters.  I enjoy the johnnies for their personality but I am setting up a stream tank that I would like to get some rainbows or orangethroats for.  Might not get around to going out again until Spring though.  I got a pair of waders from a cousin but he says they have a leak in them so I need to see if I can find it and patch it.

Hang them up and fill them with water, if you don't see anything obvious. If you see an obvious issue address it first then test. Mark the leak or leaks. Shoo Goo works pretty well or you can buy more wader specific( read expensive) products.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#15 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 24 November 2015 - 04:53 PM

Hey there, I haven't been posting for a while due to a busy summer, but I think I'm one of the few here in Chicagoland that is actually active on the forums. Good to see someone else here from the area.
 

As far as species go, unfortunately, I've had to drive a half hour south to get anything of interest. Im near Orland Park, and we don't really have much around here by way of clear streams. Lots of the Cook county ponds have blackstripe topminnows, which are really cool, but the nice cyprinids are difficult to come by. The Des Plaines is filled with Gobies. I haven't come across any streams with large amounts of any darters besides Johnnys. Hickory Creek in New Lenox is clear and cold, and has good populations of Stonerollers, but I didn't see much else in there. For Darters I go all the way out to the Fox in Sandwich, its the only place I've found that has reliable populations of multiple species (I'm sworn to secrecy about my spot).
FishMap2 has only two spots in the area listed as holding Southern Redbelly Dace, and they're out near Manhattan which is a good ways out, and the two creeks amount to nothing more than drainage ditches, so I don't know how reliable they are, I've never been to either. The catch reports only had one specimen at one location and 17 at the other. I accidentally went to the wrong creek out that way looking for them, managed to find a longear sunfish, which I've never caught before in this area.

 

The fish are around, but you've got to be willing to travel a bit to get to the interesting ones. When I first started, it was hard finding more than a couple species, and I just took anything I could get my hands on. I found it better to be patient and pick times to drive to good locations rather than sticking with what was immediately local.

As far as my experience goes, from around Starved rock and southward your state is fantastic. Of course knowing good sites is important. You guys have one heck of a fish photographer up in the Chicago area. I imagine if you charm him enough, he may take you to some pretty good areas. You better be ready to work! Beyond that my mouth is sealed.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#16 strat guy

strat guy
  • NANFA Guest
  • Orland Park, IL

Posted 24 November 2015 - 08:25 PM

As far as my experience goes, from around Starved rock and southward your state is fantastic. Of course knowing good sites is important. You guys have one heck of a fish photographer up in the Chicago area. I imagine if you charm him enough, he may take you to some pretty good areas. You better be ready to work! Beyond that my mouth is sealed.

 

Yes, the mythical and mysterious Uland. A lot of his pictures were taken in my general vicinity, and I learned a couple good spots from looking at the locations on his photos. One of the good ones is the Forked Creek off the Kankakee in Wilmington, its filled with Carmine shiners, which are my favorite in my tanks. Absolutely gorgeous, could give a Neon Tetra a run for the money any day of the week. Talked to a local fisherman down there and he said the walleye back up in there during the spring too, which is an added benefit. :)


120 low tech native planted - Blackstriped Topminnow, Central Stoneroller, Fathead minnow, Golden Shiner, Black chin shiner, Carmine Shiner, Emerald Shiner, Sand Shiner, Spotfin Shiner, Orangethroat darter, Johnny Darter, and Banded Darter.


#17 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 24 November 2015 - 08:57 PM

Yes, one of the many great guys that I know from this hobby. One of the best to be honest. He has shown me much in your state. Catching him when he is not swamped literally and figuratively is the trick. I am fortunate to know him and am always glad to be his net gimp. The photos he takes when I am with him feel like they are mine in a very small way. Might not hurt to try to get to know him.  


The member formerly known as Skipjack




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