IL Area Workshop Saturday, February 17
Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:04 PM
> Illinois River. There is a researcher from the University of Illinois
> who is heading up this project who will be presenting. I know that he
will be discussing the bowfin, spotted gar, starhead topminnow and pugnose
minnow among others.
I am trying to get the word out to people who
> might be interested in attending. I don't know if you have many people
> from northern Illinois who use your site but if so it would be great
> if there were a way to let them know. It is scheduled for Saturday,
> February 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Pottawatomie Community Center in
> St. Charles, IL. The cost is $15. More information can be obtained by
> calling Mary O at 630 584-1885.
Assistant Superintendent of Natural Resources and Interpretive Services
8 North Avenue
St. Charles, IL 60174
630 584-1885 x425
Posted 10 January 2007 - 10:13 AM
I contacted Mary Ochsenschlager and she provided additional information.
You can register for the class by fax with a credit card. Get a registration form from our web site www.st-charlesparks.org. If you intend to pay at the door please call before coming to be sure that the class has enough enrollment to be held. We must have a certain number of pre-registrants in order for the class to be a go so it is very helpful if interested people register beforehand. The registration number for the class is 6127-9.
Mary also provided a press release:
ST. CHARLES PARK DISTRICT
8 NORTH AVENUE
ST. CHARLES, IL 60174
Mary Ochsenschlager – (630) 584-1885 x425
January 5, 2007
Native Fish of the Floodplain Lakes Along the Illinois River - The St. Charles Park District, Kane County Forest Preserve, Fox Valley Park District and the Geneva Park District are partnering in offering a program on native fish on Saturday, February 17 from 1-3 p.m. at Pottawatomie Community Center in St. Charles.
The Illinois River valley was once one of the most productive aquatic systems in the world. Changes to the system during the last 150 years have greatly altered or destroyed much of the natural functions of the floodplain and river. Dams, levees, increased sediment, non-native species and channelization are among the activities that have negatively impacted all Illinois rivers. These changes in turn impact the native fish populations.
Dr. Mike Retzer of the Illinois Natural History Survey will discuss his efforts to reintroduce native fish species to three areas in the Illinois River valley as part of a larger effort to restore large areas of the floodplain of the river to a more natural state. It is hoped that lessons learned in this effort could spur similar efforts for restoration on other rivers such as the Fox.
Many of the native fishes in Illinois rivers are not considered game fish however they are interesting in their own right. The bowfin is one example. The bowfin, also called dogfish, grinnel, grinner, mudfish, shupik, speckled cat and many other names, is a large predatory fish. It can reach up to 21 inches long and weigh up to 3 pounds. Some people call them trash fish because they don’t think they are good eating but many others disagree and call them the toughest sportfish ever. There is even a Bowfin Anglers Group. The bowfin is the last species of an ancient group of fish called the Amiiformes. This group has been around for over 100 million years. Interestingly they can both use their gills for getting oxygen and can breathe air directly through a gas bladder. It is believed that this ability to extract oxygen from the air allows bowfish to survive drought by burrowing in mud.
Another native fish involved in the repopulation project is the starhead topminnow. This tiny fish has become very rare due to lack of habitat. It prefers well-vegetated floodplain lakes, swamps and marshes. Starhead topminnows feed on small aquatic animals and plants. Interestingly they stay very near the surface of the water despite the danger. They apparently have the ability to orient their bodies with the sun and find their way back to their home territory if displaced.
These and many other native fish, such as the spotted gar, red-spotted sunfish and pumpkinseed are a part of the reintroduction effort by Dr. Retzer and his colleagues.
The cost of the program is $15. Please call Mary O at 630 584-1885 for further
Registration link below:
Posted 10 January 2007 - 12:31 PM
Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:46 PM
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