Illinois DNR Newsbits for July 2017

Ed Cross
Illinois DNR Newsbits for July 2017
New Record Hybrid Striped Bass:  The IDNR Division of Fisheries congratulates Robert Vericella of Bloomington, IL for his catch of a new state-record hybrid striped bass.  The fish was caught at Lake Bloomington in central Illinois on June 12.  IDNR Fisheries biologist Mike Garthaus certified the fish at 21 pounds, 7.2 ounces.  The previous state-record hybrid striped bass (20 pounds, .32 ounces) was caught at Lake of Egypt in southern Illinois in 1993. With Mr. Vericella’s catch of a new record hybrid striped bass, Illinois has seven new state-record fish so far in 2017. For more information on fishing opportunities in Illinois:

Illinois Bat Festival:  The Illinois State Museum will host the Organization for Bat Conservation for a day of excitement and fun with live bats at the Illinois Bat Festival on Sat., July 8 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the ISM in Springfield.  Families can get up close and personal with the world’s largest species of bat, see local bats, participate in bat house building, and learn about the importance of bats as insect-eaters and protectors of agriculture and forests. Trained educators from the Organization for Bat Conservation will conduct live animal programs throughout the day. Admission is free for all ages on Sat., July 8 at the Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St., Springfield.  For more information:

Tot Time with Fish:  At Dickson Mounds Museum on Thurs., July 6 at 9:30 a.m., the Tot Time program will be ‘Fun with Fish.’ Tots and their adults may enjoy learning about fish that live in Thompson Lake and the Illinois River, and see what these creatures look like close-up.  This month’s Tot Time program will be presented by the Illinois Natural History Survey’s Illinois River Biological Station. Admission is free and registration is not required. The 2017 Tot Time program series is sponsored by the City of Lewistown, Doug Dennis of Manito, Havana National Bank and G-M Mechanical of Canton. The Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds is located between Lewistown and Havana off Illinois Routes 78 and 97. The museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, with free admission. For more information, call 309-547-3721 or check online at

Online Dove Permits:  Online applications will be accepted from July 7-21 for the second lottery for Illinois Free Dove Hunting Permits for hunting at select state sites.  Applications may be submitted for the second lottery by resident hunters who were unsuccessful in the first lottery, residents who did not apply in the first lottery, and non-resident hunters.  After the second lottery permit application deadline on July 21, hunters may apply for remaining free dove permits on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8 a.m. on July 28 through Aug. 25.  For more information on dove hunting permit areas and free dove permits, check the IDNR website at:

Illinois State Parks Guide:  The 2017-18 Illinois State Parks guide is available in print and online.  The booklet is a useful guide to an eventful day in a state park picnic area, a weekend at a state park lodge or campground, a hike in a state forest, a ride on a state trail, or hunting and fishing trips to a state fish and wildlife area.  The Illinois State Parks guide is posted on the IDNR website in PDF format at this link:
Copies of the state parks guide can be ordered through the IDNR online publications page:

Camping Reservations:  Summer is a great time for camping in Illinois.  Make campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online through the Reserve America website at using a credit card.

Science Series:  The Illinois State Museum’s monthly Paul Mickey Science Series program this month is “The Remains of Ancient Dogs Provide New Insights about Their Life, Death, and our Long-Running Relationship” on Wed., July 12 at 7 p.m. The discovery of articulated remains of dogs in 8,500-year-old deposits at the Koster archaeological site substantially changed researchers’ understanding of the life, death, and our relationship with these long-established companions.  The program is free and open to the public at the Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St., Springfield. 

Music at the Museum:  The next ‘Music at the Museum’ concert at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield features Switchback, the award-winning duo of Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack. Switchback draws on traditional Celtic music and original Americana songs that reflect their Irish heritage and Midwestern roots. Show time is 7:00 p.m. on Thurs., July 13 at the Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St., Springfield. Tickets are available at the door.

Grand American:  The Amateur Trapshooting Association Grand American World Trapshooting Championships are scheduled for Aug. 2-12 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, IL. The AIM Grand National Youth Trapshooting Championships will be held on July 27-Aug 1.  Check the ATA website for details at

Conservation World:  Make plans to attend the 2017 Illinois State Fair in Springfield – and to spend some time at Conservation World on Aug. 11-20.  Conservation World is a 30-acre park on the state fairgrounds filled with family activities including fishing instruction, archery ranges, and expert information on habitat enhancement, state parks, wildlife, fish, and forestry.  Conservation World is open daily from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Aug. 11-20. 

Safety Courses:  The 2017-18 fall hunting seasons in Illinois will be here soon. Check the schedule of IDNR Hunter Safety Education courses, many of which are scheduled in advance of the fall seasons.  Classes fill up quickly, so check the IDNR website for course locations and dates.  The web link for IDNR Safety Education courses is

Wingshooting Clinics:  Wingshooting clinics are planned throughout the summer and fall in Illinois at IDNR sites, cooperating gun clubs and hunting preserves.  Most clinics are conducted on weekends. Wingshooting clinics for youth (age 10-15) and women provide instruction on safely firing a shotgun at a moving target with reasonable reliability.  Hunter wingshooting clinics are hands-on, and include extensive live fire at a variety of clay target presentations on sporting clays courses specifically designed for teaching typical hunting situations.  For the wingshooting clinic schedule and more information, check the IDNR website:
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