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Cicadas aren’t welcome on observation deck

Cicadas aren’t an outdoorsman’s best friend. | FILE PHOTO

Cicadas aren’t an outdoorsman’s best friend. | FILE PHOTO

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Salmon Unlimited’s Kids Fishing Derby is Sept. 15

It’s that time of year again for Salmon Unlimited to hold its fishing derby and provide unlimited fun for kids down on Lake Michigan at Waukegan Harbor on Sept. 15.

This will be the fourth annual event and last year a lot of kids had a great time, including a sister team of Kelly and Wendy Ning (ages 7 & 6) from Mundelein who took the prize for the most fish caught with a total of 38 gobies. It was literally a Gobyfest for the girls.

This derby is open to kids up to age 18, but anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Shown above is a group of anglers trying to land a big one from the pier at Waukegan Harbor.

The club’s goal is to introduce fishing as a fun and constructive way to spend quality time outdoors with family and friends.

We hope some neighborhood moms or dads gather up a bunch of kids, maybe its a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, Indian Princess or Guides group, and go down and check this out because it has been a well-run event.

“By promoting responsible management of our natural resources to today’s young people, we hope to foster a sense of stewardship for the environment. We believe it is very important for children to enjoy the fishing experience in a safe environment, as they learn to appreciate the sport and the opportunities it provides. With emphasis on the concepts of catch & release, selective harvest and ethical sportsmanship, we hope all participants will learn to become advocates for the lake and the fishery,” it says on their Web site

There will be lots of prizes for the kids, free lunch and drinks for everyone, and plenty of fish stories, too. No fishing experience is necessary, and volunteers will be on-hand to assist the kids (and adults) throughout the event.

Last year, the biggest fish was a 10.8-pound chinook salmon.

Updated: September 26, 2012 6:04AM

Got a nice treat at work at the Tri-State Corporate Park in Gurnee near Interstate 94 and Grand Avenue this week when a blue heron swooped down to a retention pond and started hunting the shoreline.

It was creeping along the grass and then froze, ducked down and leaned forward, placed one foot gently into the water and then struck, completely falling into the water.

Up came the heron with a long string of weed (just like when I go fishing and catch weeds) and I thought he missed until I spotted the flipping tail of a small fish in its beak. It chomped it down, shook off the string weed and took off again. All happened in about five minutes.

Got to see only my second natural predation of a cicada, which regular readers know my wife hates for that buzzing sound they make and now I’ve come to dislike the sound myself. A few months ago, I reported how a squirrel ran across the driveway and nailed a cicada and then sparrows swooped in and snatched the debris after the squirrel made quick work of killing it. Nature at its most efficient.

This time, I was walking my dogs, Wrigley (Cockapoo) and Ziggy (runt yellow lab), when I saw a cicada buzzing on the ground and was half-thinking of stepping on it when a sparrow swooped in and grabbed it. It took awhile, a few minutes, but the sparrow finally put it down and it stopped making that buzzing noise. You go bird.

Leave No Senior Inside

On Sept. 5, The Wauconda Park District will hold its first Senior Summertime Fun event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Center, 600 N. Main St., where seniors can take a boat ride on Bangs Lake, enjoy beautiful nature walks, lawn games and a picnic. For more information, call the park district at (847) 526-3610.

The park district is also hosting a 5Kayak Challenge on Saturday, Sept. 9 that has a 3.1-mile run through the village streets and a 1.86-mile kayak on Bangs Lake. Registration fee is $30 and an optional $35 kayak rental fee. You must register by Sept. 5 and be 16 or older because there is no race-day registration. There will be prizes, snacks and music. Register online at or go to the community center.

The park district wants you to be a part of history in what they hope will become an annual event.

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