Illinois Mixed Bag: Outdoor Hall of Fame nominations sought – Outdoor News

Springfield — The Illinois Conservation Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2024 Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame class.

The honor recognizes individuals who have records of exemplary service in and commitments to improving conservation efforts and outdoor recreation opportunities in Illinois.

Some inductees touched the lives of thousands by promoting fishing, hunting, conservation and safety education. Others spearheaded efforts to preserve or enhance fish and wildlife habitat and protect and restore Illinois’ lakes and rivers.

Selected nominees will be inducted into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame next spring at the annual Illinois Conservation Foundation Outdoor Hall of Fame Gala.

Nominations must be submitted on the official Hall of Fame nomination form by July 15 to be considered. For more information, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation at [email protected] or 217-785-2003.


Commentary: Missouri shows other states how to manage CWD for the long haul

Ralph Loos: Trappers’ top successes in Illinois were raccoons and . . . opossums?

Trappers for Delta Waterfowl working record number of sites in attempt to increase nest success for waterfowl

Furbearer Grant Apps Open Until May 24

Springfield — DNR is accepting applications for the State Furbearer Fund Special Funds Grant Program through May 24.

The State Furbearer Fund provides grants to appropriate not-for-profit organizations, governmental entities, educational institutions, and corporations for projects that benefit fur-bearing mammals and improve harvesting opportunities for hunters and trappers of furbearers.

Grants through this fund support activities and programs undertaken to:

• Educate hunters, trappers and the public about fur-bearing mammals and their management.

• Provide instruction and training to current and potential hunters and trappers on techniques and laws associated with hunting and trapping furbearing mammals.

• Support scientific research on the ecology, conservation, or management of furbearing mammals.

• Develop or improve public fur-bearing mammal habitat management areas within Illinois.

Prior to applying, an entity must be registered and current in the state’s GATA portal. All applications will be accepted online in the Amplifund online portal. For additional questions or assistance, call 217-785-4416 or email [email protected].

Redneck Fishing Tournament Returns in 2024

Bath, Ill. — The Redneck Fishing Tournament announced that it will be returning to Bath this August. According to the Tournament Organizer Nikki Gregerson, the tournament which pits man against the invasive silver carp in the Illinois River, will be held on Aug. 2-3.

The tournament started almost 20 years ago by Bath local Betty DeFord.

“I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved with this tournament,” DeFord said. “Over a weekend, we raise awareness about these dreadful fish, make friends from around the world, enjoy some music and support our veterans. Now, that’s a darn good weekend in Bath.”

Great Lakes Cleaning Measure Passes Senate

Chicago — The federal government is closer to spending $500 million a year to extend a nearly 15-year effort to stop contamination throughout the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2024 unanimously passed through the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Work after being pushed by Sens. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, both members of the Great Lakes Task Force.

If eventually approved by the Senate and House and signed by President Joe Biden, the act would extend the GLRI for another five years through 2031 and increase funding from $475 million in 2026 to $500 million from 2027 through 2031.

Natural Areas Stewardship Grants Available

Springfield — DNR is accepting applications for Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship grants through June 14. The goal of the grant program is to increase the delivery of much needed stewardship activities to natural areas protected within the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC) system. Funding for this program is derived from a portion of the Illinois Natural Areas Acquisition Fund and must be used by DNR for the stewardship of natural areas, including habitats for endangered and threatened species. Stewardship actions funded by this grant program must be included in the management schedules approved by the INPC and are limited to a maximum of $100,000 per proposal.

Potential applicants can find more information online or by emailing [email protected].

Longhorned Tick Found in Morgan County

Jacksonville, Ill. — Illinois became the latest state to discover the Asian longhorned tick, an invasive species that can reproduce very quickly. The tick was found April 12 during routine active tick surveillance in Morgan County as part of an Illinois Department of Public Health active tick surveillance program. Additional surveillance in the area April 24 discovered two additional Asian longhorned ticks. It is the first known collection of the tick species from anywhere in Illinois.

Identification was confirmed by entomologists at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory.

Asian longhorned ticks are light brown in color and are very small, often smaller than a sesame seed. The tick is capable of carrying tick borne diseases that affect cattle. In addition, a female can reproduce without a mate and lay up to 2,000 eggs.