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gordon p

Des Plains River exploration

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Had a cool 'lil experience yesterday. I do most of my fishing in Wisconsin but in the Spring I like to make a few casts locally to get the dust off the gear and get the 'ol arm warmed up. I live just west of the Des Plaines River and there are several forest preserves along the river adjacent to Des Plaines River Rd. In between the preserves are dense wooded areas along the shore. Now I can access the river and fish from these preserves but I am always looking at "alternate" access points. From just south of Milwaukee Ave to just north of Lake/Euclid there is a concrete flood wall. At one spot the river is less than 75 ft from River Rd. This wall is 4-6 ft. high but at a couple of places there is dirt ( with grass ) that has been piled to the top of the wall on either side, I'm guessing this was done to get in or out of this area in an emergency. The land to the east of the wall is the heavily wooded FP land. Last Spring I got on the "other" side of the wall and walked to where the river is close ( maybe a 200 yard walk ) and on two different days I hooked a pike. So yesterday I wanted to see if there were any other ways to get to the river. Last year I tried to bushwack through the woods but the undergrowth of brambles and other foliage was too dense. Enter Google Earth, I use this all the time while scouting areas in Wisconsin. A quick look and, lo and behold, in between two areas of dense woods, right next to Camp McDonald Rd. is a large area that looks like an open field or prairie. I says to the girl "I'm off for some adventure". This is like 3 minutes from where I live. So I grab a coupla rods and my vest and I'm off. I park the car, cross the wall at one of the high points and walk a couple hundred yards. At the entrance of the "open" area there is about a 50 ft deep section of 10 ft high foliage but no brambles and there is a narrow foot path. Beyond this is an open area that is predominately high reeds, 4-6 ft. tall. These have not greened up yet and are still semi flattened from winter. It's another 200 yards to the river. But, the most striking thing is that the DNR or FPD has erected a 75 ft tall pole with a raptors nest on top. As I walked toward it the inhabitants made themselves known, a pair of Ospreys. They were not too happy with my presence and called out. As they flew overhead I could see the female was holding a fish. I continued on towards the river and the male flew to a nearby tree and remained there for a good while while the female went to the nest. I got to the river and started casting. I moved down the shore and was really not expecting to catch anything. At about the time when my attention starts to drift from lack of action, I looked down and a large pike took a swipe at my swimbait but did not grab it. I continued to fish for a while but no takers and I headed back. I have driven past this nest a thousand times and never noticed it but it's clearly visible from the road. I'll be back.

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Osprey.JPG

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Thanks for sharing. I've seen more eagles than osprey so this is very cool!

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I have been using the Gazeteer's for at least 20 years. I have worn through 3 of the Wisconsin editions   :-)

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15 hours ago, gordon p said:

I have been using the Gazeteer's for at least 20 years. I have worn through 3 of the Wisconsin editions   🙂

Got to have the old version!

hope all is well Gordon

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On 4/13/2020 at 7:42 PM, John Gillio said:

Cool story. Not many osprey around. Finding new areas close to home are unexpected and exciting.

Actually,  from what I am seeing they are making an amazing comeback.  There is an active nest  at Saganaskee Slough visible from the parking lot at 104 ave.  (Willow springs Road) and another in the pond at the Little Red School House.  The former as been pumping out babies since 2014 I think.

I know there are active nests in Lemont.  A couple years ago if you were to pull your car over on nb I-355 (not recommended) a nest would be visible on the Desplaines.  In fact in kayaking in that vicinity, I saw 9 in one outing.   I also see them by my work in West Chicago.   

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3 hours ago, Mark K said:

Actually,  from what I am seeing they are making an amazing comeback.  There is an active nest  at Saganaskee Slough visible from the parking lot at 104 ave.  (Willow springs Road) and another in the pond at the Little Red School House.  The former as been pumping out babies since 2014 I think.

I know there are active nests in Lemont.  A couple years ago if you were to pull your car over on nb I-355 (not recommended) a nest would be visible on the Desplaines.  In fact in kayaking in that vicinity, I saw 9 in one outing.   I also see them by my work in West Chicago.   

That's nice to hear. I've seen a few along the Vermilion over the yrs, but never more than one in an outing. The last one I spotted was a couple yrs back.

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Cool story bro. Nice to read about your adventures. 

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On 4/15/2020 at 5:09 AM, Steve S. said:

Got to have the old version!

hope all is well Gordon

I have one of the old ones that starts with the maps at the top of the state which I like better.  I have tried to mark all the sections of rivers I have floated.

Hope you are good to Steve.

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