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Bart Durham

ISA Officer
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About Bart Durham

  • Rank
    ISA President
  • Birthday 01/24/1962

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  • Interests
    Kayak fishing and fly fishing for smallmouth on local rivers and tributaries.

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  1. Looks like a great afternoon on one of my favorite Illinois Smallmouth Rivers.
  2. Mark L and I fished the Fox last week when at 2200 cfs. The water looked great but we were skunked on smallmouth on this blazing hot day and left scratching our heads as conditions seemed perfect for fishing. Mark did salvage our day by pulling in this beautiful 22" walleye to avoid the complete skunk.
  3. Big thanks to our volunteers and Jessie DeMartini for making this a great day! Jessie always make this a fun event and is generous in sharing her amazing knowledge of the plant life and muscle ecosystem on the Dupage River. I'll be anxious to see additional photos of our work!
  4. Dynegy Withdraws its Bank Stabilization Plan But ... The Fight to Protect the Middle Fork Isn’t Over! Campaign to Protect the RIver Has Major Impact If you testified at the March 26, Public Hearing hosted by the Illinois EPA to solicit public comments on Dynegy’s 2,000-foot long riverbank project - or submitted a written statement during the public comment period - you know that Dynegy Midwest Generation has withdrawn their application for water quality certification. This decision follows the National Park Service’s determination to withhold their approval of the project. What Does this Mean? It was the strong public and agency opposition to Dynegy's plan that caused them to agree to withdraw their application for water quality certification and redesign their stabilization project. This is a huge win, since the Illinois EPA was poised to approve the plan as originally submitted. Dynegy has indicated it will resubmit its application to the Illinois EPA as soon as August. When that happens, the agency will issue a public notice, and the public comment period will begin. We haven’t seen the plan, but have learned that it may be reduced substantially in its size and impact. If that is the case, it is unlikely that the Illinois EPA will hold another public hearing for Water Quality Certification. We are in regular contact with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE). They do not intend to require Dynegy to refile their application. But the ACE has not ruled out another public notice and comment period. We are asking for both, because we believe the plan and supporting documentation should be made available to the public for comment. Enforcement in Process In the meantime, Dynegy’s plan for closing the ash pits is in the hands of the Illinois EPA and the Attorney General’s office as part of an enforcement action, initiated by the Illinois EPA last June. This enforcement action is expected to address the closure of the coal ash pits; river bank stabilization; and possibly fines. Coal ash pollution ponding next to eroded banks that abut Dynegy's coal ash pits. Pam Richart, Eco-Justice Collaborative It’s Still a Plan to Cap and Leave Dynegy continues to push to cap its ash pits and leave them in place. That is why they need to install stabilization next to the ash pits that will withstand the strong, continuous, erosional forces of the Middle Fork. Eco-Justice Collaborative continues to lobby for full ash removal. The pits are unlined, and a cap will not separate the toxic waste from groundwater, an coal ash contaminants will continue to flow into the river. Because the Middle Fork continues to move west toward the ash pits, we remain unconvinced that any stabilization will be sufficient to prevent a breach in the long-term. Need to Stay Engaged While these are clear wins in this multi-year campaign, the fight to protect Illinois’ only National Scenic River from coal ash pollution is not yet over. In the coming months, Eco-Justice Collaborative will continue to monitor agency actions related to the Middle Fork, and push for a resolution that: Permanently removes the ash to an upland location away from the river. Ensures future generations are not left with financial liabilities of polluting coal ash or the threat of a coal ash spill. Informs and engages the public in decision-making. This is Our River. Let’s Protect It! We want to thank you again for your work thus far, and hope that you will continue to support efforts to keep the river safe for generations to come. Coal ash is being moved at many other locations in the U.S. We think that Illinois’ only National Scenic River deserves similar protection. Save the Date for an August Fundraiser to Protect the Middle Fork! Thanks to the generosity of the new owners of the Rose Bowl in downtown Urbana, Eco-Justice Collaborative and Protect the Middle Fork Citizens Advocacy Group are jointly sponsoring an event to raise funds to help cover costs for the ongoing campaign to protect our National Scenic River. When: August 10, from 5pm to 8pm Where: Rose Bowl Tavern 106 Race St # 1, Urbana What: Music and fun in a relaxed atmosphere Two bands Cameo appearance by the Protect the Middle Fork singers! Cost: $10. That’s it! Admission includes a yard sign for those who want one You’re going to want to be there, so “mark your calendar” today! More information will be provided soon. Eco-Justice Collaborative 919 W. University Avenue Champaign IL 61821 United States ecojusticecollaborative.org
  5. I've waded it several times and have caught some great smallmouth there. You are correct it is a real smallmouth gem and needs to be maintained. I'm sure we could get some members to help with a river clean up effort if it were arranged. As to dam removal I would want to make sure it didn't expose the creek to Des Plaines river predator fish and carp that could decimate the smallmouth population. I feel the same about the Channahon Dam for the Dupage river. Sometimes dams aren't necessarily bad for a river.
  6. I'll be there, timing is good as river levels are finally back down to normal summer levels.
  7. Congrats to all three of you. Sounds like a great tournament format. Are fishing locations kept private? I hope to enter next year!
  8. Had to continuously battle the air leakage issue, looking for something more durable.
  9. Any suggestions for lower back support for Jackson Coosa kayak seat? My inflatable wrap around worked great for a few years but is leaking badly now and need new one.
  10. Kevin Daly and I of the ISA joined approximately 50 volunteers on a beautiful Saturday morning to assist the Bolingbrook Park District in cleaning up the Dupage River as part of the 2019 Dupage River Sweep. I was extremely excited to meet Forrest Rackmyer, Dan Finn and Amanda Sillwell , Horticulturalists and Arborists of the Bolingbrook Park District and hear about their plans to help restore the river valley along the East Branch of the Dupage River through the Bolingbrook area maintained by the Park District. The River Sweep volunteers helped clean up liter, refuse and flood debris (a lot of plastic) in an area along the East Branch that stretched from the Royce Road Bridge kayak launch to the Whalon Lake waterfall downstream of the Hidden Lakes Park District trout ponds. Kevin and I also assisted Dan and Amanda in removing noxious Orange Day Lilys and in planting Native plugs in scattered areas downstream of the Royce Road Bridge kayak launch where the Park District has launched a major river bank restorative effort. Forrest is a avid fisherman and recognizes the smallmouth bass are not as plentiful in the East Branch and hopes his restorative efforts will help change this fact. There are many areas where the ISA can help Forrest and the Bolingbrook Park District in their cause and we look forward to forging a collaborative working relationship in the future.
  11. We'll plan to meet at Hidden Lake's parking lot at 8:30 am this Saturday for this year's River Sweep. I have some supplies (gloves, bags and pickers) provided by the Conservation Foundation but feel free to bring your own supplies. We'll meet the Bolingbrook liaison at the parking lot for directions on areas with the most need and attention. There may be opportunities to do restoration work as well. The more the merrier so please come out and join us. Hidden Lakes park is adjacent to the East Branch of the Dupage River. The entrance to the park is on the west side of Schmidt Road one block north of the intersection of Boughton Road and Schmidt Road in Bolingbrook. There is also a community garden and sign at the entrance. You have to continue down a steep hill to get to the Hidden Lake parking lot next to the trout ponds, If any questions let me know. Hope to see you there!
  12. The Missouri Smallmouth Alliance is doing an outing on Jacks Fork, a tributary of the Current River the weekend of May 17-19. Anyone that has floated this Ozark stream will attest it is a must do float for adventure lovers and smallmouth fisherman. Here is some more information on the trip: Jack's Fork Outing: May 17-19 @ the Bunker Hill Retreat Join us for the first outing of the season. It has something for everyone: Hard fighting smallies: Check. Sublimely beautiful surroundings: Check Affordable & comfortable lodging right on the Jack's Fork but away from the crowds: Check . Call 417-934-2333. tell them you're with the MSA then let us know your coming by replying to this email. Bunker Hill Retreat is not a livery and they do not shuttle but we always have enough people to self shuttle without difficulty. There are also wade-fishing options. Questions: reply to this email. Check out these maps for an overview of your floating and fishing options.
  13. Unfortunately out of town or would be there for sure. Don't miss this float if you can make it. Guaranteed a good time with Paul and the group and some of the best biscuits and gravy around at Cherry Valley Cafe! Don't be surprised if you catch a big smallie as well.
  14. The colors on those bows are incredible, well worth the hike in extreme conditions!
  15. Removal of the Dam is a win win for safety and improvement of an already pretty good fishery!
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