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Mike Clifford

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About Mike Clifford

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    ISA Member
  • Birthday 04/23/1965

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    Fishing, education and everything outdoors.

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  1. The only club in the state devoted to smallmouth bass fishing. A new state record is caught and only 2 of us are discussing it on the club forum. I can't even begin to understand the reasoning for this, but maybe the idea of message boards has run it's course. This should be fun to talk about, right? Crickets.....yikes. FB, Instagram, Twitter and even Tik Tok are blowing up over this. Something is definitely wrong with this picture.
  2. I do remember reading that the large females were tracked to deep, cool water in the summer while their male (smaller) counterparts were staying more shallow in order to forage. The reason being that they expended a lot more energy protecting nests during the spawn and so forth. The answer to "why travel so far?" was....because they can. The whole "small fishbowl vs. large fishbowl" theory. But the studies also found that they always come back home, even in such a large footprint.
  3. I don't see them catching hawgs either, because I'm not there, but I do see the photos. THE Ralph Steigers and many others are posting some absolute Megatrons day in and day out. What we DON'T really know is where they go in the hottest days of summer. Even the tracking program by Savitch many years ago didn't do much to solve the riddle. Of course, now we have reefs and underwater cameras and YouTube.....
  4. It was fascinating to see developments during our Classic here, as the anglers could technically go as far as the Kankakee on the river system. On practice day, we witnessed the pros pulling their boats out of the Cal Sag in Alsip. Biggest fish of the tournament was just over 4 lbs, but it isn't as striking as a Classic in Pittsburgh a few years later where Big Bass weighed just over 2 lbs. Woo Daves' haul of 5 smallies at 13 lbs. on Day 2 was the biggest bag of the Chicago Classic. Kind of surprised me that they never really traveled to find some heavier green fish.
  5. March 2004 it was changed. The final weigh-ins at the Classic were fun to see, but we enjoyed the Trisha Yearwood concert in Soldier Field as well!
  6. It is or has already been released back into the lake as well. This record was only possible because they changed the regulation for Smallmouth in Lake Michigan from Catch and Release only to one trophy Bass. Guys in tournies caught records for decades previously.
  7. I just saw that, and it reminded me of how I notice people at parties who are drinking water that always put the cap back on the bottle after taking a sip. I don't put a cap on my beer or glass of wine in between sips. So it always intrigues me when I see it. Just saying.
  8. It just dawned on me that I actually picked a devil crayfish out of the Kankakee River one time. I was trying to show off to a friend of mine how to pick up a crayfish properly and the thing got its claws on two of my fingers and almost chomped them. It was the size of a small lobster.
  9. Another place this relationship is being studied. https://www.inhs.illinois.edu/outreach/spotlight/devil-crayfish/
  10. Not a whole lot to go on in the article, but are they assuming that introducing more devil crayfish will create more burrows, hence more dragonflies?
  11. Nothing has changed even while political parties flip-flopped several times over many decades. Looking at every other state in the union and seeing how it does or doesn't work out for them would be a great place to start. Study our forefathers of conservation. Put those ideas to work in a world that can mobilize people within seconds, what with social media going ballistic already. It's not easy. Conservation takes incredible determination. What kills me is that people are paid to solve these problems. The people pulling the strings on these CAFOS can't buy off everybody to look away..... Keep in mind as well that you can't just make a more stringent rule regarding protections, while also cutting the IEPA budget. If the rules are too financially cumbersome, they won't be enforced regardless. If the new rule even makes it past the discussion phase.
  12. The dragon master himself puts on a show, as if there is a conglomerate of groups that make up the "ILDG". Truth is, it's one guy in an office with a telephone and a laptop. We spoke several times. Click on the photo for the legible version....
  13. Jonn...... In the case of Jo Daviess, the local board was at like 7-4 in favor. I wrote them a nice letter full of tourism stats and gushy stuff. They flipped to almost unanimous against it. Funny thing I came to learn was that Ag was about to rubber stamp it through regardless. We got the state's attorney general and EPA involved. What happened here was that they allowed nasty things to leach into the watershed before actual construction even got underway. Not a very pleasant greeting to your neighbors. I learned from the very best in conservation to always follow the money trail, and start there. Then let your imagination run wild.
  14. Fish kills all around us, yet this is still business as usual in Illinois? Remember the dairy farm in the Apple River watershed? We killed that one together. There is no CAFO there and never will be. That was a long time ago, and not a thing has changed!! Pay particular attention to the last sentence in the quote below. It infuriates me that not one group....no, not one PERSON has stepped up to the plate to slay this dragon. Of all the conservation and environmental groups in the state, I was the only one to call the dragon master himself that brings every CAFO into the state on the Jo Daviess farm plan. He's one man. It isn't rocket science. I bet we can find one man to step to the plate here and take a swing. Is it you? http://thecommunityword.com/online/blog/2019/07/31/illinois-has-open-door-for-cafos/ "This form of raising animals is given preferential treatment by the state. CAFOs can be approved over local objections. Local county boards have control over wind turbines, solar farms, landfills and zoning decisions, but there is no local control over placement or size of a CAFO. Danielle Diamond, director of field operations with the not-for-profit Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, said all of the surrounding states around Illinois have more regulatory authority over CAFOs. Illinois is the most lax and permissive in the region, she said. The Marshall County Board voted against approval of Buffalo Run but that does not tie the hands of the Illinois Department of Agriculture that’s expected to approve Buffalo Run. Allen Mayer, an attorney and former member of the Peoria County Board, said the system in Springfield takes control of CAFOs away from local jurisdictions and places it with the Illinois Department of Agriculture that rarely, if ever, rejects an application."
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