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Changes on the Kank?


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I waded Area 7 yesterday, pretty thoroughly. I feel like there is a whole lot more sand and muck than not too long ago. Like it's gradually filling in. The gaps between the cobbly rocks are gone. I remember certain parts having a limestone bottom-clean are now just loaded with soft silty muck. Like you see on the Des Plaines. I stepped knee deep in one part and could feel the carbide studs on my wading boots tap rock eventually. So there is rock under there. It's like the whole character of that stretch has changed.

Slowly filling in. Is it eventually going to be a big sand pit like the boat launch and above? Do rivers end up doing doing this naturally? Not in the course of 15 years i would not think.

 

Furthur upstream, below Rock Creek the weeds are covering every square inch of the river bottom. Actually they are not weeds but algae. Usually the first cold snap would kill it all off. Then it would die, float off and we would be back to bare rock. Am i wrong? What would cause this maybe the sod farms?

 

the upstream sections are far less weedy, but I remember them being almost completely weed free.

 

Am I off base on this? Do you guys remember differently?

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It is well known among environmental types that study these kinds of things that the Kankakee is in fact dying a slow death.

It is just a matter of progression, and you are seeing this played out in real-time.

At what point will we see this river on the Top Ten Endangered Rivers in America list?

Hard to say- but it will be there eventually.

 

Solutions- got any?

 

Reach down and grab a handful of sand from there, then drive to the state line and grab another from there.

Put them under a microscope, and what do you see?

One slide will show grains with jagged edges, the other will be round and smooth.

 

Your answer lies upstream.

Big Ag, SWC districts and money.

If anyone can find a way to move those pieces in favor of the river, then we're looking at a few decades at best to start seeing positive changes in the watershed.

Sadly, this isn't on the horizon.

Check and mate.

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Lets not forget all the extra fertilizer getting pumped in from all the new subdivisions .

 

Mark ,

 

Kamala and I were talking about the changes just the other day . Many areas are filling in with sediment , the moss isn't going away and the eel grass beds are expanding .

 

It will prolly stay a smallie river for a while , but I wouldn't be surprised if it became a largemouth river in my son's lifetime . More largemouth showing up every year , gar numbers on the rise , numbers of truly huge smallies on the decrease .

 

The sand buried an entire spawning area up town in one flood a few years back . Take a trip up some of the tribs and look how much sediment is in them .

 

 

It definitely is not your imagination .

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Lets not forget all the extra fertilizer getting pumped in from all the new subdivisions .

 

They might as well be sod farms.

My brother-in-law's subdivision in Bolingbrook is surrounded by a native grass prairie. It's beautiful.

Maybe there should be a "run-off" tax.

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I heard a lot of comments on Sunday while splashing around the area we were fishing, that a lot of the holes had filled in since the last flood. It was my first time there, so I had nothing to compare it to.

 

I remember going in over my waders in one spot in a pool that was slightly higher, but not much. That whole spot is filled in with sand now.

 

I remember the bottom being a whole lot harder to wade because of the cobble rock. The rock is still there it's just smoothed out with sand and further coated with the new green carpeting. That has to impact all the bottom dwelling creatures.

 

It's pretty sad when you think about it.

 

2 seasons ago a little furthur downstream it was just choked with weeds, not algae.

 

And yes, come to think of it in the last few years we have caught more LM. I remember them looking slightly unusual and just attributed it to them being river fish. Maybe they were spotted bass. I think I have pictures some where. A few were pretty nice fish.

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I remember going in over my waders in one spot in a pool that was slightly higher, but not much. That whole spot is filled in with sand now.

 

I remember the bottom being a whole lot harder to wade because of the cobble rock. The rock is still there it's just smoothed out with sand and further coated with the new green carpeting. That has to impact all the bottom dwelling creatures.

 

It's pretty sad when you think about it.

 

2 seasons ago a little furthur downstream it was just choked with weeds, not algae.

 

And yes, come to think of it in the last few years we have caught more LM. I remember them looking slightly unusual and just attributed it to them being river fish. Maybe they were spotted bass. I think I have pictures some where. A few were pretty nice fish.

Mark

The primary sourc of both the eel grass and algae is the increase in phosphate pollution caused by urban sprawl.Although banned from laundry detergent since the 70's,it's use continues in fertilizers and dishwashing detergent and winds up in our rivers.Just as it fosters plant growth on land in fertilizers it does so in water as well. As the weeds increase and the water becomes clearer more sunlight reaches the riverbed causing still more weed/algae growth.The algae thrives in coldwater and largely disappears when it warms only to be replaced by the eelgrass at that time.While this condition is increasing on the Kank it's already an epidemic on the Dupage which as I've said before is becoming a 20 mile long salad bowl.In our area only the Fox has been spared perhaps because it's murky water allows little sunlight penetration.If so and if the murkiness is because of the dams than those advocating their removal should be reminded of that old addage"be careful what you wish for".

 

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The analogy that the dams prevent phosphates from destroying the river is a reach, but variables are often taken in different contexts in any discussion involving the reasons for degradation among rivers and streams.

 

On the surface, one would tend to think that all we need to do is push for tougher legislation against phosphates, and this is certainly taking place as we speak.

A select few organizations spend their days in court rooms doing just this every single day.

The average sportsman doesn't see this, which speaks to the fact that as a "group" we don't seek this information.

If we did, this discussion would get real deep real fast.

Tempers would flare and lots of technical words would get thrown about.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that industry (including ag interests) can be an immovable object when change becomes necessary to halt or slow the causes of this degradation.

Conservation 101.

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In our area only the Fox has been spared perhaps because it's murky water allows little sunlight penetration.If so and if the murkiness is because of the dams than those advocating their removal should be reminded of that old addage"be careful what you wish for".

 

Why do you suppose the murkiness is caused by the dams? In all the seminars and arguments I've heard on both sides that has never come up. That is a new one on me. I advocate dam removal because they serve no purpose and are death traps. I've never heard any reasonable argument that dams do anything positive for the health of the river.

 

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I know on the Fox River the severe floods of a few months ago have pushed a lot of silt and debris into areas that were normally fairly gravely. My guess is the same thing has happened on the K3.

 

Big floods mobilize sediment. That's probably true.

 

 

The weeds that are growing in the Kank have round cylinder shaped stems and "leaves" for lack of a better word with branches rather than long flat leaves.

 

Tim what are they?

 

I haven't been on the Kank recently. Might be Eurasian milfoil. Does the leaf look like a herring-bone?

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Big floods mobilize sediment. That's probably true.

 

 

The weeds that are growing in the Kank have round cylinder shaped stems and "leaves" for lack of a better word with branches rather than long flat leaves.

 

Tim what are they?

 

I haven't been on the Kank recently. Might be Eurasian milfoil. Does the leaf look like a herring-bone?

 

Milfoil is a disater of a plant. Val is vastly better cover that supports more juvenile fish and inverts.

 

 

Joz-

It's not milfoil.

Go get your wading boots there is probably a specimen stuck to them from your last visit to the salad bar. Same plant. I can't testify that they are expanding on the Kank. In my floating days there were vast bed below a creek on the 113 side. For the life of my I can't remember the name of the creek. Anyway get above that creek no algae, no weeds.

 

I have a book on aquatic plants somewhere (dork, I know) I'll identify it. It is not, eel grass. I once tried growing a plant fish tank I had Val-eel grass. Aint it.

 

Eric-

there is much muck which may have been deposited by recent high water, but there is also lots of sand. Sand that you can stand on. If you could strip away some of the algae it looks as if the lower stretches, say between the boat launch and Area 8 are creeping up. Your second wade through the Kank was thru the very spot I bring up.

It was dead of summer, very clear and still fishable with non-weedless hardware.

 

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The primary sourc of both the eel grass and algae is the increase in phosphate pollution caused by urban sprawl.Although banned from laundry detergent since the 70's,it's use continues in fertilizers and dishwashing detergent and winds up in our rivers.Just as it fosters plant growth on land in fertilizers it does so in water as well. As the weeds increase and the water becomes clearer more sunlight reaches the riverbed causing still more weed/algae growth.The algae thrives in coldwater and largely disappears when it warms only to be replaced by the eelgrass at that time.

 

Ron, I agree that P loading is a problem in Illinois, but you're not going to find many limnologists who agree with the notion that increased P in the water column generally leads to higher water clarity. In large rivers, nutrients cause phytoplankton blooms that cloud the water and reduce water clarity. In our statewide data sets in rivers, we found a negative correlation between the rate of algae growth on hard surfaces and the amount of phytoplankton in the water column. Suspended phytoplankton (augmented by bioturbation by carp and other bottom feeders) is what makes the water cloudy behind those dams you want to save.

 

The P standards for the state are still being adjusted, but it appears that a "decision tree" approach will be used. The graphic below is what was resently presented at an IEPA meeting as an instrument to determine when and where P regulations should be enforced. The notion appears to be that in situations were P effects are mitigated (by high turbidity or canopy cover, for instance) enforcement of P standards will be limited or set aside. There are some aspects of this model that I agree with and others that I find disappointing.

 

On the plus side, some rivers would benefit from restoration of 35% canopy cover (although that's not possible on large flows and heaven knows why the number is 35% and not 50% or 10%). I was fairly vocal in those meetings about including a canopy cover standard and I hope it fosters more riparian restoration. Those trees will provide riparian cover, and when the river meanders, they'll fall in and create habitat. Anyone familiar with Illinois streams knows that habitat is the single most limiting factor for biodiversity (and smallmouth fisheries) in Illinois.

 

On the negative side, the 0.075ppm cut off for enforcement is disappointingly low given that in some experiments it is just about at the peak level of growth for periphyton. The national standard has been 0.05 but here in Illinois, we're on the verge of deciding that we just can't meet that standard (and granted, there are some complexities here that make this a complicated situation for soft-bottomed, warm water streams). The regulation also rewards conditions that cause high turbidity in streams (and conflicts with EPA turbidity regulations).

 

 

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Ron, I agree that P loading is a problem in Illinois, but you're not going to find many limnologists who agree with the notion that increased P in the water column generally leads to higher water clarity. In large rivers, nutrients cause phytoplankton blooms that cloud the water and reduce water clarity. In our statewide data sets in rivers, we found a nphytoplankton (augmented by bioturbation by carp and other bottom feeders) is what makes the water cloudy behind those dams you want to save.egative correlation between the rate of algae growth on hard surfaces and the amount of phytoplankton in the water column. Suspended

 

The P standards for the state are still being adjusted, but it appears that a "decision tree" approach will be used. The graphic below is what was resently presented at an IEPA meeting as an instrument to determine when and where P regulations should be enforced. The notion appears to be that in situations were P effects are mitigated (by high turbidity or canopy cover, for instance) enforcement of P standards will be limited or set aside. There are some aspects of this model that I agree with and others that I find disappointing.

 

On the plus side, some rivers would benefit from restoration of 35% canopy cover (although that's not possible on large flows and heaven knows why the number is 35% and not 50% or 10%). I was fairly vocal in those meetings about including a canopy cover standard and I hope it fosters more riparian restoration. Those trees will provide riparian cover, and when the river meanders, they'll fall in and create habitat. Anyone familiar with Illinois streams knows that habitat is the single most limiting factor for biodiversity (and smallmouth fisheries) in Illinois.

 

On the negative side, the 0.075ppm cut off for enforcement is disappointingly low given that in some experiments it is just about at the peak level of growth for periphyton. The national standard has been 0.05 but here in Illinois, we're on the verge of deciding that we just can't meet that standard (and granted, there are some complexities here that make this a complicated situation for soft-bottomed, warm water streams). The regulation also rewards conditions that cause high turbidity in streams (and conflicts with EPA turbidity regulations).

 

Tim

Am I correct in concluding from what you say that phosphates produce different negative results in different rivers,i.e.the suspended phytoplankton in the Fox vs. the weeds and algae matts in the Dupage and now becoming more evident in the Kank and that the one type cancels out the other?If so and if we must live with phosphate pollution's negative results, as a fishermen I certainly prefer its results on the Fox to those on the Dupage/Kank.My reasoning that phosphates at least in the Dupage can actually lead to clearer water is that the weeds and algae matts they foster filter out and hold whatever washes in with rain.We've all experienced kicking up clouds of muck while wading thru the weeds/algae.The clearer water in turn allows for more sunlight penetration which causes still more plant growth.Nothing scientific just seat of the pants reasoning.If Oregon succeeds in banning phosphates altogether perhaps it will shame other states into doing more.

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Tim

Am I correct in concluding from what you say that phosphates produce different negative results in different rivers,i.e.the suspended phytoplankton in the Fox vs. the weeds and algae matts in the Dupage and now becoming more evident in the Kank and that the one type cancels out the other?

 

Shading by phytoplankton blocks out light and prevents periphyton and weeds, yes. It's a function of depth and water clarity. At low depths, phytoplankton can't block out light so that becomes less important. In general, there's much less phytoplankton in small streams (and proportionally much more attached algae) and much more phytoplankton in large rivers (and proportionally much less attached algae).

 

Phosphorus in shallow water can do a lot of things...mostly get bound to the substrate, but also promote algae growth on the leaves of aquatic plants and promote the growth of the plants themselves. Because most rivers in Illinois have much more phosphorus than they can use, there is no statistical relationship between algae growth and the amount of P in the water. I'm not sure if that's true for aquatic plants.

 

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Shading by phytoplankton blocks out light and prevents periphyton and weeds, yes. It's a function of depth and water clarity. At low depths, phytoplankton can't block out light so that becomes less important. In general, there's much less phytoplankton in small streams (and proportionally much more attached algae) and much more phytoplankton in large rivers (and proportionally much less attached algae).

 

Phosphorus in shallow water can do a lot of things...mostly get bound to the substrate, but also promote algae growth on the leaves of aquatic plants and promote the growth of the plants themselves. Because most rivers in Illinois have much more phosphorus than they can use, there is no statistical relationship between algae growth and the amount of P in the water. I'm not sure if that's true for aquatic plants.

[/quote

Is there a reason that this was the first year that phosphorus caused explosive amounts of coldwater algae in the Dupage whereas it began causing the excessive weed growth at least 5 years ago?

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Is there a reason that this was the first year that phosphorus caused explosive amounts of coldwater algae in the Dupage whereas it began causing the excessive weed growth at least 5 years ago?

 

There's a reason for everything, but without looking at data I couldn't do more than throw out possible scenarios.

 

It is my understanding from 2nd hand information from Don Labrose that water clarity might have increased recently due to wetland contruction and sediment removal associated with the thorium rehabilitation. That might explain additional plant growth. Or the Valesinaria might also have grown enough that it has clarified the water by trapping sediment and increased water clarity on its' own....

 

It's very easy to make up stories about what might have happened. It's much harder to be right.

 

 

 

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I think that the below normal river levels in the K3 river in the last few years have led to clearer water... thus more weeds... thus clearer water... thus even more clearer water.

The "P" issue is a real one as well.

Heavy siltation after the winter flood a few years ago added tremendous sand and silt load below the K3 damn. in the Kank.

Also more anglers are spending more time on the Kank. adding to a heightened awarnesss of these issues.

Just a few thoughts.

 

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Some say heightened awareness led to all the new mercury warnings (which the K3 is listed as being HIGH for, BTW.) I say it was the power plants, but what do I know?

 

How about some food for thought?

 

Your Community: KANKAKEE County

Who Is Polluting Your Community?

Reported Environmental Releases from TRI Sources in 2002

Rank Facility City Pounds

1 CROWN CORK & SEAL CO. INC. BRADLEY 342,000

2 ARMSTRONG WORLD INDS. KANKAKEE 78,716

3 SUN CHEMICAL GPI KANKAKEE 45,490

4 COGNIS CORP. KANKAKEE 36,964

5 ENGINEERED POLYMER SOLUTIONS INC. (DBA VALSPAR COATINGS) KANKAKEE 36,851

6 BUNGE FOODS BRADLEY 21,908

7 W. W. HENRY BOURBONNAIS 14,911

8 DAYTON SUPERIOR AMERICAN HWY. TECH. DIV. KANKAKEE 9,754

9 AVENTIS BEHRING L.L.C. BRADLEY 8,914

10 AMERICAN SPRING WIRE CORP. KANKAKEE 8,455

11 NUCOR STEEL KANKAKEE INC. BOURBONNAIS 7,568

12 ROHM & HAAS CO. KANKAKEE 3,794

13 EXIDE TECHS. DBA GNB INDL. POWER KANKAKEE 475

 

 

What Are the Major Pollutants?

Reported Environmental Releases from TRI Sources in 2002

Rank Chemical Name Pounds

1 GLYCOL ETHERS 181,310

2 N-BUTYL ALCOHOL 175,179

3 VINYL ACETATE 61,135

4 TOLUENE 49,382

5 N-HEXANE 25,812

6 ACRYLIC ACID 21,095

7 1,2-DICHLOROETHANE 14,751

8 METHANOL 12,974

9 AMMONIA 12,799

10 XYLENE (MIXED ISOMERS) 11,297

11 1,2,4-TRIMETHYLBENZENE 11,253

12 METHYL ETHYL KETONE 8,163

13 ZINC COMPOUNDS 5,580

14 SEC-BUTYL ALCOHOL 4,382

15 HYDROCHLORIC ACID 4,038

16 LEAD 2,677

17 ETHYLBENZENE 2,404

18 NITRIC ACID 1,625

19 DIBUTYL PHTHALATE 1,412

20 METHYL ISOBUTYL KETONE 1,369

 

The Iroquois River that flows into the Kankakee?

Fecal Coliform is rated as HIGH.

Hog waste rated as among the top 80-90 per cent Counties with Most Waste in US.

 

Sugar Creek, a tributary to the Iroquois?

Huge agricultural deposits.

 

Find whatever you like for yourself.....

www.scorecard.org

 

 

 

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