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Kishwaukee River "Love YOUR River" kick-off celebration

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Date: May 21, 2012

Contact: Jamie B. Johannsen, Friends of the Kishwaukee River, Publicity Chair



Love Your River Day to Celebrate the Kishwaukee River – June 9th


The public is invited to Baumann Park, on the banks of the Kishwaukee River in Cherry Valley, IL, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday June 9th for Love Your River Day. The festival will feature live music by Empty Pockets and Louis and the Hunt, prize drawings, giveaways, river safety demonstrations, wildlife exhibits, environmental education activities and free four-color Kishwaukee River wildlife posters. Admission is free.


Love Your River Day is a kick-off celebration for a summer-long campaign sponsored by Friends of the Kishwaukee River, the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District, and the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance. The purpose of the Love Your River campaign is to raise public awareness of the ecological and recreational value of the Kishwaukee River and to educate and advocate for its protection and safe and respectful use. At 1:00 pm on June 9th, the Friends of the Kishwaukee River will unveil new signage installments in Baumann Park and the Winnebago County Forest Preserves on the river. The new signs will display a variety of information, maps, safety tips and environmental education. Friends of the Kishwaukee River will also announce opportunities throughout the summer for volunteers to pick up litter, hand out reusable litter bags, and patrol the river reminding recreationalists to use the river safely and respectfully.


The mission of Friends of the Kishwaukee River is to promote and enhance good stewardship of the river and the surrounding lands, encourage safe and responsible recreation, protect its watershed from degradation, and increase the community’s appreciation of its natural beauty.

Friends of the Kishwaukee River Partnering organizations: Blackhawk Sierra Club, Four Rivers Environmental Coalition, Illinois Paddling Council, Illinois Smallmouth Alliance, Kishwaukee River Ecosystem Partnership, Natural Land Institute, Rockford Park District, Village of Cherry Valley, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District.

Love Your River Day is made possible through generous support from the Village of Cherry Valley, Four Rivers Environmental Coalition, Illinois Smallmouth Alliance, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District, the Cherry Valley Men’s Club, the Cherry Valley Sportsmen’s Club, and Cain & Company Advertising and Design.

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Friends Of The Kishwaukee River (Facebook page)


The Illinois Smallmouth Alliance awarded Friends of the Kish a $2000 grant to help erect signs, build a new kiosk, purchase garbage bags, and design educational materials. This grant is helping ensure that the Kish stays clean and safe for both people and wildlife. Thanks ISA!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Follow Up:


On Saturday, June 9, the Friends of the Kishwaukee River ( http://kishwaukeeriver.org/ ) held their "Love Your River" kick off.

The ISA was on hand to show-off the different types of floats we use for river fishing. Myself, Tim, Jim S., Jude and Ben K. all had our boats there.

Also in attendance was PualT., PaulT Sr., my father PAT dODGE (?), the wife of Jim S. and two (2) boys that Tim produced. JimR showed up a bit latter with his family to enjoy the event.

With the new "NO ALCOHOL" laws from the village of Cherry Valley and WCFPD that went into effect just days before this event, I believe the attendance was not what the FOTKR was looking for. There was still a strong support of people there who have a love for this river but not many of the tubers and such that the FOTKR are trying to get their message to. It's going to take some time but as long as they (FOTKR) stay at it, the message will get out.

Jude seemed to have wowed a few in the crowed when he took to the river with his fly rod. People really get a kick out of watching someone fly cast and Jude was looking pretty good (did I just say that?). He didn't land anything but he does get an "A" for effort. After Jude left the water he went home. Paul then got in the water with his spin gear and popped a 13 inch smallie. Jude returns with seine net in hand (the guy don't give up). Jude hit the shallows with Tim, JimR and the kids to see what was living in the waters of the Kish. That was cool. Thanks for that Jude. I'm gonna have to rethink you. The kids got a kick out of it.

All in all it was a good day for the Kish. We did sign up a new member so I'll be forwarding that stuff to Scott F. or Jim J. this week. We do also have one of our yellow C&R signs in the kiosk the FOTKR had built and Paul and I talked with a person with WCFPD about posting our signs in the future in the parks.

Probably the best thing to come out of the day (for me) was at the end of the event, while packing up, hearing Tim's kids give suggestions on better ways to keep the river clean. :)

Thanks to all who showed up and helped out.




I may have blown this one.

I got a few pictures but am having some trouble at the moment downloading.

I took a kid out (first time) on Sunday (6/10) fishing in the canoe (I got 4 smallies, a hair over 16 was the biggest. I couldn't get the kid to hook up) and I ended up taking a spill (just me not the kid) with camera in pocket.

Maybe when the camera dries out I can get them posted. Just the one for now.



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Thanks Terry. We had a great time. Nice to meet all the ISA guys out there. I did bring three (3) of the boys I "produced" and they had a great time too. Especially when Jude went home and got his seine net and showed my boys how to catch minnows, crayfish, and a hellgrammite. I was surprised by how many crayfish we caught in such a small high traffic area of the Kish. Paul also shared a few of his favorite baits and techniques with us.

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I had a great time. Thanks to Terry for getting us involed in this. It was nice to meet some new guys. I honestly think I had more fun with the seine than the kids did. By the way: that funky little multi-colored fish was a darter. I'd have to have my I.D. book and the fish together to get a specific type of darter, as there are a million variations with some very subtle differences. Have the boys made you go get them a seine yet?


Had I known I had an audience, I would have broken out the "shadow cast".

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I had a great time and it was nice to finally meet some of you guys. Big thanks to Terry for putting it together! As mentioned, Jude's seine was way too cool. I could see that being a great tool and just plain fun. I'm looking forward to getting out on the water with you guys.

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