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Filamentous Algae is back with a Vengeance

The filamentous algae is back with a vengeance starting at the Montgomery crap plant on the Fox River.

In October of 2012 I put up a long post called Consider this Source. Over the course of two years, I documented the filamentous algae issues that were out of control from the Montgomery crap plant to at least Yorkville.

I sent a link to that post to as many people I could think of that has anything to do with Fox River conservation issues. I have no clue if what I did had any impact, nobody ever bothered responding to me. What I do know is that in 2013 and 2014 the algae never reappeared.

That has changed, the algae is back.

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That tells me that the Montgomery crap plant is screwing around with the nitrate levels they release again. I believe that’s what happened last time.

Right now the algae is only in the clear water coming from the plant. When you get to the edge of the plant outflow where it runs along in the river, the algae stops in a very distinct line.

I already know what’s going to happen. By the time the outflow water gets to Oswego, it mixes with all of the other river water. Pretty much starting from the Route 34 bridge down for as far as you want to walk in the river, the algae will start to clog the whole river again. That happened last time, there’s no reason it won’t happen again.

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I’m hoping those in conservation groups up and down the Fox River will see this. I’m hoping those that read this will pass it along to groups they might know. This has to stop. Before 2010, it never happened. It was gone again in 2013-14. All anyone has to do is go stand at the beginning of the outflow of the crap plant, look down stream and the source of all this algae is slapping you in the face.

And, while your at it, ask them about the pictures below.

I fished along the crap plant on April 5th and came across this.

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They had just gone through and cut down all the brush between their fence and the river’s edge. Rather than remove it, they let it lay down along the bank and into the river. I’m assuming they figured that the usual spring high water would take it all down stream somewhere.

We never got very high water and today, June 13th, the brush still sits along the bank and in the river.

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I would imagine there’s a law against doing this.

Or there should be.

Did a Death March

Did a death march on a creek on Saturday to see if that’s what was needed to keep from getting bored with fishing.

Almost worked.

Took a left where I thought I was supposed to take a left, but that was a year ago. Left was gone and now it was a stumble down a long hill, through two swamps, careening off trees, bumping my head on low branches, tripping over logs buried in chest high grass and finally arriving at the creek.

Later I would see two deer playing catch me if you can and running through the woods at an unbelievable pace. 150 feet up stream, the same stream I just stumbled down while twisting ankles, they came leaping out of the woods, into the creek, flew across it and disappeared on the other side.

I believe I said loud enough for them to hear me… fuck you.

Well, anyway, back at the creek arrival, now sweating profusely, figured I may as well empty the bladder and refill it with some fresh water. Standing there, patiently, I look down and see what’s below off to the side, a single ray of light through dense trees highlighting it perfectly.

As if it was asking to be found.

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The scenery was stunning, the wading brutal, caught 7 smallies which is pathetic and decided to go home afterward rather than try another spot.

Like I said, almost worked.

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A Subtle Sunset

Friday after work I was going to stop at a creek to do some fishing. Just like Thursday and Monday, at the last minute I changed my mind and didn’t bother going.

Not sure what that means and it has the wife thoroughly confused.

It was a perfect evening for creek fishing. Heat was just right, the right amount of massive cumulus clouds were drifting around and the water levels were perfect.

Instead I went home, had dinner.

I then decided that with all these clouds around the sky was setting up for stunning sunset.

As I drove west to a spot I like, all the cumulus clouds moved out and were replaced by a low gray mass of clouds that stretched for as far as you could see. I decided to wait them out. They moved in quickly, perhaps they’ll move out just as quickly and I could salvage the sunset.

That never happened, but off on the horizon was a thin opening that was making an effort to grow. If it opened up big enough and the sun went down at the right moment, it could light up the whole sky.

That never happened either and I wound up with a subtle sunset.

Regardless, I was alone, which was needed. The only sounds were those of the fields, woods and wind. Which was desperately needed.

I could live with a subtle sunset.

And that it was. The opening on the horizon kept trying to open up, the sun tried to light up the sky and for a brief moment it looked like it all might come together.

And just like that, in a brief moment, it was gone.

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A Couple of Creek Walks

Went on a couple of creek walks Friday and Saturday. Decided to finally hit the Fox River on Sunday.

I’ll take the creeks.

The fishing in the creeks has been less than spectacular this year, but doing okay is better than doing nothing at all. I still think it’s because we really haven’t had that much rain this spring. Enough to keep things growing, but we’ve had no major high water events on the Fox at all. I think the fish have had no real reason to head up the creeks for their annual spawning run. Why run up a creek if staying in the river is working out just fine.

But, what do I know. I’m no fisheries biologist. I just wander around and observe things, then my brain makes all the connections gathered over the years and draws a conclusion.

The creeks are stunningly beautiful right now. Bright greens of spring, dense under growth, all kinds of flowers and a wide variety of wildlife.

Fishing seems secondary, which it pretty much has become.

My one venture out into the Fox on Sunday resulted in catching one smallie and seeing a gar for the first time ever in this stretch of the river, but not once did I raise my camera to take a picture.

Too wide, too far away, not interesting.

I may have talked myself out of fishing the river much at all this year. The creeks have so much more to offer, at least in terms of sights and sounds.

And if the smallie fishing sucks, so be it. I’ll scale down and play with creek chubs.

The river simply doesn’t provide what I need. The quiet, the closeness, the solitude and the wildlife practically sitting on your shoulder and talking into your ear.

Yup, sounds like I’ve convinced myself.

From Friday’s creek walk:

From Saturday’s creek walk:

From Sunday’s river walk:

I got nuthin’.