Tag Archives: warm water discharge

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.

_IMG4655

_IMG4653

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.

_IMG4651

_IMG4652

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.

_IMG3336

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.

_IMG4649

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

Or there should be.

Some Fishing and What the Hell Happened to You?

The last couple of weeks of fishing on the Fox River have been nothing but a huge disappointment. There have been some nice days…

But even those have gone almost fishless. Most of the days I’ve been getting out have been mornings, which I hate, so I blamed those. Then I went out one evening, the result was the same.

So now I’m blaming the low water and the weeds.

The heat is pretty much over, but the damage has been done. This is what happens on a river during a drought year when the water is low and short sighted, narrow minded people are allowed to have input on whether or not useless dams should be removed. Massive algae blooms and green water.

The sunsets are still beautiful though even if the fish are gone and you have to put up with massive mats of weeds covering the river.

The creeks have even taken a hit with low levels and the fish disappearing from the upper reaches, but by accident I discovered huge amounts of fish at the mouths and up the creeks for a mile or two. I initially hesitated in targeting these fish because of the conditions, but then I realized nobody else was fishing them, and if they were, they were using all the wrong things and not catching anything.

What else would explain catching 18 fish one day, 34 the next, missing twice that many and seeing hundreds more disinterested fish swimming around.

Though I only target smallies, the occasional bycatch of other species isn’t bad. From one fast deep stretch, even at this low water I hesitate walking through it, a lure drifted around got nailed. I considered keeping it for dinner, but decided to wait for cooler weather when they’ll taste even better.

A tiny island in the middle of the river is anchored by one lone tree. Around it grow flowers. In the morning light, they shine nicely.

This morning I was up before the sun rose, stalking down a little creek, catching smallies from 4 inches to… who knows, I don’t measure fish anymore. But when they hit in less than a foot of water and have no where to go, they’re all just plain fun.

A rock bass, green sunfish landed and even a carp that thought it would join the fun till I pulled the lure away from him. No carp for me thank you.

Even the smallies’ lowlife cousin was hitting.

And then there was this poor thing. I like catching flathead cats. They hit hard like this one did. They put up a decent fight and test the limits of your gear. While I was reeling it in, something looked odd. From the back, everything is normal enough.

When I got it out of the water and was looking it over I know I said out loud… What the fuck? What the hell happened to you?

I’ve pulled fish out of the water that have had some pretty serious injuries and scars, but this was a first. I imagine it’s going to starve to death, nothing goes down it’s gullet. In it’s mouth and back out again.

It’s been slowly raining for a good six hours now. According to the radar, it’s probably going to keep raining for another six hours. It’s coming down a bit harder. It’s been raining more even further north. All good for the river. Maybe it won’t flow green anymore and the mats of weeds and algae will disappear.

It’s the time of year for 50 to 100 fish days on the river. It should have started already. I’ll chalk it up to the lack of rain and hope that the disappointing days are over.

I’ll know in the next few days…

Just Fishing and Stuff

Some days are like that. Nothing all that inspiring except that it’s been beautiful outside. No expectations when walking out the door, just hopes to make a few casts in flowing water that might result in a few fish. It is only March after all.

Had to hike to the river via the long route due to water high enough to make me uncomfortable walking across the river. The railroad tracks I walk along to get there are the same set of tracks that run below my house, miles away. The same trains carrying the same loads, only by me there is no sand on the tracks. Here, for almost a mile, the space between the tracks is nothing but sand.

Thinking like a kid, give me a stretch of railroad tracks free from watchful eyes and I might consider running up to a slow moving train a yanking on the release lever to see what happens. Not that I ever did such horribly illegal, unethical, destructive things, nope, nope, nope.

I knew the fishing was going to be relatively tough, I could tell by the footprints on the shore and the small group hanging out further down and fishing. But I still somehow managed to land 4 smallies and lose a couple more.

Even on an uninspired day it’s hard not to notice massive snapping turtles bumping your leg or seven deer standing on the edge of a tree stand keeping a watchful eye on you. Hard not to notice the waves of sound the frogs are already making as you walk through their terrain.

My first 35 years were spent living within the Chicago City limits. Once a city boy always a city boy I guess, but I’ll never live in one again. I don’t even like the small ones. But something about having an eye tuned to all things urban has me stopping to admire man made objects, especially those that look like they’re deteriorating.

Railroad tracks also seem to be a killing ground. Something is always prowling here. Coyote, fox, deer, muskrat, ground hogs and any number of predators from above. Some never make it.

At night, early spring, always look down at the hand rail before you put your hand down.

A couple of days later it was back to the creeks. Minnows, shiners, darters and creek chubs are coming upstream in larger schools.

Some land based predators are combing the waters edge, but the water based predators have yet to catch on.

Except for the occasional one, either self released or landed.

And then there was the sky, plenty of blue sky with the random fair weather cloud floating by.

A juvenile bald eagle drifted over me for awhile, nine creek miles up from the Fox River. I think that might be the furthest from the river that I’ve seen one. Of course, no picture, they sit still as well as I do.

Another day, a walk around the neighborhood. Soon one big hill will be blanketed in daffodils.

Some tiny blue flowers I’ve never bothered to identify, fill in the bald spots.

And then, there was still more, never ending, blue sky. With those occasional drifting fair weather clouds.