NIAA selects new executive director

The Northern Illinois Anglers Association board of directors voted unanimously at this past month’s meeting to name Sam Thomas as the organization’s new executive director.

This position has been vacant since the passing of J.R. Black, who served for many years as the NIAA’s original executive director.

Thomas is a long-term and active member of the NIAA and is the immediate past president of the board. His dedication to the organization and its causes made him a natural fit for this position.

Thomas’ primary role as executive director is to maintain contact and relationships with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and other state and local outdoor, fishing and conservation organizations.

He also will serve as a resource for NIAA board members to help it continue its missions of protecting resources and passing along the art and love of fishing to future generations.

Kankakee Valley Audubon Society field trip set

The Kankakee Valley Audubon Society field trip this week is at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Aubertin Farm, south of Aroma Park.

For directions, email David Atkinson at

For more information, call a KVAS officer any time after 7 a.m.: Atkinson, 815-932-6457; Roberta Slaby, 815-791-5955; or John Baxter, 815-937-5059.

The Kankakee Valley Audubon Society is an affiliate of the Illinois Audubon Society.

Forest preserve’s Big Fish Contest begins at Monee Reservoir

Instead of offering a one-day adult fishing derby this year, the Forest Preserve of Will County will host a three-month Big Fish Contest for anglers at Monee Reservoir.

The contest kicks off on Saturday and runs through Aug. 31. In past years, the forest preserve held an Adult Fishing Derby in June at the 46-acre lake.

“While it was always fun, the derby was only one day, and not everyone can make it on a specific date,” said Bob Bryerton, an interpretive naturalist for the district. “This new contest allows anglers to participate whenever they have time.”

Participants can bring their catches to the Monee Reservoir Visitor Center to be measured, photographed and recorded, which will serve as an entry into the contest.

The photos will be included in a display at the visitor center.

Entries can only be recorded when the visitor center is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

At the end of the contest, prizes will be awarded for the longest bass, catfish and pan fish. One random winner also will be chosen.

Each winner will receive a $75 gift certificate to a sporting goods store, a one-day boat rental at Monee Reservoir and a supply of bait. The total prize value is $150.

The free contest is for ages 16 and older.

Registration is not required.

Fishing licenses can be purchased at the visitor center.

Personal fishing boats can’t be launched at Monee Reservoir, but row boats, fishing poles, trolling motors, trolling motor batteries and anchors are available for rental, and bait, and snacks can be purchased at the visitor center.

Monee Reservoir is at 27341 Ridgeland Ave., Monee Township.

For more information, visit

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