DJ FILE - Outdoors

Youth trap competition

Youth team trapshooting will be featured Sunday at the X-Line Shotgun Club, on Exline Club Road, off east Grinnell Street Road (1000N), east of Kankakee.

The competitors will be either teams from the Illinois State High School Trapshooting League or other youth groups that promote outdoor shooting sports. There will be shooters from Momence, Prairie Central, Reed-Custer, T. E. A. C. H. and X-line's Chip & Crack Club.

The gun club will open at 11 a.m. for practice, with competition starting at noon.

DNR honors Loda volunteer

Kevin Gooden, of Loda, is one of 11 individuals and four groups being honored as Outstanding Volunteers of 2018 by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Gooden has done more than 700 hours of volunteer work in the past two years at Kickapoo State Recreation Area and Middle Fork State Fish and Wildlife Area, both in Vermilion County.

He secured a planter and donations of corn and soybean seeds for planting about 20 acres of food plots at the sites. Gooden assisted DNR staff with a tractor and equipment maintenance and repairs, using his welding skills on a variety of tasks at the sites.

Gooden took the lead in a project revamping the campground amphitheater, which now hosts full-house crowds for movie nights. He also helps with trail maintenance, brush removal, tree trimming and other tasks much appreciated by visitors to the sites.

Gooden and other volunteers will be honored at 11 a.m. Saturday at Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

Hummingbird festival

The annual Hummingbird Festival of the Forest Preserve District of Will County will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Plum Creek Nature Preserve, at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve, on Goodenow Road, east of Illinois Route 1 midway between Beecher and Crete.

A main feature will be banding of hummingbirds by the staff of Lincoln Land Association of Bird Banders, with assistance of volunteers, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Other activities will include programs on native bees, monarch butterflies, backyard flowers and artist displays including a Lego design and an 8-by-12-foot great blue heron mural created by graffiti muralist Ryan "ARCY" Christenson, of Connecticut. The mural will be on display through Sept. 2.

The Plum Grove Music staff will assist visitors at a Musical Petting Zoo filled with instruments. Jean Lachat Photography will provide free photos at a pollinator photo booth.

Free outdoor activities include slacklining, guided tree climbing and bike trail rides.

Indiana eel action

The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) recently was added to Indiana’s list of "special concern" fish species.

In an attempt to get a better understanding of its distribution in the waters of Indiana, the Department of Natural Resources is seeking the help of Hoosier anglers. If you catch one of these unusual snakelike fish, please snap a photo and send it to, along with the date it was caught, the river/stream/lake it was caught from and the location (closest bridge, town, boat ramp, etc.).

Gaining information on its distribution and abundance in the state will help target future conservation efforts.

This amazing and ancient fish breeds in the Sargasso Sea, a massive area of Sargasso seaweed east of Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean, several thousand miles by river and ocean from Indiana and Illinois, where it is known in the Kankakee and Iroquois rivers and others of the state. Adult Atlantic eel travel back to the Sargasso Sea from across the eastern half or more of North America. They breed in the Sargasso Sea, then die, leaving their tiny elvers to make the hazardous and long journey back to continental rivers and streams.

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