Ernie Brown was an excellent friend.
From times fishing and in the duck blind, we were close for many years. He had a fine degree of leadership as he formed a group that frequented several restaurants in Marseilles and Ottawa on weekends. Ernie and his wife, Judy, lived on Blueberry Hill south of Marseilles. He had many fruit trees, almost like a huge orchard. He shared these fruits with his many friends.
Ernie was an excellent hunter. If one entered his home, his living room looked like a museum, from many large whitetail bucks to a couple of very large caribou taken near Sheferville, Canada. Many of those made the record books.
Ernie passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 28. So long, good friend. May you rest in peace. Hope I will see you in heaven.
Trouble in the Great Lakes
I just received an e-mail from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The widespread use of antidepressant drugs has caused a great disruption on fish. It had caused some species to have no concern for predators. That is, they don’t flee when a large fish is near. The larger fish do not chase the fish they have been feeding upon for years.
According to biologists, affected species include smallmouth, largemouth, rudd, rock bass, white bass and perch. Some bowfin and lake trout have also been affected.
Medications including antidepressives disposed of in toilets and entered into waste treatment plants do not break down. They enter a lake or river system and are absorbed by the fish. It causes many fish to exhibit suicidal tendencies and swim right up to a predator. This has caused some ecological damage in both rivers, streams and lakes.
Please dispose of medications properly. Most police stations have a way of legal deposition of medications. In this manner they are kept out of the environment.
• The annual Penguin Plunge will be Saturday, Feb. 10, at Heritage Harbor, east of Ottawa. They may have to use chainsaws to create open water, since there is a lot of ice, especially in still water.
• Ice fishing has been fair in local ponds. I have observed a few hardy souls fishing some small lakes right off Interstate 80. The bluegill bite has been good using waxworms. Some channel catfish also have been caught using night crawlers. Again, find the deepest portion of a lake and start there.
• The firearm deer season will conclude Sunday, Jan. 14. Squirrel season will continue until Thursday, Feb. 15.