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COMMENTARY: Lake Michigan fishing legacy a cause worth rallying around

Let me play Dr. Phil for a day. Because we'll need some psychobabble to stay sane at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

That's when the Lake Michigan Program of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources hosts an informational meeting at its Des Plaines office. The emphasis is on yellow perch and black bass.

Because I'm one of them, let's start with fishermen.

Listen up.

Let's try listening to the biologists from the IDNR and the Illinois Natural History Survey. Lake Michigan has changed radically in the last five years, let alone in the last 20 (back when perch could be caught with 20-pound-test mono and a piece of night crawler).

There are changes in the lake we can't see or touch. The biologists aren't sitting around making this stuff up. The zebra mussels and round gobies still are tilting the ecosystem. The mysterious disappearance of the diporeia, one of the links in the Lake Michigan food chain, goes on. And those missing links really do affect the ability of baby perch to survive.    more...


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