NANFA-- Kankakee River

unclescott (
Thu, 2 Jan 2003 14:42:17 -0600

I live 20-30 minutes north of the Kankakee. Used to go fishing with a
teaching buddy after classes. (Kept us sane enough to stay in the business.)
He packed his fishing gear, motor, and depth finder in his trunk. Used to
rent a boat at a place on the north bank right by the IL-IN line. We bought
fishing licenses for both states.

We'd sit back and watch the wading birds, muskrats and what we certainly
thought was a beaver. When we finally learned the river well enough to catch
something it was just a bonus.

Seining would be tricky in the spring when it flooded all over the place. We
found ourselves accidentally floating across farm fields. In the summer
there are still some pretty deep holes (10-15') to surprise and delight the

There was a backwater (bayou?) just east of the state line which produced a
bunch of bass and some bowfin with impressive attitudes. (What bowfin
doesn't have an attitude?)

Supposedly the Kankakee is the cleanest river in the state. The IL-IN NANFA
affiliate could fill you in, but an Ill. DNR attorney told them that he
feels that it is his duty to prosecute people for sampling fish and taking
them home to an aquarium. (It's ok to pitchfork a garfish in your fields

Wonder if tributaries might be easier to sample from.

Let me know though if an expedition is planned or if I can be of any help.
(Heck I'll gladly buy an Indiana fishing license again, work as a beater
ahead of the seine looking for holes....)

By the way, that book on the Region's marshes and all is A Natural History
of the Chicago Region by Joel Greenberg, University of Chicago Press.
Copyright 2002. It lists at about $40.

All the best!

Park Forest, IL

> >I live about 15 minutes north of the river in Indiana. The kankakee in
> >Indiana is a big ditch! It's supposed to be a lot more natural in
> >Illinois though. Anybody else interested in seining the Kankakee?
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