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Every spring those who launch their boats in Evanston at the Church Street Launch Facility look forward to seeing the necessary equipment move into the ramp area to begin the process of dredging out the harbor area and the mouth of the harbor to provide enough depth to access the lake. This year will be a bigger challenge due to very low water levels.

Happy days: This week the equipment arrived on site and the crews can begin their work, hoping to have the project complete for launching the last week of April, depending on the weather cooperating. Thanks to Doug Gaynor and his staff for making this possible each year.

Our neighbors just to the north in Wilmette Harbor may not be so fortunate this year. Last week the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District voted not to accept a bid that would have continued operation of the harbor and the necessary dredging to open up the harbor mouth. There is a very good chance that Wilmette Harbor will not open this year, which will impact 292 boat-owners, the U.S. Coast Guard and the City of Evanston (the City has kept its Rescue boat docked in the harbor). The MWRD voted not to accept the bid from the Wilmette Harbor Association which has run the harbor for the past 75 years. More to come as information becomes available about harbor access.

Most of the area lakes are no longer ice covered or safe for ice fishing. Delevan, Lake Geneva, Independence Park, and the Fox Chain all are reporting soft ice or no ice. At Busse Lake over the weekend the main pool had boats on it. Some of the fisherman said the bass were biting and a couple of nice northern pike were taken as well. Also, the walleye and sauger are very active on the Illinois River at Starved Rock, with males being caught around the bridges and the larger females further downstream on the clam beds near Spring Grove. Good strong reports from all over should be coming in by the next article. Meanwhile time to get out there and fish.

Until next time…keep a tight line.

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