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Outdoors: Grand Kankakee Marsh documentary up for Chicago Emmy award

Standing on the state-line bridge over the Kankakee River several years ago, I watched boats take off upstream to begin shooting a segment of “Everglades of the North: The Story of the Grand Kankakee Marsh’’ in the predawn darkness.

And wondered how the crew would pack everything it needed to cover into an hour of television.

The question occurred to me again when I had my kids helping with a river cleanup and bumped into the crew filming.

But last November, that question was answered with a resounding “Did it’’ at a packed-house preview at Lowell High School the day before the premier Nov. 5 on Lakeshore Public Television (channel 56).

The documentary packed centuries of wild change into an hour.

And did it well enough to be nominated for a Chicago Emmy in the category of “Outstanding Achievement for Documentary Programs — Historical.’’ The ceremony is Nov. 3 at Alhambra Palace in Chicago.

There are things in life that are brushes with greatness. This is one. The documentary deserves all the honors and acclaim coming its way.

Lake Michigan and tribs: Tales of big kings continue to come from all the local Lake Michigan tributaries. David Fishel of Hobart sent a photo of a 15-pounder he caught on a glow, dark blue Cleo at 101st and the Calumet River.

Capt. Rich Sleziak of Slez’s Bait in Lake Station caught the essence of it: “Nothing is going to stage (in Lake Michigan) now; because that river is so full of that smell, full of salmon, they don’t hold out, they go right in.’’

The streams are also full of fishermen.

Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert said they passed 1,319 cohos, 184 kings, and 98 steelhead in September on Trail Creek. The big change is a major push of fresh steelhead, biggest to 35 inches and 18 pounds, this week on Trail.

“Rain predicted which will move some more fish and give us some needed rise in creek water levels,’’ Breidert emailed.

For the kings, lures, spawn and skein have been the ticket in the streams. For the fresh batch of steelhead in Trail, Sleziak said pink or orange spinners or spawn have been best.

Late-night casters, primarily with spoons, are taking a smattering of kings from shore at the Hole-in-the-Wall and East Chicago Marina.

Hunter ed: Just a few spots remain for the hunter’s education course on Oct. 12 at Sportsman’s Den in Cedar Lake. There will be a course at the Morocco Public Library on Oct. 11 and 12. All registration is online at indianahuntereducation.com.

Deer hunting: The bowhunting opener on Tuesday was “hot and crappy out,’’ as one site staffer described it, so deer weren’t moving, but bowhunters came out in force. About 150 were out at Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Area, another 101 were at Willow Slough FWA. The heat looks to continue through the weekend.

Notable from the youth deer hunt last weekend were several nice bucks at Kingsbury FWA. Property manager Ken Bisacchi reported a 7-pointer bagged during the youth hunt at LaSalle FWA.

Inland fishing: Locals continue to do well for bluegill at Willow Slough FWA, where the last day of fishing is Wednesday. ... Sleziak reported crappie, bluegill and perch coming from deep water (start in 15 feet) on Pine Lake. ... Fishing ends Oct. 11 at LaSalle FWA. ... Rain could spike flows and fishing on the rivers. ... Otherwise, when fall weather finally returns, crappie fishing will again be the focus.



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