By Jason Beverlin
Deputy Director of the Illinois River Program
December 2008 — Even as temperatures in central Illinois plunge and Lake Thompson freezes over, there is still a lot going on below the surface of this cold winter, and we have a lot to look forward to in Spring! Emiquon is especially still and peaceful this time of year, but that doesn't mean taking a break from conservation work. We've been working to establish a stock of native fish for Lake Thompson--we have an isolated rearing area that we put fry and juveniles in for a year or more to allow them to spawn before moving the population to the lake. It's a great way to develop a healthy fish population for Lake Thompson, and we may also move fish into other area lakes in the future. This fall, we added the state-threatened red-spotted sunfish to our fish rearing area, where we will keep them for a couple years while they reproduce. All the fry and juvenile fish are from local sources, and will eventually make Lake Thompson even more biologically diverse.
Next week I'll tell you more about what we do in Emiquon during the winter; in the meantime, all of us here wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a new year filled with all the joys that nature has to offer.