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Floods: Nature’s way to detox

Published: Friday, March 15, 2013 11:40 p.m. CDT

Well, I’d say there is plenty of water running through the banks of the mighty Rock River now.

One might even say some of the tributaries, like the Rock Creek and the Elkhorn Creek, have just a tad too much. These spring floods are so essential to the health of a river system, and it excites people like me to watch the waters rise.

However, this latest flood got just a hair out of control in some places, namely Morrison. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and things have returned to normal.

Floods really recharge a river system, so to speak, especially after such a long dry spell. Sediments and chemicals and just lots of nasty stuff start to gather in slow-moving, stagnant waters.

So this flood basically is like a big old cleanse, flushing silt and chemicals and all kinds of no-see-ums right on out of here. Fresh, re-oxygenated water, clean banks and happy fish and wildlife are left behind. It’s a good thing, man. A really good thing.

OK, so, March 15. That date mean anything special to you? Maybe it’s your birthday. Or your anniversary.

I tell you what it means to me: Opening day at LaSalle Lake in Seneca. Its 2,000-plus acres of absolutely kick-butt fishing is tops on my list ... when I’m not on the Rock, that is.

The big blue cats that swim the depths there are a freakin’ riot to catch, and the bonus channel cats and stripers are a hoot, too ... not to mention the great supply of bass and bluegills. I really dig fishing this lake, and the opening day deal has become an annual thing for my buddies and I.

The great thing about a lake like this is, not only can you catch multiple species of fish, but you don’t really have to be a seasoned fisherman to succeed.

Anchoring or trolling works. An artificial bait will work just like a ball of crawler. Chicken livers, cut bait, cheese bait ... yep, they work too. See why this place is so high up the chart of places to fish?

The lake now holds blue cats in excess of 30 pounds. Most of the channel cats are 1 to 3 pounds. There are some really good bass swimming the rip rap shorelines. I have seen them up to several pounds, and some people brag of 100-fish days.

Now that is fun ... if you’re a bass-type guy.

Remember: This is a cooling lake for a power plant, so it is always warm. The average depth is 15 feet, with holes as deep as 70.

It is perched up high to allow quick cooling of its waters, so wind can be an issue. Winds more than 15 miles per hour can make the lake real tricky, so pay attention to wind advisories when planning a trip there.

The lake is open from 6 a.m. to dusk Wednesday through Sunday.

Go Catfish!

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