I spent the afternoon at the Izaak Walton Campground and Fishing Lake in Metamora, IL. This was my first visit and let me just say quite frankly I was very impressed with their lake and overall facility! I was there performing a full lake audit and electrofishing survey to help them better manage their amazing resource.They have a 17 acre spring fed lake that is awesome! I don't say that about very many places I initially visit. Here are just a few fish pics from today at their survey.In this 17 acre lake, their bass average a rock solid 15.25 inches and their crappie at 12.5 inches with several over 15 inches!! Awesome! We shocked up lots of 15-17 inch bass, way more than normal which was pretty cool to see. I am putting together a fish management plan to improve and maintain their fishery which is gonna get even better in the years to come!Izaak Walton Lake is a non-profit club affiliated with the National Izaak Walton league whose mission is to defend the soil, air, woods, waters and wildlife. According to iwla.org, this nature conservation organization was founded nationally in 1922 making it the oldest conservation organization in the country.The Woodford County chapter was chartered in 1938. Most of the land was donated by Metamora native and farmer Bud Meismer. On his land they expanded a natural spring fed lake to 17 acres by horse. They stocked it with Walleye, Bluegill, Bass, Crappie and Catfish.To this day the lake is reported by club members to have the best fishing in the area, and I can back that up. This is actually a place I would come back fishing and camping at. There are 30+ primitive camp sites on the land, and they currently have 1 electrical site at the host site. Adding a few more electrical sites is in the plans. They also have a club house that can be rented for personal use. There is a Memorial Tree Grove featuring over a dozen tree varieties and 1.3 miles of hiking trails and a swimming beach!Anyone interested in utilizing these facilities can become a member and have full access to camping, fishing, and swimming. Just call Troy at 309-265-7261. I was actually surprised at how affordable a yearly membership was and wanted to share this opportunity. The cost of your 1st year of membership is $160.00 and then just$110.00 every year after. The funds collected are used to not only maintain the property, but also fund conservation projects of all kinds! Plus there are senior rates and many opportunities to work off a portion of your annual dues if you choose.These are the kinds of people to support, they have programs for boy scouts and local fishing teams and maintain a top notch facility!Earlier in the day, we built this Cedar dock for a client up near Washburn.We also are putting together intensive management plans for his other ponds and wetlands on his property. This new pond is gonna be a JUMBO perch pond. The fatheads are already in and will start making babies shortly as the water fills.This is his neighbors pond that we have full of rainbow trout and big redear sunfish:We have put in quite a few food plots and native grass plantings and have been cranking out docks, aeration systems, and electrofishing surveys left and right this spring from places like Leroy, Lexington, Bloomington, Pekin, Springfield and Fairview.This is an OLD aeration system in Bloomington gonna get upgraded to a new Vertex Air One Plus aeration system:Tomorrow we will be electrofishing in Astoria and then working our way down to Pittsfield. Then up at 4 am Friday morning and head north to Savanna and then across the state for some electrofishing in Manhattan. Putting mucho miles on the truck, and having trouble keeping track of everything but I absolutely love seeing new places and aparently love the chaos. I get ideas from one place and just share them with the next...Oh yeah, Rogers tiny pond that we have been stocking for a few years is still cranking out some bigtime awesome fish. Chuck texted these to me last week:Last bit- I was getting my usual short hair cut because my hairline is receding rapidly and the hair on my head choosed to grow very rapidly in some places and very not so rapidly in others, anyhow my boys decided they wanted daddy haircuts too so I got the buzzers back out and went to town:Ok I just remembered. On Monday evening I took my kids down with me to deliver a bunch of fish food to clients and then meet up with a fish truck to deliver a bunch of smallmouth and hybrid striped bass. Was gonna be an easy delivery and me and kids had a ball on this mini 2 hour road trip. We stopped at a gas station and they were stoked to be able to pick out anything they wanted (they just kept saying how mommy never lets them buy stuff....it was great to let them pick out and buy bottles of sugar slime) I always wanted to buy that stuff when I was a kid and never was allowed to.... anyhow when we get to our destination at 6:30 pm the fish guy called and said he was still 150 miles out.Oh well we made the most of the wait and when he finally pulled up I told the fish guy I was going to count out the fish for my client. He tried as convincingly as possible to deter me from doing that and before we even got to open his tanks and look at the fish he simply jumped into his truck and left. He tried telling me he hauled fish in 40 degree water and they needed acclimated at the waters edge in his tanks. I knew 40 degree water was bogus cause you cant get 40 degree water this time of year. Then he said he acclimated for more than just temperature but for things like PH, salinity, and a few other big impressive words. I was fine with that too, but after tempering and acclimating I was still going to count out the fish and thats when he just drove off.....My client and his buddy were standing there and thanked me for saving them from a royal ripoff. When your talking about a couple thousand fish at $4 each we are gonna make for sure we are getting every single one! And we are going to be the ones putting them into the lake! Anyhow me and kids got home right at midnight and I got to teach them a valuable lesson that some people just are not honest. They asked a million questions and just couldnt grasp the whole concept of why somebody would not tell the truth or would try to steal.... I'm just really glad that there were no 'accidents' on the way home, cause they were sleeping for the last hour. When I told Brook we were gonna be late she jokingly texted that I didn't have any pullups with me and that got me to pull over at the next Casey's and take a restroom break, no candy that time though, all business.
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