I went to Hickory Creek in New Lenox to cast a fly on June 10th, and to my dismay the stream was almost unfishable because it was almost completely choked with green algae. I don't recall ever seeing it this bad, so I decided to make a report to the Illinois Environmental Protection agency, as it's likely caused by heavy nutrient runoff. If it was/is caused by a single source, hopefully they can find it and stop, but the damage is already done. Who knows, the IEPA may not even bat an eye at this type of report, but I thought I would at least give it a try.
Didn't catch any fish, either. It was quite hot, and they didn't seem to be biting. I threw Chernobyl ants, blue damsels and wooly buggers and no real hits. It was very tough to sneak up on the smallmouth, and when I did find some they weren't biting. Very tough to trudge through all that algae and make a stealth approach.
I fished the creek on the 10th too. I was there from 8:30-12:30. The algae was nuts. In many of the good spots, there was only a 3-4 foot wide channel through all of the algae, and, of course, it was in the deepest spots. the water was a little cold on my pats.
I agree, fishing was very tough. The fish would bite just about everything that went past them, but they mouthed the fly so gently that the only way to know you had a fish was to see them take it. I caught some small smallies, rock bass, bluegills and a chub, on a variety of flies. Not one thing produced consitently. I got em on a wollybugger, rabbit hair leach, cricket, hares ear, wiggling stonefly, gummi minnow, crawfish. the bigger fish saw you coming and darted under the weed mats.
From what I've learned since posting, algae blooms can be accelerated by an abundance of bright, sunny and calm days, which we've had an overabundance of. I noticed under a road bridge in the shade there was virtually no algae. I don't doubt theres and abundance of nutrient runoff into the creek, but it sounds like the conditions are similar right now on the Kankakee River, leading me to believe the weather may be the most direct cause of the excessive algae bloom. I agree, a good flood would help to knock some of this stuff loose, but we appear to be in something of a drought this year, let's just see how the summer goes.
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