Thought I would share this, an interesting look back at a piece I wrote for the Procats eMag (for anyone who remembers that chapter...) when we were first pushing for some kind of statewide protection for trophy catfish.
It should be noted that CLF was one of my hangouts when I first got interesting in trying to catch bigger catfish and flatheads specifically. I got some great help from a number of people here, including Vince D., Kay, SKeithR (rip), Catman, and so many others. When I started the petition about trophy catfish management, many of the people that signed were CLF members.
Ultimately, lobbying raised some awareness that anglers were concerned. What really pushed the cart over the hill was getting more organized and documenting trip reports. Providing data regarding the hours fish, flatheads caught and released...that's what paved the way for ILDNR to do the sampling studies which provided the case to implement limits on flathead catfish harvest on the Fox river.
Prior to 2008, I don't think the DNR really had a feel for the size of the flathead population on the Fox. Given the Fox is one of the more heavily fished streams in the state, that's pretty scary, really.