Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Asian Carp vs. Commercial Fishermen 2.5M lbs of carp now out of Illinois

It’s been four years since the discovery of an Asian carp between the electric barriers and    Lake Michigan. That’s when the state went into emergency mode. They hired a select group of Illinois commercial fishermen.  And as our Nancy Loo reports, they’ve now taken two-and-a-half MILLION pounds of Asian carp out of Illinois waterways.  In the backwaters of the Illinois River near Starved Rock State Park, there are fewer Asian carp jumping this year...

See the full story and watch a video at:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Phenology Report for July 15, 2014

From time to time, we will be reporting on the development of invasive plants across Illinois, informing readers about what is in bloom, leafing out, setting seed, senescing in different regions of the state.  Feel free to add to the knowledge by emailing chris.evans@illinois.gov and letting me know what the plants are doing in your area of Illinois.
Phenology Report for July 15, 2014*
(Contributors include Cathy McGlynn, Mike Davis, Karla Gage, Paul Bane, and David Crady)
*Report based upon observations between July 10-15, 2014
Southern Illinois
  • Teasel, Dipsacus follonum and D. laciniatus - Teasel is in full bloom right now.  You can see both the purple flowering common teasel and the white flowering cut-leaf teasel along roadsides and in old fields.
  • Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria - Purple loosestrife is starting to bloom in southern Illinois.
  • Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum – Poison hemlock has finished flowering and the seeds are starting to dry as the plants senesce.
  • Reed canarygrass, Phalaris arundinacea – Reed canarygrass is in full bloom right now.  It can be found in open, wet areas.
  • Johnsongrass, Sorghum halapense - Johnsongrass is in full bloom right now in southern Illinois.  Look for it in roadsides and other open, disturbed areas.
  • Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata - Garlic mustard fruits are drying and seeds are falling off of the plant, making it extremely easy to spread garlic mustard.  Take care to clean you shoes and check your pant cuffs after walking through an area with garlic mustard.  Interestingly, several populations of garlic mustard still had a few flowers, even when fruits were drying lower down on the plant.
  • Japanese stiltgrass, Microstegium vimineum - Stiltgrass is starting its rapid summer growth, but has not yet begun to flower.  Now is a good time to consider treatments.
Central Illinois
  • Wild parsnip, Pastinaca sativa – All wild parsnip plants are seeding.  Much of the seed is darkening, but not much is falling to the ground yet.
  • Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum – Poison hemlock is done flowering in central Illinois.  For the most part, seds haven't matured yet (all seeds seen are yellowish-green) but are getting close..
  • Canada and Bull thistle, Cirsium arvense and C. vulgare – Canada thistle is seeding and the see is starting to fly off.  Bull thistle is just beginning to form a head, but not flowers yet.
  • Yellow and white sweet clovers, Melilotus spp. –Yellow sweet clover has many going to seed with very few showing flowers; seeds are dark and beginning to fall.  White sweet clover still has plenty with flowers.  For those beginning to seed, the seeds still look very green.
  • Cutleaf teasel, Dipsacus laciniatus – Teasel is starting to form heads, but no flowers have been seen yet.
  • Bouncing bet, Saponaria officinalis - Bouncing bet is just flowering now, the perfect time to control it.

 Northeast Illinois
  • Cutleaf teasel, Dipsacus laciniatus - Teasel buds have formed and plants will likely be blooming within the next two weeks.
  • Queen Anne's lace, Daucus carota - Queen Anne's lace is in full bloom.  Look for this plant along roadsides, in pastures, and other open, grassy areas.
  • Orange daylily, Hemerocallis fulva - Daylilies are in full bloom right now.  These plants spread from remnant plantings and can be found in open areas.
  • Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria - Purple loosestrife is just starting to bloom in the wetlands of Northeast Illinois.
  • ** Update - Donald Wilson reports Wild Parsnip, Pastinaca sativa, is also in bloom in NE IL

 Northwest Illinois
  • Yellow and white sweet clovers, Melilotus spp. - White sweet clover has finished flowering, with about 25% in seed and the rest will be in seed soon.  All yellow sweet clover is in seed.
  • Bush honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii - Bush honeysuckle is beginning to go to fruit.
  • Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii - Japanese barberry has not yet flowered.  Keep an eye out for this plant in wooded areas throughout the region.
  • Multiflora rose, Rosa multiflora - Multiflora rose buds have begun to form in the woods.  Look for this plant to flower soon.