April 03, 2008

Anglers can catch prizes in fishing derby

by Eric Welch

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Money may not grow on trees, but you can fish it out of campus lake at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this spring.

The SIUC sub-unit of the American Fisheries Society is hosting its second annual fishing derby throughout the entire month of April. The student organization has released tagged fish into campus lake, and the skilled – or lucky – anglers who catch them will be eligible to win up to $200 in prizes.

Participants can register in Room 173 of the Life Science II building at SIUC for $5 before April 15 and for $10 after. A photocopy of a valid Illinois fishing license is also necessary to register.

Upon netting a tagged fish, fishermen and women need to return the tag to Life Science II Room 173 to be entered to win. Multiple catches can turn into multiple prizes, so all are encouraged to catch as many fish as possible. All tags and registration forms must be received by 4 p.m. on April 30.

While bluegill is the most abundant species in the lake; several others such as crappie, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, and channel catfish all make for good fishing on its banks.

Through a variety of service projects in recent years, the students of the American Fisheries Society have made significant improvements to campus lake. They have installed aerators to increase oxygen levels and circulation, built sediment retention basins and built a fishing pier to provide accessibility to everyone.

For more information on the derby, contact the Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center at 453-6088.