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Olson Beach is open for the 2018 season.

Now through labor day you can enjoy the sun and fun at Rock Cut’s own Olson Beach.  Admission is only $5 for anyone over 48″, $2.50 for any under 48″, and free for all kids three years of age and younger.  A great deal for the whole family. 

Volley ball nets are waiting for you. Just ask for the ball from the concession station.  Snack Ice cream and beach toys are available at the concession stand.

Please be aware that food is prohibited on the beach. We are working hard to have clean environment and the food attracts animals to the beach.  We have provided picnic table just outside the beach area for you to take advantage of.

We also do not allow smoking on the beach.  We do not have lifeguards and as such children must be accompanied by some one 16 years old or older.  

Go Outside…and Fish

Go Outside and Fish clinics are being conducted this year by the Rock Cut State Park Concessions. 

These clinics are designed to help you and your child learn the basics of fishing and conservation. The instructors will talk about conservation and the benefits of catch and release. Then they will get into the basics of fishing.

Ever wondered how to tie that elusive fishing knot, or which bait for which fish?  Even how to cast and which fish will be hitting during different times of year. It is all here during this 2 hour clinic.  Rods, tackle, and bait are supplied.

They will start June 1, 201 at 10:00 and will run through  August 31, 2018. Please Contact the main concession at 815-885-4740 to reserve a spot and let them know what date you wish to attend. You will meet at the main concession at Rock Cut. Please arrive a few minutes early.
Every child attending the Friday Clinic, will leave with a rod of their own to continue this great experience and keep them going outside.


Winter Season drawing to a close.

We have had a great Winter season with lots of people coming out to ski and snow shoe. However, with all the rain last week conditions on the trails have deteriorated. Areas of good snow has intermixed with major ice on the trails making them unsafe for us to rent ski. Several people returned with stories of face plants and leg injuries from falling so much. So, we have decided to close the concessions for the Winter season. After all, March is only a week away and it is time to look forward to the Spring season.  If we get a major snow fall, and let’s hope we don’t, we will open back up for rentals.  If you would like to stay update on the most current activity at Rock Cut Concessions become a fan of our Facebook page of Rock Cut State Park.

They’re Here!!

The fish have started biting, with vengeance. The last week has brought in a 14″ Black Crappie, a 17″ Small

Mouth Bass and the first Walleye of the season. the walleye is in the picture on the left. You can check them all out in our Keepers gallery.  Water temps have risen to over 58 degree and have likely sparked the crappie spawning. This provides a good food source for the predator so we will be seeing them out as well. We have also had reports of nice size Perch at the east end of Pierce lake. The crappie was caught from shore at the Red Oak Picnic area.

We have reports of catfish off Red Oak and by the dam.

Most are hitting on minnows, wax worms and crawlers. However, we have seen the bass taken with spinners, Matzuo Shallow divers and Tattle Tail Jigs. The jigs have also been effective on crappie.

We are offering free dozen minnows, or crawlers if you stop in and let us get a picture of you and your catch. If you decide to take us up on the offer please be sure your fish is with in the legal limit. We have had a couple Muskies brought in at just over 30 inches and that is well below the minimum of 48. Plus Muskies don’t usually survive if they are kept out of the water to long.

With the weird March warming spell and then the April cooling I think the fish are confused about whether it is spring or not. We have seen crappie from 20 feet to 5 feet. The steady warm up, of the lake, should get everything back on track for this season.

So, it looks like the 2012 season is getting off  to a good start. come out, drop a hook, check out our special, and take advantage of the Fisherman’s Special in the café. Stop in for breakfast and get a free cup of coffee until 10 am.  Don’t forget we have always have free WiFi. We look forward to see you this season.

Yikes Ticks!

Spring is tick season. According to the Illinois Department of Health we see the highest infestation rates in April, May, and June. The mild winter has made it worse. Due to the lack of die off, which normally occurs in winter, we’re seeing an increase in tick activity. In particular the black leg tick,  deer tick, and the brown tick are more abundant this year. The deer tick is especially worrisome as they carry the dreaded lime disease.

So what can we do? As in most things prevention is the best path to follow. Contrary to popular belief the well-known DEET is not a good tick repellant. DEET works well as a mosquito repellant but falls short when tested on ticks. A far better choice is permethrin. Permethrin is a synthetic and more potent derivative of the pyrethroids found in the chrysanthemum plant. Developed in the mid 70’s it is hands down the best preventative for ticks I have found.

I have used permethrin since the early 80’s and rarely do I find a tick on me.  They are nasty little beasties and I do all I can to prevent them. Apply permethrin  to your clothing, not your skin. Just spry it on areas of your clothes, that a tick would likely cross to get on you. Socks, shoes, gaiters, pant cuffs, shirt sleeves, shirt necks, and hats. I also set up my tent and spray around any opening.  Permethrin will not damage the material or reduce the fire retardancy. It has a smell when it is initially sprayed but once it dries you will not detect its presence. If a tick comes in contact, with the permethrin, it will be killed.

Permethrin has several characteristic that make it appealing to use. First it lasts for several weeks and up to six washings. So, you will only need to apply it two or three times in a season. This makes it really convenient for that extended camping trip. Second it is just sprayed on and let it dry. It doesn’t get much easier.

Unfortunately, it also has a couple of warning, but if used properly, they pose no threat. It is not recommended to spray it directly on the skin as it will cross tissue barriers.  While it poses little threat to most mammals it is potentially fatal to cats. However, once dry these issues go away. So, wash your hands after spraying, and hang your sprayed clothes in an area away from your pets until completely dry. Usually it is just a couple of hours but I hang mine over night.

Permethrin is available in several brand names. Repel, sawyer, and cutter all make their own brand of permethrin. For years I bought a plain labeled no name green aerosol from Walmart that proved very effective. We sell Repels Outdoor and Gear spray.  I find the .75% and above works efficiently.  So, go outdoors well prepared to face the tick season with permethrin treated clothes and keep the beasties away.