Raptors of Northern Illinois

We have teamed up with Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education to present two free campground events this summer. Saturday, July 5, will be a live raptor program in the Amphitheater. Northern Illinois Raptors  rehab will be teaching what makes a raptor a raptor, what they eat, and how necessary they are to our eco system.

Get close up to Owls, Hawks, and maybe an Osprey. This is a very interesting and exciting program for all ages.

We have two dates set aside for this program. Saturday, July 5th and August 30th, 6:00 pm in the Rock Cut State Park Campground amphitheater.  Attendance is free.

Urban Fishing Clinics are back

One again we have teamed up with the Illinois DNR to present our Urban Fishing Clinic.  They are designed to help you and your child learn the basics of fishing and conservation. The instructor will talk about conservation and the benefits of catch and release. Then she 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 3 hour clinic.  Rods, tackle, and bait are supplied.

They will start July 11, 2014 at 9:00 and will run through  August 8th, 2014. Please Contact the Illinois DNR at 815-625-2903 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.

Pierce Lake is still frozen

There is still time to go ice fishing.  A large part of Pierce Lake still has over a foot of ice on it.  We are seeing some flow over the dam so, I would be careful towards the middle. However, along the edges and in the bays it seem still solid. We will open the concession April 1 but will have limited offerings until the lake thaws.

 

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.

Ski Trails

The ski trails are groomed. We are open for renting skis and snowshoes. Our hours are Fri- Sun, 9a-4:30p.  We stop renting around 3:00 so you can get time in before we close.  Skis rent for $20 and snowshoes are $10.  If you have a child that will fit into our youth equipment they would be half price.  All rates are flat rates. We have found it easier to do a flat rate than to do an hourly.

All equipment must be used in Rock Cut and can not be taken off site.

We have posted a new ski trails map under Park Facts. You can also access it here.  The groomed trails are in Red.

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, … Continue reading