Forest Preserve’s Big Fish Contest began July 1

The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Big Fish Contest begins Thursday, July 1, and runs through Tuesday, Aug. 31, at Monee Reservoir.

Prizes will be awarded in three categories for biggest bass, catfish and panfish by length. Even if you don’t have the biggest fish in one of the three categories, there is a chance to win a prize just for entering because one overall winner will be chosen at random from all entries. The contest is free and for ages 16 or older. Registration is not required.

To participate, just bring your catch to the Monee Reservoir Visitor Center, and staff will measure, photograph and record the fish to enter you in the contest. All the fish photos will be included on the visitor center’s Big Fish Contest display. Winners in the 2021 contest will be announced September 1.

The 248-acre preserve features a 46-acre lake. The lake is stocked with bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass and channel catfish. And the visitor center offers fishing poles for rental and fishing licenses for purchase. The visitor center also offers bait, tackle and snacks for sale. Monee Reservoir is located on Ridgeland Avenue, south of Pauling Road in Monee Township.

Forest Preserve District seeks volunteers for workdays

Now that the state has moved to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois COVID-19 plan, the Forest Preserve District of Will County can accommodate more people at its volunteer workday programs. To participate, groups and individuals must RSVP for each workday. Call Mary Borgra at 815-722-5913 or email [email protected]. Workdays are held from 8 a.m.-11 a.m., unless otherwise noted.

Here are the dates and locations:

  • Thursday, July 8: Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve, Romeoville (Park at Isle a la Cache.)
  • Sunday, July 11: Hammel Woods – Route 59 Access, Shorewood
  • Thursday, July 15: Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve, Crete Township
  • Saturday, July 24: Hickory Creek Preserve – LaPorte Road Access, Mokena
  • Saturday, August 7: Sugar Creek Preserve, Joliet
  • Tuesday, August 10: Monee Reservoir, Monee Township
  • Sunday, August 22: McKinley Woods Preserve – Kerry Sheridan Grove, Channahon
  • Thursday, August 26: Kankakee Sands Preserve, Custer Township, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 11: Hickory Creek Preserve – LaPorte Road Access, Mokena, 8 a.m.-noon
  • Thursday, September 16: Sand Ridge Savanna Nature Preserve, Custer Township, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 19: Keepataw Preserve, Lemont, 8 a.m.-noon
  • Saturday, September 25: Sugar Creek Preserve, Joliet (National Public Lands Day), 8 a.m.-noon
  • Tuesday, September 28: Riverview Farmstead Preserve – Kropp Prairie, Naperville, 10 a.m-1 p.m.

Please dress for the weather and bring work gloves if you have them.