Monee Reservoir has a lot of regular anglers who Loekle has come to know over the years, and they are helpful in sharing tips and tricks of the trade, which he is then able to pass on to others who may be looking for suggestions on, for example, what kind of bait to use for a particular fish.
The regulars also help keep an eye on things around the preserve.
“They’re an extra set of eyes on the water as well,” Loekle said, adding that they’ve gotten calls before from regulars about canoes that have capsized and people having trouble getting back in or people stranded on the lake because their trolling motor died far from shore.
Both the staff at Monee and many of the regular anglers care about the health of the lake and also always have that in mind.
“We’re all concerned about the habitat and maintaining the species,” Loekle said.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources oversees all of the bodies of water within the county’s preserves, Loekle said. They inspect the lakes yearly. One year they’ll survey the species and individual fish populations in a body of water, and the next they’ll catch some of the fish to check the health of the species, looking for parasites and other conditions, for example.