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Moline HS Bass Fishing (copy)

Two Quad-City area high schools are advancing to the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) bass fishing championship this spring.

Saturday's Spring Bird Count

Illinois residents may participate today in the 59th annual Illinois Spring Bird Count by observing birds at a park, their neighborhood or at personal feeders in their backyard.

Send data, including bird species, quantity and location, as well as duration of observation, to Tim Murphy, president of the Quad-City Audubon Society, at molmurphy53@gmail.com

Murphy is compiling numbers for Rock Island County. He expects to identify around 130 species of birds throughout the day, which will begin at 4 a.m. for him. The spring migration is slightly behind because of last week's lingering cold weather, and that may keep numbers down, Murphy said.

"We have had fewer species reported in recent years," he added. "There are a lot of variables ... continued loss of habitat surely contributes to this."

This marks his 31st year of involvement in the Illinois Spring Bird Count. Illinois Natural History Survey, a research institution based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, oversees the annual spring count and compiles statewide data.

HS bass fishing teams advance

Two Quad-City area high schools are advancing to the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) bass fishing championship this spring.

Under coach Brian Stahl, anglers Danny Ford and Ryan Daly from Geneseo High School finished first in their sectional tournament Thursday, securing an automatic bid in the upcoming state competition. They reeled in five bass, totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces, in Pool 13 of the Mississippi River. 

Dan Benoit, Karson Smeltzly, Trystan Altensey and Landon Dalaska from Riverdale High School in Port Byron finished second at sectionals with a combined haul of 19 pounds, 10 ounces. They will join Geneseo in the state finals, which is scheduled for May 18-19 at Carlyle Lake, about 50 miles east of St. Louis. Last year, Riverdale head coach Scott Searl sent two boats to the championship at Carlyle Lake.

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Jack Cullen covers health, wellness and outdoor recreation for the Quad-City Times.