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Illinois hunting and fishing

Emiquon opens to anglers April 20

April 01, 2009 at 02:37 PM

Some Emiquon rules

Here are some of the rather unique rules anglers will face at the Emiquon Preserve:

• No minnows allowed.
• No bank fishing.
• Electric motors only and gas motors must be removed from boats.
• Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Here is the complete list of rules:



Bass anglers beware: The Emiquon Preserve will open for fishing starting April 20 at sunrise.

The Nature Conservancy’s massive wetland restoration west of Havana now covers nearly 3,500 acres of water and is expected to offer some of the best bass fishing in central Illinois—albeit for fish primarily under 15 inches in length.

In addition to largemouth bass, Illinois Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists have stocked 29 other species of fish in the waters managed by The Nature Conservancy. Noteworthy game fish include crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish.

Here’s a press release from The Nature Conservancy about the Emiquon opener. We’ll have a complete story about Emiquon this Sunday in the Peoria Journal Star and on

Emiquon Preserve opens for public fishing and boating

PEORIA. — The Nature Conservancy announced today that boating and fishing will be permitted at the Emiquon Preserve on a limited basis. The wetland restoration project is located near Lewistown, Illinois, and will be open to anglers and boaters with permits between sunrise and sunset beginning April 20, 2009. 

The Emiquon Preserve is part of the Conservancy’s restoration work throughout the Illinois River watershed. Goals include the conservation of ecological processes and the plant and animal communities in the watershed.  Through a cooperative fisheries management agreement, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has stocked
Emiquon with 1.7 million fish of 30 different species.

“Boating and fishing opportunities will be offered as a public service and to share some of the many multiple-use benefits provided by restored wetlands,” said Jason Beverlin, Director of the Conservancy’s Illinois River Program.

Interested parties may request a permit and complete list of rules between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. after April 3 at the Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown at 10956 North Dickson Mounds Road. There is no fee for this access to Emiquon. No gas powered motors are permitted, and bank fishing is not allowed. Persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult while on the Preserve.

Those interested in financially supporting the Conservancy’s work are encouraged to become a member of the organization at

Here are water depths at varying different levels.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Are there going to be limited permits issued? Or is it just get one before you go?

Posted by WIUBassin on 04/01 at 05:30 PM

Just get one before you go.

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 04/01 at 06:35 PM

Because it is a nature preserve. They don’t want people walking on the mud flats around the edge of the lake. That would be my guess

Posted by illin on 04/02 at 10:36 AM

Emiquon is not owned by the state.  It’s owned by The Nature Conservancy.  Our tax money does not fund the management and upkeep of it, only the fish in the lake.  If you are not familiar with Emiquon, up to about 10 years ago this whole basin was farmed, the lake included.  It’s not your typical lake with defined banks.  The bank is where every the current water level makes it.  It’s basically a much larger scale of the “ponds” you would see in farm fields after a heavy rain, and will change in size and shape depending on the time of year, and amount of recent rainfall.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/03 at 07:59 AM

Several thousand acres of wide open water and trolling motors only means somebody is going to get in trouble when a big wind comes up. Besides, how many guys can afford a special boat to fish one lake? Far better to say trolling motors only and keep the gas engine tilted up except in an emergency.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/03 at 02:59 PM

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