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Recent entries


Through the Lens

IDNR Updates Related to Tier 3 Mitigations

Thu, November 19, 2020

Illinois moves to a statewide Tier 3 Mitigation on Friday November 20 due to the increase in COVID 19 positvity rates, rising hospitalization and death numbers, and an overall noted surge in infections.

The statewide general mitigations can be found here

According to IDNR spokesperson Rachel Torbert, the move to Tier 3 Mitigation ultimately did necessitate a few changes specific to IDNR.

Per Tier 3 mitigations announced Tuesday, IDNR historic sites and museum facilities (Illinois State Museum, Research and Collections Center, Dickson Mounds Museum and the Lockport Gallery) will temporarily close beginning Friday, Nov. 20 and will remain closed until further notice. However, museum sites will continue to offer virtual opportunities so patrons may experience all our museum facilities have to offer.

Additionally, CWD Deer Check Stations for the 2020 firearm deer season have been canceled to better protect the health and safety of Illinois hunters and IDNR staff. The full release can be found here:

Finally, some changes have been made to hunting season regulations, particularly as they relate to standby hunting access. Regulations vary by species and season; for full details, please see press releases on the IDNR website:

Controlled Pheasant Hunting:—Changes-for-2020-21-Season.aspx

Deer season:—for-Deer-Hunting-at-State-Sites.aspx.

Waterfowl hunting:

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources continues to work with the Governor’s Office and Department of Public Health to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff at state parks amidst the ongoing pandemic. Currently, all state parks, fish and wildlife areas and recreational areas will remain open with public health directives in place. This includes limiting group activities to 10 or less. 

Additionally, at this time, site offices will remain open. Visitors centers which are staffed and are currently open will remain open

Torbert added, ” Of course, we’re asking visitors to state sites to bring with them face coverings in case social distancing cannot be achieved as well as hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Additionally, visitors should:

Practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet of distance between themselves and others;

Stay home if they are sick or feeling any symptoms, such as fever, coughing, troubled breathing, and/or other flu-like symptoms;

Visit alone or with members of their own household;

Stay local and visit parks that are closest to where they live;

Move to another area or return another time/day to visit is the park or site they choose to visit is crowded; and

Cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If they don’t have a tissue, they should cough or sneeze into their upper arm/elbow.”

Please practice responsible recreation when visiting IDNR properties during this mitigation period and help protect our communities and our IDNR staff!


Statewide Asian Carp Cookout to be Held Oct. 17

Wed, October 14, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — With a mission to expand local food options and continue efforts to remove Asian carp from Illinois waterways, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), together with Sorce Freshwater Company and the Midwest Fish Co-op, and with continued support from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, this Saturday will offer free Asian carp meals at nine locations across the state.

The events, which have been made possible with help from local partners including regional planning commissions, universities, food distribution companies and restaurants, will showcase the versatility and nutritional benefits of Asian carp.

“Removing Asian carp from our waterways has long been one of our best and most well-known tactics when it comes to keeping these invasive fish from the Great Lakes,” said Colleen Callahan, director, IDNR. “But what is lesser known when it comes to Asian carp is the overwhelming benefit as both a food source and potential menu item for restaurants. To showcase its nutritional benefits and adaptability as protein source, we’re partnering with businesses to provide free meals across the state.”

Locations include:
• Chicago, Logan Square: Unity Park, 2636 N. Kimball Ave. from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Asian carp tacos will be prepared by El Rancherito Restaurant

• Chicago, Lincoln Park: Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop, 2070 N. Clybourn Ave. from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Asian carp burgers will be prepared and served by owner Dirk Fucik.

• Chicago, Pilsen: Open Books Chicago, 905 W 19th St. from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Asian carp tacos will be prepared by Mole Village Mexican Restaurant.

• Peoria: Kelleher’s Restaurant, 619 SW Water St. from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. In partnership with the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and Distillery Labs, Kelleher’s will serve a chef’s choice of regular Asian carp daily specials.

• East Peoria: Levee District, 370 W Washington St. (tent near Target parking lot) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. In partnership with the City of East Peoria, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Greater Peoria Economic Develop Council and Distillery Labs, a chef provided by Sorce Enterprises will prepare and serve Asian carp.

• Springfield: Carter’s Fish Market, 1900 S. Grand Ave. East from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Owner Clint Carter will prepare and serve Louisiana style Asian carp hush puppies drizzled with a Remoulade sauce. Beginning Oct. 21, customers can enjoy a fish taco special at The Barn located at 1501 Wabash Ave.

• Quincy: Red Light Bar & Grill, 428 Maine St. from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Red Light Bar & Grill will prepare and serve Asian carp sliders; the sliders also will serve as a daily special for the week following the Asian carp cookout.

• Carbondale: Giant City State Park Visitors Center (tent in parking lot), 235 Giant City Rd., Makanda, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Chefs from Cristaudo’s Café, Bakery and Catering will prepare and serve a Jamaican Escovitch fish taco filling for park visitors to pick up and consumer at their leisure. Cristaudo’s also will serve this dish at upcoming Southern Illinois Collaborative Kitchen events in the coming weeks.

• Carterville: Walker’s Bluff Vineyard, 326 Vermont Rd. from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Chefs from Walker’s Bluff Vineyard prepare and serve the Asian carp in the winery’s tasting room.

Additionally, students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale also will have the opportunity to taste Asian carp creations at select dining hall locations.

“You know that old expression, ‘Take lemons and make lemonade?’ Well, that’s what we’re doing here,” Callahan said. “We’re just taking fish and making fish tacos, sliders, and a host of other food items Illinoisans love. It’s a win-win.”


IDNR Launches New ‘Hunt Illinois’ Website

Thu, September 10, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced the launch of the new Hunt Illinois website – an online resource for Illinois residents and visitors to the state interested in hunting in the Land of Lincoln.

The website includes information on Illinois hunting seasons, places to hunt, licenses and permits needed, hunting and trapping regulations, hunter harvest reporting, hunter safety, wildlife management, and conservation programs.

“The new Hunt Illinois website is an easy-to-use one-stop resource for hunters to find just about everything they need to know about planning a hunt, no matter the species, no matter the season,” said IDNR Hunter Heritage Program Manager Jared Duquette.

The new website was developed by the IDNR in cooperation with the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, with funding support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Restoration Program.

The Hunt Illinois website can be accessed through most desktop and laptop computer web browsers, or by using most mobile devices, at

I have only had a small opportunity to run through the site - but so far so good. While there are still a couple of areas under development and I fully expect as site staff get blinds, waterfowl stakes etc. added the maps will improve.

At first look,  this looks a job well done. Plenty easy to access info and navigate.

Go give it look, play with it a little and see what you think - inquiring minds want to know!




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