Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge
Emiquon NWR was established December 29, 1993, with the purchase of the first ownership of 283.71 acres. About 1,120 acres have been acquired to date. The 11,122-acre Refuge is being assembled to protect, restore, and manage migratory bird, fish and resident wildlife habitat in the Illinois River Valley, while providing for increased public recreation and educational opportunities. Historically, two backwater lakes, Thompson (1,800 acres) and Flag (1,000 acres), provided excellent habitat for migratory birds, fish and resident wildlife. The Fulton and Mason County areas' ability to support an abundance of fish and wildlife and the pursuit of traditional outdoor activities once made the area the tourism capital of Illinois. When restored, it will provide quality backwater lake, bottomland forest, upland forest, prairie, seasonal wetland, and marsh habitat for migratory birds, fish and resident wildlife. An additional 1,100 acres would be retained for agricultural production.
Emiquon Refuge consists of 1,120 acres of bottomland forest, shallow wetlands, and restored tallgrass prairie at the confluence of the Spoon River and Illinois River. The newly constructed 1.2-mile Frank Bellrose Nature Trail winds through bottomland forest and seasonal wetlands along the Spoon River, and provides Refuge visitors with increased fishing, wildlife observation, and picnicking opportunities in Fulton County.
Since its establishment in 1993, the major habitat management efforts on Emiquon Refuge have been the restoration of the historic floodplain and associated wildlife communities. Approximately 35 acres of tallgrass prairie, 800 acres of bottomland forest and seasonal wetlands, and 50 acres of open water areas have been restored.
Through restoration of altered habitats and protection of existing areas, Emiquon Refuge will be managed to mimic the historic flood cycle of the Illinois and Spoon Rivers.
Directions and Additional Information
Emiquon Refuge is located at the confluence of the Spoon River and Illinois River in Fulton County Illinois. Situated just east of Havana, Illinois, the Refuge is accessible by State Highway 78/97 from Peoria or Lewistown, and State Highway 136 from Havana, Illinois.
If you need additional information, please contact the field station directly.
c/o Illinois River Nat'l Wildlife & Fish Refuges
19031 E County Road 2105N
Havana, IL 62644
Phone (309) 535-2290
Fax (309) 535-3023
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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