Illinois Department of Natural Resources

  • Agency: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • Address: One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, 62702-1271 IL
  • Chief:
Phone: 217-782-6302

Illinois Department of Natural Resources is located at One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, 62702-1271 IL. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources phone number is 217-782-6302.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources News

Sandburg Songbag Concert Nov. 11 in Galesburg: The versatile and prolific singer-songwriter Tom Irwin will perform on Sun., Nov. 11 at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg as part of the site’s Songbag Concert Series. For more than 35 years, Tom Irwin has been taking life experiences and turning them into songs. He has 10 full length recordings to his credit. The performance will be in the Sandburg site’s Barn at 313 E. Third Street in Galesburg. The show starts at 4 p.m. A donation of $5 per person is suggested. The concert is sponsored by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association and the IDNR. For more information:

EHD Outbreak in Illinois Claims More than 400 Deer 432 EHD reported cases from 49 counties so far in 2018 As of October 29, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has received reports of 432 suspected cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in white-tailed deer so far in 2018. EHD appears to be at low to moderate levels in counties on or near the Illinois River, extending from Schuyler County to the southwest through Bureau County to the northeast. Peoria County has had the worst of it with 77 cases, followed closely by Fulton County with 71 cases. Scattered suspected cases of EHD have also been reported across central and southern Illinois, with slightly higher levels reported in the southeastern Illinois counties of Lawrence (35 cases), Crawford (15), Jasper (13 cases), and Richland (10). In all, reports have come from 49 counties (see map at the link below). EHD virus has been confirmed in tissue samples submitted for testing from Cass, Edwards, Macon, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, and Sangamon counties (serotyping is still pending). The worst year for EHD in Illinois was 2012, when 2,968 cases were reported from 87 counties. In 2013, the IDNR received reports of 1,224 cases from 64 counties. EHD was virtually absent in 2014 and at low levels in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The IDNR continues to ask landowners, hunters, and concerned citizens to be on the lookout for dead or dying deer, and to report suspected EHD cases to their local IDNR field office, or to the Wildlife Disease and Invasive Species Program (WDIS). IDNR is especially interested in sick or recently dead animals as staff may attempt to collect tissue samples in order to confirm the presence of the EHD virus. Contact information for local IDNR biologists is available online at: Contact the WDIS Program at 815-369-2414 or by email at Please provide your name and contact information, as well as the county, number of dead/sick deer, sex of the deer (if known), age (fawn or adult), and the specific location of the deer (distance/direction from the nearest town or intersection of two roads). EHD is a viral disease of white-tailed deer that can cause localized die-offs when conditions are favorable for transmission. Infected animals develop a high fever, and dead animals often are found near water sources. Hunters may encounter deer killed by EHD when they go into the woods during the fall deer hunting seasons. EHD outbreaks typically end when freezing weather kills the insects that spread the virus. While often fatal to deer, EHD is not hazardous to humans or pets. EHD has been shown to affect livestock, so producers are encouraged to be vigilant. The virus is transmitted between deer by a midge that hatches from muddy areas along lakes/ponds and streams/rivers. Although EHD is observed somewhere in Illinois every year, cases are more numerous during hot and dry summer weather conditions, presumably because receding water levels create these muddy areas, providing breeding sites for the midges. Limited water resources also congregate deer at remaining watering sites, creating conditions favorable for disease transmission. #IDNR #EHD #ILwhitetail

IDNR Bicentennial Bits – 23 The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be posting Bicentennial Bits twice each month in honor of the 200th anniversary of the State of Illinois. Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is a part of, and has been a leader in, the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC), a collaboration of 27 U.S. and Canadian federal, state, provincial and local agencies and organizations working to manage the threat of four species (bighead carp, silver carp, black carp and grass carp) of invasive Asian carp. The following information was obtained from the ACRCC Web site. “Asian carp” refers to several species of related fishes originating from Asia. Two species of Asian carp—the bighead and silver carp—were imported into the southern United States to keep aquaculture facilities clean and to provide fresh fish for fish markets. Bighead and silver carp escaped into the wild in the 1970s and have been swimming northward ever since, overwhelming the Mississippi and Illinois river systems. Bighead and silver carp eat a lot of food, and their diet is the same as that of many native fish species in the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. They feed primarily on plankton (microscopic organisms). While most Asian carp can reach 30-40 pounds in weight, some individuals grow to be over 100 pounds. Between 1991 and 2000 the Asian carp population dramatically increased as fish spread throughout the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Between 1994 and 1997 commercial catch of bighead carp in the Mississippi River increased from 5.5 tons to 55 tons. Today, commercial fishers in the Illinois River regularly catch up to 25,000 pounds of bighead and silver carp per day. The commercial value of Asian carp is quite low and much less valuable than the native fish they replaced. In addition to causing ecological harm, the silver variety of the Asian carp has caused direct harm to people. The silver carp is easily startled by the sound of a boat motor causing the fish to leap as high as 10 feet out of the water. These leaping fish land in boats, damage property and routinely injure people. As Asian carp continue to spread north, the Great Lakes are now at risk. An artificial connection—known as the Chicago Waterway System—connects the Great Lakes to the Illinois River, which connects to the Mississippi River. This waterway system provides a potential pathway for Asian carp to enter the Great Lakes. Biologists, policy makers, and citizens have grown deeply concerned about the prospects of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes through the Chicago Waterway System. If these fish enter the Great Lakes, they will likely spread throughout the basin due to natural and manmade connections and the widespread distribution of suitable habitat. While the fish will not find all parts of the Great Lakes to be hospitable, the lakes contain ample areas where the fish will thrive, reproduce and cause harm. The health of the Great Lakes is important to the U.S. economy. The Great Lakes provide over 1.5 million jobs to U.S citizens and over $62 billion in wages. The establishment of Asian carp could decimate commercial and sportfish populations, hurting the Great Lakes’ commercial, tribal and sport fisheries, valued at more than $7 billion annually. Recognizing the environmental and economic importance of the Great Lakes, the ACRCC was formed to help prevent the establishment of Asian carp in the Great Lakes. Through intensive monitoring and rapid response actions, the ACRCC is leading the way in the control and management of Asian carp. IDNR website visit #IDNR #asiancarp

Illinois DNR Newsbits for November 2018 visit 😃🍁 #IDNR #outdooril

Public Access Opportunities for Waterfowl and Upland Game: The Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) has waterfowl hunting available in Macoupin Co. This site has three four-man blinds ready to go. Each group of hunters are assigned a blind for five consecutive days. To get in on the action, fill out an application and mail it in to IRAP. For the first time, IRAP has Upland Game hunting opportunities in Christian and Scott counties. Hunters my fill out an application and send it to IRAP. These sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, go to the IRAP page on the IDNR website and download your application today: #IDNR #IRAP #HuntIL

Check out the Inside Illinois DNR November Newsletter visit this link #IDNR #outdoorIL

ENTICE Professional Development Workshops Register today at for ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) professional development workshops for educators sponsored by the IDNR. ENTICE workshops provide background information, networking opportunities, hands-on lessons, supplemental resources on the topic and the opportunity to work with resources professionals. Professional Development Hours are available. Correlations to relevant Next Generation Science Standards and/or Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards are provided. Visit for details, the complete list of workshops and to register. Experience ENTICE! #IDNR #IDNREducate #teach

Governor Announces Expansion of Starved Rock, Matthiessen State Parks State acquires 2,629 acres of open space from Lone Star Industries Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the state has acquired 2,629 acres of property in LaSalle County to protect natural resources and expand recreation opportunities, tourism and economic development near Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks. “More than 3 million people visit Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks each year. They are among the most beautiful destinations in our state,” Rauner said. “This expansion increases the amount of open space that will be managed and protected there by more than 50 percent and gives people even more reasons to enjoy the outdoors in LaSalle County.” The state acquired the land from Lone Star Industries Inc., which, along with its predecessor companies, has owned much of the property since the early 1900s. The land originally was mined for coal. It also has been mined for limestone and used as a site for cement manufacturing. Thanks to mined land reclamation, existing forested areas, lakes, and a stretch of the scenic Vermilion River, the site is ideally suited for development of outdoor recreational uses. “The decision to sell this land to preserve open space represents Buzzi Unicem USA’s effort to be a good corporate citizen and an environmentally responsible neighbor,” said Daniel B. Nugent, senior vice president of Technical Services and Governmental Affairs for Lone Star Industries, doing business as Buzzi Unicem USA. “Sustainable development is a core value of our business model. We strive to do business in a way that can meet the needs of present generations without jeopardizing the ability to satisfy the needs of future generations.” The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will manage the property as part of the Starved Rock/Matthiessen state park complex. Planning is underway to restore forest, prairie and wildlife habitat, develop trails, a campground, picnic areas, and boat, canoe and kayak access, as well as foster horseback riding, cross country skiing, fishing and hunting opportunities. “I want to thank Gov. Rauner for his vision in supporting this expansion of our busiest state park complex — and thank Lone Star Industries for working with the state to make this property available for the use and enjoyment of area residents and visitors from throughout the state, the nation, and around the world,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. “Opportunities like this don’t come around very often, and we’re delighted to add this parcel to Starved Rock and Matthiessen for the enjoyment of visitors for generations to come.” The IDNR purchased the property for $11,050,000 through the state’s Open Land Trust, established to acquire property for conservation and recreation purposes. “Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks are gems for the Illinois Valley and the state,” said State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris. “The beauty of these parks is unmatched in Illinois, and this new land acquisition will only add to the pleasurable experience for visitors. This is great news for the area and will provide an additional boost to economic development and tourism as people will want to explore these areas, watch the wildlife, and see more of Illinois in an exciting new way. The expansion will add to the already rich natural resources portfolio of the region, especially when we market Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks beyond our borders.” (The property acquired by the state from Lone Star Industries is not open to the public at this time) Please email your questions to #IDNR #outdoorIL #starvedrock

Resident Spring Turkey Lottery Applications are available now through 2/11/19 visit Non-Residents can apply for the Spring Turkey Lottery beginning 12/4/2018. Turkey Hunting Information can be found on page 23 of the Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations visit Turkey Hunting website visit #IDNR #ILspringturkey #ILturkeyhunt

More information on Public Hunting Areas can be found on page 49 of the Illinois Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations visit this link On the IDNR web page visit #Ilpublichunt #IDNR

See page 48 in the Illinois Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations visit this link #IDNR #Ildeer

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Mississippi River State Fish and Wildlife Area (Pools 25 and 26) Waterfowl Update: The current river forecast (as off 10/25/18) reflects the river stages to continue to be above normal pool, but yet low enough for established blinds and blind sites to be available. We will be governed by “Flood Rules” for the regular Central Zone waterfowl season opener (10/27/18) this weekend. Flood Rules can be defined as: Registered blind builders retain their blind rights but are required to hunt within 10 feet of their registered blind site. Use of boat blinds are permitted. Important Facts: Check Stations – the Godar and Batchtown check stations will be operational by the season opener, this Saturday 10/27/18. Stump Lake and the Glades area check station will be run out of the Mississippi River SFWA Site Office (MRA-Rosedale Office) We anticipate opening Calhoun Point Check station late next week (Nov.1 or 2). Check Station Hours are from 4am until noon, with the second daily draw conducted at 9am. The last time frame to sign out a blind is at 11:55am. For those interested, the MRA Trapping Draw will be held on October 31, registration begins at 11am. The agency and site understand that many of blinds may need repairs and brushing into duck season. We want to remind each registered blind builder to be mindful and respectful of their adjacent public land waterfowl hunter when conducting these activities. Please acknowledge your own lethal range of effectiveness and work ducks which are within that range! We will continue to monitor and continue to make adjustments if necessary. Have a safe and enjoyable opening weekend of the 2018 waterfowl season (central zone). If you need more info please email Waterfowl Hunting web link #IDNR #IDNRwaterfowl

Illinois Humanities is hosting an Illinois Bicentennial event at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg on Nov. 4.

Order your Big Buck, Turkey, Morel & Duck Pins online today visit Info on waterfowl hunting info visit You can also print the order form and mail it in with payment. Thanks for supporting IDNR. #IDNR #outdooril #ILduckpin

Fall Festival at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site October 27 and 28 PETERSBURG, IL – You are invited to experience the sights, smells and sounds of the fall season in the 1830s village of New Salem the last weekend of October for the annual Fall Festival at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site on Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28. During the Fall Festival, staff and volunteers in period clothing will be discussing and demonstrating 19th century daily life in the reconstructed village Abraham Lincoln called home during most of the 1830s. Fall Festival hours are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Demonstrations include black powder, blacksmithing, candle dipping, period games, period music on traditional instruments, quilting, spinning wool and weaving. The Ann Rutledge Quilters will have a quilt display inside the Visitor Center. The Museum Store and Railsplitter Gift Shop operated by the New Salem Lincoln League will be open, as well as the Visitor Center and the New Salem Tradition Exhibit. Snack Shack will be open during the event. Call the site at 217-632-4000 or go to for more information. Find the site on Facebook at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site. Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is located two miles south of Petersburg and 20 miles northwest of Springfield on Illinois Route 97. Admission is free, although a donation of $4 for adults, $2 for children, and $10 per family is suggested. #fallfest #fall

ICYMI 🙂 IDNR Division of Fisheries was busy last week out at Rend Lake. Personnel from IDNR Fisheries and the Rend Lake Corps of Engineers placed another 40 porcupine fish attractors in the lake last week near the Sailboat Harbor and North Marcum Areas. In addition, they drained three largemouth bass rearing ponds and stocked 17,822 largemouth bass, averaging between 4—5 inches in length, into Rend Lake. If you need more information email DNR Fisheries at More Fishing Info visit or message the IIfishIllinois Fb page at Ifishillinois

For IDNR Lodge information visit 🙂🍁

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Law Enforcement developed the "Target Illinois Poachers" program to encourage any concerned citizen who witness a conservation offense to report the violation. Citizens who want to report violations can call the toll-free telephone number, 1-877-2DNRLAW (1-877-236-7529). Office of Law Enforcement website Thank you for the support. #TIP #ILCPO

Planning your wedding? You deserve the magic of a White Pines Ceremony or reception. They can help you plan everything from the rehearsal dinner to the reception and even lodging, located in An Enchanting Experience at One of the Top Wedding Venues in Illinois. Nestled in the middle of the White Pines Forest State Park, White Pines Inn is the historic log and limestone lodge and cabins built in the 1930's during the Great Depression. Preserved today in pristine condition, the Inn has unique style of accommodations to suit families or couples in its 25 cozy cabins equipped with modern conveniences. Guests may be seeking weekend getaways in Illinois, economical mid week packages or simply a few nights escape to nature. website visit White Pines Forest State Park You can reserve a park shelter for your event at IDNR lodges visit #WhitePinesWeddings #OutdoorWedding #WeddingPlanner White Pines Resort

Order your $5.00 Turkey Pin today visit 2019 pins will be available Jan. 2, 2019 Past years are listed on the link. Deer & Morel Pins too!! Thank you for the support.

ICYMI Gov. Rauner announces release of $14 million for capital improvements at Illinois State Parks Governor Bruce Rauner announced the release of funds for more than $14 million in capital improvement projects at state parks and recreation areas managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). This money was included in the FY19 bipartisan budget signed in June and will be used for capital improvements to parks statewide. visit Also: Gov. Rauner announces $1.5 million in Recreational Trails Program grants Gov. Bruce Rauner announced nearly $1.6 million dollars has been awarded for recreational trail development projects in 11 Illinois communities, helping them meet the growing demand for improved trails and outdoor recreation facilities. visit #IDNR #outdooril #RTP

More seasons open for Waterfowl Hunting this weekend, please check the Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations for season dates & limits. Waterfowl Hunting information starts on page 28. Available where you purchase your IDNR License/Permits. #IDNR #ILwaterfowlhunt #Ilhunt #outdooril