CLOSED: Cooks Access Area at second gate and Strickland Boat Launch have been closed temporarily due to rising water levels.
Located along the Kaskaskia and West Okaw rivers near Sullivan, the Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area offers some of the best hunting, river fishing, and nature study opportunities in Illinois. The area contains more than 6,000 acres of mixed habitats including forests, prairies, restored grasslands, old fields, brush, wetlands, rivers, streams and cropland in the upper reaches of the 34,000-acre Lake Shelbyville project area.
Lake Shelbyville is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facility, built as part of a general comprehensive plan for the development of the Kaskaskia Basin for flood control, recreation, water supply, and fish and wildlife conservation. The 11,000-acre lake and its surrounding uplands form a scenic background for a variety of outdoor recreational activities.
Shelbyville SFWA is composed of two separate units. The Kaskaskia Unit (eastern) covers 3,700-acres and the West Okaw Unit (western) is about 2,500 acres. These are managed primarily to promote diverse habitats to accommodate a wide variety of wildlife species, and support related recreational opportunities. Because of its focus on hunting and fishing, the area has no camping, picnicking or day-use facilities.
Hunters and anglers will find six small boat launching facilities conveniently located in the wildlife areas, while those with larger watercraft are advised to use the larger access areas offered at marinas, state parks or Corps of Engineers sites.