Horseshoe Lake-Gabaret, Mosenthein, & Chouteau Island

2022-2023 Season


Gabaret, Mosenthein, Chouteau Island Unit
Chain of Rocks Canal Navigation Project

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
3321 Highway 111, Granite City, IL 62040
(618) 931-0270

US Army Corps of Engineers, Rivers Project Office
301 Riverlands Way, West Alton, MO 63386
(636) 899-2600

Introduction: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is responsible for providing outdoor recreational opportunities for the residents of this State. The state area is managed by the Department for wildlife enhancement and providing public hunting opportunities.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing hunting in accordance with regulations of Title 36 --Parks, Forest and Public Property CHAPTER III U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS PART 327 RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING PUBLIC USE OF WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS ADMINISTERED BY THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS. Hunting is permitted on federal property adjoining the state-owned properties to include designated federal properties located on the east and west side of the Chain of Rocks Canal.

Location: One mile west of Granite City in Madison County. The state property is located in three parcels west of the Chain of Rocks canal and adjoining the Mississippi River. This area is a satellite of the Horseshoe Lake State Park and additional information may be obtained from the park at the listed address. Federal property is located on both sides of the Chain of Rocks Canal with additional parcels extending north to the Lewis and Clark Park and south of Interstate 270.

Description: The state hunting area consists of 2,329 acres of a blend of habitat types. The Gabaret Island parcel is 930 acres and includes 680 acres consisting of idled row crop fields, 40 acres of bottomland forest with the balance consisting of a grassed levee around the parcel. Mosenthein Island is 1,077 acres of bottomland forest located in the Mississippi River and accessible by boat only. The Chouteau Island parcel is 323 acres which includes approximately 286 acres of idled row crop fields with the balance consisting of wetland forest edges. The federal hunting area consists of 650 acres of bottomland forest and 420 acres of prairie and scrub/shrub habitat. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year at this site. 


Site-specific regulations that apply to all properties include the following:

  1. No firearms loaded with single projectile ammunition (slugs, rifle bullets, black powder balls, etc.), except for permitted trappers
  2. No permanent blinds or stands allowed.  Portable blinds/stands must be removed each day.   It will be unlawful to construct or to use any tree stand using nails, screws, wire or any device which pierces or cuts the bark of the tree on which it is installed.   One stand per hunter.  
  3. All prospective hunters will be required to obtain a free site permit and windshield card from Horseshoe Lake State Park or the Rivers Project office.
  4. All registered hunters will be required to report their harvest by March 31.  Failure to return the permit and report harvest sheet, will forfeit hunting privileges in the subsequent year.
  5. Hunters will be required to park in designated parking lots and display the windshield permit in primary source of transportation. No vehicles are allowed in the hunting areas.  No ATV's are allowed on site.
  6. It is unlawful for any person to possess any alcoholic beverage at the check station or in any hunting/trapping area for the purpose of hunting or trapping.
  7. All hunters, except waterfowl hunters, must wear blaze orange required by firearm deer hunters during all gun seasons.
  8. It is unlawful to use or occupy a ground blind during any firearm deer season, unless at least 400 square inches of solid, vivid blaze orange material is securely attached to the uppermost portion of the blind and a substantial amount of orange is visible for 360 degrees.

1. Statewide regulations.
2. Shotgun or archery only.

Archery Deer
1. Statewide regulations.
2. In addition to statewide regulations, this site is also open to archery hunting during youth, regular, muzzleloader, and late-winter firearm deer seasons. 
3. It is unlawful to track deer with dogs at this site during hours when deer hunting is being conducted on the site.

Upland Game (Cock Pheasant, Bobwhite Quail, Rabbit and Hungarian Partridge)1. Statewide regulations.

  1. Statewide regulations.
  2. ONLY SHOT SHELLS APPROVED AS NON TOXIC BY THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE with a shot size ballistically equivalent to No. 5 lead or smaller may be used or possessed.       ​ 

Wild Turkey (Spring)

1. Statewide regulations.

Wild Turkey (Fall Archery)
1. Statewide regulations.

Wild Turkey (Fall Shotgun)
1. Statewide Regulations

Crow, Woodcock, Snipe and Rail Hunting
1. Statewide regulations.
2. All hunters must make a reasonable effort to retrieve downed birds. All crows must be removed from State or Federal property by the hunter.

Furbearer Trapping
A total of two trapping permits will be awarded per season through a public drawing to be held at the site during the last week of October. Registration for the drawing will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the drawing will be held at 11:00 a.m. Interested participants must possess a current or previous year's trapping license. Trapping area maps will be available at the site. Trapping will be permitted after the close of waterfowl season. Statewide trapping regulations will be in effect, with the following site specific regulations in effect:

1. A permit is required.
2. Only Egg Traps, D-P (Dog-Proof) Traps, box traps, cage traps, and traps of similar design may be used for land sets.
3. Only body gripping traps with a jaw spread of 4 1/2 inches or less and square body-gripping traps with a 10-inch jaw spread may be used for water sets.
4. No traps can be set without tags.
5. Trappers are required to report harvest to the site by April 20th.

6. Trappers are allowed the use of a .22 caliber rifle or pistol​​ while checking traps

1. Statewide regulations.
2. Early Canada goose hunting is closed on IDNR property in September
3. No cutting of vegetation on site.
4. Waterfowl hunters must maintain a distance of 200 yards between hunting parties.

Youth Waterfowl
1. Statewide regulations.

1. Statewide regulations.

Furbearer Hunting
1. Statewide regulations.
2. Shotgun and archery only.


  1. Statewide Regulations.
  2. ONLY NON-TOXIC SHELLS ARE PERMITTED AT THIS SITE, No. 6 steel shot or No. 7 1/2 bismuth shot or smaller is allowed.

For more information contact: Horseshoe Lake State Park at (618) 931-0270 or the Department of the Army St. Louis District Corps of Engineers (636) 899-2600​​​

Equal opportunity to participate in programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and those funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies is available to all individuals regardless of race, sex, national origin, disability, age, religion, or other non-merit factors. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the funding source’s civil rights office and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, IDNR, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702; (217)785-0067; TTY (217)782-9175.