Location: On the Illinois side of the Mississippi River
from the city of Rock Island to just south of Oquawka, in Rock Island, Mercer,
and Henderson Counties.
Description: The area is comprised of the navigation pools
of the Mississippi River by Dam #17 and Dam #18. Within these pools are
timbered islands with sheltered shallow bays, channels, and potholes which
provide hunting for puddle ducks. Diving ducks frequent the deeper waters and
Bottomland forests exist, which provide deer,
turkey, furbearer, and squirrel hunting. However, the majority of this
habitat is located on islands and shoreline with extremely limited land access.
Most access is by boat only.
Although pheasant and quail hunting is allowed,
habitat suitable for these species is virtually nonexistent. Pheasant and quail
hunting on this area is considered very poor.
Available Game Species:
held on weekend preceding duck season opener.
Boston Bay hours; legal opening to 1 pm
blinds, scull boat hunting permitted, but not wihin 200 yards from a
permanent duck blind or in areas posted as closed to scull hunting, or day
Rabbit, Dove, Crow, Woodcock, Furbearers
hunting within 100 yards of occupied duck blinds
(firearm, muzzleloader, archery, youth)
hunting within 100 yards of occupied duck blinds
(both very limited)
within 100 yards of occupied blinds. Hunting is very limited.
(spring, fall gun, fall archery)
hunting within 100 yards of occupied duck binds. No youth spring
turkey. County boundaries don't correspond with upstream and downstream
boundaries of the pool.
Other Facilities: Fishing, boating. (NOTE: No fishing within 250
yards of occupied duck blinds during the waterfowl season).
Area Regulations -
- All hunting is to be with shotgun or bow and arrow
only except .22 caliber rimfire rifles may be used for squirrels, raccoon,
opossum, coyote, fox, skunk, and groundhog and .25 caliber air rifles may be
used for squirrels.
- It shall be unlawful for any person to construct
or use any tree stand using nails, screws, or wire or any device which pierces
or cuts the bark of the tree. Any tree stand used must be portable and must be
removed from the tree when the hunter is not present. Tree stands and ground
blinds may be left unattended from Sept 15 – Jan 31 only if legibly marked with
owner’s name, address, and telephone number. Only one tree stand or ground
blind allowed per deer permit holder.
- It shall be unlawful to possess or
consume alcoholic beverage, to include beer and wine, while hunting on the
- Hunters engaged in rabbit, pheasant,
quail and Hungarian partridge hunting must wear a cap and upper outer garment
of blaze orange of at least 400 square inches.
- All falconers are required to wear a cap
and outer garment of solid and vivid blaze orange only during the upland game
- The majority of these
areas are accessible by boat only.
SECTION A - WATERFOWL DEFINITIONS
- Blind Site: A position within ten (10) feet of a numbered stake where a blind
may be constructed.
- Blind Builder: A person who has been assigned a blind site in accordance with
the following procedures and who builds and maintains the blind and blind site.
- Blind Partner: Person(s) chosen by the builder to assist in the construction and
maintenance of the blind and to share its hunting privileges.
- Blind registration Card: A card issued (after inspection) by the Department and tacked
inside each blind, listing names and addresses of the blind builder and blind
- Completed Blind: A blind with all framework and siding constructed and in
readiness for use, including final brushing.
- Hunting Party: An individual or group of hunters occupying a single boat, blind
or hunting site.
SECTION B - GENERAL
- Pool 17 Area: Located in the Mississippi
River immediately above Lock and Dam 17, up the stream to Lock and Dam 16.
- Pool 18 Area: Located in the Mississippi
River immediately above Lock and Dam 18, up the stream to the city of New Boston.
- Boston Bay Area: Located above the city
of New Boston.
- Oquawka Refuge: Located east of Lock and Dam 18.
Entry is not allowed from October 1 to December
- Vehicle traffic is prohibited year-round.
SECTION C - BLIND
- All blind sites will be
determined by the Department of Natural Resources and marked by numbered stake,
after which, it is the builder's responsibility to see that the blind site has
a visible number. Blind sites will be allocated for a 2 year period.
- The time and place for
the public drawing, for the allocation of blind sites, will be publicly
announced by the Department of Natural Resources.
- Registrants for a
drawing must be at least 16 years of age by the date of the drawing and possess
a current or preceding year's Illinois hunting license or sportsman's
license, a current or preceding year's Illinois Migratory Waterfowl
Stamp unless exempted by law, and a valid photo ID. Persons exempted by
law from possessing a hunting license or waterfowl stamp must have a
valid photo identification (example: Firearm Owners Identification Card,
driver's license). In order to be an eligible applicant for the drawing,
the participant must not at the time of the drawing have his/her hunting
privileges suspended or revoked by the Department or any other
jurisdiction. Applicants must be present for the registration and
drawing to be eligible for allocation of a duck blind site. Out-of-state
residents must have a current or preceding year's non-resident hunting license
for Illinois and a current or preceding year's Illinois Waterfowl Stamp.
- The first name drawn
will have first choice of available sites, second name second choice, etc.
until all sites are allocated.
- Any blind sites that are
not taken at the public blind drawing will be given away on a first come, first
serve basis by calling the District office the Monday after the blind drawing,
at (309) 879-2169, from 8 am to 12 pm.
- Blinds not completed by
3 weeks before opening day will be allocated to alternates. Alternates will be
selected on a first-come, first-served basis by calling the District
office 12 days before opening day of duck season from 8 am – 12 pm.
Phone: (309) 879-2169.
- Blind builders will have
7 days after the current year's drawing date to salvage materials from the
blind sites. After that date, blind materials on the site become the property
of the new builder(s).
- Not more than 3 persons
will be registered for one blind.
- A person may not
register as a blind builder, or as a partner, for more than one blind site on
all waterfowl management areas managed by the Department of Natural Resources.
SECTION D - BLIND
CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE
- Blinds must be
constructed within 10 feet of the numbered stakes, must have a minimum outside
measurement of 4' X 8', and must be maintained in good condition by the blind
builders throughout the season. A boat hide large enough to accommodate and
hide an 18' boat must be provided. The boat hide must have a minimum width of 7.5 feet.
- Blinds built over water
must be of platform construction or they may be floating blinds.
- Blinds must be
constructed only on those sites designated as blind sites by Department
- Blinds must be
completed, including final brushing, 3 weeks before opening day. Blind
inspections will occur at this time. The primary blind builder will
receive either a blind card or a rejection letter depending on pass/fail
- Failure to construct a
satisfactory blind will result in loss of the blind site.
- Blinds must include a
dog hide at floor level measuring 20"X 20" or by providing a separate
compartment which is 2' X 2' X 2.5' high with two openings 20"X 20".
One opening to the blind and one to the water. Hides should have an enforced
ramp 15" wide with cleats every 12". Openings must be closed when not
SECTION E - WATERFOWL
- Blind builders must
occupy their blind site one-half hour before the opening shooting hour each day
to claim the blind site for that day. After this time, unoccupied blind sites
will be available to anyone.
- All waterfowl hunting
must be done from within the blind.
- Statewide shooting hours will prevail.
SECTION F - GENERAL
WATERFOWL HUNTING REGULATIONS
- No person will buy, sell
or commercialize hunting rights either directly or indirectly.
- No person will hunt, or
attempt to hunt, waterfowl except from within a legal blind, except that scull
boat hunting is allowed on Pools 17 & 18. Scull boats may not approach closer
than 200 yards to a completed blind and areas posted as closed to scull boat
- No person under 16 years
of age will hunt, or attempt to hunt, on these areas unless accompanied by an
- No person will perform
any weed or brush control around any blind without receiving prior approval
from an authorized Department representative.
- No hunting party will
remain in a blind after having taken its daily bag limit of ducks, or more than
15 minutes after close of shooting hours on the area.
- No person will lock a
- All hunting parties will
hunt over a spread of at least 12 decoys. The decoys will be staked, placed, or
floating and be individually visible, at least 8 inches long, and not be within
a boat, blind or container.
- No person will claim, or attempt to claim, a
blind which is legally occupied and/or no person will harass, in any manner,
the occupants of a blind which has been legally occupied.
SECTION G - TEAL,
EARLY/LATE GOOSE SEASONS
- Regulations shall be the
same as the statewide teal, or early/late goose seasons.
- Hunting will not be restricted to blind sites
during the teal, or early/late goose seasons.
SECTION H - POOL 18
AREA, BOSTON BAY
- Hunters may select their own site and construct
a temporary blind, except that no blind may be constructed within 200 yards of
another blind. In the event that 2 or more blinds are found to be closer than
200 yards, all such blinds will be declared illegal and none may be used until
all have met minimum spacing requirements. All blinds must be of a portable
nature or constructed with natural vegetation located at a blind site and must
be removed or dismantled at the end of the day's hunt.
For more information, contact the District Wildlife
Biologist, 1936 State Rt. 167, Victoria, IL 61485
Phone (309) 879 -
2169, fax (309) 879-2704