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Sinnissippi Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

2021 - 2022 Season


Location: Whiteside and Lee counties, above the upper dam on the Rock River, separating the cities of Sterling and Rock Falls. Forms the northern terminus for the Hennepin Feeder Canal. 200 Stouffer Road, Sterling, IL 61081

Description: Total area is approximately 2,000 acres. Uplands are limited to a few scattered islands and backwater areas; however, they are subject to annual inundation. Huntable acres of land and water - approximately 700.

Available Game Species:

SpeciesSeasons, Times, Bag LimitsSpecial Regulations
WaterfowlStatewide seasons, times, and limits apply.Registered blinds only.
Youth WaterfowlStatewide seasons, times, and limits apply. Registered blinds only. 
Early GooseNot allowed on this site. 
FurbearersTrapping allowed. Statewide seasons, times, and limits apply.Site permit required.

Other Facilities : Fishing, boating.

Area Regulations - General

  1. All hunting is to be with shotgun.
  2. It shall be unlawful to possess or consume alcoholic beverage, to include beer and wine, while hunting on the area.
  3. Furtrappers must obtain a permit from the Hennepin Canal central office.

Area Regulations - Waterfowl


  1. Blind Site - A position within ten (10) feet of a numbered stake where a blind may be constructed.
  2. 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.
  3. Blind Partner - Person (s) chosen by the builder to assist in the construction and maintenance of the blind and to share its hunting privileges.
  4. 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 partner (s).
  5. Completed Blind - A blind with all frame work and siding constructed and in readiness for use including final brushing.
  6. Hunting Party - An individual or group of hunters occupying a single boat, blind, or hunting site.


  1. Waterfowl hunting is restricted to legal registered blind sites unless otherwise stated.
  2. Hunting from boat mounted blinds is permitted within 10 feet of marked blind sites if no blind exists.
  3. No person shall buy, sell or commercialize hunting rights either directly or indirectly.
  4. No person under 16 years of age shall hunt, or attempt to hunt, on these areas unless accompanied by an adult.
  5. No person shall perform any weed or brush control around any blind without receiving prior approval from an authorized Department of Natural Resources (IL-DNR) representative.
  6. No hunting party shall stay 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.
  7. No person shall lock a blind.
  8. All hunting parties shall hunt over a spread of at least 12 decoys. The decoys shall be staked, placed, or floating, be individually visible, be at least 8 inches long, and not be within a boat, blind or container.
  9. No person shall claim, or attempt to claim a blind which is legally occupied and/or harass, in any manner, the occupants of a blind which has been legally occupied.
  10. 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.
  11. Statewide seasons, bag limits, and shooting hours shall prevail.
  12. Scull boat hunting on the area is prohibited.
  13. Not more than four (4) persons shall occupy a blind at one time.

C - TEAL HUNTING SEASON (if season is allowed)

  1. Regulations shall be the same as the statewide teal hunting season.
  2. Hunting will be restricted to blind sites during the teal hunting season.


  1. Blind sites will be allocated annually by a drawing held on the last Saturday in July, at Oppold Marina. Registration from 10AM - 2PM, drawing at 2 PM..
  2. Registrants for a drawing must be at least 16 years of age and possess a current or preceding year's Illinois Hunting License that allows the individual to hunt without additional supervision, 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). Applicants must be present for the registration and drawing to be eligible for allocation of a duck blind site.
  3. The first name drawn shall have first choice of available sites, 2nd name 2nd choice, etc. until all sites are allocated.
  4. Any blind sites that were not allocated at the public drawing, will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis by calling the Canal office on the Monday following the public drawing from 8 am to 4 pm (phone #815/454-2328).
  5. Blinds not completed 3 weeks before opening day of duck season will be reallocated to alternates. Alternates will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis by calling the Canal office 2 weeks before opening day of duck season from 8 am until noon (Phone #815/454-2328).
  6. Blind builders for 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,18,19,23,24 & 25 will have until 7 days after the next season's drawing to remove all blind materials from the area.
  7. Not more than 3 persons shall be registered for one blind.
  8. 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 IL-DNR.


  1. Blinds built over open water may be floating blind, platform blinds, or for blinds # 1, 2, 3, 4, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and 32; boat hide type blinds may be substituted, all constructed within 10' of numbered stake.
  2. Platform or floating blinds must at least 4 x 8 feet inside dimension, but no higher than 14 feet from the water surface at normal pool to the top of the shooting box, sturdy enough to withstand daily usage and maintained by blind builder through the duck season. A brushed boat hide, minimum inside dimensions of 7.5 x 18 feet, must also be provided. Blinds shall be numbered and the number visible from outside the blind. Dog hides with ramps are required.
  3. Boat blinds, at locations referenced in #1 above, may be built in lieu of platform blinds. They will be at least 7.5 x 18 feet inside dimensions, fully enclosed on all 4 sides (door on 1 side permitted), and must include 4 shooting holes or ports, brushed and maintained by the blind builder. The blind number must be visible from the outside. A dog hide is not required.
  4. Dog hides can either be incorporated into the blind by providing a hole at floor level that measures at least 20 inches high by 20 inches wide, or by providing a separate compartment that is attached to the blind at the same level as the blind. All dog hides should have a minimum floor space that measures 2 feet by 2 feet and should be at least 2.5 feet high. The water access opening, 20" x 20", should have an enforced ramp to at least water level, at a minimum of 15" wide, with cleats every 12 inches. Openings in the blind must be capable of being closed when not in use.
  5. The use of any metal, with the exception of fasteners less than 12 inches in length will be prohibited in the construction of waterfowl blinds.
  6. Blinds must be completed, including final brushing 3 weeks before opening day, at which time the IL-DNR will inspect all blinds and blind sites.
  7. Failure to construct a satisfactory blind will result in loss of the blind site.
  8. Blinds along the main channel of the Rock River including blind numbers 1,2,3,4,13,14,15,16,20,21,26,27,28,29,30,31 and 32 must be removed in their entirety ten days after the close of duck season. Blinds may be removed beginning November 15 with one numbered stake left in place to denote the location if blind is removed prior to the close of the waterfowl season.

For further information contact: District Wildlife Habitat Biologist, Mississippi Palisades State Park, 16327 IL Rt. 84, Savanna, IL 61074, (815) 273-2733 or Site Superintendent, Hennepin Canal State Parkway, 16006 - 875 East Street, Sheffield, Illinois 61361, (815) 454-2328.

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.