IDNR Newsbits - March 2016

Chris Young
IDNR Newsbits - March 2016
New License Year Begins April 1:  Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses and stamps for 2016 are available from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website at, or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The 2016 licenses and stamps are valid through March 31, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

Spring Turkey Applications:  Hunters may apply for the fourth lottery for 2016 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online through March 9. Go to the IDNR website for more information at this link:
Spring Youth Turkey:  Spring Youth Turkey Season County Permits are available over-the-counter from IDNR license/permit vendors.  For information on spring turkey hunting, check the IDNR website at

IDNR at Elmwood Show:  IDNR will welcome visitors to the annual Elmwood All Outdoors Show at Elmwood High School and Grade School gymnasiums in Elmwood on March 5-6. Stop by the IDNR display booth to buy Illinois hunting, fishing and sportsman’s licenses and talk with IDNR personnel.  For more information on the show:

La Salle Lake Opens March 15:  LaSalle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area will open for the 2016 season on March 15 and will be open daily, 6:00 a.m. – Sunset. All fishermen must be off the lake by closing time each day.  Hours may be adjusted due to staffing issues, so visitors should call ahead 815-357-1608 to confirm operating hours. Visitors to LaSalle Lake are reminded that on opening day, and during the first two weeks of the fishing season, long lines are expected at the site entrance.  Visitors should adhere to all rules, regulations and direction from staff. There is a wind warning system at LaSalle Lake, located on the tip of the internal dike that extends from the west shore.  When the light of the wind warning system is flashing, no boats are to be launched and boats on the lake should find calm water and get off the lake when safe to do so.

Fishing Information Booklet:  The 2016 Illinois Fishing Information guide is available in PDF format through the IDNR website in both English and Spanish versions at this link: Regulations in the guide are effective April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017.  A reminder to anglers, and would-be anglers, that Illinois Free Fishing Days for 2016 are June 17-20, during the Father’s Day weekend.

Cover Photo Contest:  The IDNR is seeking photo images of live bobcats to be considered for use on the cover of the 2016-17 Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.  The photo contest is open to people of all ages, as long as they’re a resident of Illinois.  The selected picture will be placed on the front cover of the digest, and the photographer’s name will be listed on the inside page.  The cover photo contest winner will be selected by IDNR wildlife biologists, and the winning photographer will receive five copies of the printed digest. All photo entries must be submitted by March 31, 2016.  Send images (below 500 KB), along with the photographer’s name, address, phone and email, and a statement that the IDNR has permission to use the photo, via email to For more information, check the website at

Hunter and Boating Safety Education Courses:  Register now for Hunter Safety Education and Boating Safety Education courses from the IDNR.  Spring classes are being scheduled.  Check the IDNR website for class dates and locations.  The website link for all IDNR Safety Education course information is

Becoming an Outdoors Woman:  Registration is open for the IDNR ‘Becoming an Outdoors Woman’ Workshop on June 10-12 at the Lorado Taft Field Campus in Oregon, Illinois. ‘Becoming an Outdoors Woman’ workshops are designed to provide introductory instruction and experiences in many outdoor-related activities and skills. Class instruction is offered in a fun, non-competitive and hands-on environment. BOW workshops are very popular, so register early.  The cost of $230 per person includes two-nights lodging, meals, class instruction, use of equipment, transportation during the event, supplies, and giveaways.  Registration information is online at

Prairie State Hike App:  Visitors to Starved Rock State Park can take a guided hike on the park’s most popular trails by using a new smartphone app. Download the Prairie State Hike App for 99 from iTunes or Google Play.  Features of the app include a map, points of interest, audio for each stop, photographs and video. Hikes will be continually updated and new hikes added in the coming months will be available at no additional charge. The app was developed by the Prairie State Conservation Coalition, a non-profit organization created to assist conservation land trusts, land owners and communities in their efforts to protect land and water resources in Illinois. Hikes from other conservation organizations statewide also are available through the app. To find Starved Rock, open the app and choose Illinois Department of Natural Resources from among the conservation organizations listed.

Archery Deer Site Permits:  Archery deer hunting applications for the 2016-17 season are available and can be submitted through March 31 for the site drawings for Beaver Dam State Park and Goode’s Woods Nature Preserve in Macoupin Co.  Drawings for the site permits will be held on Fri., April 1.  Both Beaver Dam and Goode’s Woods require the harvest of an antlerless deer at the site prior to harvesting an antlered deer.  Hunters can obtain an application from the park office at Beaver Dam State Park, 14548 Beaver Dam Lane, Plainview, IL 62685 (phone 217-854-8020) or on the IDNR website through the site links at

Hunters can get an application and fact sheet on archery deer permits for the Upper Group Camp Area at Pere Marquette State Park (Jersey Co.) on the IDNR website through the Pere Marquette site link at
Applications will be accepted until 10:00 a.m. on Fri., April 1 when a random drawing will be held at the Pere Marquette Visitor Center.

Applications will be accepted through March 31 for the special drawing for site permits for the 2016-17 archery deer season at Horseshoe Lake State Park in Madison Co.   Obtain an application online at or at the park office. Applications will offer nine weekly hunting intervals.   Applicants will prioritize their hunting weeks and will be selected randomly in a lottery drawing. Twelve hunters per week are allowed on two separate areas open to archery deer hunting at Horseshoe Lake State Park. Bohm Woods Nature Preserve will allow two archery hunters per week for 13 total weeks. Lottery drawings will be conducted on April 1 at the Horseshoe Lake State Park office. For more information, or to pick up an application, contact Horseshoe Lake State Park, 3321 Highway 111, Granite City, IL 62040; phone 618-931-0270. 

Spring Trout Season Opens April 2:  The 2016 Spring Trout Fishing Season in Illinois opens at 5 a.m. on Sat., April 2. The catchable trout program is made possible through the purchases of inland trout stamps by those anglers who participate.  Unless exempt, anglers must have a valid Illinois fishing license and an inland trout stamp to legally possess trout. Check the IDNR website for a list of sites open for trout fishing starting April 2:

Camping Reservations:  Make your reservations now for campsites and shelters for many IDNR sites for 2016.  Reservations can be made online through the Reserve America website at using a Visa or MasterCard.   For more information, check the IDNR website:

Scholarships Available:  The Friends of Volo Bog is offering an Entering College scholarship and a Continuing College scholarship for $1,000 each to outstanding students interested in pursuing an environmental career.  To be eligible for the Entering College scholarship the applicant must reside in Lake, McHenry, Kane, Cook, DuPage, Kendall, or Will County, attend a high school in one of these counties, have a minimum B average for the first three years, and plan to attend an accredited college or university.  The applicant should be planning to enter a career directly related to preserving the natural environment.  To be eligible for the Continuing College scholarship, the applicant must be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university pursing a degree directly related to preserving the natural environment, have a permanent residence in Lake, McHenry, Kane, Cook, DuPage, Kendall, or Will County, have graduated from a high school from one of these counties with a minimum B average, and currently hold a minimum B average in their college studies. Applications are due by March 31 for the school year starting in fall.  Applications are available at
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