IDNR Newsbits - July 2019

Rachel Torbert
IDNR Newsbits - July 2019
Check Your Boat Registration:  The IDNR reminds boat owners in Illinois to check their three-year boat registration/decal and renew their registration if it expires in 2019. Renewing watercraft registration can be done online through the IDNR website at or by phone by calling 1-866-867-3542. To renew registration, have available the watercraft’s Illinois registration number, the first six characters of the watercraft’s hull ID number, the first three letters of the registered owner’s last name, and a credit card. New or renewed three-year watercraft registrations will expire on Sept. 30 in the calendar year of expiration. For details on Illinois watercraft registration requirements and fees, check the IDNR website at: Titling is now optional for all watercraft under 22 feet in length. Unpowered watercraft including canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, or paddle boards are not required to be registered in Illinois and are no longer required to have a Water Usage Stamp.

Online Dove Permits:  Online applications will be accepted from July 7-21 for the second lottery for Illinois Free Dove Hunting Permits for hunting at select state sites. Applications may be submitted for the second lottery by resident hunters who were unsuccessful in the first lottery, residents who did not apply in the first lottery, and non-resident hunters. After the second lottery permit application deadline on July 21, hunters may apply for remaining free dove permits on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8 a.m. July 28 through Aug. 25. For more information on dove hunting permit areas and free dove permits, check the IDNR website at:

Rock Cut Traffic Update:  Due to weather delays during April and May affecting the ongoing road improvement project at Rock Cut State Park, visitors to the park are advised of planned traffic changes. Starting July 1, the main park road will be closed from the north side of the lake spillway bridge to the concession building area. For an updated site road closure map:

Fourth of July Tot Time at Dickson Mounds:  At Dickson Mounds Museum near Lewistown, Tot Time Thursday, July 4 at 9:30 a.m. will celebrate America’s birthday with Ben Franklin, inventor, statesman, and founding father, portrayed by actor Terry Lynch. Franklin will reminisce about his political life, writings, and scientific inventions. Tots, their caretakers and older siblings are all welcome to join in the fun, including making a craft to take home and enjoying cake to eat. The Dickson Mounds Tot Time series is sponsored by Spoon River Electric’s Operation Round-up grant, Canton Chamber of Commerce, Havana National Bank, Lewistown American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Bishop Post #1, Lewistown VFW Post 5001 Auxiliary, Rusty Melhouse of Edward Jones, and Jeff and Linda Sisson of Havana. Call 309-547-3721 for more information.

Flex Your Mussels July 6:  What do a rainbow, a monkeyface, and a washboard have in common? They are all mussels found in Illinois. Bring the kids to the Illinois State Museum on Sat., July 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the Super Saturday event “Flex Your Mussels” to learn more. Families will learn to identify different mussel species, about their history in Illinois, and their different uses. Activities are recommended for children ages 5 and up, and parents and families are encouraged to participate. For additional information, call 217-782-6044. Super Saturdays at the ISM are sponsored by Bank of Springfield.

Music at the Museum: The July concert in the “Music at the Museum” series at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield features the Sweet Potatoes Thursday, July 11 at 7:00 p.m. The Sweet Potatoes come from Southern California to dish up their own unique blend of country, folk and homespun Americana. Featuring acoustic guitars, accordion and harmonica, their music has a back porch charm all its own. Tickets are available at the door.

Summer Pass at Illinois State Museum:  The Illinois State Museum ISM Summer Pass allows visitors to the museum in Springfield unlimited admission for one adult through Labor Day for just $10. The museum’s Summer Pass can be purchased at the admission desk. Each Summer Pass is good for one adult admission during the museum’s regular operating hours. The 2019 Summer Pass will expire Sept. 2, 2019. The museum is located at 502 S. Spring St., Springfield.

Art Show July 13-14 at Cahokia Mounds:  Native American artists from tribal affiliations across the nation will display and sell fine art during the 24th annual Contemporary Indian Art Show on July 13 and 14 at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Collinsville. Works will include paintings and prints, metalwork, sculptures in stone, antler, wood and clay, as well as pottery and jewelry. The show, inside the historic site’s Interpretive Center, features free admission and will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days.

Sandburg Songbag Concert July 14 in Galesburg:  A master of Chicago, Mississippi Delta style and jump blues, David Berntson will perform Sunday, July 14 at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg as part of the Sandburg Songbag Concert Series. The July 14 Songbag performance by David Berntson will be in the Sandburg site’s barn at 313 E. Third Street in Galesburg. The show starts at 4:00 p.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m. with a break for refreshments around 5:00 p.m. A donation of $5 per person is suggested. The 2019 Sandburg Songbag concerts are made possible thanks to a grant from the Mark and Celia Godsil Family Fund, a Donor Advised Fund of the Galesburg Community Foundation, and the Community Impact Fund at the Galesburg Community Foundation.  The concert is presented by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association and the IDNR. 

Science Day Out Field Trip July 25:  Students entering grades 7-9 can register now for a “Science Day Out:  Exploring Wetlands” field trip hosted by the Illinois State Museum Thursday, July 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On this free, hands-on science field trip, students will travel from the Illinois State Museum in Springfield to Dickson Mounds Museum and the Emiquon Preserve in Fulton County for a day filled with authentic science opportunities. Lunch will be provided. For registration, visit The program is generously funded by Carrol C. Hall, longtime Springfield High School teacher and co-founder of Horace Mann Insurance Company. For more information, visit

Rough Fish Roundup July 13:  Bowfishing enthusiasts are invited to the 5th annual Kaskaskia River Rough Fish Roundup bowfishing tournament Saturday, July 13 on the Kaskaskia River at Wood Duck Marina near Baldwin, Illinois. The tournament is hosted by the Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area in cooperation with the Bowfishing Association of America. For registration and more information, contact Kaskaskia River SFWA by phone at 618-785-2555. For more details, find event information on the IDNR website:

Camping Reservations:  Summer is a great time for camping in Illinois. Make campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online through the Reserve America website at using a credit card.
Wingshooting Clinics:  Wingshooting clinics will be conducted this summer and fall in Illinois at IDNR sites, cooperating gun clubs and hunting preserves. Most clinics are conducted on weekends. Wingshooting clinics for youth, ages 10-15, and women provide instruction on safely firing a shotgun at a moving target with reasonable reliability. Hunter wingshooting clinics are hands-on and include extensive live fire at a variety of clay target presentations on sporting clays courses specifically designed for teaching typical hunting situations. For the wingshooting clinic schedule and more information, check the IDNR website:

Historic Bike Show July 20 at David Davis Mansion:  Biking enthusiasts and history buffs are invited to “Wheels Through Time:  A Historic Bike Show” Saturday, July 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington. In addition to displays of historic and modern bicycles, the event will feature special presentations, Slow Bike Races, scheduled to begin at 12:00 noon, and a casual bike ride along the Constitution Trail beginning at the Mansion at 3:00 p.m. The “Wheels Through Time:  A Historic Bike Show” event is free and open to the public; donations are accepted. The David Davis Mansion, operated by the IDNR, will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, contact the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, 1000 Monroe Drive, Bloomington, at 309-828-1084.

Suffrage in Illinois Program July 21:  The Illinois State Museum in Springfield will host “Casting a Historic Vote: Suffrage in Illinois” as part of the Standing on Her Shoulders Speaker Series Sunday, July 21 at 2:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Thorne Deuel Auditorium. Jeanne Schulz Angel will discuss the paths walked by female leaders in Illinois. The speaker series is presented by the Illinois State Museum and Lincoln Land Community College’s Academy of Lifelong Learning with support from Illinois Humanities. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call 217-558-6696.    

Illinois State Parks Guide:  The 2019-2020 Illinois State Parks guide is available in print and online. The booklet is a useful guide to an eventful day in a state park picnic area, a weekend at a state park lodge or campground, a hike in a state forest, a ride on a state trail, or hunting and fishing trips to a state fish and wildlife area. The Illinois State Parks guide is posted on the IDNR website in PDF format at this link:
Copies of the state parks guide can be ordered through the IDNR online publications page:

Visit Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair:  Make plans to attend the 2019 Illinois State Fair in Springfield – and to spend some time at Conservation World Aug. 9 through 18.  Conservation World is a 30-acre park on the state fairgrounds filled with family activities including fishing instruction, archery ranges, and expert information on habitat enhancement, state parks, wildlife, fish, and forestry. Conservation World will be open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. during the fair. 

Safety Courses:  The 2019-2020 fall hunting seasons in Illinois will be here soon. Check the schedule of IDNR Hunter Safety Education courses, many of which are scheduled in advance of the fall seasons. Classes fill up quickly, so check the IDNR website for course locations and dates. The web link for IDNR Safety Education courses is
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