IL Department of Natural Resources Newsbits
News and events for the month of January
2015 Illinois Licenses Available Jan. 19: Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses and usage stamps for 2015 will be available starting Jan. 19 from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov, or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The automated license system is available 24 hours a day. The 2015 licenses and usage stamps purchased beginning Jan. 19 will be valid through Mar. 31, 2016 unless otherwise noted.
2015 Calendar: There’s still time to buy the beautiful 2015 Illinois Conservation Foundation wall calendar. Order online at www.ilcf.org or by phone at 217-785-2003. Checks and money orders can be mailed to the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.
Kids Day: Visit the Dickson Mounds Museum on Sat., Jan. 10 for ‘Kid’s Day: Winter in Illinois’ from 1-3 p.m. Kids ages 5 and up with an adult will learn how ancient and historic people passed their time on a wintry day in Illinois through hands-on crafts and activities. Admission is free. Scouts are encouraged to participate as this program may fulfill some merit badge requirements. The program is co-sponsored by the City of Lewistown. Dickson Mounds is located between Lewistown and Havana off Illinois Routes 78 and 97. The museum is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day. For more information, call 309-547-3721.
Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Days: Enjoy watching bald eagles on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers near Pere Marquette State Park this winter by participating in one of the park’s popular Bald Eagle Days tours. The informative programs about bald eagles are conducted on select winter dates. All programs begin at the Pere Marquette Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m., and reservations are required by calling 618-786-3323. To check the schedule of program dates, go online to http://www.illinois.gov/Documents/EagleDaysBrochure.pdf
Eagle Days – Old Chain of Rocks Bridge: The Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Festival is scheduled for Sat. and Sun., Jan. 17-18. Hours both days are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Visitors can view eagles through spotting scopes from the historic Old Chain of Rocks Bridge at Granite City. The World Bird Sanctuary will present education programs throughout the festival, and historic reenactors will be present on both sides of the bridge. The Eagle Days event is hosted by the IDNR and Missouri Department of Conservation and sponsored by the Great Rivers Greenway – www.greatriversgreenway.org.
Bald Eagle Watch: The annual Starved Rock Bald Eagle Watch Weekend is Jan. 24-25, with activities from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. both days. Activities are planned for the Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center, Starved Rock Lodge, and the Illinois Waterway Lock and Dam Visitor Center, with interpretive programs, spotting scopes, and family and children’s activities. The Bald Eagle Watch Weekend is hosted by the Illinois Audubon Society, IDNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock Audubon and Starved Rock Foundation. For more information, call Illinois Audubon at 217-544-2473 or check the website at http://illinoisaudubon.org/PROGRAMSEVENTS/BaldEagleWatchWeekend.html
Kaskaskia Eagle Fest – Feb. 7: Join the fun at the Kaskaskia Eagle Fest at the Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam in Modoc, IL on Sat., Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. There will be eagle watching with spotting scopes, birds from the World Bird Sanctuary, interpreted walks both upstream and downstream from the dam, and tours of the lock and dam. Sponsors include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, IDNR, Randolph County Economic Development, Lower Kaskaskia Stakeholders, Inc., Randolph County, Chester Tourism, North County Savings Bank, Evansville Booster Club, Horse Prairie Mutual/FarMutual, CLIFFTOP, and the Kaskaskia River Port District. For more information, contact the Kaskaskia River Project Office at 618-284-7160 or e-mail us at KaskyL&D@usace.army.mil.
INPC Meeting: The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will meet on Tues., Jan. 27, 2015 beginning at 10 a.m. at IDNR Headquarters, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, phone 217-785-8686.
Spring Turkey Applications: Hunters may apply for the second lottery for 2015 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online. The application deadline for the second lottery is Jan. 12. Go to the IDNR website for more information at this link: www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey
Hunters Reminded to Mail in Card: Hunters who received a 2014-15 free upland permit to hunt at an IDNR state site are asked to return those cards to the IDNR by Feb. 15, 2015. The cards and data allow IDNR biologists to better understand upland wildlife populations and assess hunter success at state sites. Hunters must return these cards to the IDNR, or they will forfeit hunting privileges at all Free Upland Hunting sites for the following year.
ICF Raffle: Tickets are available for the 2015 Illinois Sportsman’s Raffle, supporting the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s youth outdoor education and conservation programs. Tickets cost $100 each, or three for $250. Prize details are available at www.ilcf.org. All business transactions and operations of this raffle take place exclusively in Sangamon County, Illinois. This raffle is being conducted in accordance with the Raffles and Poker Runs Act and the Sangamon County Raffle Ordinance. All funds are held in private accounts at the ICF. Raffle tickets may be purchased online by visiting www.ilcf.org or by calling 217-785-2003. Drawings will take place on January 30, 2015.
Chicago Outdoor Sports Show: Stop by and visit with IDNR staff and Conservation Police officers, and buy your 2015 licenses, at the IDNR booth during the Chicago Outdoor Sports Show. The annual show is at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, on Jan. 21-25. For more show information: www.chicagosportsmenshow.com/
Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo: Visit with Illinois DNR staff during the annual Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo, Jan. 29-Feb. 1 at the Schaumburg Convention Center at I-90 and I-290 (Route 53), Schaumburg. For more information: www.sportshows.com/chicago/index.html
Camping Reservations: Make your reservations now for campsites and shelters for many Illinois state parks and other IDNR sites for 2015. Reservations can be made online through the ReserveAmerica website at www.reserveamerica.com using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/Programs/Camping/
Winter Gathering: Enjoy a traditional Native American Winter Gathering at Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown, IL on Sat., Jan. 24, 1-5 p.m. Visitors can participate in a variety of activities and demonstrations, including storytelling, music, group games and dances, doll making, and beading. The event is free. For more information, phone Dickson Mounds at 309-547-3721.
Eagle Day Festival – Feb. 7: The 15th annual Eagle Day Festival at Dickson Mounds Museum is Sat., Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The event includes activities at Dickson Mounds Museum, the Lewistown Visitor Center, Havana Nature Center, Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, and TNC’s Emiquon Preserve. Activities include raptor programs and bird watching. The event is free, but donations are welcomed.
Science Series: “The Gray Fossil Site and Beyond” is the topic for the Illinois State Museum’s January Science Series program at the ISM Research and Collections Center in Springfield. The free program is scheduled for Wed., Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. Presented by Dr. Blaine Schubert of East Tennessee State University, the program focuses on the Gray Fossil Site located near the community of Gray in northeastern Tennessee, which has revealed well-preserved fossils of ancient plants, a large assemblage of tapirs, and a new species of red panda, as well as elephant, rhinoceros, short-faced bear, saber-toothed cat, alligator, fish, frogs, and turtles. For more information on the Jan. 14 program, phone 217-782-0061 or 217-785-0037. The ISM Research and Collections Center is located at 1011 East Ash, Springfield.