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Art exhibits, turkey shoots, free fishing, teacher field trip grants and much more

[MARCH 22, 2005]  From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Road closure at Spring Lake

Due to a levee stabilization construction project at Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Tazewell County, the first mile of the South Lake Levee Road (State Park Road) at the site is closed at the junction with Causeway Road (Spring Lake Road). The remainder of Spring Lake Levee Road remains open for public access. In addition, site visitors will be directed by signs to use Woodley Road as an alternate access to the site.

The levee stabilization project at Spring Lake is expected to be completed this summer. The project will help eliminate sloughing of the road surface, which has allowed water and ice to accumulate on the roadway.

For more information, contact the Spring Lake site office at (309) 968-7135.

Lockport Gallery program and exhibition

"A Family Farm Album: The Photographs of Frank Sadorus (1880-1934)," an exhibition reflecting the life and times of self-taught photographer Frank Sadorus, opened Saturday at the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery. From 1907 to 1917, Sadorus used his large-format-view camera to capture life, work and the land on his family's farm.

The museum presented an "Artist to Artist" program Saturday morning in the main gallery, focusing on how Sadorus' work came to be known by the general public.

The Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery is located on the first floor of the historic Norton Building at 201 W. 10th St. in Lockport. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call (815) 838-7400.

Archery deer hunting regulations

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will conduct a public hearing on proposed changes to 17 Ill. Adm. Code 670, "White-Tailed Deer Hunting By Use of Bow and Arrow," on Friday at 1:30 p.m. The hearing will be conducted in the Artisans Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

The proposal is available for review at

The public may submit comments on the proposed regulations through April 11 to Jack Price, IDNR Office of Legal Counsel, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.

Giant City programs

A number of spring interpretive programs are on the schedule at Giant City State Park, Makanda.

A program on Giant City's Stonefort will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday. The program includes a rugged one-third-mile hike.

The "Wandering Among the Woodland Wildflowers" programs at Giant City are from 10 a.m. to noon on April 9, 16, 23 and 30. The two-hour discovery tours on rugged woodland trails at the park are among Giant City's most popular programs.

For more information on the programs, call (618) 457-4836.

Illinois Crappie Circuit starts Saturday

The first event in the 2005 Illinois Crappie Circuit is March 26 at Kincaid Lake in southern Illinois. The tournament schedule continues at Rend Lake on April 16, Chain O'Lakes on May 7 and the Quad Cities on May 21.

The series is a team fishing event with teams consisting of three members, two of whom can fish any tournament. Winners and top qualifiers will advance to the state championship on June 4-5.

The tournaments are limited to 100 boats. The entry fee for each tournament is $100 per boat.

The series is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops and the Illinois Conservation Foundation.

For more information, contact Gary Watson at (217) 782-9990 or go to

State sites open for youth turkey hunt

Regulations and open state sites have been announced for the 2005 Resident Spring Youth Wild Turkey Hunt. Permits were issued previously for the youth hunt. The South Zone Youth Turkey Hunt is March 26-27. The North Zone Youth Turkey Hunt is April 2-3.

Illinois youth who have not reached their 16th birthday by the start of the spring hunt may hunt with a shotgun or bow and arrow. Each youth must have completed a department-approved Hunter Education Course and have a hunting license. Each youth is required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian who possesses a FOID card. The adult is not allowed to hunt but may accompany the youth as a caller.

The following sites will be open to holders of a valid youth turkey hunt permit for the county in which the site is located. People wishing to hunt one of the listed sites should contact that site prior to hunting for information about site regulations and restrictions:

South Zone, March 26-27:

  • Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area, Baldwin, (618) 785-2533
  • Turkey Bluffs State Fish and Wildlife Area, Chester, (618) 826-2706
  • Cache River State Natural Area, Belknap, (618) 634-9678
  • Crawford County State Fish and Wildlife Area, Hutsonville, (618) 563-4405
  • Ferne Clyffe State Park (Cedar Draper Hunting Area, I-24 Wildlife Management Area, Cypress Pond and Deer Pond), Goreville, (618) 995-2411
  • Sielbeck Forest, Metropolis, (618) 524-4712
  • Giant City State Park, Makada, (618) 457-4836
  • Horseshoe Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Alexander County, Miller City, (618) 776-5689
  • Kincaid Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Murphysboro, (618) 684-2867
  • Mermet Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Belknap, (618) 524-5577
  • Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Newton, (618) 783-3478
  • Pyramid State Park, including East Conant unit, Pinckneyville, (618) 357-2574
  • Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Bonnie, (618) 279-3110
  • Sam Parr State Fish and Wildlife Area, Newton, (618) 783-2661
  • Trail of Tears State Forest, Jonesboro, (618) 833-4910
  • Union County State Fish and Wildlife Area, (618) 833-5715

North Zone, April 2-3:

  • Anderson Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Astoria, (309) 759-4484
  • Apple River Canyon State Park (Thompson and Salem units, Falling Down Prairie (Rall Woods), Hanover Bluff and Witkowsky State Fish and Wildlife Area), Apple River, (815) 745-3302
  • Argyle Lake State Park, Colchester, (309) 776-3422
  • Big Bend State Fish and Wildlife Area, Prophetstown, (815) 537-2926
  • Big River SF, Oquawka, (309) 374-2496
  • Castle Rock State Park, Oregon, (815) 732-7329
  • Green River State Wildlife Area, Harmon, (815) 379-2324
  • Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area, Mackinaw, (309) 963-4969
  • Spoon River State Forest, Victoria, (309) 879-2607
  • Kankakee River State Park and Momence Wetlands, Bourbonnais, (815) 933-1383
  • Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, Chandlerville, (217) 452-7741
  • Mississippi River State Fish and Wildlife Area (Pools 25 and 26), Grafton, (618) 376-3303
  • Mississippi River Pools 21, 22 and 24, Pittsfield, (217) 285-2221
  • Nauvoo State Park (Max Rowe unit only), Nauvoo, (217) 453-2512
  • Pere Marquette State Park (open area only, south of Graham Hollow Road), Grafton (618) 786-3323
  • Ray Norbut State Fish and Wildlife Area, Griggsville, (217) 833-2811
  • Sangchris Lake State Recreation Area, Rochester, (217) 498-9208
  • Siloam Springs State Park including Buckhorn unit, Clayton, (217) 894-6205
  • Turkey Bluffs, Chester, (618) 826-2706
  • Weinberg King State Park including Cecil White, Markert and Scripps units, Augusta, (217) 392-2345

Apply for Illinois Artisans Program by March 28

Illinois artisans are invited to submit applications for the Illinois Artisans Program, a program of the Illinois State Museum. Begun in 1985, the program promotes the work of artisans living in Illinois through exhibitions and activities. All areas of original art and craft are eligible, including folk, traditional, contemporary, ethnic and fine art forms.

Artists are required to submit the program application, six to 10 slides, an artist's statement and one-page resume, a self-addressed and stamped envelope, and a $20 application fee. Deadline for submission is March 28. Artists selected will be notified by letter in April.

For more information and an application form, call (312) 814-1794.

Shop features work by blacksmith Roberta Elliott

The Illinois Artisans Shop in Chicago is exhibiting the work of blacksmith Roberta Elliott through March 31. The shop is located at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street, Suite 2-200, Chicago. Elliott is a blacksmith who produces both decorative and functional work at her studio in Cobden. She works primarily with mild steel, forging table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces and music stands.

Conservation grant program applications due by March 31

Grant funds are available through the Illinois Conservation Foundation for not-for-profit groups, organizations and schools to assist them with habitat enhancement, environmental education and recreation projects. Individual matching grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded.

The deadline to apply for the foundation's grant program is March 31. An application form is available at Grant awards will be announced in August.

For more information on the program, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271; or phone (217) 785-2003.

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Archery deer hunt site permit drawings planned

Drawings will be conducted April 1 at 10 a.m. to allocate a limited number of archery deer hunting site permits for use at Beaver Dam State Park in Macoupin County, Horseshoe Lake State Park in Madison County and Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey County.

Site permit applications are available at each park's Web page on the Department of Natural Resources' site, Permit applications may also be obtained by contacting the site offices. Applications will be accepted through the close of business on March 31, with drawings at each site office the next day.

Hunting areas and dates at each site will be allocated by random drawing. Successful applicants will be notified by mail following the April 1 drawings. (If non-residents are drawn, they will be sent a letter requesting verification that they have a non-resident permit within two weeks of non-resident archery permits being made available). Season dates at each site are as follows:

  • Beaver Dam State Park: Oct. 10-16, Oct. 17-23, Oct. 24-30, Oct. 31-Nov. 6, Nov. 7-13, Nov. 21-27, Dec. 5-11 and Dec. 12-18.
  • Horseshoe Lake State Park, Madison County: Oct. 1-7, Oct. 8-14, Oct. 15-21, Oct. 22-28, Oct. 29-Nov. 4, Nov. 5-11, Nov. 12-18 and Nov. 19-25
  • Pere Marquette State Park: Oct. 31-Nov. 5, Nov. 6-Nov. 11 and Nov. 12-17.

For site information, contact the park offices listed below:

  • Beaver Dam, (217) 854-8020, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Horseshoe Lake, (618) 931-0270, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Pere Marquette, (618) 786-3323, visitor center open daily 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Wildlife Preservation Grant applications due April 1

Applications are still being accepted for the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Grant Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Resource Conservation Division of Habitat Resources. This program is funded through a voluntary checkoff designation to the Wildlife Preservation Fund on the Illinois state income tax form.

Small Project Program proposals can address many types of projects, including management, site inventories or education. Examples of past projects include wildlife habitat improvement, species enhancement, education and research projects throughout the state, focusing on species ranging from birds to turtles and habitat ranging from forests to prairies. Individual proposals are eligible for grants up to $2,000 from the Wildlife Preservation Fund.

The Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Grant Program packet for 2005 includes a program explanation, instructions for completing the application form and an application form. The application packet is available on the Department of Natural Resources website, The deadline for accepting applications is 5 p.m. April 1.

Hand-carved birds at Thompson Center

The Illinois Artisans Shop at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., Suite 2-200, Chicago, will host an April 1-29 exhibit of hand-carved birds by Illinois artisans working in wood. The exhibit will feature the work of woodcarvers Richard Kowal of Chicago, William Larke of Peoria, and Mike and Nancy Scherer of Sparland. These artisans are all bird-watchers, have a keen sense of observation and will offer their unique take on bird life in this exhibit.

Hunter wing shooting clinics at Jim Edgar Panther Creek Area

Reservations are available for Illinois Department of Natural Resources wing shooting clinics for hunters at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area in Cass County on April 9-10. Sportsmen and sportswomen ages 16 and older interested in improving their wing shooting skills are encouraged to register and attend.

Four-hour sessions are scheduled for the morning and afternoon both days, with each session limited to 24 participants. The clinics will be taught by National Sporting Clays Association-certified wing shooting instructors, each working with a squad of four hunters of similar skills. Hunters with wing shooting skills from beginner to advanced are welcome. The clinics will include instruction on range safety and shotgun handling, followed by extensive live fire at a variety of clay target presentations.

The cost of the clinics is $25 per person. Advance registration is required. For more information, call the site office at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, (217) 452-7741.

Governor's Cup Shooting Challenge

Registration is open for the Illinois Conservation Foundation's 5th annual Governor's Cup Shooting Challenge, scheduled for April 29-30 at Faller's Sporting Clays, located west of Butler in Montgomery County. Shooters will compete for the Illinois Governor's Cup title and cash prizes, including a guaranteed $750 for high overall in this NSCA-registered classified shoot. The competition also includes an exciting Hunter Class, with cash prizes for Lewis Class winners.

Proceeds benefit shooting programs for youth conducted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Conservation Foundation.

For more information and registration, call (217) 557-1395 or click here. [To download Adobe Reader for the PDF file, click here.]

Director's Team Challenge

Join the Illinois Conservation Foundation for the second annual Director's Team Challenge shooting event to benefit the foundation's youth shooting sports programs. The Director's Team Challenge is scheduled for May 13-14 at the Bi-State Sportsmen Association in Colona.

The five-shooter team event is $100 per shooter and includes registration for the Director's Team Challenge event on Saturday, plus one free round of trap shooting and five-stand on Friday.

For more information or to register, call (217) 785-2003, or register at

New online course for graduate credit offered by IDNR and UIS

The Division of Education of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the University of Illinois at Springfield are presenting the first in a series of online courses. "EDL 560: Introduction to Illinois' Natural Resources for Teachers" is the examination, research and practical application of Illinois natural resources information with the goals of understanding location, composition, utilization, conservation and issues.

To be eligible to register, students must first contact UIS admissions at 1 (888) 977-4847. Once students have been admitted to UIS, they may contact Kim Kubatzke at (217) 206-7516 or to get permission to register for EDL 560.

Classes will begin on June 6. The summer session ends on July 30.

Free fishing days 2005

Anglers always look forward to the new fishing season -- and to Illinois Free Fishing Days, scheduled this year for June 10-13. Many organizations use the four-day promotion of sportfishing in Illinois to conduct fishing derbies and other special events.

Free Fishing Days provides anglers with the opportunity to fish without first purchasing a fishing license, salmon stamp or inland trout stamp.

Free Fishing Days is co-sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Plano Molding Co., the world's largest manufacturer of fishing tackle boxes.

Organizations interested in receiving educational and promotional materials to be used as part of a Free Fishing Days event can contact Gary Watson, IDNR Free Fishing Days event coordinator, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271; phone (217) 782-9990.

Pfc. Geoffrey Morris Memorial Fishing Invitational

Mark your calendar for the first Pfc. Geoffrey Morris Memorial Governors Cup Fishing Invitational, scheduled for June 17-18 in the Lake Michigan waters off Waukegan. The salmon and trout tournament proceeds will benefit the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund. The tournament will be in honor of Geoff Morris, a U.S. Marine from Gurnee who gave his life in combat in April 2004.

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn will present the winners with their awards at a banquet June 18 hosted by the city of Waukegan immediately following the tournament.

The entry fee is $550 and is tax-deductible.

For more information on registration, prizes, rules and a tournament schedule, check

ENTICE workshop registrations still open

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources ENTICE program -- Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education -- is offering a series of free workshops for teachers in the coming weeks. These workshops provide natural resources information, supplemental educational materials and continuing professional development units. A description of each workshop and registration information may be accessed by visiting and clicking on the "Education" button in the right side bar. Call (217) 524-4127 for more information.

Splash into the Rain Check Network

The Illinois State Water Survey sponsors a rain gauge project for schools. The Rain Check Network program will provide teachers with a rain gauge and instructions to initiate the project. Students are asked to measure rainfall every day at about the same time. Student data is posted at An extensive listing of online resources for weather, climate, educational links and agencies is available.

For more information, contact the Illinois State Water Survey at (217) 333-5902.

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources news release]


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