Closeup of a flock of snow geese in flight.
Emiquon Emiquon is a hotspot for snow geese migration. © Michael Wilhelm

Stories in Illinois

Things to Do at Emiquon Preserve

TNC’s Emiquon Preserve offers a variety of recreational activities including waterfowl hunting, fishing and boating opportunities.

The Emiquon Preserve is located about 40 minutes southwest of Peoria and six miles southeast of Lewistown in Fulton County.

The Nature Conservancy is restoring and managing Emiquon Preserve as part of an effort to conserve ecological processes and the plant and animal communities of the Illinois River ecosystem. There are a variety of things to do while visiting Emiquon! Recreational opportunities include boating, fishing, hunting, birdwatching, wildlife viewing and hiking. Our visitor-use facilities offer boardwalks, canoe and boat launches, hiking trails, observation decks and pavilions, and signs that help visitors learn more about these incredible habitats.

Hunting at Emiquon Preserve

Emiquon is nestled in the Illinois River Valley, a major stopover site for migrating waterfowl in the Midwest. Because of this prime location, sustainable waterfowl hunting opportunities are offered at Emiquon as a public service and to share some of the many multiple-use benefits provided by restored wetlands. Prior to planning a hunting trip at Emiquon, please see our 2023 Emiquon hunt map, rules and regulations.

Two adults fishing on a small boat at Emiquon Preserve in Lewiston, Illinois.
Fishing at Emiquon Preserve Fisherman at Emiquon Preserve in Lewiston, Illinois. © Jason Whalen/Big Foot Media

Fishing & Boating at Emiquon Preserve

Emiquon's lakeside observatories and trails offer a variety of things to do such as hiking, birdwatching and wildlife watching. Visitors have full access to these areas; however, a permit is required for lake access, i.e., for fishing and boating. Lake access permits are available at Dickson Mounds Museum during normal business hours. The lake is equipped with a canoe launch and concrete boat launch.

Any and all decisions of TNC staff or designees at Emiquon Preserve are final, and anyone failing to abide by written rules or instructions from TNC staff or designees may have hunting privileges at this preserve revoked. The Nature Conservancy retains the right to modify these rules and to terminate this program without prior notice. Learn more about Emiquon fishing and boating rules and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Waterfowl density and diversity at Emiquon is tracked through the Illinois Natural History Survey.

  • You can find these hunting regulations and a map of hunting boundaries on the USFWS web site.

  • The nearest hospital is approximately 6 miles from Emiquon—Mason District Hospital in Havana, 309-543-4431 or dial 911.

    To contact Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police, call the Fulton County Sheriff at 309-547-2277.

  • Information on the variation of Emiquon’s water level can be found on TNC’s Emiquon water management FAQ page.

  • For questions, contact the Illinois River Program office at Emiquon at 309-547-2730. Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. Our address is 11304 N. Prairie Road, Lewistown, IL 61542.