The Emiquon and Chautaqua National Wildlife Refuges are an important part of the National Wildlife Refuge System - one of America's greatest conservation success stories. It consists of more than 540 refuges located throughout the United States, and is the only national system of lands dedicated to conserving our wildlife heritage for people today and for generations to come.
The Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge is situated in the middle of the Mississippi Flyway along the Illinois River near Havana, Illinois. It is an important link in the chain of resting and feeding areas for waterfowl and other migratory birds in the flyway. The refuge has been designated a Globally Important Bird Area and a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site.
Waterfowl and shorebirds seek the food resources and sanctuary found on the 6,200-acre refuge. Bald eagles nest on the refuge can be found on the area in late fall through spring.
Chautauqua Refuge is the headquarters of the Illinois River National Wildlife and Fish Refuges Complex, which includes the Cameron/Billsbach Unit near Henry, Emiquon Refuge across the river from Havana, and the Meredosia Refuge.
The Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1993 to restore and protect wetland habitats at the confluence of the Illinois and Spoon rivers. The refuge is administered by staff stationed at Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, located 6 miles northeast of Havana, IL. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.
Whether bird watching, fishing, hunting or taking photographs, there are many ways to enjoy refuge lands! All land and water areas on the refuge are open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Visit the following pages for information on Fishing and Hunting, Refuge Regulations, Visitor Access, or to obtain a Refuge Brochure.
Enjoy your visit to the Emiquon or Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge!