Wildlife Illinois

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Clinton Lake State Recreation Area

Site Contact Info

Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 3,693
  • Habitat: Clinton Lake is the cooling lake for the Exelon Power Station, and the IDNR manages recreation on the lake and surrounding lands. Gently rolling grasslands and shrub lands in various successional stages make up the majority of the upland habitat. A mix oak/hickory woodlands and stands of conifers are found throughout the site. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site.
  • Digital Map
  • Printable Map

Site Specific Regulations

  • All statewide hunting regulations apply at site unless noted hereafter.
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site
  • All areas requires use of windshield card for all hunting opportunities that are specific to the hunting area assigned. Displayed on vehicle dashboard, to report hunting effort and harvest by 15 February
  • Hunting is restricted to those portions of the site posted as open to hunting.
    • All hunters must maintain a 200 yard distance from all developed recreational areas, bridges, construction, and industrial sites
    • All hunters must maintain a 300 yard distance from all electrical power lines
    • Refer to site map for details
    • Contact site about current regulations, special rules and site conditions
  • When pursuing pheasant, rabbit, quail or partridge all hunting must be done with shotguns or bow and arrow
    • Hunters must use shot size No. 5 or smaller lead or non-toxic shot size ballistically equivalent to No. 5 lead or smaller
    • Flu flu arrows only
  • Species-specific rules:

Deer

  • Archery
    • Hunting requires a valid archery deer permit and a free windshield card
    • Archery only area located within Mascoutin Access Area
    • Lane and Peninsula Day Use areas will be closed to archery deer and upland game hunting ½ hour after sunset on October 31 until ½ hour before sunrise on the Sunday before the first firearm deer season
  • Firearm
    • Site-specific permit issued through the statewide lottery and free windshield card are required
    • Permit is only valid for the specific site and season indicated on permit
    • Firearm deer hunting is restricted to the area on both sides of the lake between Dewitt Bridge (Friends Creek Rd) and State Route 48
  • Muzzleloader
    • Site-specific permit issued through the statewide lottery and free windshield card are required
    • Muzzleloader deer hunting is restricted to the North Fork Management Unit only (north of the County Road at the North Fork boat ramp)
  • Handicapped
    • Season: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday prior the first statewide firearm season
    • Site-specific permit issued through a site drawing and free windshield card are required
    • Specialized permit application are available at site office or here
      • Completed applications must be returned to the site office by the first Friday in October
      • Submit copy of Hunter Safety Certificate and proof of Class 2 Disability (Driver’s License or Disabled Person’s ID Card) with your application
    • Shotgun, muzzleloader, and handgun may be used during the special hunt
    • Permit holders and standby hunters must attend the pre-hunt orientation meeting
      • Clinton Lake State Park office at 7 pm the evening before the first day of the hunt
      • Blind sites will be assigned at this meeting
    • Deer permits will be available for purchase at the site office
      • Limit one (1) deer per hunter
      • No restrictions on sex or characteristics of deer
    • Hunters will not be allowed to pursue wounded deer beyond their immediate blind site. All wounded deer will be tracked and dispatched by site staff

Turkey

  • Spring
    • Hunting requires a site specific permit and a windshield card
    • Permits are issued via statewide lottery
    • Permit is only valid for the specific site and season indicated on the permit
  • Spring-Youth
    • Hunting requires a site specific permit and a windshield card
    • Permits are issued via statewide lottery
    • Permit is only valid for the specific site and season indicated on the permit
  • Fall Archery
  • Fall Gun
    • Not permitted

Waterfowl

  • Regular seasons
  • Youth seasons
    • Statewide regulations by Statewide lottery
    • Requires a site specific permit
    • Season: Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Dates
    • Hours: Legal open until 1:00 pm
    • Hunters must be 10-17 years old
    • A minimum of six (6) decoys shall be used
      • Decoys must be removed daily
      • Decoys may not be left unattended
    • Permit holder must bring one (1) supervising adult (who may also hunt with proper licensing)
      • Youth and supervising adult may be accompanied by a non-hunting guide
    • The maximum number of people in a blind is hunting youth, 2 hunting adults and a non-hunting guide
  • Teal and early Canada goose
    • Statewide regulations. Allowed only in the waterfowl hunting areas east of Parnell Bridge and north of Route 54 – see site map
  • Conservation Order Light Geese Season
    • Closes March 15
  • Rail and Snipe
    • Hunting closes at 4 pm daily
  • Late goose season
    • Closes March 15
  • Hunting Rules
    • All waterfowl hunting restricted to those portions of the site posted as open to waterfowl hunting
    • Shore hunting is allowed in areas open to forest and upland game hunting, except in closed waterfowl areas
    • Hunting is walk-in or by boat blind in areas open to forest and upland game hunting, except in closed waterfowl areas – see site map
    • A minimum six (6) decoys shall be used
      • Decoys must be removed daily
      • Decoys may not be left unattended
    • Temporary shoreline blinds must be:
      • Portable
      • Dismantled and removed daily
      • Built from material brought in or available at blind site
      • No vegetation may be cut for construction
      • Must maintain a minimum 200 yard distance between them
    • No waterfowl hunting is permitted:
      • In the designated fish and waterfowl refuge between the Dewitt Bridge (Friends Creek Road) and the Ill. Route 48 bridge
      • On the west side arm of Clinton Lake; in the area extending east from the Westside Boat Launch, across the lake to the eastern bank and north up to the Davenport Bridge at the North Fork Boat Launch.
      • Within 300 yards of electrical power lines
      • Within 200 yards of developed recreation areas, bridges, construction and industrial sites. Refer to site map for details
    • Waterfowl hunting in the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area and Disabled Hunting program area is by special permit only
  • Handicapped Waterfowl
    • Application can be found here
    • Completed applications must be returned to the site office by the first Tuesday in October
    • All permits will be assigned to qualified disabled applicants first, then non-disabled hunters will be allocated the remainder of open dates
    • Permits are only valid for the days listed on the permit
    • Permit holder must be qualified to hunt (have required license, stamps, etc.) and must be present with the hunting party at all times.
    • No one except the permit holder and his/her authorized guests are allowed in the Handicapped Waterfowl Hunting Area
    • Hunting shall be from one-half hour before sunrise until 1 pm
    • Minimum of six (6) decoys shall be used
      • Decoys must be removed at the end of each hunt
      • Decoys may not be left unattended
    • All parties must be out of the Handicapped Waterfowl Hunting Area no later than 2:00 pm
    • No 10 gauge shotguns allowed; only 12 gauge or smaller
    • You may only harvest ducks and geese; you must hunt only from the immediate blind area
    • If assigned Blind #1, you may bring an ATV to transport the disabled person and gear to and from the blind. A gravel/limestone trail connects the parking lot to the blind and is wide enough for vehicular access as long as it is not too wet
    • If you are assigned Blind #2, you may drop off hunters and park at the parking lot for Blind #1. You may park on the north shoulder of the road by Blind #1 if there is no room in the lot. Do not block the gravel lane leading from the parking lot to Blind #1
    • One person may take a loaded gun out of the blind only to retrieve a crippled bird. No gun may be taken south of the gravel entrance road (next to the hot water flume) for any reason. Dogs are not allowed in the hot water discharge flume south of the gravel entrance road
    • Site staff are not able to provide assistance. If you cannot hunt and retrieve birds by yourself, you must bring at least 1 able-bodied hunting partner to assist you
    • NON-DISABLED PERMIT HOLDERS: permit holder must be present for the group to hunt. You may bring different guests each day, but you cannot replace guests with additional guests on the same day if someone fills their bag or needs to leave
    • The last group leaving each day must close the gate and place the lock in the holes to hold the gate closed

Squirrels/Rabbits

  • Hunting requires a free windshield card
  • Squirrels
    • Hunting is only permitted at:
      • North Fork Management Area (north of the county road at the North Fork Boat Ramp) and/or
      • in the handicapped upland game area
    • Squirrel hunters in the Northfork Management Area (North of Davenport Bridge) may use .22 or smaller rimfire, .25 caliber or smaller air rifles, or muzzleloading black powder rifles
  • Rabbits
    • Hunting must be done with shotgun or bow and arrow (flu flu arrows only)
      • Hunters must use shot size No. 5 or smaller lead or non-toxic shot size ballistically equivalent to No. 5 lead or smaller
    • Hunting closes at 4 pm daily.

Upland Birds

  • Hunting requires a free windshield card
  • All upland hunting must be done with shotgun or bow and arrow (flu flu arrows only).
    • Hunters must use shot size No. 5 or smaller lead or non-toxic shot size ballistically equivalent to No. 5 lead or smaller
  • Pheasant, Quail, Partridge & Woodcock
    • Statewide regulations, except hunting closes at 4 pm daily.
    • Partridge are rare and not considered regular species on this site
  • Youth Pheasant:
    • Hunters ages 10 – 17
      • Hunters under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult hunter
    • Season: Saturday before the opening of the statewide upland game season
      • Check-in time: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
      • Hunting hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
    • Limit: 2 pheasants either sex
    • Pheasant(s) must be tagged with a state tag prior to removal from the area.
    • No other species may be taken during the youth controlled pheasant hunt.
  • Dove
    • Dove Management Field
      • Non-toxic shot is required during entire season
      • Season: September 1st – 5th
        • daily drawing at 11 am at dove management field
        • Hunting hours: 12 pm (noon) – 5 pm.
        • Hunters are required to check-in and check-out to report harvest
      • Season: September 6 – close of statewide follows statewide regulations
    • Areas not considered Dove management fields
      • September 1-5 hours: 12 pm (noon) to 5 pm
      • September 6 – close of statewide season follow statewide regulations.

Furbearers

  • Hunting and Trapping requires a free windshield card
  • Hunting
    • Statewide regulations
    • Rimfire rifles .22 caliber and smaller may be used from sunset to sunrise.
    • Furbearer hunting closed during Firearm Deer Season
      • Hunters with a valid, unfilled firearm deer permit for the hunt area may take coyotes during legal hours of the firearm deer season. Otherwise, the use of shotgun slugs to take furbearing mammals is prohibited on state sites.
    • Coyote and striped skunk season coincides with the statewide fox season.
  • Trapping
    • Site-specific permit issued through a site drawing is required.
    • Applicants must submit their name to the site office prior to the last Saturday of October.
      • Five (5) trapping zones will be allocated by lottery
      • Trapping permit must be in possession while trapping on the site
    • Trappers must stay in designated areas
    • .22 caliber or smaller rimfire firearms permitted
    • Follow statewide regulations found here
    • No trapping is permitted in subimpoundments or designated waterfowl management units during duck season
    • Only Egg Traps D-P (Dog Proof) traps, box traps, cage traps and traps of similar design may be used for land sets
    • Body-gripping traps with a 10-inch jaw spread or larger must be totally submerged in water when set
    • Contact site for more information.

Dog Training

  • Dog Training Requires a free windshield card and site permit (available by contacting the site)
  • Allowed from September 1 through March 31, except closed during site upland game season.
  • During the training season, dogs may only be trained in:
    • Wildlife Management Areas
    • Waterfowl Refuge Area (when open for public use)
    • All other areas are closed to dog training
  • Dog training is not allowed at Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area or Handicapped Waterfowl Area.
  • All dogs or pets must be on a leash no longer than ten feet, at all times when in these areas.
  • Only handguns and shotguns with blank cartridges may be used for training.
  • The use of horses or mules is prohibited

Amenities