Description - The Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge was established on December 29, 1993. The 11,122 acre refuge is being purchased by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect, restore, and manage migratory bird, fish, and resident wildlife habitat in the Illinois River Valley. It will also provide increased public recreation and educational opportunities.
Historically, two backwater lakes named Thompson (1,800 acres) and Flag (1,000 acres) provided habitat for migratory birds, fish, and resident wildlife. The counties of Fulton and Mason were so abundant in fish and wildlife resources that the area was once the tourism capital of Illinois.
- Emiquon NWR is being acquired to protect, restore, and manage migratory bird, fish and resident wildlife habitat in the Illinois River Valley, while providing for increased public recreation and educational opportunities.
Historically, two backwater lakes, Thompson (1,800 acres) and Flag (1,000 acres) provided excellent habitat for migratory birds, fish and resident wildlife. The Fulton and Mason County area's ability to support an abundance of fish and wildlife and the pursuit of traditional outdoor activities once made the area the tourism capital of Illinois.
When restored, it will provide quality backwater lake, bottomland forest, upland forest, prairie, seasonal wetland, and marsh habitat for migratory birds, fish and resident wildlife. An additional 1,100 acres would be retained for agricultural production.
Climate - Illinois experiences four distinct seasons with varying weather throughout the year. Winter can be very cold. The highest humidity of the year occurs during this season averaging 70 to 75 percent. Average low temperatures in January dip to 20 degrees F with highs near 35 degrees F. Spring temperatures are mild with humidity below 70 percent. Temperatures during this season average between 32 and 50 degrees F. Summer is usually hot and humid in this Midwest state. Low temperatures remain in the low sixties with high temperatures near 90 degrees F. The highest rainfall of the year occurs during the summer months. Fall is an excellent time to visit the state with low humidity and rainfall and moderate temperatures.
Emiquon Refuge is located at the confluence of the Spoon and Illinois rivers in Fulton County, Illinois. Situated just west of Havana, Illinois, on Route 97/78, the refuge is accessible by State Highway 24 from Peoria or Lewistown, and State Highway 136 from Havana, Illinois.