National Wildlife Refuge
|19031 E. County Road 2110N
Havana, IL 62644
Phone Number: 309-535-2290
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Waterfowl such as blue-winged teal feed and rest at the refuge during migration.|
Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge
All or portions of the refuge are closed due to flooding. Please contact the refuge before visiting.
Chautauqua 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.
Getting There . . .
Chautauqua Refuge is located 8 miles north of Havana, Illinois, and 30 miles south of Pekin, Illinois, on the Manito Blacktop. Turn onto 1950E. Travel one mile to 2110N to the visitor center or continue on 1950E for another 1.5 miles to the Eagle Bluff Access Area for fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers completed habitat restoration projects on Chautauqua NWR in 1999. The Corps' Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Project rebuilt the levee; constructed a new water control structure in the North Pool; built a water control structure; and dug a level ditch for dewatering the South Pool. They also constructed a pump station for flooding either unit from the river or dewatering either unit into the river. Refuge staff rebuilt the levee around the South Pool; constructed two 700-foot spillways; and reinforced much of the levee in both pools.
The Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project greatly improved management capabilities on both the north and south pools. Because of these improvements water levels can be managed to mimic the historic flood cycle of the Illinois River. This management strategy has resulted in the restoration of diverse wetland habitats that have benefited fish and wildlife populations.
A restoration project on Weis Lake on the Cameron Unit was completed in 2003 to facilitate passive water management. Low level dikes were built to protect germinating vegetation from summer water fluctuations. The lake will be reflooded in the fall for waterfowl use.