Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


  • Shorebirds to Return to the Refuge Soon

    Millions of shorebirds migrate from northern breeding grounds to southern wintering grounds each year, stopping at the refuge along the way!

    Shorebirds to Return to the Refuge Soon

  • Badger by California Department of Fish and Wildlife

    In search of the American badger

    A conservation story by Carla Rich Montez. Photo of American by courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    Learn more

  • Santuary pic

    Sanctuary Ended

    Sanctuary period on Chautauqua ends on February 1. Refuge now open to regular public use.

    Rules and Regulations

  • swan flying by Kara Heil/USFWS rotator

    Trumpeters at Emiquon

    Iconic bird enjoys rebound at Chautauqua-Emiquon Complex,

    Read Story...

  • ICF rotator

    In search of the Illinois Chorus Frog

    A wildlife conservation story by Carla Rich Montez. Photos courtesy of Jakob Cackowski

    Read the story

Get active on the refuge

Waterfowl Hunting on the Refuge

promo - sunset hunting

Update: staging on parking lots will not be allowed this season. Follow the link for an introduction to waterfowl hunting on Chautauqua and Emiquon National Wildlife Refuges, including regulations and water level information. Photo: Grandparent and child hunting at sunset by USFWS.

Waterfowl Hunting on the Refuges

Current Conditions

March 20, 2020

Our public restrooms are closed in response to guidance from state and local public health officials. All other public areas at Chautauqua, Emiquon, and Meredosia National Wildlife Refuges remain open. Rules and regulations still apply.

More information


olga routing 2

From making trails to woodworking, there are plenty of ways to volunteer at your local refuge. We would not be here without you.

Learn more
In the community

Environmental Education


We provide regionally specific environmental education programs for school classes, continuing learners, and groups of all ages and sizes. Email us to make a reservation for your next trip.

About the Complex

Illinois River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Complex

Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Illinois River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS