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Visitor Activities

  • Hunting


    Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage. Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciation of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs. Hunting programs can promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on lands and waters in the Refuge System.

    Waterfowl hunting is a popular sport at Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge. Hunters enjoy Liverpool Lake Public Hunting Area for its abundance of waterfowl in flooded timber during periods of high water. Hunting waterfowl is allowed in accordance with Illinois state and refuge hunting regulations in the Liverpool Lake Public Hunting Area of the refuge.

    Chautauqua NWR Public Use Regulations 

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  • Fishing


    In addition to the conservation of wildlife and habitat, the Refuge System offers a wide variety of quality fishing opportunities. Every year, about 7 million anglers visit national wildlife refuges, where knowledgeable staff and thousands of volunteers help them have a wonderful fishing experience. Quality fishing opportunities are available on more than 270 national wildlife refuges.

    Bring your family to Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge for a day of fishing. Teach the young ones in your group to fish and create a love for the lifelong sport. 

    Please note that fishing opportunities are highly variable at Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge depending on existing water levels and fish populations in the managed pools.

    Learn more about fishing on National Wildlife Refuges in the Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuges.

    Chautauqua NWR Public Use Regulations 

    Learn More
  • Wildlife Viewing


    Wildlife observation is the most popular activity for refuge visitors. From every state and all parts of the globe, about 40 million people visit the 556 National Wildlife Refuges each year, especially for the chance to see concentrations of wildlife and birds.  The National Wildlife Refuge System’s extensive trail system, boardwalks, observation decks, hunting and photography blinds, fishing piers and boat launches encourage visitors to discover America’s best wildlife spectacles.  

    For more information about wildlife observation opportunities at Chautauqua NWR contact the refuge at 309-535-2290 

  • Interpretation


    National Wildlife Refuges across the country provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world. Self-guided hikes and seasonal staff-led events help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitats behind the landscapes. 

    Chautauqua Refuge provides a calendar of auto tour events throughout the year. These events are free, geared for youth and adults and provide wildlife viewing opportunities within and around the South Pool of the refuge. 

    Auto tour events typically coincide with Eagle Day, International Migratory Bird Day and National Wildlife Refuge Week. Contact the refuge for more information about upcoming auto tour events, 309-535-2290.


  • Environmental Education


    One of the most important roles National Widlife Refuges serve is as an outdoor classroom. School children come to the refuge to learn in and about the natural environment. Refuge lands are available to educators, instructors and students of all ages to increase understanding of the ecological significance of the area and develop a life-long appreciation of wetlands and associated biological diversity. Please contact the refuge at 309-535-2290 to schedule a visit.

  • Photography


    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography. You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started. A small camera or basic cell phone will do just fine for most visitors.

    Refuges provide enhanced opportunities to photograph wildlife in natural habitats by providing platforms, brochures, interpreters, viewing areas and tour routes. We welcome beginner and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures on film, memory card or internal hard drive.

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2014
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