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Heartland Outdoors

Lake Shelbyville Seeks Volunteers

Tue, April 03, 2018

Lake Shelbyville - Enjoy the outdoors?  Looking for a quiet place to RV this
summer?  The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Shelbyville, is looking for
volunteers to help take care of Opossum Creek Campground, and Lithia Springs
Campground at Lake Shelbyville. The campground volunteers would be
responsible for cleaning within and around the Opossum Creek Campground or
the Lithia Springs Campground. The positions can be accomplished by an
individual volunteer; however, a pair of volunteers for this position is

All equipment and supplies, for all of these positions, are provided by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In return for approximately 20 hours of
volunteered service per week, volunteers will be provided a free campsite
that includes electric, water, and sewer hookups. Volunteers who work 250
hours or more at federal recreation sites also earn a free annual pass.  For
more information please call (217) 774-3951 Ext: 2 or visit the Lake
Shelbyville Project office at 1989 State Hwy 16, in Shelbyville, IL or email
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .


Archery Deer Applications for Beaver Dam/Horseshoe Lake

Sat, March 10, 2018

PLAINVIEW, IL – Archery deer hunting applications are available through March 30 for the special drawings at Beaver Dam State Park, Carlinville, and through March 31 for the special drawings at Horseshoe Lake State Park, Granite City for the 2018-19 Illinois Archery Deer Hunting Season.Hunters can obtain an application either online or from park offices to apply. Site-specific applications will offer nine weekly intervals at Horseshoe Lake State Park and 11 weekly intervals at Beaver Dam State Park.  Applicants must prioritize their hunting weeks and will be selected randomly in a lottery drawing.

Beaver Dam State Park (Macoupin Co.) offers approximately 450 acres of hunting area.  The hunting area consists predominately of upland hardwood forested acres with an interspersion of cropland and grassland.  Horseshoe Lake State Park (Madison Co.) offers an estimated 600 acres of hunting area, which consists of small to medium size woodlots surrounded by cropland and grassland components.  There are two separate areas open to archery deer hunting at Horseshoe Lake State Park (Bend Road or Walker’s Island). Follow the links to the Hunter Fact Sheets on the IDNR website to obtain the archery deer site applications:

Goode’s Woods Nature Preserve, a 40-acre woodland nature preserve located in northern Macoupin Co. and a satellite area of Beaver Dam State Park, will allow one archery hunter per week.  Thirteen total weeks will be available for archery deer hunting this area. Bohm Woods Nature Preserve, a 90-acre site located in Madison Co., and a satellite area of Horseshoe Lake State Park, will allow two archery hunters per week.  Thirteen total weeks will also be available for archery deer hunting at Bohm Woods. Follow the links to the Hunter Fact Sheets to obtain the archery deer hunting site applications:’sWoodsNaturePreserve.aspx

Drawings will be held on the first working day in April (April 2) at each site.  All areas (Beaver Dam State Park, Goode’s Woods Nature Preserve, Horseshoe Lake State Park and Bohm Woods Nature Preserve) require the harvest of an antlerless deer prior to harvesting an antlered deer.  Archery deer hunting for people with disabilities is also available at Beaver Dam State Park through a reservation system to hunt from an accessible blind location.

For more information or to pick up an application, contact Beaver Dam State Park, 14548 Beaver Dam Lane   Plainview, IL 62685, phone 217-854-8020; or, Horseshoe Lake State Park, 3321 Highway 111, Granite City, IL 62040, phone 618-931- 0270.


Firewood Cutting Opportunity at Carlyle Lake

Thu, March 08, 2018

Permits will be available at the Carlyle Lake Project Office from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. beginning March 8, 2018.  A total of 15 permits will be issued on a first come first serve basis and there is no charge.  All permit holders will be limited to four cords of firewood which may not be used for commercial use or resale. Previous permit holders from Dam West Campground must reapply.  Trees will be located throughout the campground and vehicle access will be limited to paved surfaces only.  Cutting will be permitted Tuesday through Saturday beginning March 12, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

For more information on Carlyle Lake, contact the Carlyle Lake Project Office at (618) 594-2484 or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Public Meeting

Thu, March 08, 2018

This meeting is to discuss the status and upcoming fish habitat projects. Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance (LSFHA) is made up of fishing clubs, individuals, businesses, government agencies, and organizations looking to improve fishery at Lake Shelbyville. With the help of many, we had a highly successful year and a fantastic start, achieving many of our original goals! We would like to report these achievements and discuss our bright-looking future to improve the fishing quality at Lake Shelbyville. Topics for the meeting will include 2017 progress and financial reportings, 2018 goals and financial needs, a status update on the Friends of Reservoirs grant, a summary of the March 17 habitat drop, future cube building plans, and a meet and greet with the Lake Volunteers Association (LVA). The alliance has partnered with LVA for non-profit status and to ensure that all funds are spent on Lake Shelbyville fish habitat development. The Lake Volunteers Association is the cooperating association for the Lake Shelbyville U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For more information, please contact Natural Resources Specialist Lee Mitchell at (217) 774-3951 ext: 7012, IDNR Fisheries Biologist Mike Mounce at (217) 345-2420 or Bob Kerans at (217) 414- 0093. Hope to see you there!


IDNR Announces 2018 Wingshooting Schedule

Mon, March 05, 2018

The clinics provide instruction and help improve the shooting skills for both beginners and experienced hunters.  Most clinics are conducted on weekends at IDNR sites, cooperating gun clubs and shooting ranges, hunting preserves, and farms.

Youth/Women’s Wingshooting Clinics are designed to provide instruction on safely shooting a shotgun at moving clay targets.  Girls and boys ages 10-15, young adults ages 16-18, and women of all ages are eligible to participate.  Each clinic starts with a morning shotgun safety presentation, followed by a brief, hands-on shotgun orientation session. Students will break for lunch then spend the afternoon in the field shooting flying clay targets.

Most youth/women’s clinics are provided at no cost to participants, but some require a nominal registration fee.  Shotguns, shotshells, clay targets, safety glasses and hearing protection are provided. 

Hunter wingshooting clinics are hands-on and include extensive opportunities to shoot a variety of clay target presentations on courses specifically designed for hunters.  From ducks and doves to pheasants, quail and rabbits, hunters will find clay target presentations that resemble their favorite and most troublesome hunting shots.

The hunter clinics are designed for shotgun shooters with reasonable experience. Young shooters ages 12 to 15 must be in at least the “Intermediate” skill level category to enroll in these clinics. They must also be accompanied by an adult who is participating in the clinic.  Shotgun shooters ages 16 and older with beginning to advanced wingshooting skills who want to improve their shotgun shooting skills are encouraged to attend.  Hunter clinic fees range from $30 to $35 per participant.

Wingshooting clinics are taught by instructors who are certified by the IDNR.  Many clinic instructors also have a National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) instructor certification.  The participant-to-instructor ratio is usually four-to-one.  Participants are typically grouped with others of similar shooting ability.

The 2018 IDNR Wingshooting Opportunities Schedule, registration information, and details about other clinics and special events are available on the IDNR website at


Carlyle Lake Christmas Tree Recycling Program

Sat, March 03, 2018

The Corps has collected over 1,000 Christmas trees that were discarded after the holiday season.  These trees will be used to form fish reef structures in Carlyle Lake, which will provide breeding areas and protection for young fish.  The structures also encourage growth of algae and zooplankton, two sources of food for young fish.  Recycled Christmas trees make inexpensive yet effective habitat for all types of fish.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the placement of the trees.  Volunteers can assist by helping Corps Rangers build tree reefs or by supplying boats to place the Christmas trees in the lake.  Volunteer contributions will help improve the fish habitat at Carlyle Lake and ensure better fishing opportunities in the future. 

The event will be located at the Dam East High Water Boat Ramp on Saturday, March 24th, starting at 8:30 a.m. For more information on this project, or if you would like to volunteer, contact the Carlyle Lake Project Office at (618) 594-2484 or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


MDC and anglers prepare for March 1 trout opener

Thu, March 01, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As winter winds down, anglers throughout the Show-Me State are beginning to show some signs of trout fever. Symptoms include: tying flies, putting new fishing line on reels, checking waders for holes, and practicing casting. Most anglers who get trout fever get rid of it by doing one thing — visiting one of Missouri’s four trout parks to participate in the catch-and-keep trout season.

Thursday, March 1, marks the opening of catch-and-keep trout fishing at Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Licking, Roaring River State Park near Cassville, and Maramec Spring Park near St. James. The catch-and-keep season at the trout parks runs through Oct. 31.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) operates trout hatcheries at all four parks. To help predict angler turnout on opening day, hatchery staff rely on permit records going back more than 80 years. Montauk, Bennett Spring, and Roaring River hatchery staff expect crowds of about 2,000 anglers at each location and Maramec Spring staff are planning for a crowd of about 1,000. Based on these predictions, hatchery staff will stock three trout per expected angler on opening day for a total of more than 21,000 fish averaging around a foot in length. The hatcheries will also stock a mix of “lunkers” ranging from three to 10 pounds.

“We have plenty of fish for this year’s trout season,” said MDC Fisheries Division Chief Brian Canaday.

Trout anglers will need a daily trout tag to fish in Missouri’s trout parks. Daily trout tags can only be purchased at each of the four trout parks. Missouri residents 16 through 64 and nonresidents 16 and older need a fishing permit in addition to the daily tag.

Buy Missouri fishing permits from numerous vendors around the state, online at, or through MDC’s free mobile apps, MO Hunting and MO Fishing, available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.

Trout hatcheries are just one way that conservation pays in Missouri. MDC stocks more than 800,000 trout annually at the state’s four trout parks and approximately 1.5 million annually statewide. Trout anglers’ spend more than $100 million each year in the Show-Me-State, which generates more than $180 million in business activity, supports more than 2,300 jobs and creates more than $70 million dollars in wages. About 30 percent of Missouri trout anglers come from other states, so a substantial portion of trout fishing expenditures is “new money” for the state’s economy.

For more information on trout fishing in Missouri, visit

REMINDER TO TROUT ANGLERS: To prevent the spread of the invasive alga called didymo or “rock snot,” the use of shoes, boots or waders with porous soles of felt, matted or woven fibrous material is prohibited at all trout parks, trout streams, Lake Taneycomo, and buffer areas. Get more information at

2017 bennett springs trout opener


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