The Ten Mile Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, located in southeastern Jefferson County and the western sections of Hamilton County, provides a wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities, including wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing, target shooting, hunting and trapping. Access to the site can be gained from rural roads leading from Illinois Route 142 and Illinois Route 14.
Fishing is a popular use of Ten Mile Creek SFWA. Access to the strip pit lakes is provided by five concrete boat ramps, and additional gravel boat ramps and parking areas. The lakes contain populations of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish. The site-specific regulations for fishing as the site include a two-pole limit. Check the IDNR Fishing Information Guide for fishing limits. In addition, a 10 horsepower motor limit is in effect for boating. Fisheries management includes population surveys and control measures, control of aquatic vegetation, and fish stocking. The small ponds of the Dahlgren and Goshen Trail Units are stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, and channel catfish.
Another favorite activity at Ten Mile Creek SFWA is wildlife viewing, especially on the portions that are designated as Goose Refuge. These areas are closed to all access during the Canada goose hunting season to provide a place for migrating ducks and geese to rest and feed. Management activities include the planting of various crops as food sources, and the construction of shallow water impoundments which are managed to promote moist soil vegetation. During each fall and winter, tens of thousands of ducks and geese can be observed using the rest area. Of the wildlife species that inhabit the site, hunting programs for cottontail rabbit, bobwhite quail, mourning dove, geese, ducks, deer, squirrel, turkey, and furbearers are featured.
Special regulations apply to each species. In addition, a Quality Deer Management program is conducted on the Belle Unit, which restricts the harvest to certain types of deer. All necessary information on regulations is provided with the hunting permit.
Other recreation opportunities exist at Ten Mile Creek SFWA at the hand trap range (shotgun use only), archery range, and rifle range, all of which are located in the Goshen Trail Unit. Use of the rifle range requires an annual permit which includes the regulations and restrictions. Equally important, a hiking trail, which meanders through an area of upland forest, is located in the Goshen Trail Unit.
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