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Banner Marsh State Fish & Wildlife Area

About Teddy Bear Ratings19721 N. US 24
Canton, IL 61520

Banner Marsh State Fish & Wildlife Area is located approximately 25 miles southwest of Peoria on U.S. Route 24 and is protected from the Illinois River by a major levee.

Teeming with fish and wildlife, Banner Marsh provides various outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, boating, dog training, picnicking, wildlife observation and photography.

Banner Marsh State Fish & Wildlife AreaThere are three public access areas leading into Banner Marsh, all of which have parking lots, boat ramps, restrooms and picnic areas.

The only type of camping allowed at Banner Marsh is youth group camping. However, nearby Rice Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area has camping facilities available.


Prior to the Department of Natural Resources purchasing tracts of land bordering the Illinois River in Fulton and Peoria counties during the 1980s, the area underwent several land use changes, including farming and surface coal mining.

Today, the area known as Banner Marsh State Fish & Wildlife Area serves as a 4,363-acre freshwater marsh. The site�s 200-plus water bodies, in conjunction with its vast acres of land, provide excellent habitat for migrating and local waterfowl, numerous species of gamefish and other wildlife, while providing opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts.


During hunting seasons Banner Marsh is a very popular place with Illinois outdoorsmen. Diverse in habitat, wildlife species and management practices, Banner Marsh offers a variety of hunting opportunities, including waterfowl, dove, upland game and deer (archery only).


Whether you prefer bank fishing or boat fishing, walleye, muskie or channel cat fishing, you won�t run out of fishable water at Banner Marsh.

With more than 200 clear water bodies holding numerous species of fish, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, crappie, bluegill, redear, green sunfish and channel cat, fishing is a common interest among many who visit the area.

The site�s three fish brooding ponds, extensive stocking efforts and site-specific size and creel limits, posted at all three public access areas, will ensure a well-balanced fishery for today�s anglers and future generations.

Boat fishing is prohibited during waterfowl season, but bank fishing is allowed after 1 p.m. daily. Fishing is otherwise permitted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


The site�s three public boat ramps, located in different areas of Banner Marsh, offer visitors easy access as well as scenic views of the area. Row boats, canoes and small motor boats are all popular watercraft at Banner Marsh.

Jet skis, water skiing, swimming and operation of boat motors in excess of 25 horsepower are all prohibited at the area.

Dog Training

Banner Marsh is also known as an excellent place for training hunting dogs and conducting field trials. Dog training requires a permit that can be obtained at Rice Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area, which is located southwest of Banner Marsh. There is no fee required for the permit.

Some field trials are conducted at Banner Marsh, but require a permit from the Division of Wildlife Resources.


For a break from fishing or just a day in the outdoors, visitors can enjoy picnicking at any of the three public access areas. Each of these picnic areas offers shaded picnic tables, immediate access to fishable waters, boat ramps and restrooms. There is no potable water at the site.

Youth Group Camping

There are no camping facilities at Banner Marsh. However, walk-in or boat-in camping is available to youth groups. Arrangements must be made at the Rice Lake office in advance.


Rice Lake/Banner Marsh State Fish & Wildlife Areas are both accessible by US Rte 24. Both sites are well signed with Banner Marsh providing four access points and Rice Lake one.

Traveling from the north, via I-55 to Bloomington-Normal, take I-74 west to 474 which will bypass Peoria to the south. Exit 474 onto US Rte 24 west, travel approximately 15 miles on US Rte 24 west to access Banner Marsh and approximately 20 miles to the entrance to Rice Lake.

Traveling from the south, you can access these sites by utilizing these same routes.

Traveling from the east or west, travelers may utilize US Rte 136 to state routes 78 & 97, one miles west of Havana. Travel north approximately five miles to US Rte 24, then approximately 12 miles to the Rice Lake entrance and 17 miles to the Banner Marsh entrance.

Official Banner Marsh Website

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