Banner Marsh State Fish & Wildlife Area
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.
There 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
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
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 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.
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
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
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