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  Banner Marsh - State Fish & Wildlife Area   

Northwest Region

19721 N. US 24
Canton, IL 61520


Elevator in the fog
Site Map Dog Training Photo Gallery
Boating Fishing Picnicking
Camping History Rice Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area
Directions Hunting

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. Three public access areas lead 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. Nnearby 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 was used for agricultural purposes and surfaced mined for coal.

Today, Banner Marsh State Fish & Wildlife Area serves as a 4,363-acre freshwater marsh. More than 200-plus water bodies, and its vast acres of grassland and shrubland habitats 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 popular 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).

Contact the Rice Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area at (309) 647-9184, as site specific rules and regulations do apply to some hunting programs. Hunter Fact Sheet

Fishingpond at sunset

Whether you prefer bank fishing or boat fishing or are fishing for one particular species, 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 works to ensure a well-balanced fishery for today’s anglers and future generations with three fish brooding ponds, extensive stocking efforts and site-specific size and creel limits, posted at all three public access areas.

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.


Three public boat ramps, offer visitors easy accessto the waters of Banner Marsh as well as scenic views of the area. Row boats, canoes and small motor boats are popular watercraft at Banner Marsh.

Jet skis, water skiing, swimming and operation of boat motors in excess of 25 horsepower are prohibited at Banner Marsh.

Dog Training

Banner Marsh is known as an excellent place for training hunting dogs and conducting field trials. Dog training requires a free permit that can be obtained at Rice Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area, located southwest of Banner Marsh.

Some field trials are conducted at Banner Marsh, but require a permit from the Department.


Whether taking a break from fishing or just desiring a day in the outdoors, visitors enjoy picnicking at any of the three public access areas. Each picnic area offers shaded picnic tables, immediate access to fishable waters, boat ramps and restrooms. No potable water exists at Banner Marsh.

Youth Group Camping

No camping facilities exist at Banner Marsh, beyond walk-in or boat-in camping for youth groups. Advance arrangements must be made at the Rice Lake office.

Surrounding Area

To find local attractions and restaurants, please visit the Fulton County Tourism Council


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.

  • While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
  • At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
  • Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
  • Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
  • We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
  • For more information on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.
  • Telecommunication Device for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175 for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.

Parks & Recreation

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