REND LAKE STATE FISH WILDLIFE AREA
Outdoor sportsmen will find a haven of recreational activities at Rend Lake. With 18,900 acres of water and over 20,000 acres of land in Jefferson and Franklin counties, Rend Lake provides ample opportunities for hunting and fishing. Rend Lake is located between Mt. Vernon and Benton, just off interstate 57.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has management responsibility for the Big Muddy and Casey Fork subimpoundments plus the Rend Lake Refuge, while the remainder of the wildlife area is managed by personnel from the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Portions of Rend Lake are managed intensively for waterfowl, providing both habitat and hunter opportunity for ducks and geese. Around the perimeter of the fish and wildlife area and scattered throughout are areas well-suited for deer, squirrel, rabbit and quail hunting. Additional recreation facilities, such as camping, golfing, tennis are located nearby at Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, Corps of Engineers and the Rend Lake Conservancy District.
Rend Lake was built as a joint project by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Rend Lake Conservancy District, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This 18,900 acre reservoir was built to provide a dependable domestic water supply to a two-county area beginning in 1965. Construction of the $60 million project took five years to complete with the final filling of the lake in the early 1970s. Since that time, many improvements have been made resulting in the current quality facilities that are currently available. The Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area was developed to provide public hunting and other recreational opportunities.
Overnight visitors can stay at the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park which has primitive and developed camp sites, or at the Corps of Engineers campgrounds on Rend Lake. For those who prefer not to camp, the Rend Lake Resort, which has waterside rooms and marina facilities, is located within Wayne Fitzgerrell.