WILMINGTON, IL – Illinois’ Bowfishing Festival and Conservation Shoot at the Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area boat access area is scheduled for Saturday, May 19.

The all-day festival will feature bowfishing instruction and ranges, fishing instruction for kids with supervised rod-reel fishing opportunities, fish cleaning and cooking demonstrations (with free samples of delicious fish), and activities for children and families.

Experts will be on hand and displays will be presented from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Illinois Natural History Survey, Bowfishing Association of Illinois (BAI), and other partners and organizations.

The Conservation Shoot bowfishing tournament – coordinated by the Bowfishing Association of Illinois – will target bighead carp, silver carp, grass carp and common carp on the Kankakee River, Des Plaines River, and Illinois River near the Des Plaines SFWA. Bowfishing enthusiasts can register for the tournament by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Bowfishing Tournament and Conservation Shoot will highlight efforts by the IDNR, along with state, federal and local partners, to bolster removal of invasive Asian carp from Illinois waterways, as well as boost demand for the tasty fish.

Admission and parking are free for the event, scheduled from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on May 19, rain or shine, with tents set up for all of those attending. Fish dinners and other menu items will be available throughout the day from Springfield’s famed Carter’s Fish Market food truck.

For more information on the event, contact the IDNR Division of Fisheries at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Des Plaines SFWA is located just off I-55, approximately 8 miles south of I-80, at the I-55 Wilmington exit #241 (Des Plaines SFWA boat access coordinates: 41°21’35.2″N 88°13’05.1″W).

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