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We're On Top Of Lake Tenkiller

Illinois River

Illinois River

The upper Illinois River runs 70 miles with beautiful scenery of wildlife and the clearest waters of Oklahoma.

The River allows slow rapids for floaters to enjoy the with cliffs, islands for exploring, and wildlife everywhere. Some of the stretches of river posses more quicker rapids for the adventure seekers. Canoes, kayaks, and rafts can be obtained by businesses along with shuttle to aid visitors to enter the river. Many of the shuttles provide group discounts and accommodation facilities. Visitors can bring their personal rafts, canoes, and kayaks and enter at the rivers public entry. Call ahead for shuttles. User Fees Decals are mandatory which can be purchased for $1.00 at the Oklahoma Scenic River Commission. Keep an eye on the water levels and life jackets are big helpers.

Many choose to camp on the upper Illinois River so bring all of your camping stuff. Sites are can be obtained for tents and also RVs. RV parks and personal campgrounds let visitors get away from everything. Some campgrounds have cabins that reach the river’s edge.

The Upper Illinois River is a wonderful place for camping, fishing, and wildlife watchers. There are picnic sites available every where so bring some food. Plan ahead and bring extra clothes and zip-lock bags Always make to stay hydrated. Containers made with Styrofoam or glass are Illegal. Make sure to keep the your area clean and please don’t litter. Lastly clean up your campsite after words so whoever comes behind you can enjoy the campsite as much as you did.

For more information of safety contact the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Headquarters, located 2 miles north of Tahlequah on Scenic Highway 10, at 918-456-3251, for more information of safety

The Lower Illinois River emerges underneath the Lake Tenkiller Dam producing a year-round trout stream. The Fisheries Division of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife stocks trout in four different places across 8 miles of the river’s stream every weekend begging at the end of March until the Fourth of July weekend. Though out the rest of the year trout are stocked every other week. Fishing for trout requires a trout stamp which can be received at many locations upon Lake Tenkiller. The Lower Illinois River spills to the Arkansas River at the Lake Tenkiller Dam close to Highway 100 South and run in between the Towns of Gore and Vian at The Highway 64 Bridge.

The state record for trout which weighed 10 lbs. 6 oz was caught in the Lower Illinois River. Catching trout is fun and people have been fishing in this area since 1965.

Any type of fishing bait is allowed as long as it is not prohibited by the Wildlife Department of Oklahoma. Fishermen are allowed to catch and release as many trout as they would like as long as the fish are not being harmed. The limit per person is 6 and fishermen are allowed to have 12 in possession. Lots of fishermen use these trout for catching stripper bass as well. State record stripper bass are normally caught using trout for bait.

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