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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Waters Bibliography: Illinois River

A directory of digitized reports on Illinois waters

Color map of illinois watershed, showing diagonal path across Illinois, with counties in the watershed highlighted in yellowThe Illinois River is 273 miles long from its origin where the Des Plaines and Kaskaskia flow together to its mouth at Grafton, where it flows into the Mississippi.  The Illinois River watershed covers a large portion of Illinois, and includes areas in Indiana and Wisconsin.

The Report of the Rivers and Lakes Commission on the Illinois River, published in 1915, includes the following description: 

"In many respects the Illinois River is one of the most remarkable streams in the United States. Its past importance as an avenue of water commerce, the possibilities of its future in this respect, its fresh water fisheries, its use as the main sewer, so to speak, of the second city in the country, and more recently, the agricultural development on its bottom lands through the construction of levees, all have led to perhaps more thorough studies, with various objects in view than has been received by any other of our rivers."

The introduction to the Integrated Management Plan noted that as of 1995 90% of the state's population lived in the 55 counties that comprise the Illinois River watershed.

The reports and other documents on the Illinois River included here address a wide range of issues including settlement, navigation, game wildlife and other biota, water quality, sedimentation, flooding, and land use. 

Illinois River: select documents in chronological order

Management of the Illinois River

Illinois River Data

Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP) Area Assessments Covering the Illinois River