William W. Powers State Recreation Area is an Illinois state park administered by the Illinois department of herbal Resources ~ above 600 acre in the Hegewisch ar area that the City of Chicago in cook County, Illinois.

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The area has 419 acres of water in wolf Lake the provides about six miles of coast to fishermen. The park hosts end a fifty percent a million tourists annually. The park has numerous species, and is among the many important biological sites in the Chicago region. The park is currently operated through a contingent of 5 full-time and also one part-time IDNR employees.

Conservation and Ecosystems

The U.S. Military Corps that Engineers and also the Illinois Water Survey have studied methods to halt degredation that the lake and the USDA Forest business has conducted a study of publicly interests in recreation at wolf Lake top top both the Indiana and Illinois sides.

The wolf Lake water level identify the drainage come Lake Michigan due to the fact that the connecting Calumet flow flows southward during elevated levels and also northward throughout lower levels. Indian Creek is right now the single outlet the water from wolf Lake to the Calumet River. As such it forms vital part that the mechanism for lake level and also for stormwater management.

The potential for wolf Lake ecosystem degradation is multi-faceted. It contains exotic plant varieties proliferation, short diversity that plant and also fish species, water depth fluctuation, minimal diversity the aquatic habitat, contaminant impact, and shoreline erosion. Most recently, proposed tasks from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois room of herbal Resources seaside Management ar Office include brand-new aquatic and wetland habitat plantings, shoreline restoration, producing deep feet to locally diversify the lake bottom, herbicidal and also biological controls, channel clearing, and also dike and also causeway building and construction to restore natural water levels.

Geography

As the one and only State Park within Millennium Reserve, wilhelm W. Powers State Recreation Area is vitally essential to efforts to enhance natural ecosystems and stimulate local financial growth.

William W. Powers State Recreation Area is situated on Chicago’s much southeast side, accessed by interstate 90, interstate 94, and also Highway 41. The key park enntrance gate is situated at 126th and South way O. This ar places william W. Powers squarely in ~ the Millennium Reserve, a transforming an ar in the Calumet and also southeast Chicago lakefront locations – 210 square mile in all – with growing commerce, communities, and also wildlife.

Wolf Lake extends across the Illinois and also Indiana state line between 12th and 134th streets. At one time, the wolf Lake was linked to Lake Michigan by a creek running through Hammond top top the Indiana side, yet the creek has long since been clogged by development. ~ above the Illinois side, wolf Lake empties into Indian Creek, which feeds into the Calumet River. The Illinois and Indiana political parties of the lake space separated by State heat Road. State Line roadway ends in foot bridges whereby water enters indigenous the Indiana side.

In total, wolf Lake is one 804-acre lake that has actually 419 acre within the City of Chicago, v the remainder in the City that Hammond. Its preferably depth is 20 feet. Wetlands nearby to the lake incorporate the 250-acre Eggers Woods woodland Preserve, 175-acre Powderhorn Lake Prairies, and 40-acre Hyde Lake Wetland.

History

In 1947, the State the Illinois acquired a 160-acre parcel well-known as the wolf Lake State Recreation Area. Later on acquisitions were included to the property and also have enhanced the area. In 1965, the Illinois basic Assembly called the area after william W. Powers. Powers to be a Chicago alderman on the Chicago City Council and Illinois general Assembly legislator in the 1920s, and used the site for picnics to feed the needy throughout the good Depression.

The park likewise has a army history. Over there is a defunct Nike Ajax missile honoring the missile site that populated the area throughout the Cold war years. Memorial Day, independence Day, and also Veterans work ceremonies lure veterans who ar flags at markers near a previous re-dedication awareness site.

Use

The park supplies grills and has shelters easily accessible by reservation because that picnicking. 2 of the shelters each have capacity because that 50 people, and two others each have capacity because that 100 people. Fishing and also hunting is permitted in accordance with regulations, however camping is not allowed. The park remains very popular with anglers and also has been the site of number of IHSA high school sectional bass tournaments. Ice fishing is allowed in the winter and also motorboats room permitted, but must run “no wake.” The lake has actually several dikes the temper the wave height and provide extr shoreline fishing access. There room 25 hunting blinds to hunt waterfowl. This sites space awarded in yearly lotteries hosted in so late July. During the season, daily drawings are held to allocate blinds the absentee blind holders.

Wildlife

Wolf Lake contains largemouth bass, north pike, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, bullhead, carp, walleye, hybrid muskie, and also yellow perch. Over there is an sometimes salmon trout captured in the lake. Salmon accessibility the lake via the Calumet River and its Indian Creek tributary. This renders Indian Creek one, if no the only, city stream through a salmon run within Chicago city limits.

Lake sturgeon, endangered in both Indiana and also Illinois, and banded killifish, endangered in Illinois, are both part of the wolf Lake ecology.

Native Trumpeter (Cygnus buccinator) and also Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) and non-native Mute swans (Cygnus olor) might all be discovered on the lake in winter. Tundra swans are absent in summer as they migrate to the arctic and subarctic to nest, however, the non-native, Eurasian Mute swans compete for habitat through the non-migrating Trumpeter swan populace and is an impediment to restoration of the native Trumpeters roughly the good Lakes. Additional native birds hosted by the lake encompass cardinals, blue jays, finches, orioles, woodpeckers, teal, mallards, resident and also migratory Canada geese, and an sometimes bald eagle.

Birdwatchers gain the non-native Monk Parakeet, which is a south American parrot, that swarms in the park. Hunters reap the seasonal waterfowl. The southern American Monk Parakeets arrived on the site in 1999 and have since established two swarms with 7 or eight birds each. They room presumed to have actually migrated from the Hyde Park ar area.

The lake supports the nesting habitat because that four varieties of intimidated birds: small blue heron, yellow-crowned night heron, black-crowned night heron, and also yellow-headed blackbird.

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The park likewise attracts city dwelling mammals such together squirrels, rabbits, raccoon, muskrats, opossums, and the sometimes coyote and white-tailed deer. Over there is a big population that beaver on the lake currently. An annual trapping routine seeks come manage and also limit their numbers.