The Donnelley/DePue State Fish and Wildlife Areas complex is managed primarily for migratory waterfowl. Frank C. Bellrose, world-renown waterfowl expert, designated this Great Bend as the entry point to the lower Illinois River valley, an important North American waterfowl migration corridor.
The Donnelley/DePue complex is home to a $1 million State Duck Stamp Project, which was funded through State Duck Stamp dollars, State of Illinois Capital Development Board funds and Ducks Unlimited M.A.R.S.H. contributions. This project greatly increased the complex's ability to provide significant sanctuary with dependable food resources as well as increased services to the high hunting demands of northern Illinois.
These state wildlife areas contain a variety of wetland habitats critical to migratory waterfowl. Consequently, much of the 3,015-acre complex is managed for waterfowl feeding, nesting, resting, hunting and viewing.