The Mazon River is associated with the Mazon Creek fossils of the Francis Creek Shale, which are also exposed in strip mines and quarries near the River. This fossil bed includes well-preserved fossils from the Pennsylvanian period of the Paleozoic era and is a world-famous Lagerstätten site.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has recently considered renaming the Mazon River. The IDNR believes that the frequent vandalism and theft of Mazon River signs is due to its current name being very similar to the well known Amazon River of South America.
The Mazon River is approximately 28 miles (45 km) in length, with the West Fork considered the main branch.
Cities and counties
The following cities, towns and villages are within the Mazon watershed:
The following counties are at least partly drained by the Mazon River:
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 13, 2011
- American Whitewater
- Prairie State Canoeists
- Field Museum Collection, Mazon Creek Fossils
- Illinois State Museum, Mazon Creek Fossil Collection
- Prairie Rivers Network
- USGS Real-time Stream Gage Mazon River
- Upper Illinois/Mazon River watershed map (PDF)