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Lake Information

County: Will

Acreage: 2241

Average Depth: 8.76 feet

Shoreline Length: 15 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Y

Boat Rental? N

Skiing? N

Swimming? N

Picnicking? No

Camping? No

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

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Avg Wt.


Fish Status

Blue catfish

Very Good

3 lbs


Initially stocked in 2008, blue catfish have shown excellent growth rates and provide an exciting compliment to species available to the angler at Braidwood Lake. Blue catfish collected in the 2013 survey averaged 19.3", the largest measuring nearly 38" and weighing 27.7 pounds.


Very Good

0.1 lbs


TEST Bluegill are collected with regularity throughout the lake, but more prevalent along rip-rapped shorelines. In 2013 sampling, fish were generally smaller, only 14% of which were 6" and larger with a few collected exceeding 8".

Channel catfish

Very Good

0.8 lbs


Braidwood is a "catfish factory" of sorts. A combination of very successful natural reproduction and high survival of young fish leads to a population dominated by smaller fish. Channel catfish collected in the 2013 survey ranged from 6" to 24" and 6.8 lbs. As it has been for the past several years, the average size is just over 12" and 1/2 pound.

Hybrid Striped Bass (Wiper)


4.4 lbs


Hybrid stripers were first stocked in 2011 and have performed well to date. These initial stockings are already achieving 20" and this should provide another exciting compliment to the angler's creel.

Largemouth bass

Very Good

1.1 lbs


Stocked annually since 2006, a total of 57,000 bass fingerlings were released in 2013.

Location: Braidwood Lake is located in Will County approximately 1.25 miles south of the Village of Braidwood adjacent to U.S. Route 53.

Description: Braidwood Lake is a 2,640 acre, partially perched cooling lake. When impounded in 1981 several old strip-mine pits were flooded within the lake proper. No horsepower limitations; maximum speed limit is 40 mph except in designated "no wake" and "hazard" areas; working gasoline engine required as main propulsion unit; boats under 14' are not recommended. County Line Road Access (south access) has a four-lane concrete boat ramp with 35 car/trailer parking. An additional 75+ car lot is located adjacent to the ramp area. Cemetery Road Access (north access) has a two-lane concrete boat ramp with parking for 35 car/trailers. A majority of the shoreline is open to bank fishing, and these areas are clearly marked. Access to the interior islands by anglers is prohibited. Steep drop-offs, rock piles, man-made habitat, current and thermal breaks and woody cover are all present. The nature of this lake requires extreme care in boating and a good topographic map is well worth the expense.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The fishery is evaluated via biennial major surveys and species-specific ancillary surveys. For reasons which are not entirely evident, the 2013 survey yielded very poor results. Fish habitat enhancement has been conducted for several years and most recently involves the installation of commercially made units. Braidwood Lake supports a persistent phytoplankton bloom which suppresses rooted aquatic vegetation. Braidwood Lake receives annual stockings of largemouth bass, blue catfish and most recently hybrid striped bass. No special mercury advisory or other contaminant-related consumption advisories pertain.

Redear sunfish have been stocked on a few occasions and, while not as prevalent as bluegill, larger specimens are caught. Flathead catfish were also stocked several years ago and a remnant population exists today. Braidwood Lake is maintained by periodically pumping water from the Kankakee River. As a result, the lake supports a variety of fish species which include common carp, quillback, freshwater drum and others. Braidwood Lake is supported by a thriving gizzard and threadfin shad forage base as well as various other minnow species.

Additional Lake Information: Swimming, wading, water skiing and sail boating are prohibited. Braidwood Lake is open to fishing daily from 6:00 a.m. till sunset from March 1 until ten days prior to the opening of the waterfowl season (central zone). Portions of Braidwood Lake are restricted to unauthorized access; these areas are clearly marked. Bank fishing boundaries are posted. Since windy conditions can produce treacherous waves, the lake can be closed at the discretion of the site superintendent.

Contact Information:
Mazonia/Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area
P.O. Box 126
IDNR Fisheries County Biologist: 630-553-6680