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Lake Information

County: Christian

Acreage: 2321

Average Depth: 12.57 feet

Shoreline Length: 97.4 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 25hp

Boat Ramps? Y

Boat Rental? N

Skiing? N

Swimming? N

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

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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

Channel catfish

Very Good

0.9 lbs


The channel catfish population is doing well both in quantity and quality. Fish up to 8 pounds are surveyed every year. Anglers can catch channel catfish in the warmer months using bottom fishing techniques near deadfalls and woody debris with cut bait, shrimp, chicken livers or night crawlers. The largest channel catfish ever collected by electrofishing measured over 27" and weighed 9 lbs.





Sangchris Lake contains both black and white crappie. The black crappie are a strain originally brought in from Arkansas in 1985 that have a 1/4" wide black stripe running from just under the chin up over the nose to the dorsal fin; called black-nosed or black-striped crappie by anglers. Crappie in Sangchris Lake do not maintain predictable yearly spawns, which is common in a cooling lake. While the native white crappie and black-nosed crappie numbers are below the objective levels, the number of larger fish >10" and >12" has regularly exceeded the objective levels. A crappie stocking program exists for Sangchris Lake to help supplement year class strength and increase density as natural spawning and recruitment can be low. Anglers can catch crappie on hundreds of submerged Christmas trees and other structures within the entire lake with spinners, jigs and minnows year round. A 16.5", 3 lb black crappie was recently brought to the biologist for weighing and identifying!

Flathead catfish

Very Good

1.6 lbs


Flathead catfish are difficult to survey, but anecdotal evidence suggests angler catches are becoming more common. Sangchris Lake is approaching 50 years old and is developing a reputation for producing flathead catfish weighing over 40 lbs. The largest flathead ever collected in a survey weighed 69 lbs. and the largest caught by an angler weighed 76 lbs. Flathead catfish exceeding 40 lbs are harvested every year. Anglers can catch flathead catfish using live bait such as minnows, sunfish, shad, or crayfish around submerged logs and deadfalls in the warmer months and deep holes in the colder months.

Largemouth bass


0.9 lbs


Sangchris Lake is known for its high density bass population. The fall 2013 survey showed 36% of the largemouth bass population to be over the 15" minimum length limit, but only 6% were over 18". Largemouth bass in Sangchris Lake tend to be in less than desirable body condition, but still within the management goal. Lower body conditions are most likely caused by unstable forage fish reproduction and the high summer water temperatures in the lake. Bass most likely burn more energy than they can consume in the hot summer months, resulting in less than average body condition. Even so, this lake still has one of the better bass fisheries in the state. Anglers can catch largemouth bass on points, deadfalls, and stickups within the entire lake year round with plastic worms, jigs, spinners, crank baits, minnows, crayfish and worms. The largest bass ever collected by electrofishing measured 22" long and weighed over 7 lbs!

Striped bass

Very Good

1.6 lbs


Pure striped bass are non-native and have been stocked into Sangchris Lake every other year since 1983. The striped bass stocking program has produced some great fishing opportunities. The past several years have not produced many fish over 20 pounds, but there is a good density of striped bass up to 14 lbs. Anglers can catch stripers near "striper point" located in the northern portion of the lake in the warmer months and in the hot water middle arm of the lake when water is being discharged in the winter. Anglers can catch stripers using large spinnerbaits , crankbaits, spoons, jigs, crayfish or large minnows. The current state record of 31 pounds 7 ounces was caught in Sangchris Lake!

Location: Sangchris Lake is located 20 miles southeast of Springfield off of IL Route 104, 7 miles north of Bulpitt.

Description: Sangchris Lake is 2325 acres. The lake was developed as a result of damming Clear Creek in 1964. The Division of Fisheries has been involved in the management of this lake from its beginning in 1965. It was owned by Commonwealth Edison and served as a cooling lake for their coal-fired power plant. The fish community is therefore highly dependent on power plant operation. Commonwealth Edison sold the plant to the current owner, Dominion Power, in the early 2000s. The maximum depth in the lake is approximately 38 feet with and average depth of approximately 13 feet. Sangchris Lake has three boat access points; one on each arm.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The lake boasts 100 miles of shoreline and is characterized by a west and middle arm cooling loop and an east ambient arm. The east arm receives much of the water within the watershed, and therefore suffers from siltation. Much of the shoreline and cove habitat was once composed of dense beds of water lily and submersed aquatic vegetation. Those communities have recently collapsed and no cause has been determined at this point. A total of 26 fish species have been collected in Sangchris Lake since 1982. While their numbers and potential for successful angling are low, anglers may catch green sunfish, green sunfish x bluegill hybrid, freshwater drum, white bass, or yellow bass.

Additional Lake Information: Sangchris Lake has three boat access points; one on each arm. Rowboats, canoes and boats with motors of 25 horsepower or less are welcome to use the ramps. The long-awaited West Boat Ramp opened in fall 2014; improvements include: a new boat ramp that extends further into the water for safer boat launching, larger parking lot, new access road, and handicap-accessible sidewalks and parking. Two pole and line fishing only. No commercial devices, such as trot lines, jugs, or bank poles, are allowed. Archery fishing is allowed for rough fish, but not within 200 yards of a developed area, such as a campground.

Contact Information:
IDNR District Biologist
Nerissa McClelland
(ext. 224)