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Lake Information

County: Grundy

Acreage: 180

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Yes

Boat Ramps? Y

Boat Rental? N

Skiing? N

Swimming? N

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? No

mazonia 00 woody lake bass lake mazonia 4 mallard lake goose lake Carp Gar Clear Big Dog Bullhead

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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



0.1 lbs


While not common, larger bluegills are present in good numbers in some of the impoundments within the Mazonia area. 61% of the bluegills collected by trap netting at Bass Lake were 7" or larger. Better bets for larger fish can be found at Clear Lake, Ponderosa Lake as well as the smaller ponds at the Wilderness Area.

Channel catfish


1.6 lbs


This species is present in most all of the larger water areas with densities greatest in lakes receiving annual supplemental stockings. During the spring 2013 survey on Gar Lake the gill net yielded catfish which averaged 21.4", with the largest fish approaching 7 pounds. Flathead catfish are present in Monster Lake and can be caught near the Granary Creek cut-off.


Very Good



Although both white and black crappies are present in the Mazonia impoundments, white crappie are the more common. White crappie collected in spring trap netting in 2013 on Gar Lake had an average length of 11.1". Prevalent in most all lakes and ponds, crappies provide much of the early spring action. Crappies are regularly caught through the ice as well.

Flathead catfish




Flathead catfish are present in Monster Lake and can be caught near the Granary Creek cut-off.

Largemouth bass


0.5 lbs


Bass Lake, located in the Main Unit, was surveyed in the spring of 2013. Largemouth bass catch rates improved from the previous survey and slightly exceeded the long term average. At just over 13.0", the average size bass collected during this survey increased from the 2011 survey by nearly 1.5". Legal size bass comprised over 17% of the adult collection and trophy-sized bass (18" plus,) while not common, were present. Carp Lake and Gar Lake were also surveyed in 2013 with an average length around 12.5". The percentage of legal-sized bass ranged between 11 and 12 percent of the adult population, and while bass 18" and larger were collected from both lakes, their density was slightly higher in Gar Lake. Best bets for bass fishing success continue to be Bass, Gar and Carp Lakes in the Main Mazonia Unit and Monster and Wilderness Lakes in the South Mazonia Unit. Bigger bass are taken each year by anglers targeting the more remote, harder to get to lakes and ponds.

Northern pike


0.7 lbs


Stocked on an annual basis into Carp and Gar Lakes, northern pike have shown poor recruitment, with few fish of size collected in IDNR sampling. This species should not be confused with grass pickerel, which are similar in appearance but are not protected by a length and/or creel limit. The current state record northern pike was caught from Monster Lake. Larger fish are present in some of the south unit lakes, holdovers from when these lakes were leased by private fishing clubs.

Redear sunfish


0.6 lbs


Although present in several of the Mazonia lakes, Ponderosa supports the best population of redear sunfish. In the most recent trap net survey, redear sunfish dominated the collection as a total of 48 were captured ranging from 6.7" to 11.7", averaging 9.9" and 12.5oz.

Location: The Mazonia State Fish and Wildlife Area main office is located in Grundy County, 3 miles southwest of Braidwood on Illinois Route 53 and Huston Road. The south unit, which includes the Ponderosa, Wilderness and Monster Lake areas, is located in Kankakee County north of County Highway 6 and west of the town of Essex.

Description: Mazonia State Fish and Wildlife Area consists of 2,679 acres of reclaimed strip-mine land which was purchased by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) from Commonwealth Edison Company. The initial purchase was made in 1986 and included the old "Pit 16" area. An additional 1,662-acre parcel, which formerly included areas managed by sportsman's clubs, was purchased in 1999. The entire area was once surface-mined by the Peabody Coal Company from 1951-1970.

The area consists of over 200 impoundments ranging from less than 1/4 acre to nearly 150 acres. Most all of these water areas are typified by steep drop-offs and many have maximum depths in excess of 30 feet with some twice that. Shoreline access to most lakes and ponds is limited by extensive stands of tall reed grass. Concrete boat ramps access four of the largest lakes within the main Mazonia area and here boats are restricted to trolling motors only. Gravel ramps are present on Eagle, Ponderosa and Monster Lakes. Gasoline motors are allowed on these water areas and while there are no horsepower limitations, a strict no-wake regulation is enforced. "Belly boats" have become an effective and popular way of accessing and fishing the smaller interior ponds.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The main lakes are surveyed on an alternate year basis. Habitat enhancement projects have been completed on many of these lakes and ponds. Aquatic vegetation, while present, has not required any active management.

Most of the larger water areas contain largemouth bass, bluegill, white and black crappie, channel catfish, carp and various other species. The IDNR presently stocks Carp Lake and Gar Lake annually with fingerling (8") northern pike, while channel catfish are stocked into several lakes on a rotational basis. Redear sunfish have been stocked into Clear Lake and Ponderosa Lake as well. The walleye stocking program at Ponderosa has been discontinued due to the failure of those stockings. No special mercury advisory or other contaminant-related consumption advisories pertain.

In addition to the above, a variety of other species that can be caught include common carp, freshwater drum, bullheads, green sunfish and several gar species.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only, all other statewide regulations apply. Swimming is prohibited. Fishing is closed ten days prior to the opening of waterfowl season in the central zone and reopens at the conclusion of the upland game season, or as ice becomes safe.
Note: Monster Lake is open to fishing year-round.

Trolling motors only, except on Monster and Ponderosa Lake where gasoline outboards are allowed, but are no wake.

Contact Information:
Mazonia/Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area
P.O. Box 37
Rob Miller, IDNR County Fisheries Biologist: