MAZONIA LAKES - NORTH UNIT
Boat Fishing? Yes
Boat Ramps? Yes
Boat Rental? No
For individual Mazonia North lakes information click the links below:
There are no zebra mussels in this lake.
Lake Status Summary ( Full PDF Report )
Survey results for 2014 indicate that Clear Lake continues to support a high-quality bluegill fishery. The average size bluegill collected measured 5.9” while nearly 39% of the collection met or exceeded 8”. The Ponderosa Lake bluegill fishery appears to be showing signs of heavy fishing pressure as population parameters were in decline for the 2014 survey.
This species is present in most all of the larger water areas with densities greatest in lakes receiving annual supplemental stockings. During the spring 2014 survey on Bass Lake the gill netting yielded catfish which averaged 18.8”, with the largest fish just over 5 pounds. Flathead catfish are present in Monster Lake and can be caught near the Granary Creek cut-off.
Although both white and black crappies are present in the Mazonia impoundments, white crappie are the more common of the two. White crappie collected in the 2014 spring surveys on Bass and Monster Lakes had comparable average lengths which approached 9.5”. 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 are present in Monster Lake and can be caught near the Granary Creek cut-off.
Bass Lake, located in the Main Unit, was surveyed in the spring of 2014. Collected at the rate of 40 per hour of electrofishing effort, largemouth bass catch rates declined from the previous survey. The average size bass collected during this survey measured 12.0”, increasing from the 2012 survey by nearly 0.6 “. Legal-size bass comprised over 24% of the adult collection and trophy-sized bass (18” plus) while not common were present. Clear Lake was also surveyed and while the bass collection was high, it was dominated by smaller fish; the average size bass did not exceed 10”. Best bets for bass fishing success continue to be Bass, Gar and Carp Lakes in the Main Mazonia Unit. Monster, Eagle and Ponderosa Lakes were also surveyed with Monster Lake providing the best bass population per 2014 fall survey results. Bigger bass are taken each year by anglers targeting the more remote, harder to get to lakes and ponds.
This fish has been stocked into several of the Mazonia lakes, but have shown poor recruitment, with few fish of size collected in IDNR sampling. A lone representative was collected from Bass Lake in 2014 that measured just under 30”. This species should not be confused with grass pickerel, which are similar in appearance and do not grow large and 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.
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 channel catfish into several lakes on a rotational basis. Redear sunfish have been stocked into Clear Lake and Ponderosa Lake as well. A walleye stocking program is scheduled to initiate on Monster Lake in the Spring of 2015. No special mercury advisory or other contaminant-related consumption advisories pertain.
A variety of other species that can be found in Mazonia Lakes 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 AreaP.O. Box 37815-237-0063Rob Miller, IDNR County Fisheries Biologist630-553-6680
|2016 Approved or Pending Tournaments||Start Date||End Date |
(if different from start)
|Ramp Location||Maximum Boats||Public?|
|March-26, Sat||Bullhead Lake 7||20||Yes|
|April-10, Sun||Carp Lake 8||20||Yes|
|April-17, Sun||Carp Lake 8||30||Yes|
|April-30, Sat||Carp Lake 8||15||No|
|May-14, Sat||Carp Lake 8||30||Yes|
|May-15, Sun||Carp Lake 8||20||Yes|
|June-05, Sun||Carp Lake 8||20||Yes|
|June-11, Sat||Carp Lake 8||15||No|
|June-12, Sun||Ponderosa Lake||20||No|
|June-18, Sat||Carp Lake 8||30||Yes|
|June-26, Sun||Carp Lake 8||30||Yes|
|July-03, Sun||Carp Lake 8||20||Yes|
|July-16, Sat||Carp Lake 8||30||Yes|
|July-31, Sun||Carp Lake 8||20||Yes|
|August-07, Sun||Carp Lake 8||30||Yes|
|August-27, Sat||Carp Lake 8||30||Yes|
|September-11, Sun||Carp Lake 8||30||Yes|
|September-25, Sun||Carp Lake 8||20||Yes|
|October-01, Sat||Carp Lake 8||30||Yes|
|October-02, Sun||Carp Lake 8||30||Yes|