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BRAIDWOOD LAKE

This lake is closed to fishing as of October 16, 2018 due to waterfowl season.


Lake Information

County: Will

Acreage: 2241

Average Depth: 8.76 feet

Shoreline Length: 15 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? No

Camping? No


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Maps are not intended for navigation.


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUE CATFISH

Good

Blue catfish stockings were initiated in 2003 and, with few exceptions, have occurred annually to 2016. The 2017 survey provided one of the best collections number-wise of blue catfish, with fish ranging from 11.0” to 36.6”. Length frequency distribution, while somewhat spotty, does indicate the presence of multiple year classes. The largest collected in the 2017 survey weighed 26 pounds.

BLUEGILL

Fair

Found throughout the lake, bluegills are more commonly collected in or near rip-rapped shorelines. Larger fish seem to be in decline, as the average size bluegill in the 2017 survey was 5.3”. Bluegills larger than 7” are generally uncommon.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Good

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 2017 survey ranged from 3” to 30” and 15 lbs. As it has been for the past several years, the average size is just over 13” and ½ pound.

FLATHEAD CATFISH

Fair

Flathead catfish were stocked several years ago and a remnant population exists today.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

Good

This stocking program commenced in 2011 and striped bass hybrid fingerlings have been stocked annually, except in 2013 to 2016. Stocking rates ranged from 6.9 to 17.9 fish per acre with most averaging less than one inch at stocking. The exception was 2015 when larger fingerlings (4.5”) were produced and stocked through Exelon’s Quad Cities fish hatchery. Returns in fall surveys have been somewhat disappointing, although site reports indicate good catches had been made by anglers. Due to a decline in shad numbers in the past few surveys, a moratorium has been placed on this stocking program until such time that the forage base has had a chance to recover.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Excellent

The largemouth bass population continues to improve as fall collection numbers trend upwards. The 2017 collection increased by nearly 10% over the preceding survey and represented the most largemouth bass ever collected in any IDNR survey. Bass that were less than 8” accounted for 44.4% of the total collected, while those 8” and larger reached record-setting numbers and were more than twice the long-term average. The density of smaller bass is largely due to the addition of 48,072 4-inch fish just months prior to the survey as well as the successful survival of the previous year’s stocking. The results from 2107 are encouraging as the density of legal size bass showed a favorable increase, accounting for 28% of the adult bass collected. The percentage of 18”- plus bass in recent surveys continues to account for less than 5% of the adult bass collected. Braidwood Lake is also popular with tournament anglers. In 2017 the average size for the biggest bass caught in these tournaments weighed 4lbs. 8 oz.

REDEAR SUNFISH

Fair

Excess production at the IDNR hatchery systems has allowed for the stocking of redear sunfish on a few occasions, and while not as prevalent as bluegill, larger specimens are caught.

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. Fish habitat enhancement has been conducted for several years and most recently involved the installation of commercially made units. Braidwood Lake supports a persistent phytoplankton bloom that suppresses rooted aquatic vegetation.

Braidwood Lake receives annual stockings of largemouth bass, blue catfish and most recently hybrid striped bass. Excess production at the IDNR hatchery systems has allowed for the stocking of redear sunfish 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. No special mercury advisory or other contaminant-related consumption advisories pertain.

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). All fish species — two pole and line fishing only. 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.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass: 15” minimum length limit; 3 fish daily limit
Hybrid Striped Bass: 3 fish 17” or longer; 10 fish daily limit

Fish Attractors:

Contact Information:
Mazonia/Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area
815-237-0063
IDNR District Fisheries Biologist
630-553-6680

There were 27 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2017.

Species Total Fish Caught
Blue Catfish 26
Bluegill 11
Channel Catfish 59
Hybrid Striped Bass 2
Largemouth Bass 1243
Smallmouth Bass 4

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2017 tournaments:

1     5.29 lbs
2     5.10 lbs
3     5.02 lbs
4     4.94 lbs
5     4.94 lbs

Top 5 Bag Weights of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2017 tournaments:

1     277.99 lbs
2     273.45 lbs
3     265.45 lbs
4     230.81 lbs
5     213.23 lbs

Interested in participating in one of these public tournaments? Contact us with tournament ID for more information.

2018 – 2019 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Open to Public?
April-0610612ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
April-0610798ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
April-0710630ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
hook
100Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Buffalo
Yes
April-1310955ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
60Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-1411216ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
75Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
April-1911961ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
April-2010747ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
April-2111050ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Buffalo
Yes
April-2611384ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
14Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
April-2710649ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Buffalo
Yes
April-2811217ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
75Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
April-2811749ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-0410606ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
hook
100Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-0511219ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
75Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
May-1811446ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-1911221ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
75Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
May-1912029PendingNorth Ramp boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-2510774ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
May-2611061ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Buffalo
Yes
June-01June-0211264ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
10Multiple SpeciesNo
June-0810816ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
June-0911265ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-0911448ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-1511615ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-2311449ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-0811064ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-1411639ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-1511225ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
75Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
September-1512030PendingNorth Ramp boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-2110966ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
September-2211232ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
75Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
September-2811368ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
60Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-2911227ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
75Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
October-0510970ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
October-1211230ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
75Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
October-1311017ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No