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CHARLESTON SIDE CHANNEL


Lake Information

County: Coles

Acreage: 317

Average Depth: 5.71 feet

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted, no wake entire lake

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? No


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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

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Species

Rank

Avg Wt.
(pounds)

Avg.
Length
(inches)

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Fair

0.1 lbs

5

Bluegill fishing is fair. Bluegill are abundant, with a few fish exceeding 8 inches. The body condition is good. Fishing prospects are rated as fair - good for 2016.

CARP

Excellent

1 lbs

16

Common carp are abundant with fish exceeding 8 lbs. Fishing prospects are rated as excellent for 2016.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Good

0.8 lbs

14

Channel catfish are abundant in the lake. The average catch goes from 3/4 - 2 ½ lbs., with the occasional fish over 10 pounds caught. Fishing prospects are rated as good for 2016. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily creel limit, no minimum length limit.

CRAPPIE

Excellent

N/A

N/A

Crappie, both white and black, are abundant. Growth rates vary from slow to fast within this population. Anglers may catch crappie up to 14 inches and 1+ lbs. Fishing prospects are rated as excellent for 2016. Site Regulation: 10 fish daily creel limit for fish under 10"; 10 fish daily creel limit for fish 10" or longer.

FLATHEAD CATFISH

Poor

11.6 lbs

32

Flathead catfish are low in abundance. Anglers catch a few large flatheads infrequently. Catch and release is encouraged. Fishing prospects are rated as poor for 2016.

FRESHWATER DRUM

Good

1.1 lbs

14

Freshwater Drum, commonly called drum “perch”, are moderately abundant with fish exceeding 5 lbs.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

Good

0.3 lbs

9

Hybrid striped bass (striped bass X white bass hybrids) are stocked annually from IDNR hatcheries. Good numbers of hybrid striped bass have been caught in recent years by anglers. Hybrids in excess of 15 lbs are reported caught and have been collected in fish population surveys. Fishing prospects are rated as good for 2016. Site Regulation: 3 fish daily creel limit, 17" minimum length limit.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Fair

1.5 lbs

14

Largemouth bass are moderate in abundance due to a lack of aquatic vegetation for nursery habitat. Improved numbers of bass from ½-2 lbs. are present with fish over 6 lbs. caught on occasion. Fishing prospects are rated as fair for 2016. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily creel limit, 14" minimum length limit.

SAUGEYE (Walleye/Sauger Hybrid)

Excellent

0.9 lbs

14

Saugeye (sauger X walleye hybrids) are stocked annually from IDNR hatcheries which has developed a good fishery. Saugeye are abundant from 12 to 26 inches, with fish in excess of 6 lbs. have been caught in the lake annually. Fishing prospects are rated as excellent for 2016. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily creel limit, 14" minimum length limit.

Detailed fishing report   

Fishing Report

WEEK

FISH

FISHING CONDITIONS

4-18-2017

CRAPPIE

Fair to Good: Lake Charleston is producing some as they move in closer and out to 10 feet of water. Fish are moving in at Mill Creek to 10 feet or less and biting on minnows. Catching some 12 inches and some with eggs.

4-18-2017

BLUEGILL

Fair: Fish are biting on wax worms and crickets. Also check out other area lakes such as Lincoln Trail Lake and Marshall Lake.

Location: Charleston Side Channel Lake is located approximately three miles southeast of Charleston, just off Route 130 in Coles County.

Description: The Charleston Lower Channel Lake is the impounded Embarras River. The lake covers 330 surface acres with a maximum depth of 12 feet and average depth of 5.7 feet. The Charleston Side Channel Lake is the primary water supply for the City of Charleston and is separated from the Embarras River by a dike that provides excellent shoreline access. Recreational opportunities include fishing and limited boating. Public boat launching facilities are available. There is a no-wake regulation in effect on the entire lake.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The fish population in Charleston Side Channel Lake is intensively surveyed every two years. The fish are measured, weighed, and scales collected before releasing them alive. Annual evaluations of saugeye and hybrid striped bass have been made. Saugeye and hybrid striped bass populations have been maintained by annual stockings. Desirable species of aquatic vegetation have been introduced in an attempt to establish populations to improve water quality, reduce shoreline erosion, and provide valuable and necessary fish habitat.

Yellow bass, longear sunfish, green sunfish, warmouth, and yellow bullheads are present, but are seldom harvested by anglers due to the small size attained by these species.

Additional Lake Information: Pole and line fishing only, with no more than two poles allowed per person, with only two hooks or lures per pole. All statewide regulations are in effect. Carp and carpsuckers can be taken by bow and arrow and gigs. There is a no wake regulation in effect on the entire lake.

Contact Information:
IDNR District Fisheries Biologist
Mike Mounce
217-345-2420

2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Public?
May-026883Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-096884Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-166885Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-236886Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-306887Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-045498Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
No
June-066888Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-136889Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-206890Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-276891Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-046892Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-116893Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-186894Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-256895Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-016896Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-064865Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
No
August-086897Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-156898Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-226899Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-296900Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-056901Bypass Rd. (south) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes