Choose another lake

HORTON LAKE


Lake Information

County: Hancock

Acreage: 13

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Electric trolling

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

  Trout stocked in fall

  Trout stocked in spring


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLACK CRAPPIE

Improving

A group of black crappie survived the winter kill in 2013/14, and are now measuring 9 – 12". We collected a few young of year in the 2016 and 2017 fall survey. Our 2017 survey showed 46% of the catchable population measured over 9” and 0 measured over 10”. There is currently no restriction on crappie harvest at Horton Lake. Anglers can catch crappie around submerged structures throughout the lake in the spring and fall with spinners, jigs and minnows.

BLUEGILL

Improving

The bluegill population at Horton Lake is currently characterized by a high density of fish measuring 3–4" in less than desirable body condition. The bluegill population should do better in the future with continued establishment of predator species. Anglers can catch bluegill on their spawning beds in the spring or near shoreline cover year round with worms, crickets or night crawlers.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Improving

Little is known about the channel catfish population following the winter 2013/14 fish kill. We collected 3 channel catfish in our 2017 survey ranging in size from 17 – 22" and weighing up to 3.7 pounds. Channel catfish are stocked from the State Hatchery system on an annual basis, so the population should recover well. Anglers can catch channel catfish near deadfalls and stickups in the warmer months throughout the lake using bottom fishing techniques with cut bait, shrimp, chicken livers or night crawlers.Site Regulation: Creel limit 6 per day, no length limit.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Developing

The largemouth bass population consists of only brood fish stocked from the State Hatchery system in June 2106. The brood fish range in size from 15.5 – 21.5" weighing up to 4 pounds. Anglers are asked to practice catch and release with largemouth bass for the next serval years until the population becomes established. Laregemouth bass are not sexually mature until the age of 2, so protecting these fish until they have had a chance to spawn multiple times until age 4 or 5 is necessary to create a self-sustaining population. Anglers can catch largeemouth bass of of points, deadfalls, and stickups in the warmer months of the year with plastic worms, jigs, spinners, crank baits, minnows, crayfish and worms. Site Regulation: 18" minimum lenght limit, 1 fish daily limit.

NORTHERN PIKE

Poor

Two groups of norther pike were stocked into Horton Lake following the 2013/14 winter fish kill with an attempt to establish a trophy northern pike fishery. Generally, northern pike do not reach harvestable size in Illinois, and the stocking was discontinued. We collected 5 pike in the 2016 survey, ranging from 13 – 20" and 5 pike in the 2017 survey ranging from 21.5 – 28”. The 2017 survey showed poor growth rates and body condition. Anglers can catch pike in the spring and fall around beds of aquatic vegetation using minnows, spinners, spoons, jigs, and jerk and crank baits. Site Regulation: 1 fish/day limit; 36" minimum length.

RAINBOW TROUT

Very Good

Rainbow trout are stocked with our Catchable Trout Program in the Spring and Fall. Trout creel limit is 5 per day, except for spring and fall closed seasons when catch-and-release fly fishing is permitted.

Location: Located in Nauvoo State Park in western Illinois' Hancock County, on the south edge of Nauvoo along Illinois Route 96.

Description: Horton Lake was built in 1967 to provide fishing opportunity to patrons of Nauvoo State Park. The lake is 13 acres with a maximum depth of 26 feet, an average depth of 13 feet, and shoreline length of 3000 feet. A primitive boat ramp and bank fishing are available. The lake features clear water and a peaceful setting located on the edge of town. Camping, picnic areas, hiking trails and a museum are available.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The sport fishery includes largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill and channel catfish. The lake receives largemouth bass and channel catfish stockings. In addition, Horton Lake is one of several lakes across IL that offers the Catchable Trout Program. Catchable size rainbow trout are stocked every spring and fall for anglers to enjoy catch and release fly fishing prior to opening day and harvest of 5 trout/day after opening day. Anglers must possess an inland trout stamp, in addition to a valid sportfishing license to participate in this program.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only for all species. Boats can be powered by electric trolling motors only.

Site Regulations:

Largemouth bass: 18" minimum lenght limit, 1 fish daily limit
Channel catfish: 6 fish daily limit
Northern Pike: 36" minimum length, 1 fish daily limit

Contact Information:
Nauvoo State Park
Park Staff
207-453-2512
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Blake Ruebush
217-622-7219