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SPRINGFIELD, LAKE


Lake Information

County: Sangamon

Acreage: 3866

Average Depth: 13.16 feet

Shoreline Length: 52.7 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? No

Bay Island Center Harbor Marine Point Midland Island Spaulding Dam West End


    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Bay Island, Center Harbor, Marine Point, Midland Island,
    Spaulding Dam, West End

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

Developing

The Division of Fisheries, working with the City and the local catfish club, began a blue cat stocking program in 2006. Approximately 150 fish ranging from 3-57 pounds have been transplanted from the Mississippi River near Alton. Fingerlings have also been stocked from the IDNR hatchery system and through purchases from a private fish hatchery in Kentucky since 2006. Approximately 13,296 5.9” blue catfish were stocked into Lake Springfield in fall 2016. Blue cats will grow quickly and provide an excellent trophy fishery to anglers. Anglers can catch blue catfish in the warmer months using crayfish, shrimp, large shad, or stinkbait around submerged logs and deadfalls.

BLUEGILL

Excellent

Lake Springfield has a surprisingly good bluegill population, which is uncommon in a large impoundment. The fall fish survey showed that 55% of the catchable population is composed of 6–7” fish, while 9% is composed of 7–8” fish. Anglers can catch bluegill in the warmer months of the year using worms, crickets, or night crawlers along structured shorelines.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Very Good

The channel catfish population is excellent both in quantity and quality. Lake Springfield is one of the best channel catfish lakes in the state. Anglers can catch channel catfish in the warmer months of the year using bottom fishing techniques with cut bait, shrimp, chicken livers or night crawlers within the entire lake. The largest channel catfish ever collected during a fish survey measured 27.5” and weighed over 13.5 lbs.

CRAPPIE

Improving

Both black and white crappie are present in Lake Springfield. The black crappie are a strain originally brought in from Arkansas in 1985 that have a ¼” wide black stripe running from just under the chin up over the nose to the dorsal fin. They are called blacknose or black-striped crappie by anglers. This genetic morph of black crappie were stocked in Lake Springfield beginning in 2006. The 2016 fall fish survey showed a catch rate of 14 black crappie/hour of electrofishing. White crappie in Lake Springfield are native. The 2016 fall fish survey showed a catch rate of only 15 white crappie/hour of electrofishing. In general, crappie numbers have been lower than desired, therefore a crappie stocking program was implemented in the mid-2000s and will continue indefinitely or until the population is strong enough to sustain itself. About 800 black crappie measuring 5.3” were stocked into Lake Springfield from the rearing pond in the fall of 2016. Dense aquatic vegetation inhibited a more successful harvest. Around 10,000 black crappie measuring 2–4” were also stocked into the lake in fall 2016 through the IDNR state hatchery system. Brood black crappie will be stocked into the rearing pond in spring 2017 and their young will be stocked into the lake after two growing seasons in fall 2018. Anglers can catch crappie around submerged structures within the entire lake, but particularly in the southern 1/3rd of the lake, with spinners, jigs and minnows in the spring and fall. The largest white crappie ever collected by electrofishing on Lake Springfield measured 15” and weighed just over 2 lbs! Site Regulation: 10” minimum length limit with a creel limit of 10 fish per day.

FLATHEAD CATFISH

Excellent

Lake Springfield has earned a reputation for producing large numbers of nice flathead catfish every year. The largest reported was over 60 pounds Anglers can catch flathead catfish using live bait such as minnows, sunfish, shad, or crayfish around submerged logs and deadfalls in the warmer months and deep holes in the colder months.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Very Good

Lake Springfield is one of the better largemouth bass lakes in the state. It has shown consistent balance over the last two decades. It has a high density population with electrofishing surveys routinely surpassing 100 bass per hour (147/hr in 2016). In addition, thanks to a strong shad forage base, the bass are very heavy bodied. They typically are 25% heavier per length than the statewide average. For example, a 15” bass averages 1.75 lbs statewide while in Lake Springfield it weighs 2.25 lbs. The only downside to the population is the apparent lack of fish over 18” and 3.5 lbs. There are excellent numbers below that, but above, the numbers drop off significantly. The 2016 fall fish survey showed only 1.5% of the catchable population to measure over 18”. The lack of fish over 18” is however normal for this lake. Anglers can catch largemouth bass on points, deadfalls, and stickups within the entire lake in the warmer months of the year with plastic worms, jigs, spinners, crank baits, minnows, crayfish and worms. The largest largemouth bass ever collected by electrofishing on Lake Springfield measured 22” and weighed 6.5 lbs. Site Regulation: 15” minimum length limit with a creel limit of 6 per day.

WHITE BASS

Developing

The white bass population remains very good. Historically, fall electrofishing surveys did not produce adequate sample sizes to assess the population, but our catch rates have increased over the last few years. All population indices were within the desired range in 2016. The 2016 fall fish survey showed a catch rate of 35/hr of electrofishing, which is the highest catch rate of white bass in more than 10 years. The lake is noted for both the size and numbers of white bass. Fish up to 15” are common. Anglers can catch white bass within the entire lake, using minnows, small spinners, and small jigs.

Detailed fishing report   

Fishing Report

WEEK

FISH

FISHING CONDITIONS

9-21-2018

CHANNEL CATFISH

Fair to good using most baits.

9-21-2018

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Fair using plastics, spinnerbaits & crankbaits.

Location: Lake Springfield is located on the southeast edge of Springfield.

Description: Lake Springfield was constructed in 1931 by the damming of Lick and Sugar creeks. It has a maximum depth of approximately 30' and average depth of 13'. Lake Springfield is 3866 acres.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The Division of Fisheries entered into a formal Cooperative Management Agreement in 1984 with the City of Springfield to manage the sport fishery. Lake Springfield has a small power plant on the lake that keeps the lower end of the lake open to fishing year round. Lake Springfield has four concrete boat ramps for easy access.

A total of 45 fish species have been collected in Lake Springfield since 1984. While their numbers and potential for successful angling are low, anglers may catch green sunfish, green sunfish x bluegill hybrid, freshwater drum, redear sunfish, or yellow bullhead.

Additional Lake Information: The lake has four concrete boat ramps for easy access. Two pole and line fishing only. No commercial devices, such as trot lines, jugs, or bank poles, are allowed. Archery fishing is allowed for rough fish throughout the lake.

Note: When fishing on Lake Springfield, lake rules require you maintain 100’ distance from private property.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth bass: 15” minimum length limit with a creel limit of 6 per day
Crappie: 10” minimum length limit with a creel limit of 10 fish per day
Walleye/sauger: 14” minimum length limit with a creel limit of 6/day

Contact Information:
City of Springfield
217-789-2323
Blake Ruebush, IDNR District Fisheries Biologist
217-622-7219

There were 77 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2017.

Species Total Fish Caught
Blue Catfish 23
Channel Catfish 1083
Crappie 244
Flathead Catfish 1
Largemouth Bass 4416
Smallmouth Bass 1

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

1     6.88 lbs
2     6.81 lbs
3     6.58 lbs
4     6.35 lbs
5     6.06 lbs

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

1     554.01 lbs
2     341.56 lbs
3     270.25 lbs
4     240.13 lbs
5     216.51 lbs

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

2018 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?
September-298651ApprovedLindsay Bridge boat
hook
40Multiple SpeciesYes
September-308553ApprovedLindsay Bridge boat
hook
18Largemouth Bass
No
September-309145ApprovedLindsay Bridge boat
hook
60Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Flathead Catfish
Yes
October-0610494ApprovedSailboat Launch boat
hook
12Crappie
No
October-137695ApprovedLindsay Bridge boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
October-138652ApprovedLindsay Bridge boat
hook
40Multiple SpeciesYes
October-148653ApprovedLindsay Bridge boat
hook
40Multiple SpeciesYes
November-0410443ApprovedLindsay Bridge boat
hook
12Crappie
No
November-0410563ApprovedLindsay Bridge boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes