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Lake Information

County: Morgan

Acreage: 442

Average Depth: 12.47 feet

Shoreline Length: 18.6 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link Dam Boat Ramp

    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Boat Ramp, Dam

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.



Fish Status



The bluegill population is below average in Lake Jacksonville. Thirty percent of the catchable population measured between 6-7” in 2016, which is a much greater than it has been in years past.



The channel catfish population is excellent, both in quantity and quality. Channel cats are collected every year weighing 2-10 pounds in good numbers and are in excellent body condition. Anglers can catch channel catfish in the warmer months using bottom fishing techniques near deadfalls, woody debris, and shallow flats with cut bait, shrimp, chicken livers or night crawlers. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit.


Very Good

Hybrid striped bass have been stocked on alternate years since 1988 and have done well. Collecting a good sample of hybrid striped bass via boat electrofishing can be difficult and focused gill net surveys have not been conducted for many years due to time and manpower constraints. However, angler accounts suggest that the population is doing well and is providing good fishing opportunities. Hybrid stripers provide a great fishing opportunity for those looking to diversify their catch.



The bass population has declined over the years, but is still in average condition. All population structural indices are within or close to management goals. Bass are reproducing and recruiting into the catchable population through natural reproduction and supplemental stocking by the IDNR hatchery system. The fall 2016 electrofishing survey produced bass ranging from 4.5 – 22.5” and 0.03 – 6.8 lbs. 25% of the catchable population measured over the current 15” minimum length limit, 15% measured over 18”, 8% measured over 20”, while 72% of the catchable population measured between 8-14”. Bass measuring less than 8” and over 15” are in excellent and good body condition, respectively. The population is experiencing a bottleneck at around the 14” length that is shown by a reduced body condition and a high catch rate of 8–14” bass. Bass are stacking up at this length and having a difficult time getting over the hump into the next size class because of limited food sources. Anglers can catch largemouth bass on points, deadfalls, stickups, and along aquatic vegetation beds in the spring and fall with plastic worms, jigs, spinners, crank baits, minnows, crayfish and worms. Site Regulation: A new bass regulation is effect starting April 2017 — ther is now a protected 14-18” slot with a 3 fish/day creel limit. Consumption Advisory: Lake Jacksonville is currently under a consumption advisory for largemouth bass measuring over 15”. No more than 1 meal/week is recommended for women beyond child bearing age and men more than 15 years old, while no more than 1 meal/month is recommended for pregnant or nursing women or women of child bearing age and children less than 15 years old.



The redear sunfish population is similar to the bluegill population, but shows higher numbers of 7-8” fish than bluegill.



The crappie population is average and is characterized by a large number of fish measuring less than 10”. Crappie collected ranged in size from 6 – 13.5” (0.21 – 1.1 lbs) in 2016. Average body condition is under the management goal. The largest white crappie ever collected during an electrofishing survey measured over 15” and weighed 1.8 lbs. A new regulation was put into place to attempt to reduce the density of fish measuring less than 10”, which will allow for more food sources and faster growth rates of the remaining fish. Anglers can catch white crappie on stickups and submerged structures in the spring and fall using spinners, jigs and minnows. Site Regulation: Beginning April 1, 2017: 25 fish/day creel limit with no more than 10 fish measuring greater than or equal to 10”.

Location: Lake Jacksonville is located 3 miles south of Jacksonville and 30 miles west of Springfield just off of I-72.

Description: Lake Jacksonville is 476 acres with a maximum depth of 31 feet, an average depth of 12.5 feet, 18.5 miles of shoreline, and maintains abundant aquatic vegetation beds. The lake has a nice double ramp on the north shore.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The Division of Fisheries entered into a formal Cooperative Management Agreement with the City of Jacksonville in 1984 to manage the sport fishery. Due to the poor sportfishery, the lake was completely drained, rehabilitated and restocked in 1986. This project produced one of the best largemouth bass populations in the state.

Additional Lake Information: 2 pole and line fishing only.

Carp, buffalo, sucks and carpsuckers may be taken by means of pitchfork and gigs (no bow and arrow devices).

Site regulations:
Largemouth bass: 14– 18" protected slow, 3 fish daily limit
Crappie: No more than 10 fish greater than or equal to 10", 25 fish daily limit
Hybrid striped bass: 17" minimum length, 3 fish daily limit
Channel catfish: 6 fish daily limit

Contact Information:
Site Superintendent
Blake Ruebush, IDNR District Fisheries Biologist

There were 14 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2017.

Species Total Fish Caught
Crappie 66
Largemouth Bass 452

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

1     6.12 lbs
2     6.05 lbs
3     5.90 lbs
4     5.88 lbs
5     5.85 lbs

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

1     182.75 lbs
2     165.31 lbs
3     107.31 lbs
4     54.17 lbs
5     43.50 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
Max Boats Species Open to Public?
September-2710148ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
30Largemouth Bass
September-3010564ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
30Largemouth Bass
October-0410149ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
30Largemouth Bass
October-078195ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
15Largemouth Bass
October-078613ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
10Largemouth Bass
October-1110150ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
30Largemouth Bass
October-13October-1410129ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
30Largemouth Bass