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JACKSONVILLE, LAKE


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


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Maps are not intended for navigation.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

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Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Poor

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.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Excellent

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.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

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.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Good

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.

REDEAR SUNFISH

Fair

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

WHITE CRAPPIE

Average

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
217-479-4644
Blake Ruebush, IDNR District Fisheries Biologist
217-622-7219

There were 29 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2016.

Species Total Fish Caught
Bluegill 44
Channel Catfish 1
Crappie 81
Largemouth Bass 960

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this
waterbody in 2016 tournaments:

1     18.11 lbs
2     13.75 lbs
3     11.80 lbs
4     10.60 lbs
5     9.07 lbs

2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Public?
September-245063Lake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No