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Lake Information

County: Macoupin

Acreage: 765

Average Depth: 19.82 feet

Shoreline Length: 38.4 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 115hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link Dam Boat Ramp North End

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

Maps are not intended for navigation.

There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status


Very Good

Our spring 2015 species evaluation sample yielded channel catfish ranging from 12” to 24.5”, and maxing the scale at 5.6 lbs. 28% attained 2 pounds, 9.3% reached 4 pounds, and none exceeded 6 pounds in total weight. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily creel limit.


Very Good

During March of 2015, striped bass hybrids measured from 10.9” to 26.4”, and topped the scale at 9.2 pounds. 39.3% were at least 4 pounds, 14.3% met 6 pounds, and 7.1% attained 8 pounds or better. Site Regulation: 3 fish 17” or longer; 10 fish daily creel limit.


Very Good

Site Regulation: 15” minimum length limit; 3 fish daily creel limit.


Very Good

During this survey we boated muskie measuring from 30.7” to 39.4” and weighing up to 18.7 pounds. 92.9% made it to 32”, 78.6% reached 34”, and 35.7% topped 36” in total length.Site Regulation: 48” minimum length limit; 1 fish daily creel limit.



During our spring field work we collected white bass ranging from 11.4” to 17.6”, and weighing up to 2.6 pounds. 80% were 12”, 20% measured 14”, and 20% grew to 16” in size. Site Regulation: 3 fish 17” or longer; 10 fish daily creel limit.

Location: Otter Lake is located in north central Macoupin County 6 miles west of Girard, IL.

Description: Otter Lake is named after Otter Creek, which was dammed to provide flood control, water-based recreation, and potable water for surrounding towns. This beautiful central Illinois Lake was built in 1968, and has provided wonderful fishing opportunities since. The lake is 765 acres, has a shoreline length of 39 miles, a watershed size of 12,985 acres, a maximum depth of 51 feet, and an average depth of 20 feet.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Approximately 20 species occupy this eutrophic impoundment. Otter Lake receives stockings of 10" to 14" muskie, 4" to 8" largemouth bass, and 2" striped bass hybrids.

Additional Lake Information: Otter Lake has a 115 hp motor size limit. There is a single boat ramp at mid-lake on the north side of Palmyra blacktop. The site has a concession stand/bait shop, campground, and picnic areas. All live bait in excess of 8" must be rigged with a quick set rig. 2 pole and line fishing only.

Contact Information:
Otter Lake Water Commission
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Eric Ratcliff

There were 21 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2018.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 634
Muskellunge 5

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2018 tournaments:

1     6.27 lbs
2     6.26 lbs
3     6.07 lbs
4     5.92 lbs
5     5.88 lbs

Top 5 Bag Weights of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2018 tournaments:

1 211.91 lbs
2 191.94 lbs
3 186.76 lbs
4 158.10 lbs
5 145.05 lbs

Multiple day tournaments are listed with * end date.

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

2019-2020 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
May-0314035ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
15Largemouth Bass
May-3114378ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
15Largemouth Bass
June-1413850ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
25Largemouth Bass
August-0814215ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
30Largemouth Bass
August-1614613ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
30Largemouth Bass
August-1614632PendingOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
7Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
August-3014074ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
20Largemouth Bass