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FORBES LAKE


Lake Information

County: Marion

Acreage: 542

Average Depth: 15.16 feet

Shoreline Length: 22.2 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

  Trout stocked in fall

  Trout stocked in spring

larger map link Mountain Phillips Dam


    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Dam, Mountain, Phillips

Maps are not intended for navigation.


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Fish Stocking

Year

Species

Size

Count

2018

Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"

5007

2018

Striped Bass x White Bass

Fingerling 1 - 3"

7870

2018

Walleye x Sauger

Fingerling 1 - 3"

30900

2019

Channel Catfish

Non-vulnerable 8 - 10"

3887

2019

Striped Bass x White Bass

Fingerling 1 - 3"

6363

2019

Walleye x Sauger

Fingerling 1 - 3"

30855

2020

Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"

5000

2020

Channel Catfish

Non-vulnerable 8 - 10"

2725

2020

Striped Bass x White Bass (Wiper)

Fingerling 1 - 3"

5569


Additional information for stocking on FORBES LAKE


Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Poor

The size structure of the bluegill population remains poor. Body condition was much higher for smaller fish (< 6”) than larger fish (> 6”). The fishery continues to be comprised almost entirely of fish < 7.5” in length. As the size structure of the bass population continues to improve, it should have an increasingly positive influence on the size structure of the bluegill population.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Good

Catfish remain abundant in Forbes Lake and should provide good fishing opportunities in the coming year. Body condition improved above target and catch rate remained nearly constant. Most fish will range from 1 – 3 pounds, with larger fish exceeding 5 pounds. This lake provides excellent bank fishing opportunities. Drift fishing the main lake is also very productive.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

Poor

This year’s survey produced zero hybrid striped bass. The 2018 survey produced three year classes of hybrids and at a catch rate of just 2 fish per net-night. They ranged in size from 12” – 20” in length and up to 4.5 lbs. This is currently not a very good lake for hybrid striped bass.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Very Good

To improve the growth rates and condition of the smaller stunted bass and increase the numbers of larger bass, a 14” – 18” protected slot limit was placed in effect on April 01, 2015. The slot limit was designed to improve the size structure of the bass population by allowing harvest of the overcrowded, slow-growing small bass in the population while protecting the larger faster growing fish. Data from the recent fall population surveys indicated the regulation had worked as planned. On April 01, 2019 the slot limit was replaced by a 14” minimum length limit. The fall 2019 survey showed that all of the largemouth bass size structure indices met, or exceeded, their target ranges. Electrofishing catch rates and average body condition both improved and remain over the minimum target. The percentage of bass over the new 14” minimum was down slightly from 2018, but nearly 1/3rd of the adult bass collected were over 14”. For 2020, anglers can expect the bass under 14” to weigh up to 1.3 pounds and bass over 18” to range from 3.2 – 6 pounds with a few larger fish up to 7 pounds.

SAUGEYE (Walleye/Sauger Hybrid)

Average

Only four saugeye were collected this year. These fish represented four different year classes at a catch rate of just 1 fish per net-night and 0.25 per hour of electrofishing. These fish ranged from 9” – 23” in length and up to 5.25 lbs.

WHITE CRAPPIE

Fair

The size structure of the white crappie population improved slightly, but remained relatively poor. The percentage of the population exceeding 10” in length increased again. Average body condition improved above target for the first time in seven years. Anglers can expect most fish in the coming year to range from 7” – 10” in length with a few larger fish to 14”.

Location: Forbes Lake is located in Marion County, approximately 13 miles northeast of Salem Illinois.

Description: Forbes Lake was constructed in Stephen A. Forbes State Park near Salem in 1963. The Lake has a surface area of 585 acres, a maximum depth of 31 feet, and a mean depth of 12 feet. The lake has 18 miles of shoreline and a watershed of 13,800 acres.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The sport fish population in Forbes Lake is comprised primarily of largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, white crappie, and channel catfish, and is stocked annually with saugeye (walleye/sauger hybrid). The lake also contains a strong population of yellow bullheads and large common carp (20+ lbs). The fish population is surveyed annually.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth Bass: 6 fish daily limit; 14" minimum length limit
Striped, White, Hybrid Striped Bass: 3 fish daily limit; 17" minimum length limit
Channel Catfish: 6 fish daily limit, no length limit

Contact Information:
Stephen A. Forbes State Park
618-547-3381
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Boone LaHood
618-393-6732

There were 51 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2019.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 638

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2019 tournaments:

1     6.50 lbs
2     6.40 lbs
3     6.26 lbs
4     6.10 lbs
5     6.10 lbs

Top 5 Bag Weights of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2019 tournaments:

1 101.08 lbs
2 100.82 lbs
3 78.73 lbs
4 76.55 lbs
5 73.75 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.

2020 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
September-1915612ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
September-2014099ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoYes
October-0313837ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
October-0413866ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo