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Lake Information

County: Richland

Acreage: 125

Average Depth: 10.99 feet

Shoreline Length: 15 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? No

Camping? No

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

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Fish Status



The size structure of the bluegill population has improved significantly over the past three years. Bluegill growth rates remain above average and 6% of the population currently exceeds 8” in length. The body condition of all sizes of fish remains good.



The channel catfish population is in very good shape. Their condition is excellent. The size structure of the catfish population remains good and should provide some excellent fishing opportunities in the coming year. Fish in the 2 – 10 pound range should be common. Site regulation: 6 fish daily limit.



Both black and white crappie are present in the lake and the size structure and condition for both of these species are fair. Survey data indicate 33% of the combined population was greater than 10” in length, but their body condition was poor. Crappie fishing should be fair to good in the coming year.



The size structure of the largemouth bass population has improved over the past two years, but the body condition has declined significantly. Currently, 29% of the population exceeds the 14” minimum length limit. This is a 140% increase from the previous year. However, over half of the population is comprised of fish from the 8” – 14” size group and their average body condition is poor. Bass fishing should be fair to good in 2018 with most keeper fish ranging from 14” – 18” in length and weighing 1 – 3 pounds. Site regulation: 6 fish daily limit.


Very Good

There are some very large redear in the lake ranging from 8” – 10” in length and weighing between 0.4 -1.25 pounds. Overall the sunfish population remains in very good shape and should provide some quality fishing for both of these species in the coming year.

Location: Borah Lake is located in Richland County, approximately 1 mile north of Olney, Illinois.

Description: Borah Lake was constructed by the City of Olney in 1954 to serve as a water supply reservoir. Borah Lake has a surface area of 137 acres, a maximum depth of 26 feet, and a mean depth of 11 feet. The lake has 15 miles of shoreline and a watershed of 2,155 acres.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The sport fish population in Borah Lake is comprised primarily of largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, crappie, and channel catfish. The lake is stocked annually with channel catfish. The lake also contains flathead catfish and yellow bullheads. The fish population is surveyed annually.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only. City boat stickers and tournament permits are required. Boat stickers are available at Olney City Hall and local bait shops. Tournament permits are available at Olney City Hall.

Site regulations:
Largemouth bass: 6 fish daily limit
Channel catfish: 6 fish daily limit

Contact Information:
Olney City Hall
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Boone LaHood

There were 22 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2018.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 507

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

1     4.96 lbs
2     4.88 lbs
3     4.84 lbs
4     4.75 lbs
5     4.50 lbs

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

1 76.71 lbs
2 76.23 lbs
3 75.38 lbs
4 70.57 lbs
5 66.77 lbs

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

2019 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
October-2011273ApprovedRamp boat
10Largemouth Bass