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Lake Information

County: Wayne

Acreage: 194

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 10hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? No

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

  Trout stocked in fall

  Trout stocked in spring

There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status


Very Good

Similar to the previous two years, large numbers of bluegill were collected in 2015, and their size varied widely from 3 to 7.5 inches. Fish over 6 inches comprised 52% of the sample, while 12% were larger than 7 inches. Body condition of bluegill was very good.


Very Good

Ten channel catfish were collected per hour in Sam Dale Lake during the 2015 survey, and these fish ranged in size from 17 to 28 inches. The body condition of these fish was very good. Channel catfish are stocked annually to maintain the population. Site Regulation: 6 per day creel.


Very Good

Largemouth bass were collected in Sam Dale Lake at a very impressive rate in fall 2015, and 32% were larger than 12 inches. Approximately 19% of these fish were also larger than the 14-inch minimum size limit. Body condition of Sam Dale largemouth bass was very good. Site Regulation: 14 inch length limit, 6 per day creel.



A remnant population of pure muskellunge exists in Sam Dale Lake as a result of stockings related to a statewide research project. Three small muskellunge were collected during the fall 2015 survey, averaging 13 to 14 inches in length. Site Regulation: 48 inch length limit, 1 per day creel.


Very Good

Redear were much less abundant than bluegill, as usual, in 2015. However, quality of these fish was impressive, with 100% over 8 inches in length. Redear body condition was also excellent.



The white crappie population in Sam Dale Lake is somewhat stunted with many fish 6 to 9 inches in length, and the fall 2015 survey revealed the presence of fish 6 to 10.5 inches with moderate body condition.

Location: Sam Dale Lake is located in northwestern Wayne County within Sam Dale Lake State Park five miles northwest of Johnsonville, Illinois.

Description: Sam Dale Lake is a relatively fertile, 194-acre, IDNR-owned impoundment. The lake is largely surrounded by forest and has two boat ramps.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Rainbow trout are also stocked into the Dale Lake Trout Pond in the spring and fall.

Additional Lake Information: Boats are allowed on the lake but are limited to 10 horsepower.

Contact Information:
Sam Dale State Park
Chris Bickers, IDNR County Fisheries Biologist: 618-993-7094

2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Public?
July-227070Sam Dale boat ramp boat
12Largemouth Bass
August-205808Sam Dale boat ramp boat
10Largemouth Bass
November-047077Sam Dale boat ramp boat
12Largemouth Bass