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Lake Information

County: Jackson

Acreage: 1750

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 10hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? No

Camping? No

larger map link Rocky Creek Cove Hollow Highway 21 Access Cedar Creek Dam

    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Cove Hollow, Cedar Creek, Dam, Highway 21 Access,
    Rocky Creek

Maps are not intended for navigation.

There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



Despite the high density largemouth bass population, the bluegill population structure can only be described as average. No bluegill over 8 inches were collected in the 2016 spring survey.



Although absent from the 2016 survey, channel catfish have been collected at Cedar Lake in previous surveys, though never in great numbers.



Cedar Lake has an excellent crappie population consisting of both black and white crappie. Crappie over 2 pounds are caught each year. Of the crappie collected in the 2016 spring survey, 61% were over 9 inches and 48% were over 10 inches. Fishing Regulation: Daily limit of 25 fish.



One flathead catfish (24 inches) was collected in the 2016 survey. Flathead catfish have enver been collected in great numbers.



During the 2016 spring electrofishing sample, largemouth bass were collected at a rate of 152 fish per hour. Anglers are encouraged to keep their daily limit of 5 LMB under 14 inches to help thin out the smaller LMB at Cedar Lake. This will increase growth rates, allow more largemouths to reach the protected slot limit, and lead to more trophy-sized bass in the future. Of the bass collected during the 2016 survey, 12% were over 18 inches in length. Cedar Lake has one of the best largemouth bass populations of any lake in Illinois with respect to the total number of fish and the number of bass over 18 inches. Fishing Regulation: Daily limit of 5 fish under 14" and on fish over 18", 14-18 inch protected slot (no possession).



While the bluegill population can only be described as average, the redear population is outstanding for a larger lake. 44% of the redear sunfish collected during the 2016 spring survey were over 8 inches. 87% were over 7 inches.



IDNR stocks striped bass into Cedar Lake when available. 13,389 2-inch fish were stocked in July 2015; none were stocked in 2016. Anglers have reported catching fish in excess of 20 pounds. In the spring of 2013, IDNR collected a striped bass during an electrofishing survey for the first time. This bass measured 31 inches in length and weighed 18 pounds. During the 2015 survey, another striper was caught that measured 27" and weighed just over 10 pounds. Many of the reported striped bass are caught by anglers fishing for largemouth bass. More and more anglers are specifically targeting stripers as the population benefits from more regular stockings. Fishing Regulation: Daily limit of 3 fish, 17" length limit.

Location: Cedar Lake is located five miles southwest of Carbondale in Jackson County. The City of Carbondale boat access area is located at the end of Cedar Creek Road off of Old Route 51 South. Another boat access area can be found south of Murphysboro off of State Route 127.

Description: Cedar Lake is 1750 acres in size with a maximum depth of 60 feet. The northern half of the shoreline is owned by the City of Carbondale. The southern half of the shoreline is surrounded by Shawnee National Forest, which is owned by the US Forest Service. There is no marina on Cedar Lake.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Threadfin shad are stocked into this lake when available as a supplemental forage base.

Additional Lake Information: There is a 10hp motor limit on Cedar Lake and no swimming is allowed (except at a designated beach). Cedar Lake receives very little recreational boat traffic throughout the year. However, parking at the two boat ramps can be a problem during peak fishing months in the spring and fall. 2 pole and line fishing only for all species.

Fishing Tournaments:
Permits for fishing tournaments are required from the City of Carbondale and can be obtained by contacting the City of Carbondale/Lake Manager – Cedar Lake at 618-549-8441 beginning on January 1 of each year. No IDNR fish tournament permits through our online system will be issued until a City of Carbondale permit is obtained. Tournaments are limited to a 20 boat maximum.

Maps of 30 permanent Cedar Lake fish attractor locations can be obtained via email by sending a request to

Contact Information:
City of Carbondale - Cedar Lake
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Shawn Hirst:

There were 56 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2017.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 2444

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2017 tournaments:

1     7.31 lbs
2     7.19 lbs
3     7.12 lbs
4     7.00 lbs
5     6.75 lbs

Top 5 Bag Weights of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2017 tournaments:

1     165.22 lbs
2     145.82 lbs
3     144.97 lbs
4     140.83 lbs
5     138.64 lbs

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

2018 – 2019 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Open to Public?
December-0910505ApprovedCarbondale City (Cedar Creek Rd) boat
20Largemouth Bass