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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.

Fishing Outlook  ( 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. A few bluegill over 8 inches were collected in the 2017 spring survey.



One channel catfish (29 inches) was collected in the 2017 survey. Catfish species have never been collected in great numbers in previous surveys.



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 2017 spring survey, 75% were over 9 inches and 47% were over 10 inches.



One flathead catfish (7 inches) was collected. Catfish species have never been collected in great numbers in previous surveys.



During the 2017 spring electrofishing sampling, of largemouth bass collected 16% were over 18 inches in length. Anglers are encouraged to keep their daily limit of 5 largemouth bass under 14 inches to help thin out the smaller largemouths at Cedar Lake. This will increase growth rates, allow more largemouth bass to reach the protected slot limit, and lead to more trophy-sized fish in the future. Cedar Lake has one of the best LMB populations of any lake in Illinois with respect to the total number of largemouth bass and largemouth bass over 18 inches.



The redear population is outstanding for a larger lake. Fifty-four percent of the redear sunfish collected during the 2017 spring survey were over 8 inches. Eighty-one percent were over 7 inches.



IDNR stocks striped bass into Cedar Lake when available. 13,389 2-inch fish were last stocked in July 2015. No striped bass were stocked in 2016 or 2017. Anglers have reported catching striped bass in excess of 20 pounds. In the spring of 2013, IDNR collected a striped bass during an electrofishing survey for the first time. This STB measured 31 inches in length and weighed 18 pounds. During the 2015 survey another striped bass was caught that measured 27 inches and weighed just over 10 pounds. Many of the reported striped bass are caught by anglers fishing for largemouth bass.

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: With a 10 HP motor limit and no swimming 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. There is no marina on Cedar Lake.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth bass: 14–18" protected slot (no possession); 5 fish under 14" and 1 fish over 18" daily limit
Striped, white or hypbrid bass: 17" minimum length limit; 3 fish daily limit
White, black, hybrid crappie: 25 fish daily limit
2-pole and line fishing only

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 618-549-8441 beginning on January 1 of each year. No IDNR fish tournament permits will be issued until a City of Carbondale permit is obtained. Tournaments are limited to a 20 boat maximum.

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

Fish Attractors:

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

There were 55 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2018.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 2734

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

1     7.51 lbs
2     7.38 lbs
3     7.30 lbs
4     7.04 lbs
5     6.97 lbs

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

1 172.38 lbs
2 162.80 lbs
3 161.96 lbs
4 153.24 lbs
5 152.52 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?
December-1413643ApprovedPomona City (Boat Dock Rd) boat
20Largemouth Bass