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Lake Information

County: Jackson

Acreage: 2750

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

Wilson Schneider Bay Marina Fish and Wildlife Johnson Creek Thompson Neck

    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Fish & Wildlife Area, Johnson Creek, Marina, Thompson Neck,
    Wilson Schneider Bay

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



The bluegill population structure is poor. During the 2016 spring electrofishing survey, no bluegill over 8 inches were collected.



Kinkaid Lake has an excellent and underutilized channel catfish population.



Kinkaid Lake is known for producing large crappie. Crappie over 2 pounds are caught each year, and at least two 4-pound crappie have been caught in the last 4 years. Blacknose crappie were first stocked in 2010. Legal-sized blacknose crappie were first caught in 2013. 49% of the crappie collected during the spring 2016 survey were over the minimum nine-inch length limit. Site Regulation: White, black, hybrid crappie: 25 fish daily limit; 9" minimum length limit.



Surveys indicate that a small number of flathead catfish are present.


Very Good

Of the bass collected during the 2016 spring survey, 14% were over the minimum 16 inch size limit and 10% were over 18 inches. Ten percent of all largemouth bass collected were between 15-16 inches.Site Regulation: 3 fish daily limit; 16" minimum length limit.



Kinkaid Lake is one of the premier muskie lakes in Illinois. Muskie are stocked annually and many are caught each year in excess of 40 inches. During the 2016 spring survey muskies collected measured up to 45.3 inches in length. Anglers are encouraged to NOT fish for muskie in the warmer summer months as angling mortality is believed to be very high especially, for larger muskie. Please report tagged MUE to IDNR Fish Biologist Shawn Hirst at 618-687-4546 or email at Anglers reporting a tagged muskie will receive information on the history of that fish. If the tag number is covered with algae, simply scrape the algae away with your fingernail or a knife. Please provide tag number (5 digits), length, and catch date. Please do not remove the tag. Site Regulation: 1 fish daily limit; 48" minimum length limit.



The redear population is average. Of the redear collected in the 2016 spring electrofishing survey, 12% were over eight-inches in length.



IDNR first stocked smallmouth bass into Kinkaid Lake in 2005. The first documented legal-sized smallmouth (>16”) was observed in 2010. During 2012, numerous legal-sized smallmouth bass were caught with the largest reported fish measuring 18 inches. IDNR is not aware of any smallmouths caught during 2016. An additional 1000 smallmouth bass (4.5 inch average length) were stocked in August of 2016. These fish do not appear to be recruiting in Kinkaid Lake, and no additional SMB stockings are planned. Site Regulation: 3 fish daily limit; 16" minimum length limit.



IDNR annually stocks walleye into Kinkaid Lake, and fish up to 11 pounds have been collected in netting surveys. Walleye numbers are not high, but trophy-sized fish can be caught. The best areas are in front of the dam and spillway during spring high water events. During 2016 trap netting, the largest fish collected measured 27 inches and 9.9 pounds. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit; 14" minimum length limit.

Location: Kinkaid Lake is located in Jackson County three miles northwest of Murphysboro off of State Route 149.

Description: There are 3 public boat launching facilities around the Lake. Kinkaid Lake is 2750 acres in size, has a shoreline length of 82 miles and a maximum depth of 80 feet. The NW portion of the Lake consists of a 3-mile no-wake zone.

Additional Lake Information: Kinkaid Lake receives a tremendous amount of recreational boat traffic during the hot summer months especially on the weekends and holidays. To avoid the crowd, anglers may consider fishing early in the morning and/or during the week. The upper NW portion of Kinkaid Lake is referred to as the Johnson Creek Area. About 3 miles of this area is a no wake zone that gets very turbid for multiple days after heavy rain events. Threadfin shad are stocked into this lake when available as a supplemental forage base. All live bait in excess of 8" must be rigged with a quick set rig.

Tagged Fish: Please report tagged muskie to the Department of Natural Resources at 618-687-4546. Please provide tag number, length of muskie, and catch date.

Fishing Tournaments: Any fishing tournament with 80 or more anglers or 40 or more boats must obtain a permit from the Kinkaid-Reed- Creek Conservancy District (618-687-1722) in addition to the tournament permit from the IDNR. No tournaments over 40 boats are allowed during June-July-August.

Maps of 50 permanent Kinkaid Lake fish attractor locations can be obtained via email by sending a request to

Site Regulations:
Largemouth/smallmouth bass: 3 fish daily limit; 16" minimum length limit
Muskie: 1 fish daily limit; 48" minimum length limit
White, black, hybrid crappie: 25 fish daily limit; 9" minimum length limit
Walleye: 6 fish daily limit; 14" minimum length limit

Fish Attractors:

Contact Information:
Kinkaid Lake Fish and Wildlife Area
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Shawn Hirst

There were 81 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2018.

Species Total Fish Caught
Bluegill 36
Crappie 468
Largemouth Bass 2127
Muskellunge 48
Smallmouth Bass 1

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

1     6.56 lbs
2     6.42 lbs
3     6.38 lbs
4     6.31 lbs
5     6.25 lbs

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

1 528.19 lbs
2 306.23 lbs
3 289.99 lbs
4 237.01 lbs
5 226.82 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-2610918ApprovedMt Joy/Main Ramp/Kinkaid Marina boat
50Largemouth Bass
November-0211999ApprovedMt Joy/Main Ramp/Kinkaid Marina boat
10Largemouth Bass
November-0212188ApprovedMt Joy/Main Ramp/Kinkaid Marina boat
November-0913169ApprovedPaul Ice (25 boat limit) boat
24Largemouth Bass
November-1713730PendingPaul Ice (25 boat limit) boat
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass