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Lake Information

County: Williamson

Acreage: 810

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 10hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

  Trout stocked in fall

larger map link Dam Central East Arm West Arms

    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Central, Dam, East Arm, West Arms

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



As usual, bluegill were less abundant than bass during the 2016 Devils Kitchen Lake survey. However, bluegill numbers were so low (12 per hour of electrofishing) that the change was attributed to very cold weather conditions at the time of the survey, which pushed these fish away from the shoreline. The fish that were collected along the shoreline were generally small, as demonstrated by 15% over 6 inches and 8% larger than 8 inches. Site Regulation: 8” length limit, 25 per day creel limit (in aggregate).



Devils Kitchen Lake has historically contained a bass population consisting of abundant small fish and a few giants, without much in between. However, the spring 2015 and 2016 electrofishing surveys have documented a slight shift toward a more balanced population. Largemouth bass were collected at a rate of 142 per hour in 2015 and 113 per hour in 2016, and 61% (2015) and 53% (2016) were larger than 12 inches, while 6% (2015) and 4% (2016) were larger than 15 inches. Although most bass are generally 9 to 13 inches in length, it is not unusual for bass in the 5 to 10-pound range to show up in spring electrofishing samples and/or tournament weigh-ins. The 2016 survey produced two bass over 22 inches in length and the heaviest of these weighed 6.7 pounds. Anglers are encouraged to harvest small bass to boost the average size of fish in the population. Threadfin shad stockings are part of an ongoing plan for improving Devils Kitchen Lake bass growth rates, and annual spring stockings will be continued as long as these fish are available. Site Regulation:


Very Good

Rainbow trout are stocked in Devils Kitchen Lake each fall to maintain the population, and there is no closed season. The Devils Kitchen trout fishery is very popular with the angling public. Possession of an inland trout stamp is required for harvesting rainbow trout.


Very Good

The Devils Kitchen redear population remained impressive in spring 2015. Redear abundance was lower than that of bluegill, but average size of these fish was much larger. 62% of redear were larger than 7 inches, 49% exceeded 8 inches, 15% were over 9 inches, and a few fish even eclipsed the 10-inch mark. Site Regulation: 8” length limit, 25 per day creel limit (in aggregate).



Yellow perch were “officially” stocked in Devils Kitchen Lake in 2014 for the first time in the lake’s history, and additional stockings were completed in 2015 and 2016. A small population of perch (of unknown origin) already existed, and was popular, but few fish ever entered anglers’ creels. The goal of the yellow perch stocking program is to produce a viable, self-sustaining fishery, and additional fish will be stocked in 2017, if available and deemed appropriate by results of the spring 2017 fish population survey.

Location: Devils Kitchen Lake is a deep, clear, 810-acre impoundment located in the south portion of the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge between Marion and Carbondale in Williamson County, Illinois.

Description: The Devils Kitchen Lake fishery is cooperatively managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The lake is mostly surrounded by forest and has three boat ramps. The southern half of Devils Kitchen contains abundant standing timber, and a portion of the lake's southeast end is reserved for electric motors and paddling only.

Additional Lake Information: A ten horsepower outboard motor limit is in effect. A user pass must be purchased prior to accessing Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge waters. The refuge visitor center can be reached by calling 618-997-3344.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth bass – no length limit, 6 per day creel limit.
Bluegill and Redear– 8” length limit, 25 per day creel limit (in aggregate).
Rainbow trout – no length limit, 5 per day creel limit.

Contact Information:
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge:
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Luke Nelson

There were 8 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2019.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 1185

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2019 tournaments:

1     5.88 lbs
2     5.11 lbs
3     4.87 lbs
4     4.81 lbs
5     3.98 lbs

Top 5 Bag Weights of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2019 tournaments:

1 334.41 lbs
2 75.94 lbs
3 55.81 lbs
4 36.94 lbs
5 36.54 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.

2020 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
April-0514977ApprovedTacoma Lake Lake Ramp (Line 13) boat
20Largemouth Bass
15107ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
100Largemouth Bass
May-1615693ApprovedNorth Ramp boat
8Largemouth Bass
May-1715043ApprovedTacoma Lake Lake Ramp (Line 13) boat
20Largemouth Bass
September-2615008ApprovedTacoma Lake Lake Ramp (Line 13) boat
15Largemouth Bass
October-1115650ApprovedTacoma Lake Lake Ramp (Line 13) boat
20Largemouth Bass