Choose another lake


Lake Information

County: Fulton

Acreage: 78

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 25hp Limit

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link West End East End

    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    East End, West End

Maps are not intended for navigation.

There are zebra mussels in this lake.

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



The bluegill population continues to have a poor size structure with 0% of the sampled fish over 7 inches. The current bluegill condition is poor due to the competition with the gizzard shad and carp.



13 channel catfish were sampled in 2016. A low density population is present and a stocking of 500 fish every three years is scheduled. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit.



The black crappie population was surveyed by 31 stock size fish in 2016. The body condition was good. The crappie population continues a trend of a moderate population of legal-size fish. No white crappie were surveyed in 2016. This population is present in a very low density of quality fish. Site Regulation: 25 fish daily limit, 9" minimum length limit.



The largemouth bass population was evaluated by electrofishing in 2016 and the population appears to be defined by a high percentage of fish from 7 to 19 inches in length with good average relative weights. In 2000, the bass regulation for the Marsh was changed from a 14 inch minimum size limit and 1 fish per day to a 12 to 18 inch protected slot length with a harvest of 3 fish under or over the slot per day. The 2016 fall electrofishing survey indicated a size structure that is continuing to maintain a good level and stability since 2004. Site Regulation: 3 fish daily limit, 12–18" protected slot length.



A total of 40 muskie were sampled by the spring trapnet survey in 2016. These fish ranged from 28 to 44.9 inches long. The body condition of these fish was good. Fish were stocked annually from 1999 – 2104; no muskie were stocked in 2015 or 2016. A triennial stocking is now scheduled to maintain a moderate density of healthy muskie. Illinois (Jake Wolf) muskie strain appear to be doing well in this lake. Site Regulation: 1 fish daily limit, 42" length limit.



The walleye population was represented by no fish in 2015 and 2016. The last walleye stocking was 1997, and a very limited population of large fish is present. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit, 14" minimum length limit.

Location: Located in Central Illinois, the 5,524 acre Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area lies adjacent to the Illinois River, 4 miles north of Banner, Illinois, along Route 24.

Description: Banner Marsh SFWA was characterized by narrow strip pits and upland ponds, but in 1994, the hydrology changed due to the intentional cessation of pumping operations in the levee district. The water level rose approximately 7 feet (435 M.S.L.) due mainly to groundwater recharge by seepage under the existing 1-100 year flood-tight levee with the Illinois River. The total surface water acreage for the site increased from 530 acres to approximately 2400 acres and created a large vegetated littoral zone.

Shovel Lake (approximately 200 acres) is the third largest water area at the site. It is a "T" shaped final cut lake with limited habitat in the boat ramp arm. The opposite arm which lies adjacent to the Copperas Creek levee, contains points, flooded brush, beaver lodges, and diverse aquatic vegetation. The water acreage added in 2001 consists of very large littoral zones around deep water pockets. The maximum water depth is 65.0 feet. The average water clarity in the summer is often over 12 feet.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The former bottomland lake and marsh was leveed and drained for agricultural practice from 1910 through 1958. From 1958 to1974 approximately 90 percent of the site was strip-mined for coal. The strip-mined areas have since been reclaimed and purchased by the State of Illinois. Under the management of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (1978 - present) the primary objective for the site is to establish a freshwater marsh providing fish and wildlife habitat in the Illinois River Valley.

For fishing reports: Banner Marsh Ponds

For other lakes in the Banner Marsh SFWA:

Johnson Lake
Wheel Lake

Additional Lake Information: The Bell's Landing access area has a concrete boat ramp, 25 vehicle and trailer parking lot and restrooms. The lake has a 25 h.p. motor limit. The site is open 24 hours a day, except for the Central Zone Duck Season, at which time only shoreline fishing is allowed after 1:00 p.m.

Two-pole and line fishing only except carp can be taken by bow and arrow devices, gigs or spears during May through August.

Site Regulations:

Largemouth/smallmouth bass: 3 fish daily limit, 12–18" protected slot length
Channel catfish: 6 fish daily limit
Walleye: 6 fish daily limit, 14" minimum length limit
White and black crappie: 25 fish daily limit, 9" minimum length limit
Muskie: 1 fish daily limit, 42" length limit

Contact Information:
Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
Site Office
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Rob Hilsabeck

There were 9 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2019.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 110

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

1     5.30 lbs
2     5.15 lbs
3     5.10 lbs
4     5.05 lbs
5     4.16 lbs

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

1 81.55 lbs
2 64.20 lbs
3 62.78 lbs
4 19.70 lbs
5 12.38 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?
May-1714023ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
10Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
June-2714250ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
July-1913928ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
25Largemouth Bass
July-2514273ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
15Largemouth Bass
August-0815441ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
30Largemouth Bass
August-0914432ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
15Largemouth Bass
August-2215582ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
12Largemouth Bass