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MCMASTER, LAKE


Lake Information

County: Knox

Acreage: 135

Shoreline Length: 7.5 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 10 hp Limit

Boat Ramps? No

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLACK CRAPPIE

Average

The black crappie population has had an average rating in recent years. Site Regulation: In 2017, the crappie regulation was to a 25 fish daily harvest limit with no more than 10 fish greater than or equal to 10 inches. The goal of the new regulation is to allow the harvest of more of the slower growing black crappie, while maintaining and promoting the population structure of crappie over 10 inches in length.

BLUEGILL

Average

The current bluegill population is rated as average with the larger fish up to 7.5 inches in length. This population is of moderate density and in average body condition.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Excellent

The current channel catfish population is rated as excellent with the larger fish up to 32 inches in length. This population is of moderate density and in good body condition. Jake Wolf hatchery stocked 1500 fish at 8 inches in 2016. An annual stocking of non-vulnerable channel catfish has occurred in the recent past. These stockings have established a high density population, and the stocking will be adjusted to an every other year stocking starting in 2017.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Average

The largemouth bass population appears to be defined by a high percentage of fish from 5 to 15 inches in length with good average relative weights. In 2017, the bass regulation for McMaster Lake was changed from a 3 fish daily harvest limit with only 1 fish greater than or equal to 15 inches, to a protected slot length limit from 14 to 18 inches with 3 fish daily harvest limit. The goal of the new bass regulation is to increase the density of the bass population from 14 to 18 inches. The goal of the protected slot length limit is to create a high density bass population that is composed of fish large enough to be efficient predators upon the panfish population. The benefit to bass anglers will be more fish surviving past 15 inches to catch, and for the anglers wanting to harvest bass will be the opportunity to still harvest fish under 14 inches.

MUSKELLUNGE

Average

Muskies sampled by the spring trapnet survey in 2016 ranged from 17 to 42.5 inches long. The body condition of these fish was low. Site Regulation: In 2017, the muskie harvest regulation was changed to a harvestable slot from 36 to 42 inches, and 48 inch minimum length limit with 1 fish daily harvest limit. This regulation is an attempt to allow anglers to reduce the density of very slow growing male muskie in McMaster Lake. See the PDF Lake Status Summary Report for more information on how Muskie are growing in this lake.

REDEAR SUNFISH

Average

The current redear population is rated as average with the larger fish up to 9.0 inches in length. This population is of very low density and in good body condition. Site Regulation: In 2017, the bluegill and redear sunfish regulation was changed from a 10 fish daily harvest limit to a 25 fish daily harvest limit. This change will allow anglers the ability to harvest more bluegill and redear sunfish per daily visit to Snakeden Hollow SFWA waters.

WALLEYE

Good

The current walleye population is rated as good with the larger fish up to 26.5 inches in length. This population is of low density and in average body condition. No walleye were stocked in 2015 or in 2016.

Location: Lake McMaster is situated within the 2,500 acre Snakeden Hollow State Fish & Wildlife Area. It is located 2 miles southeast of Victoria in Knox County. Access to the lake is 1.7 miles south of State highway 167 on Knox County Highway 28.

Description: Lake McMaster is the largest impoundment at Snakeden Hollow State Fish and Wildllife Area. It is 165 acres in size and has a maximum depth of 65 feet. The shoreline length is 7.5 miles and a centerline length of 1.4 miles. The narrow east arm of the lake has a centerline of .9 mile. Lake McMaster is the only impoundement at Snakeden Hollow State Fish and Wildlife Area with an improved boat ramp.

Lake McMaster was built in 1978 by Midland Coal Company as their water supply reservoir. The lake has a diverse habitat that is characterized by very deep water, shallow bars, numerous bays and points, abrupt drop-offs, islands, flooded timber and extensive shallow flats of submerged and immergent aquatic plants.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Addition fish species that can be found in low density populations in McMaster Lake are smallmouth bass and bluegill x redear hybrids.

Additional Lake Information: All fish: 2 pole and line fishing only.

Recreational Use Restrictions:
- Waterfowl Refuge or Hunting Area (all use other than waterfowl hunting prohibited from 14 days prior to duck season through the end of the central zone Canada goose season).
- All live bait greater than 8 inches must be rigged with a quick set rig.
- There is a 10 hp limit on gasoline motors to propel watercraft.

Site Regulations:

Large or Smallmouth Bass: Protected Slot Length Limit from 14 to 18 inches with 3 fish daily harvest limit.
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish: 25 fish Daily Harvest Limit.
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie: 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit with no more than 10 fish greater than or equal to 10 inches.
Pure Muskellunge: Harvestable slot from 36 to 42 inches, and 48 inch minimum length limit with 1 fish daily harvest limit.
Channel Catfish: 6 fish daily harvest limit.
Walleye, Sauger, or Hybrid Walleye: 3 fish daily harvest limit.

Contact Information:
Snakeden Hollow State Fish & Wildlife Area:
309-879-2607
IDNR District Fisheries Biologist:
309-446-9143

There were 4 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2017.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 99
Muskellunge 3
Walleye/Sauger Hybrid 1

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

1     5.38 lbs
2     5.06 lbs
3     4.94 lbs
4     4.94 lbs
5     3.24 lbs

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

2018 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Open to Public?
July-217488ApprovedSnakeden Hollow SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
September-29September-307425ApprovedSnakeden Hollow SFWA boat
hook
19Muskellunge
Yes