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Lake Information

County: Christian

Acreage: 1286

Average Depth: 6.99 feet

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link Dam Golf Course

    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Dam, Golf Course

Maps are not intended for navigation.

There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



Decent numbers of bluegill measuring greater than 7” have been collected since 2010, however few bluegill greater than 7” were collected in the 2015 or 2016 fall surveys. The majority of bluegill collected measure between 6 – 7” and showed less than desired body condition. Bluegill populations do not thrive in the presence of gizzard shad as gizzard shad and bluegill compete for the same food source, therefore show poor growth rates and reduced maximum size. Anglers can catch bluegill on their spawning beds in the spring or near shoreline cover year round with worms, crickets, or night crawlers.



The channel catfish population remains good, although few fish were collected in the fall 2016 survey. Standardized electrofishing is not the most effective method to assess the channel catfish population. Channel catfish greater than 21” are on the contaminant list and it is suggested that no more than one meal per week be consumed. There is no restriction for fish under 21”. Anglers can catch channel catfish near deadfalls and stickups in the warmer months throughout the lake using bottom fishing techniques with cut bait, shrimp, chicken livers or night crawlers. The largest channel catfish collected by electrofishing in Lake Taylorville measured 28” and weighed over 14 lbs.



The 2016 fall fish survey, like the surveys from 2013 - 2015, showed lower catch rates of largemouth bass than desired. However, the bass were in average body condition and were present in several year classes. Most all population structural indices were within the desired range. Largemouth bass ranged from 4-21” and weighed up to 5.6 lbs. Over 45,000 largemouth bass have been stocked into Lake Taylorville between 1993 and 2004 to supplement year class strength. By 2004, the population was stable enough to sustain itself through natural reproduction. Anglers can catch largemouth bass off of points, deadfalls, and stickups in the warmer months of the year with plastic worms, jigs, spinners, crank baits, minnows, crayfish and worms. The biggest bass that has ever been collected while electrofishing in Lake Taylorville weighed 6.7 lbs and measured 22” long. Site Regulation: 15” minimum length limit, 6 fish daily limit.



The sauger population remains a problem. They have been stocked annually for 16 years using both fingerling fish from the hatchery and advanced fingerlings from the on-site nursery ponds. Even with this effort, we see very few in the population surveys. Only one sauger was collected in the 2016 survey. The program will continue for a few more years, but additional evaluations are necessary to determine if further stockings are warranted. Anglers have reported good catches below the spillway in the spring, which indicates spillway escapement. Spillway escapement may provide good sauger fishing downstream of the spillway, but not for Lake Taylorville. Nice sauger can be caught in the tail-water fishing area at the base of the dam in the spring or fall using minnows, night crawlers, jigs, crank baits, spoons and spinners.


Very Good

Over 60,000 white crappie have been stocked into Lake Taylorville over the last 20 years to supplement year class strength. By 2003, the population was stable enough to sustain itself through natural reproduction. The white crappie population continues to be doing great as far as quantity, but is lacking in quality. The 2016 fall fish survey showed the population still displays a bottle neck at 9”. Seventy-five percent of crappie collected measured between 7-9” and were in poor body condition. The high density of crappie in this size range is reducing growth potential due to competition for food resources. Crappie less than 9” need to be thinned out in order to reduce the bottleneck and increase growth rates. A new crappie regulation was implemented on April 1, 2017 that will help reduce crowding at 7 – 9”, reduce the bottleneck effect, and increase growth rates, which help produce larger, fatter crappie of harvestable size. Anglers can catch white crappie around submerged structures throughout the lake in the spring and fall with spinners, jigs and minnows. Anglers can catch white crappie around submerged structures throughout the lake in the spring and fall with spinners, jigs and minnows. Site Regulation: 25 fish/day creel limit with harvest of no more than 10 fish greater than or equal to 10”.

Location: Lake Taylorville is located at the southeast edge of Taylorville, 30 miles SE of Springfield.

Description: Lake Taylorville is 1286 acres. The lake is shallow with an average depth of only 7 feet. Care should be taken when operating watercraft, especially in the upper end of the lake. The lake has a very large watershed, thus has suffered from extreme siltation in the past several decades. The watershed and lake were rehabilitated in the 1990s, and a dozen silt retention basins were built to capture sediment before it enters the lake.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The Division of Fisheries entered into a formal Cooperative Management Agreement in 1992 with the City of Taylorville to manage the sport fishery. A total of 19 fish species have been collected in Lake Taylorville since 1993. While their numbers and potential for successful angling are low, anglers may find themselves catching green sunfish, green sunfish x bluegill hybrid, yellow bullhead, or freshwater drum.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only. There is an unrestricted horsepower limit on the lake.

Site Regulations:

Largemouth bass: 15” minimum length limit, 6 fish daily limit
Crappie: 25 fish daily limit of which no more than 10 can measure greater or equal to 10”
Sauger: Statewide - 14” minimum length limit; 6 fish daily limit

Contact Information:
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Tad Locher

There were 7 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2018.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 85

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

1     5.98 lbs
2     5.56 lbs
3     3.56 lbs
4     3.49 lbs
5     3.25 lbs

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

1     48.77 lbs
2     44.56 lbs
3     37.87 lbs
4     33.42 lbs
5     16.91 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 End Date
(if different from start)
ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Open to Public?
May-0411031ApprovedMarina boat
15Largemouth Bass
July-2112045ApprovedMarina boat
10Largemouth Bass
September-1512744ApprovedMarina boat
5Largemouth Bass