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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

There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Maps are not intended for navigation.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



Decent numbers of bluegill measuring >7” have been collected since 2010, however no bluegill >7” were collected in the 2013 or 2014 fall surveys. Catch rates of bluegill have quadrupled over the last 2 years, however bluegill body condition decreased in 2014. Subsampling bluegill can introduce sampling biases and can affect catch rates from year to year. However, an increase in the density of bluegill and reduced body condition would support the above evidence of a reduction in largemouth bass density. Anglers can catch bluegill on their spawning beds in the spring or near shoreline cover year round with worms, crickets, or night crawlers.


Very Good

The channel catfish population remains very good. Channel catfish >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”. Contaminant samples of channel catfish >21” (4) were collected in 2013 to assess current contaminant levels. 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 2014 fall fish survey, like 2013, showed lower catch rates of largemouth bass than previous years. However, the 2014 survey produced more YOY largemouth bass than the 2013 survey. The number of fish measuring 15” or greater has increased over the last 3 years and largemouth bass in Lake Taylorville are still in good body condition. 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.



The sauger population remains a problem. They have been stocked annually for 14 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. Of the fish collected in the 2014 survey (11), 6 measured less than 8” and 5 measured 12- 14.5”. 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. 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.



The white crappie population continues to be doing great as far as quantity, but seems to be lacking in quality. The 2014 fall fish survey showed the population structure to be skewed toward smaller fish. In 2014, only 18.8% of the catchable fish collected measured over the 9” minimum length limit. The ten year average of fish measuring over 9” is 42%. This data may be reflective of the cyclic spawning activities of white crappie and a missing year class. The 2015 fall fish survey should provide further information. Body condition was at the low end of the management goal, but is normal for this lake. Lake Taylorville should continue to provide anglers with excellent fishing opportunities and specifically in 2015 when the large number of 8-9” fish become of legal size. 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. Anglers can catch white crappie around submerged structures throughout the lake in the spring and fall with spinners, jigs and minnows.

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.

Contact Information:
Blake Ruebush, IDNR District Fisheries Biologist

There were 6 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2016.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 76

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this
waterbody in 2016 tournaments:

1     7.25 lbs
2     4.50 lbs
3     4.44 lbs
4     4.31 lbs
5     3.94 lbs

2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Open to Public?
October-21October-225472Marina boat
10Largemouth Bass