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Lake Information

County: Cass

Acreage: 35

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Electric only

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



The bluegill population is doing very well. During the 2016 spring survey, bluegill ranged in size from 2 – 9” and weighed up to 0.5 lbs. Bluegill body condition has shown to be less than desired the last few years. While large, hungry bluegill will provide anglers excellent fishing opportunities, consideration is being given to increasing the creel limit. This would allow anglers to harvest a few more bluegill, while reducing competition among individuals within the population and increase the potential to grow fatter bluegill. Site Regulation: 10 fish daily limit.


Very Good

Three fish were collected in the 2016 spring survey ranging in size from 12-20" and 0.6-4.2 lbs. Channel catfish in Drake Lake are in excellent body condition. The IDNR will continue stocking non-vulnerable sized fish on alternate years to sustain the channel catfish population. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit.



The largemouth bass population continues to show signs of stunting. Catch rates have dropped off over the last five years, with the exception of 2012, but the 2016 survey showed catch rates within the desired range. The bass population is composed of mainly 10-13” fish. Bass population characteristics are ideal for a high quality pan fish population (bluegill and redear sunfish). High densities of hungry bass keep sunfish from overpopulating and allow the sunfish that avoid largemouth bass predation to grow large. Ideally the bass could be a couple of inches larger, giving them a larger gape that would allow them to prey upon larger bluegill, but nonetheless they are doing their job. Black crappie have shown up in our surveys over the last several years having most likely appeared through angler introductions. Keeping a dense, hungry bass population will be key in reducing the potential for crappie to negatively impact the rest of the fish community. Site Regulation: 15" minimum length limit; 3 fish daily limit.



The redear sunfish population is doing well. Most structural indices are good for a good panfsih management strategy. Redear ranged in size from 5-10.2” and weighed up to 0.7 lbs. Site Regulation: 10 fish daily limit.

Location: Drake Lake is located at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State and Fish and Wildlife Area, 8 miles north of Ashland and 40 miles northwest of Springfield.

Description: In the early 1990s the Department of Natural Resources purchased 15,575 acres of ground from Commonwealth Edison. Ten old farm ponds on the site were rehabilitated and restocked and three new larger lakes were constructed. Drake Lake is 35 acres with a maximum depth of 42’. The lake was initially stocked in the fall of 2001 with 21,500 bluegill, 8,600 redear sunfish and 4,300 channel catfish. 4,300 largemouth bass followed in July of 2002. The lake was initially very clear and is steep-sided, making electrofishing surveys sometimes difficult, but has since become more fertile.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: For information on the other bodies of water in the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish Wildlife Area:

Gridley Lake

Prairie Lake

Gurney Road Pond

Additional Lake Information: 2 pole and line fishing only.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth bass: 15" minimum length limit; 3 fish daily limit
Bluegill or redear sunfish: 10 fish daily limit
Channel catfish; 6 fish daily limit

Contact Information:
JEPC Site Office:
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Tad Locher