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HENNEPIN HOPPER


Lake Information

County: Putnam

Acreage: 2000

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? yes

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLACK CRAPPIE

Very Good

The black crappie population shows very good body condition and indicate fast growth potential for the crappie population.

BLUEGILL

Very Good

Of the bluegill population collected, 36% were over 7 inches in length and represent quality fish available for anglers. The body condition was also very good.

BOWFIN

Very Good

The bowfin population was collected ranged in size from 19.7 to 30.7 inches in length. These fish were in excellent body condition and appear to have become well established with recruitment in the lake.

BROWN BULLHEAD

Very Good

The brown bullhead population was evaluated by the collection of 6 fish from 6 to 15.5 inches in length. These fish were in excellent body condition and appear to have become well established with recruitment in the lake.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Excellent

The largemouth bass population sampled indicated 43 percent of the fish over 15 inches in length. The body condition was also very good.

NORTHERN PIKE

Very Good

The northern pike population was evaluated by the collection of 10 stock size fish, which showed that 40 percent of the population was over 24 inches. The body condition was below the desired range. This could indicate a slowing growth rate due to population density, but it is probably more likely a result of a high number of fish in this sample being male. Male northern pike have a reduced body condition level compared to females.

PUMPKINSEED

Excellent

The pumpkinseed sunfish population is very good.

Location: Hennepin Hopper lake is located 3 miles south of the of the town of Hennepin in Putnam County off of Route 26.

Description: The Wetlands Initiative (TWI), a nonprofit organization, created and manages the Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes. Since 2001, the Initiative has been restoring the 2,700-acre site from row crops to diverse native ecosystems, including lakes, wetlands, and prairies. Throughout the project’s history, the IDNR has partnered with the Initiative to lend expertise in managing fisheries, stock native fishes, and assist in monitoring the lake and marsh.

Additional information at: The Wetlands Initiative

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: In the fall of 2009, the Initiative pumped out the water in the lakes so that IDNR could apply the fish toxicant rotenone to remove the common carp. In the spring of 2010, the healthy marsh habitat returned, and the IDNR restocked the lakes with native and sport fish. Other native flora and fauna returned, including thousands of migrating canvasback ducks in the spring of 2011. However, by the summer of 2012 the aquatic vegetation began to diminish and the common carp population had completed a successful spawn and recruitment at the site. The site was drained in sections in 2012, and a fish rehabilitation was completed in November. In 2013, the site was restocked with native brood fish and fingerlings from the State of Illinois Hatchery, Jake Wolf.

Since 2013, the native fish stockings have grown rapidly and created a fishing destination for anglers. The improved water clarity has allowed the establishment of dense beds of submerged rooted aquatic plants and emergent aquatic plants.

Additional Lake Information:

  • Open to fishing May 15 - September 3, from sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
  • Closed Mondays except for Memorial Day and Labor Day
  • Fisherman MUST fill out free fishing permit located at the kiosk by the boat launch
  • Electric trolling motors only! No gas powered motors allowed on boats (even if trimmed up)
  • Fishing allowed only within the designated fishing zone (marked by buoys)

Fishing Regulations
SpeciesSize Limit Creel limit
Bluegill/PumpkinseedNoneNo Limit
White/Black/Hybrid Crappie9" minimum length25 fish/day
Largemouth Bass15" minimum length3 fish/day
Walleye18" minimum length 3 fish/day
Muskie42" minimum length1 fish/day
Northern Pike24" minimum length3 fish/day
Channel/Blue/Flathead CatfishNone6 fish/day

Contact Information:
The Wetlands Initiative
(312) 922-0777
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Blake Bushman
(309) 435-1010