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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.



Fish Status



The bluegill population indices show 56% are above 6” and 44% are above 7”, falling within the desired levels of population structure and representing quality fish available for anglers.



The crappie population indices show 35% of the population are above 9” with great body condition, indicating fast growth potential for the crappie population.



The largemouth bass population indices are very good with 47.5 percent of the fish over 15 inches in length and in very good body condition.


Very Good

The northern pike population indices showed that 59.1 percent of the population was over 24 inches in average body condition.



The pumpkinseed population indices show 52.6% are above 6” and 36.8% are above 7” in very good body condition.

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.
  • 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