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Lake Information


Acreage: 149

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unlimited HP, No Wake

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

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Fish Status



Based on IDNR surveys, the bluegill population appears to be trending downward. Larger bluegills are becoming less prevalent in these surveys, although 8”-plus fish are still present. The average size bluegill collected in fall surveys has steadily declined from 6.3” to just 3.8” in 2014.



Channel catfish are stocked on a rotational basis and are present, but at low density.



Black crappies have never been collected in any appreciable number in IDNR surveys.



A slow-growing largemouth bass population is present with the majority of IDNR collections falling between 12” and 15”. Bass collected in 2014 averaged 10.0”, slightly under the long-term average with the largest bass topping 18”.


Very Good

An excellent complement to the bluegill fishery, redear sunfish in excess of 10” are commonly collected in IDNR surveys.



An underutilized fishery, an excellent yellow bullhead population exists with fish available in excess of 10”. Bullheads collected in the 2014 survey averaged 9.6” with the largest fish weighing 0.6 lb.

Location: Ponderosa Lake is located within the Mazonia State Fish and Wildlife Area South Unit, 2 miles northeast of South Wilmington in Kankakee County off West 5000 Road.

Description: Ponderosa Lake is the largest impoundment within the Mazonia complex, covering 148.9 surface acres with depths to 60 feet. It is isolated from all other water areas. Likely one of the most scenic of the Mazonia lakes, Ponderosa is characterized by cedar-lined shorelines, gin-clear water and a myriad of coves, cuts and large bays. Ponderosa Lake also supports a diverse aquatic plant community. Anglers are permitted to use boats powered by gasoline engines with an unlimited horsepower restriction. A no-wake regulation is in effect. A two-lane unimproved gravel ramp serves as boat access. Very little shore access is available.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Surveys are conducted on Ponderosa Lake on an alternating year basis. The lake has received stockings of channel catfish, redear sunfish, northern pike, yellow perch and walleye. Neither walleye nor northern pike stockings were successful and those programs were terminated. No special mercury advisory or other contaminant-related consumption advisories pertain.

Additional Lake Information: Anglers are permitted to use boats powered by gasoline engines with an unlimited horsepower restriction. A no-wake regulation is in effect. Two pole and line fishing only.

Contact Information:
Mazonia/Braidwood State Fish & Wildlife Area
IDNR County Fisheries Biologist