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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.

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

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Fish Status



Spring trap netting in 2016 yielded larger bluegills than those collected in the fall survey; 7.2” compared to 4.1”. Larger bluegills are becoming less numerous due to heavy angling pressure. Anglers are requested to release the largest of these fish to ensure the future of what has been a quality fishery. Site Regulation: 10 fish daily limit.



Channel catfish are stocked on a rotational basis and are present, but at low density. Conditions on this lake make sampling this fish very difficult. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit.



Neither spring nor fall trap netting yielded any significant number of crappie. Site Regulation: 10 fish daily limit.



A slow-growing largemouth bass population is present with the majority of IDNR collections falling between 12” and 15”. Bass collected in 2016 averaged 11.2”, slightly above the long-term average.Site Regulation: 15” minimum length limit; 3 fish daily creel limit.


Very Good

An excellent complement to the bluegill fishery, redear sunfish in excess of 10” are commonly collected in IDNR surveys. Site Regulation: 10 fish daily limit.



An underutilized fishery, an excellent yellow bullhead population exists with fish available in excess of 10”. Bullheads collected in the 2016 survey averaged 9.8” with the largest fish weighing 0.7 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.

Site Regulations:
Bluegill or redear sunfish: 10 fish daily limit on Ponderosa
Channel catfish: 6 fish daily creel limit.
Largemouth bass: 15” minimum length limit; 3 fish daily creel limit
White, Black, or hybrid crappie: 10 fish daily creel limit

Contact Information:
Mazonia/Braidwood State Fish & Wildlife Area
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Rob Miller