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I & M CANAL


Lake Information

County: Grundy

Acreage: 164

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Electric only

Boat Ramps? No

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

  Trout stocked in fall

  Trout stocked in spring


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Fair

This Bluegill population could be classified as fair at best, generally dominated by smaller individuals. Larger Bluegills are more commonly caught by ice fishermen. Best areas include the Morris section and Lock 14.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Average

While none were collected in 2020, Channel Catfish have historically been found at the Channahon Access as well as the Aux Sable Lock and the Morris area. Lock 14 pool is also a good bet due to the annual stocking program. Site Regulation: 6 Fish Daily Creel Limit.

CRAPPIE

Fair

Both species of crappie can be found in the Canal. Large crappies are not common, but fish in excess of ten inches have been collected during IDNR sampling. The Canalport Park Access in Morris and Lock 14 provide the best opportunity for these species.

FLATHEAD CATFISH

Average

While none were collected in 2020, Flathead Catfish have historically been found at the Aux Sable lock area.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Fair

Although Largemouth Bass can be found throughout the Canal, the best area at the present time is the Lock 14 section in LaSalle. Bass up to 4 pounds are possible. Site Regulation: 15” Minimum Length Limit.

REDEAR SUNFISH

Developing

Found at Lock 14, Redear Sunfish numbers have been slowly increasing over the years. The largest fish captured in 2020 was just over 7 inches.

SMALLMOUTH BASS

Average

While none were collected in 2020, Smallmouth Bass have been more commonly found in the area near the Channahon feeder and below the Aux Sable lock. Site Regulation: 15” Minimum Length Limit.

Location: Originally running from Lake Michigan in Chicago to LaSalle and the Illinois River, this once vital transportation artery is now dry in many areas while other sections contain water on an intermittent basis. The Canal travels through many towns including Lockport, Joliet, Morris, Ottawa, Utica and LaSalle.

Description: With construction commencing in 1836 and taking 12 years to complete, the Illinois and Michigan (I&M) Canal stretched 96 miles linking the Great Lakes to the Illinois River. The canal was the impetus for the settlement and development of much of northeast Illinois and is rich in history. The I &M Canal was originally hand-dug to depths of 6 to 8 feet and time has degraded much of the Canal and portions have little or no water flow. Those that do are marginal in terms of supporting viable fish populations. The best areas in terms of water supply are from Channahon through Morris, the Lock 14 section in LaSalle and to a lesser degree, the Utica section.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The I&M Canal supports a variety of fish species with better angling opportunities available near Channahon, the Aux Sable lock, Armstrong Street and Lock 14 in LaSalle. Nettle Creek aqueduct in 2013 caused dewatering of the Canal west of the aqueduct. This also impacted the feeder system for Gebhard Woods and those ponds are dewatered. No special mercury advisory or other contaminant-related consumption advisories pertain.

Catchable-size Rainbow Trout are released in the Spring and Fall in the Lock 14 pool in LaSalle and catchable-size Hybrid Sunfish and Channel Catfish are stocked at Lock 14 in conjunction with an annual children's fishing event. Aquatic vegetation treatments are conducted annually at the Lock 14 pool. A full fisheries survey of selected areas of the Canal is conducted once every two years. The 2020 survey was greatly impacted by low water levels, downed trees, creeping water primrose and other nuisance aquatic vegetation.

Additional Lake Information: Boat access is limited and only electric trolling motors can be used.

Additional Site-Specific Fishing Regulations:
All fish species - Two pole and line fishing only.
Large or Smallmouth Bass – 15” Minimum Length Limit
Channel Catfish – 6 fish Daily Creel Limit.
Rainbow Trout – Spring and Fall closed season (Lock 14)

Contact Information:
Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail
815-942-6529
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Seth Love
630-360-4772