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Lake Information

County: Hancock

Acreage: 13

Average Depth: 12.99 feet

Shoreline Length: 0.5 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Electric trolling

Boat Ramps? Yes

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.

Fish Stocking






Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"



Largemouth Bass

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"



Channel Catfish

Non-vulnerable 8 - 10"


Additional information for stocking on Horton Lake

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



Black Crappie ranging from 5.6-7.4” were collected at a rate of 4 fish/hour in 2021. In 2020, Black Crappie were captured at a rate of 18 fish/hour. No Black Crappie exceeded 8” in 2020. Only one Black Crappie was collected in 2019, yielding a catch rate of 2 fish/hour. Sampling crappie species can be challenging with electrofishing equipment since they tend to inhabit deeper waters when water temperatures are warm. There is currently no restriction on crappie harvest at Horton Lake.



The Bluegill population at Horton Lake is currently characterized by a high density of fish measuring 3-6” in less than desirable body condition. The Bluegill population may improve now that the Largemouth Bass population has rebounded. The recent reduction in aquatic vegetation should allow higher predation on Bluegill, which should translate into less intraspecific competition amongst Bluegill.



One Channel Catfish was collected in the 2021 survey. It measured 21.7” and weighed 2.8lbs. No Channel Catfish were collected in the 2020 survey. Channel Catfish are stocked from the State Hatchery system on an annual basis. The current Channel Catfish regulation is a 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit with No Minimum Length Limit.


Very Good

The Largemouth Bass sample met the management goal of 60 fish/hour of electrofishing in 2021. This population has rebounded since the 2014 fish kill. Fish ranged from 3.1-20.0” and weighed up to 5.3lbs in 2021. 35.7% of the catchable Largemouth Bass exceeded 15”. A supplemental Largemouth Bass stocking occurred on 8/31/2021; 1,292 4” Largemouth Bass were stocked. The biggest Largemouth Bass collected in recent surveys measured 20.3” and weighed 6.29lbs.



No Northern Pike were collected in 2020 or 2021, however Northern Pike were visually observed from the boat. One Northern Pike was collected in 2019. It measured 25” and weighed 2.9lbs. Northern Pike are no longer stocked in Horton Lake.


Very Good

Rainbow Trout are stocked in the spring and fall in Horton Lake as part of the Catchable Trout Program. This put-and-take fishery offers anglers an opportunity to participate in trout fishing.

Location: Located in Nauvoo State Park in western Illinois' Hancock County, on the south edge of Nauvoo along Illinois Route 96.

Description: Horton Lake was built in 1967 to provide fishing opportunity to patrons of Nauvoo State Park. The lake is 13 acres with a maximum depth of 26 feet, an average depth of 13 feet, and shoreline length of 3000 feet. A primitive boat ramp and bank fishing are available. The lake features clear water and a peaceful setting located on the edge of town. Camping, picnic areas, hiking trails and a museum are available.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The sport fishery includes Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie, Bluegill and Channel Catfish. The lake receives Largemouth Bass and Channel Catfish stockings. In addition, Horton Lake is one of several lakes across IL that offers the Catchable Trout Program. Catchable size Rainbow Trout are stocked every spring and fall. The Daily Harvest Limit for Rainbow Trout is 5 Fish. Anglers must possess an Inland Trout Stamp, in addition to a valid Sportfishing License to participate in this program.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only for all species. Boats can be powered by electric trolling motors only.

Site Regulations:

Largemouth Bass: 18" Minimum Length Limit, 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish: 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Northern Pike: 36" Minimum Length Limit, 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Rainbow Trout: 5 Fish Daily Harvest Limit

Contact Information:
Nauvoo State Park
Park Staff
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Blake Ruebush