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JACKSONVILLE, LAKE


Lake Information

County: Morgan

Acreage: 442

Average Depth: 12.47 feet

Shoreline Length: 18.6 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link Dam Boat Ramp


    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Boat Ramp, Dam

Maps are not intended for navigation.


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Fish Stocking

Year

Species

Size

Count

2019

Striped Bass x White Bass

Fingerling 1 - 3"

3600

2020

Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"

7160

2020

Largemouth Bass

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"

5605

2020

Striped Bass x White Bass (Wiper)

Fingerling 1 - 3"

2730

2021

Striped Bass x White Bass (Wiper)

Fingerling 1 - 3"

7150


Additional information for stocking on JACKSONVILLE, LAKE


Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Poor

The bluegill population is below average in Lake Jacksonville.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Excellent

The Channel Catfish population continues to remain excellent. The lake is large and turbid enough to potentially promote natural reproduction and it receives approximately 7,000 non-vulnerable Channel Catfish from the hatchery system biennially. In 2020, we collected 3 Channel Catfish/hr. electrofishing ranging from 12.8-19.2” in excellent body condition (Wr = 99). In 2019, 36 Channel Catfish were collected during trap netting efforts. 71.5% of the fish collected exceeded 16”. A 2017 supplemental spring trap netting survey turned out to be an excellent Chanel Catfish survey which yielded 313 Channel Catfish ranging from 13-30” (0.6-11.3lbs). Eighty-five percent (n=266) of the Channel Catfish sampled during the 2017 trap netting survey exceeded 16”.

CRAPPIE

Good

The White Crappie is the dominant crappie species in Lake Jacksonville. This fishery appears to be improving. We collected White Crappie at a rate of 21 fish/hour of electrofishing in 2020. Fish measured 6.1-13.4” and weighed up to 1.34lbs. 42.8% of the catchable population exceeded 10” and 9.5% exceeded 12”. The 2019 electrofishing survey yielded a CPUE of 14 fish/hour. 55.6% of the 2019 White Crappie exceeded 10” and 14.8% exceeded 12”. Electrofishing catch rates have ranged from 14-30 White Crappie per hour from 2016-2020. 44 Black Crappie were collected via electrofishing (CPUE=22) in 2020. Two Black Crappie exceeded 10”. Supplemental spring trap netting surveys have been conducted to better evaluate the crappie fishery in Lake Jacksonville. White Crappie continue to outnumber Black Crappie. In 2019, 15 trap nets were fished for one night each, resulting in 15 net nights of effort. 443 White Crappie and 67 Black Crappie were collected. Catch rates for White Crappie and Black Crappie were 29.5 and 4.5 fish/net night, respectively. 98.0% of the catchable White Crappie population exceeded 8”, 56.9% exceeded 10” and 7.2% were 12” or greater. 83.6% of the Black Crappie population exceeded 8”, 14.9% were 10” or greater, and 4.5% reached 12” or longer. The crappie regulation changed in 2017, to a 25 fish/day harvest limit with no more than 10 fish measuring greater than or equal to 10”. This regulation was put into place with a goal to reduce the density of fish measuring less than 10”, which will allow for more food sources and faster growth rates of the remaining crappie and bass. Anglers can catch crappie on stickups and submerged structures in the spring and fall using spinners, jigs, and minnows. The largest White Crappie ever collected during an electrofishing survey measured over 15” and weighed 1.8 lbs.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

Very Good

Collecting a good sample of Hybrid Striped Bass via boat electrofishing can be difficult and focused gill net surveys have not been conducted for many years due to time and manpower constraints. Hybrid Striped Bass have not been collected in electrofishing surveys since 2016. The 2017 spring trap netting survey yielded four Hybrid Striped Bass. These fish ranged from 22-27” (6.7-13.7lbs). The average body condition of these fish was excellent. Angler accounts suggest that the population is doing well and is providing good fishing opportunities. Hybrid Striped Bass are stocked annually into Lake Jacksonville, as hatchery production allows.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Very Good

The Largemouth Bass population at Lake Jacksonville remains very good. The 2020 fall electrofishing survey resulted in a higher catch rate of Largemouth Bass (CPUE=55.5) compared to 2019 (CPUE=47.0). The 2018 catch rate (CPUE=100.0) is the second highest in the past five years, falling right behind the 2016 survey where 154.0 Largemouth Bass were collected per hour of electrofishing. In 2020, we collected Largemouth Bass ranging from 4.3-19.8” and weighing up to 5.57lbs. 25% of the catchable Largemouth Bass population exceeded 15” in length, and 18.5% exceeded 18” in 2020. These values were both higher in 2020 compared to 2019 where 10.5% of the population measured 15” or greater, and only 2.6% measured 18” or more. This increase in larger fish is an indication that the 2017 regulation change is improving the Largemouth Bass fishery. The 2019 sample consisted of fish measuring 0.8-18.5” and weighing up to 3.78lbs. Results from the 2018 survey represented bass measuring 3.5-21.7” and weighing up to 6.03lbs. In 2017, we collected bass ranging from 3.5-22” (0.03 - 8.14 lbs.). The 8.14lb bass is the heaviest fish collected in recent years. Lake Jacksonville is currently under a consumption advisory for Largemouth Bass measuring over 15”. No more than 1 meal/week is recommended for women beyond childbearing age and men more than 15 years old, while no more than 1 meal/month is recommended for pregnant or nursing women or women of childbearing age and children less than 15 years old. Check www.ifishillinois.org for updated consumption advisories. Anglers can catch largemouth bass on points, deadfalls, stickups, and along aquatic vegetation beds in the spring and fall with plastic worms, jigs, spinners, crank baits, minnows, crayfish, and worms.

REDEAR SUNFISH

Fair

The redear sunfish population is similar to the bluegill population, but shows higher numbers of 7-8” fish than bluegill.

Location: Lake Jacksonville is located 3 miles south of Jacksonville and 30 miles west of Springfield just off of I-72.

Description: Lake Jacksonville is 476 acres with a maximum depth of 31 feet, an average depth of 12.5 feet, 18.5 miles of shoreline, and maintains abundant aquatic vegetation beds. The lake has a nice double ramp on the north shore.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The Division of Fisheries entered into a formal Cooperative Management Agreement with the City of Jacksonville in 1984 to manage the sport fishery. Due to the poor sportfishery, the lake was completely drained, rehabilitated and restocked in 1986. This project produced one of the best largemouth bass populations in the state.

Additional Lake Information: 2 pole and line fishing only.

Carp, buffalo, sucks and carpsuckers may be taken by means of pitchfork and gigs (no bow and arrow devices).

Site regulations:
Largemouth bass: 14– 18" protected slow, 3 fish daily limit
Crappie: No more than 10 fish greater than or equal to 10", 25 fish daily limit
Hybrid striped bass: 17" minimum length, 3 fish daily limit
Channel catfish: 6 fish daily limit

Contact Information:
Site Superintendent
217-479-4644
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Blake Ruebush
217-622-7219

There were 33 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2020.

Species Total Fish Caught
Channel Catfish 85
Largemouth Bass 1246

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2020 tournaments:

1     6.88 lbs
2     6.73 lbs
3     6.59 lbs
4     6.50 lbs
5     6.19 lbs

Top 5 Total Tournament Weight of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2020 tournaments:

1 335.75 lbs
2 129.37 lbs
3 118.81 lbs
4 115.14 lbs
5 92.11 lbs