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Lake Information

County: Wayne

Acreage: 194

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 10hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? No

Swimming? Yes

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"



Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"



Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"


Additional information for stocking on SAM DALE LAKE

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



Fewer bluegill were collected in 2019 (67 per hour) than in the previous year. Bluegill quality remained essentially the same. Fish over 6 inches comprised 53% of the sample. Body condition of bluegill was acceptable and easily within the management plan goal range.


Very Good

Six channel catfish were collected per hour in Sam Dale Lake during the 2020 survey, a slight increase from the previous year. These fish ranged in size from 15 to 23 inches and displayed excellent body condition. Channel catfish are stocked annually to maintain the population. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit.


Very Good

Largemouth bass were collected in Sam Dale Lake at a reduced rate of 102 per hour of electrofishing in fall 2020, and 67% were larger than 12 inches. Approximately 43% of these fish were also larger than the 14-inch minimum size limit. Body condition of Sam Dale largemouth bass was very good. Site Regulation: 14 inch length limit, 6 per day creel.



A remnant population of pure muskellunge exists in Sam Dale Lake as a result of stockings related to a statewide research project. However, no muskies were collected during the fall 2019 or fall 2020 survey. Site Regulation: 48 inch length limit, 1 per day creel.


Very Good

Similar to the previous year, redear were much less abundant than bluegill in 2020, and just 3 were collected per hour of electrofishing. Quality of these fish is still very good, with 67% of the sampled population comprised of 8-inch fish. Redear body condition was dipped just below goal range in 2020.



The white crappie population in Sam Dale Lake is normally stunted with many fish 6 to 9 inches in length range. The fall 2020 survey produced white crappie 7 to 11 inches in length with 76% larger than 8 inches and 29% over 10 inches . Crappie body condition was good and within management plan goal range.

Location: Sam Dale Lake is located in northwestern Wayne County within Sam Dale Lake State Park five miles northwest of Johnsonville, Illinois.

Description: Sam Dale Lake is a relatively fertile, 194-acre, IDNR-owned impoundment. The lake is largely surrounded by forest and has two boat ramps.

Additional Lake Information: Boats are allowed on the lake, but are limited to 10 horsepower.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth bass: 14 inch length limit, 6 fish daily limit.
Channel catfish: 6 fish daily limit.
Muskellunge: 48 inch length limit, 1 fish daily limit.

Contact Information:
Sam Dale State Park
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Luke Nelson

There were 5 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2020.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 86

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

1     4.43 lbs
2     3.12 lbs
3     3.00 lbs
4     2.68 lbs
5     2.67 lbs

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

1 50.13 lbs
2 37.57 lbs
3 32.12 lbs
4 31.58 lbs
5 6.78 lbs