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Lake Information

County: Johnson

Acreage: 16

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? NO BOATS allowed

Boat Ramps? No

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

  Trout stocked in fall

  Trout stocked in spring

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Fish Stocking






Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"



Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"


Additional information for stocking on Ferne Clyffe Lake

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



Sampled bluegill abundance was lower in spring 2018; 34 were collected per hour, and 90% of these fish were larger than 6 inches. Forty percent of bluegill were larger than 8 inches, and no bluegill exceeded 9 inches in length. Bluegill body condition was good.



Generally few channel catfish are collected during the annual spring Ferne Clyffe Lake electrofishing survey due to clear, cool water conditions. 2019 had a relatively good sample, 28 channel catfish per hour were collected, ranging in size from 16 to 20 inches. Body condition of these fish was excellent. Channel catfish are stocked annually to maintain the population. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit.



As with channel catfish, crappie are rarely represented in the annual electrofishing sample. In 2019 no Crappie were sampled.


Very Good

Largemouth bass are the most abundant species of fish present in Ferne Clyffe Lake. Bass were collected at a rate of 42 per hour of electrofishing in spring 2019 (a substantial decrease from 2018 that’s likely linked to very clear water during the sample), and only 6% were larger than 12 inches. Condition of fish was poorer than the management plan goal. Most Ferne Clyffe bass range from 9 to 13 inches in size, but it is not unusual for one or more trophy-sized bass to show up in the spring electrofishing sample. Although fish up to the 10-pound mark have been collected in years past, large fish were observed but not collected during the 2019 sample. Site Regulation: 6 fish per day limit, no length limit.


Very Good

Rainbow trout are stocked in Ferne Clyffe Lake in spring and fall to coincide with seasons that begin the first Saturday of April and the third Saturday of October. The Ferne Clyffe trout fishery is very popular with the angling public. Possession of an inland trout stamp is required for harvesting rainbow trout. 5 per day creel limit.


Very Good

Redear are usually less abundant than bluegill in Ferne Clyffe Lake, and the 2019 sample followed this trend. Redear were collected at a rate of 8 per hour of electrofishing (a third of the rate in 2018), 25% were larger than 8 inches in length. No redear were sampled over 10 inches, and overall body condition of all fish was very good.

Location: Ferne Clyffe Lake is located within Ferne Clyffe State Park approximately one mile south of Goreville, IL in Johnson County.

Description: Ferne Clyffe Lake is a relatively clear, infertile, 16-acre, IDNR-owned impoundment. The lake is mostly surrounded by forest and has a one-mile perimeter walking trail.

Additional Lake Information: No boats allowed.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth Bass: 6 fish per day limit, no length limit
Channel Catfish: 6 fish per day limit, no length limit

Contact Information:
Site Office
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Luke Nelson