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SHELBYVILLE, LAKE

SHELBYVILLE, LAKE FISHING GUIDE


Lake Information

County: Shelby

Acreage: 11100

Average Depth: 18.9 feet

Shoreline Length: 120 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

Wilborn Creek Coal Shaft Bridge Whitley Creek Eagle Creek Wolf Creek Lone Point Coon Creek Oppossum Creek Lithia Springs Shelbyville Dam


    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Coal Shaft Bridge, Coon Creek, Eagle Creek,
    Kaskaskia River Access, Lithia Springs, Lone Point,
    Oppossum Creek, Shelbyville Dam, Whitley Creek,
    Wilborn Creek, Wolf Creek

Maps are not intended for navigation.


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Fish Stocking

Year

Species

Size

Count

2019

Muskellunge

Adult

8211

2019

Walleye

Fingerling 1 - 3"

108299

2020

Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"

40144

2020

Muskellunge

Adult

50

2020

Sauger

Fingerling 1 - 3"

85565

2020

Walleye

Fingerling 1 - 3"

149729

2021

Sauger

Fingerling 1 - 3"

140639

2021

Walleye

Fingerling 1 - 3"

18431


Additional information for stocking on SHELBYVILLE, LAKE


Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Fair

Fishing is fair. Few fish exceed 7 inches.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Good

Channel catfish are fair in abundance, with 8+lbs. fish present.

CRAPPIE

Excellent

Both white crappie and black crappie are abundant. Recruitment and growth rates have been good, in part due to recent flooding events. Anglers may catch crappie that are 15+ inches and 1+ lbs.

FLATHEAD CATFISH

Good

Flathead catfish are low in abundance, but large fish are present. Fishing is better below the spillway.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Fair

Largemouth bass virus has had lasting effects on the population, as has the reduction of course woody debris and the lack of aquatic vegetation. Efforts to establish aquatic vegetation will hopefully improve the largemouth bass population. We are frequently asked about stocking of bass, however research has shown that stocked largemouth bass contribute very little to the population, especially in a reservoir this large.

MUSKELLUNGE

Poor

Muskellunge catch rates in the lake have decreased drastically from previous years. This has been compounded by issues with stocking survival, though progress has recently been made in improving initial stocking survival. A decent fishery still exists below the spillway, with decent densities of 30-40+ inch fish present.

SAUGER

Fair

Sauger have been occasionally stocked since 2006 and are in fair to good abundance.

SMALLMOUTH BASS

Poor

Smallmouth Bass are low in abundance as we attempt to develop a population through stockings. Brood stock are from the Kaskaskia River. The occasional fish is reported caught by anglers. No evidence of natural recruitment has been observed. Catch and immediate release is encouraged.

STRIPED BASS

Developing

Striped Bass were stocked in 2018 and 2019 and are exhibiting exceptional growth rates. A new regulation is in place to help create a quality fishery. Please take the time to learn how to identify the difference between striped bass and white bass so that the striped bass can have a chance to grow to their maximum potential! A pocket-sized identification card will be available at local bait shops and businesses, or by emailing the IDNR biologist.

WALLEYE

Good

Walleye are in high abundance, both due to stocking efforts as well as occasional (suspected) natural recruitment. Walleye up to 8 lbs. have been collected, as are good numbers of intermediate sized fish.

WHITE BASS

Good

White bass numbers have been down for several years but a decent fishery still exists. Most fish range from ½ to 1 lb.

Location: Lake Shelbyville is located in Shelby and Moultrie Counties in east-central Illinois, with the dam situated on the Kaskaskia River, east of the City of Shelbyville, Illinois.

Description: This lake has a surface area of 11,100 acres, with a maximum depth of 65 feet, and an average depth of 18 feet. Numerous public boat launching facilities are available, with a fee assessed on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers developed access area boat ramps, and free access on state park or Corps gravel boat ramps. All tournaments must be scheduled through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The fish population in Lake Shelbyville is surveyed annually. Lake Shelbyville is home to at least 32 species of fish. In addition to the lake, a popular fishery exists in the Kaskaskia River just below the spillway and in the West Okaw and Kaskaskia Rivers upstream of the lake. In cooperation between the USACE and the IDNR, two nursery ponds, 6.5 and 0.7 acres, are utilized to improve fishing quality in Lake Shelbyville.

An annual fish attractor project is coordinated by the USACE in coordination with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) on the third Saturday in March. Fish attractor maps can be found here: http://www.mvs.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Lake-Shelbyville/Recreation/Fish-Attractor-Maps/

Additional Lake Information: See the Illinois Fishing Information guide for a complete list of regulations for Lake Shelbyville and other USACE and IDNR project ponds and lakes. Regulation signs are posted at all boat ramps and major access points. All fishing tournaments on USACE ramps require a permit from the USACE office.

Regulation note: Unfortunately the regulations for striped bass were not included in the 2019 booklet. Regulations signs are posted at all boat ramps and major access points. You are encouraged to direct any questions or concerns to Mike Mounce, IDNR Fisheries, 217-345-2420.

NEWS: The Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance (LSFHA) was formed in 2017 with the purpose to apply to granting agencies for funding to improve angling quality on Lake Shelbyville. Many individuals, fishing clubs, tournament organizers, businesses, non-governmental organizations, municipalities, and governmental agencies came together to form and successfully support the LSFHA.

Fundraising prior to and after organization, resulted in enough funds received to build ~800 Shelbyville and Georgia cube fish attractors, and an additional 100+ artificial stumps, which have all been placed in the lake through 2019. So far the cubes have been paying off very well, with numerous reports of good catches coming from the cubes. Large numbers of fish are congregating on the structures in as little as two days after deployment, including bass and walleye caught by anglers! Research results indicate good fish use on these structures.

The LSFHA successfully applied for grants through the “Friends of Reservoirs” and receives $30,000, plus an additional $17,000, in winter in 2018. An additional $40,000 FOR grant was won in fall 2019 and will be distributed to the LSFHA in fall/winter 2020! In addition to the cube and stump attractors, an aquatic plant nursery was developed by the USACE, and 1000s of plants produced and planted into Lake Shelbyville in 2017- 2019. These plantings are protected by wire-mesh “exclosures” which can be found in each of the major arms of the lake. Rip-rap is being ordered to develop some rock “reefs” for the near future. The LSFHA “adopt-a-cube” program has been very popular, with over $5,000 donated to name cubes after loved-ones and businesses. Results and activities can be followed on our Facebook page; Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance. Check us out and give us a “LIKE!” Watch for future structure building events this coming year, as several are planned! Maps of habitat locations can be found on the Facebook page or the USACE web site by using “Lake Shelbyville Habitat Maps”.

Contact Information:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
217-774-3951
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Jim Garavaglia
217-345-2420

There were 69 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2020.

Species Total Fish Caught
Channel Catfish 38
Crappie 438
Largemouth Bass 2965

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

1     6.75 lbs
2     6.41 lbs
3     6.12 lbs
4     6.11 lbs
5     5.97 lbs

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

1 842.50 lbs
2 501.94 lbs
3 422.90 lbs
4 386.80 lbs
5 286.98 lbs


Multiple day tournaments are listed with * end date.

Interested in participating in one of these public tournaments? Contact us with tournament ID for more information.

2021 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
October-2318485ApprovedWolf Creek State Park boat
hook
16Largemouth Bass
NoNo
October-23
*October-24
19351ApprovedForrest "Bo" Wood Rec. Area boat
hook
40Crappie
NoNo
November-0619633ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
75Crappie
NoYes
November-1319407ApprovedForrest "Bo" Wood Rec. Area boat
hook
25Crappie
NoNo
November-2819409ApprovedWilborn Creek Rec. Area boat
hook
25Crappie
NoNo