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Lake Information

County: Fulton

Acreage: 78

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 25hp Limit

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link West End East End

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    East End, West End

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There are zebra mussels in this lake.

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



The bluegill population continues to have a poor size structure with 0% of the sampled fish over 7 inches. The current bluegill condition is poor due to the competition with the gizzard shad and carp.



No channel catfish were sampled in 2019. A low density population is present and a stocking of 500 fish every three years is scheduled.



The black crappie population was surveyed by 24 stock size fish in 2019. The PSD was 96, the the RSD9 was 50 and the RSD11 was 33. The body condition was good with a Wr value at 99. The black crappie population is very good with the 11 to 14 inch fish weighing .85 to 1.5 pounds. No white crappie were surveyed in 2019. This population is present in a very low density of quality fish.



In 2019, spring trapnetting and fall D.C. electrofishing were used to survey the fish population. The largemouth bass population was evaluated by 86 bass from electrofishing in 2019. The largemouth bass population appears to be defined by a high percentage of fish from 5.5 to 19.5 inches in length with good average Relative weights. In 2000, the bass regulation for the Marsh was changed from a 14 inch minimum size limit and 1 fish per day - to a 12 to 18 inch protected slot length with a harvest of 3 fish under or over the slot per day. The 2019 fall electrofishing survey indicated a size structure that is continuing to maintain a very good level and stability since 2004. The PSD of 85, the RSD14 of 72, the RSD16 of 44 and the RSD 18 of 18 were all very good. The goal of the protected slot length limit was to create a high density bass population that is composed of fish large enough to be efficient predators upon the high density of slow growing panfish and the rough fish population. The benefit to bass anglers will be more fish surviving past 14 inches to catch, and for anglers wanting to harvest bass will be the opportunity to harvest more fish.



A total of 10 muskie were sampled by the spring trapnet survey in 2019. These fish ranged from 27.5 to 40.7 inches long. The body condition of these fish was good at an average Wr of 94. The first stocking of 450 fish at 11 inches was in 1999. In 2000, a total of 200, 2001-600, 2002-200, 2003-200, 2004-0, and 200 annually from 2005 through 2014 at an average size of 11.2 inches were stocked. No muskie were stocked in 2015 or 2016. In 2017, 200 fish at 12.4 inches long were stocked. A triennial stocking is now scheduled to maintain a moderate density of healthy muskie. Illinois (Jake Wolf) muskie strain appear to be doing good in this lake.

Location: Located in Central Illinois, the 5,524 acre Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area lies adjacent to the Illinois River, 4 miles north of Banner, Illinois, along Route 24.

Description: Banner Marsh SFWA was characterized by narrow strip pits and upland ponds, but in 1994, the hydrology changed due to the intentional cessation of pumping operations in the levee district. The water level rose approximately 7 feet (435 M.S.L.) due mainly to groundwater recharge by seepage under the existing 1-100 year flood-tight levee with the Illinois River. The total surface water acreage for the site increased from 530 acres to approximately 2400 acres and created a large vegetated littoral zone.

Shovel Lake (approximately 200 acres) is the third largest water area at the site. It is a "T" shaped final cut lake with limited habitat in the boat ramp arm. The opposite arm which lies adjacent to the Copperas Creek levee, contains points, flooded brush, beaver lodges, and diverse aquatic vegetation. The water acreage added in 2001 consists of very large littoral zones around deep water pockets. The maximum water depth is 65.0 feet. The average water clarity in the summer is often over 12 feet.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The former bottomland lake and marsh was leveed and drained for agricultural practice from 1910 through 1958. From 1958 to1974 approximately 90 percent of the site was strip-mined for coal. The strip-mined areas have since been reclaimed and purchased by the State of Illinois. Under the management of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (1978 - present) the primary objective for the site is to establish a freshwater marsh providing fish and wildlife habitat in the Illinois River Valley.

For fishing reports: Banner Marsh Ponds

For other lakes in the Banner Marsh SFWA:

Johnson Lake
Wheel Lake

Additional Lake Information: The Bell's Landing access area has a concrete boat ramp, 25 vehicle and trailer parking lot and restrooms. The lake has a 25 h.p. motor limit. The site is open 24 hours a day, except for the Central Zone Duck Season, at which time only shoreline fishing is allowed after 1:00 p.m.

Two-pole and line fishing only except carp can be taken by bow and arrow devices, gigs or spears during May through August.

White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie:
- 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit with no more than 10 fish greater than or equal to 10 inches.
Large or Smallmouth Bass:
- Protected Slot Length Limit from 12 to 18 inches with 3 fish daily harvest limit.
- 42 inch minimum and 1 fish per day harvest limit.
Channel Catfish:
- 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
- 14 inch minimum and 6 fish daily Harvest Limit
Recreational Use Restrictions:
-All live bait > 8 inch must be rigged with a quick set rig
-Waterfowl refuge or hunting area

Contact Information:
Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
Site Office
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Rob Hilsabeck

There were 7 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2020.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 114

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

1     5.43 lbs
2     5.38 lbs
3     5.15 lbs
4     5.06 lbs
5     5.05 lbs

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

1 106.40 lbs
2 61.00 lbs
3 55.41 lbs
4 53.38 lbs
5 28.12 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
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
June-0616985ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
15Largemouth Bass
June-0617617ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
10Largemouth Bass
June-2317317ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
20Largemouth Bass
July-1717967ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
12Largemouth Bass
July-2517625ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
15Largemouth Bass
August-1518118ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
20Largemouth Bass
August-2117394ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
15Largemouth Bass
August-2217083ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
30Largemouth Bass
September-0417852ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
September-1117121ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
20Largemouth Bass
September-2617626ApprovedBanner Marsh Shovel Lake boat
10Largemouth Bass