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HORSESHOE LAKE - MADISON


Lake Information

County: Madison

Acreage: 2107

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 50hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link Canteen Walker's Island


    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Canteen, Walker's Island

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Fish Stocking

Year

Species

Size

Count

2020

Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"

80225


Additional information for stocking on HORSESHOE LAKE - MADISON


Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BIGMOUTH BUFFALO

Poor

Bigmouth buffalo were collected in lower numbers in the 2020 survey. They were mostly smaller fish in somewhat poor condition.

BLUEGILL

Very Good

The size quality of the bluegill population is similar to the previous survey. CPUE is high at 715 fish per hour in the 2020 survey. The condition of the fish is always very good.

CRAPPIE

Very Good

Crappie are a very important sport fish at Horseshoe Lake. Both white and black crappie were collected in higher numbers in the 2020 survey but the size and condition of the fish was very good.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Very Good

The largemouth bass numbers have increased from the previous surveys with a CPUE of 76 in the 2020 survey. The size distribution of the fish collected was good with fish in all size classes. The condition of the fish collected continues to be very good.

Location: Horseshoe Lake is located near Granite City on Highway 111 just south of Horseshoe Lake Road.

Description: This 2107-acre lake is a very old floodplain lake created by an abandoned river channel. The lake is shallow with average depths of 3-5 feet. It maintains a connection with the Mississippi River through drainage ditches. Therefore, the lake supports a very diverse fishery. Besides the common sport fish the lake is home to carp, buffalo, drum, gar, and bowfin. The main boat ramp is on the north shore of the lake inside the park. Shore angler access is available at many areas around the lake and there is a 50 hp limit for boat motors.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Horseshoe Lake presents many challenges to active fishery management. The lake is a large, shallow, fertile, flood plain lake. The lake connects with the Mississippi River via drainage ditches with high water. This allows for uncontrolled fish introduction and escapement. The lake supports high numbers of rough fish including common carp, buffalo, freshwater drum, and yellow bass. Asian carp are also present in the lake and numbers of silver carp have increased rapidly in recent years. The bighead carp numbers are lower but they are growing to enormous sizes. The rough fish undoubtedly compete with and negatively impact reproduction and recruitment of the sport fish. The sediment in the lake contains high levels of contaminants including heavy metals. There is little or no aquatic plant growth in the main body of the lake. Despite these limitations the lake continues to support a good sport fishery for bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass. The largemouth bass and crappie numbers were both up in the 2020 survey and the lake continues to support decent fishing opportunities for these species. Over 80,000 channel catfish were stocked into the lake in 2020. These fish should provide excellent angling opportunities in the coming years. Alligator gar were stocked for the first time in 2016 as part of a state wide reintroduction project. We hope to see evidence of survival and growth of these fish in future surveys.

Additional Lake Information: There is a 50 hp limit for boat motors. 2 Pole and Line fishing only. Bow Fishing is permitted. Trotlines are permitted within 300 feet of shoreline. Swimming, wading, and waterskiing are prohibited.

Contact Information:
Horseshoe Lake State Park
618- 931-0270
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Fred Cronin
618-931-4217