Choose another lake


Lake Information

County: Cass

Acreage: 35

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Electric only

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Fish Stocking






Channel Catfish

Non-vulnerable 8 - 10"


Additional information for stocking on Drake Lake - JEPCFWA

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



Black crappie have shown up in our surveys for several years. Black crappie were not stocked by IDNR. They were most likely introduced by anglers.



The bluegill population indices for Drake Lake do not meet the criteria for Lake Management Plan Objectives for a “balanced population”, but they do fall within desired ranges for a trophy panfish management objective. Bluegill collected during the 2017 spring survey ranged in size from 3.5-8.5” and weighed up to 0.5 lbs. Bluegill body condition has shown to be less than desired the last few years. While large, hungry bluegill will provide anglers excellent fishing opportunities. Site Regulation: 10 fish daily limit.


Very Good

Only five channel catfish were collected in the 2017 survey. Channel catfish in Drake Lake are in excellent body condition. The IDNR will continue stocking non-vulnerable sized fish on alternate years to sustain the channel catfish population. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit.



The largemouth bass population continues to show signs of stunting. Body condition of largemouth bass is well below average and the population is composed of mainly 10-14” fish. The largemouth bass population characteristics are great for a high quality pan fish population (bluegill and redear sunfish). High densities of small, hungry bass keep sunfish from overpopulating and allow the sunfish that avoid largemouth bass predation to grow faster and attain larger sizes. Site Regulation: 15" minimum length limit; 3 fish daily limit.



We collected 38 redear sunfish/hr of electrofishing in the 2017 spring survey. That number is lower than desired, but the survey may have been conducted too late in the spring for optimal redear collection. Redear sunfish ranged in size from 5- 10” and weighed up to 0.7 lbs. Body condition of redear sunfish was average in 2017. The redear sunfish population should provide anglers with excellent fishing opportunities.Site Regulation: 10 fish daily limit.

Location: Drake Lake is located at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State and Fish and Wildlife Area, 8 miles north of Ashland and 40 miles northwest of Springfield.

Description: In the early 1990s the Department of Natural Resources purchased 15,575 acres of ground from Commonwealth Edison. Ten old farm ponds on the site were rehabilitated and restocked and three new larger lakes were constructed. Drake Lake is 35 acres with a maximum depth of 42’. The lake was initially stocked in the fall of 2001 with 21,500 bluegill, 8,600 redear sunfish and 4,300 channel catfish. 4,300 largemouth bass followed in July of 2002. The lake was initially very clear and is steep-sided, making electrofishing surveys sometimes difficult, but has since become more fertile.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: For information on the other bodies of water in the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish Wildlife Area:

Gridley Lake

Prairie Lake

Gurney Road Pond

Additional Lake Information: 2 pole and line fishing only.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth bass: 15" minimum length limit; 3 fish daily limit
Bluegill or redear sunfish: 10 fish daily limit
Channel catfish; 6 fish daily limit

Contact Information:
JEPC Site Office:
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Tad Locher