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Lake Information

County: Shelby

Acreage: 988

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

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Fish Status



Few fish exceed 7.5 inches, but most have a heavy body weight.



Abundant with fish exceeding 10 lbs.



Currently abundant in the lake through primarily natural recruitment. The average catch goes from 3/4 - 4.5 lbs., with the occasional fish over 10 pounds caught.



Both white and black crappie are abundant. Growth rates vary from slow to fast within this population. However, anglers may still catch crappie up to 13 inches and 3/4 lbs.



Catch and release is encouraged as abundance is low.



Moderately abundant with fish exceeding 10 lbs.



Hybrid striped bass are stocked annually with population density varying with stocking density. Good numbers of hybrid striped bass have been caught in recent years by anglers. Numbers of hybrids are caught below the spillway in early spring. Catch rates of hybrid striped bass were high during the standardized fall survey in 2012 and good in 2013.



Moderate in abundance due to a lack of aquatic vegetation for nursery habitat. Decent numbers of bass from .5-3 lbs. are present with fish over 6 lbs. caught on occasion.

SAUGEYE (Walleye/Sauger Hybrid)


Saugeye were initially stocked in 2010. Saugeye are moderate in abundance with anglers reporting catches of some legal saugeye. The 2012 and 2013 year classes look strong.

Location: Lake Mattoon is located approximately twelve miles southwest of Mattoon and about 1.5 miles northwest of Neoga, in parts of Shelby, Coles, and Cumberland Counties.

Description: The lake covers 1050 surface acres with a maximum depth of 31 feet and average depth of 11.4 feet. Public boat launching facilities are available and the City of Mattoon (217-895-2922 or 234-3611) collects a boating access fee, which covers Lake Paradise as well. All tournaments must be scheduled through the City of Mattoon.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The fish population in Lake Mattoon is intensively surveyed every two years, primarily by electrofishing. The fish are measured, weighed, and scales collected before releasing them alive. Hybrid striped bass, and saugeye, populations are being maintained by annual stockings. In addition to the species listed above, yellow bass, longear sunfish, green sunfish, warmouth, and yellow and black bullheads are present, but are seldom harvested by fishermen due to the small size attained by these species.

Additional Lake Information: Pole and line fishing only, with no more than two poles allowed per person, with only two hooks or lures per pole. After sunset the entire lake is no wake. Camping, a swimming beach, live bait, fishing tackle, ice, and drinks are available.

Contact Information:
Lake Mattoon Marina
217-895-2922 (winter: 217-234-3611)
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Mike Mounce

There were 55 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2018.

Species Total Fish Caught
Blue Catfish 2
Channel Catfish 324
Largemouth Bass 808

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2018 tournaments:

1     7.19 lbs
2     6.67 lbs
3     6.38 lbs
4     5.25 lbs
5     5.11 lbs

Top 5 Bag Weights of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2018 tournaments:

1 103.65 lbs
2 102.44 lbs
3 95.72 lbs
4 82.03 lbs
5 74.66 lbs