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Lake Information

County: Johnson

Acreage: 16

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? NO BOATS allowed

Boat Ramps? No

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

  Trout stocked in fall

  Trout stocked in spring

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

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Fish Status



Bluegill abundance was fair in spring 2016; 36% of the fish collected were larger than 7 inches. A few bluegill (9%) were also 8 inches or more in length. Bluegill body condition was satisfactory.



Generally few channel catfish are collected during the annual spring Ferne Clyffe Lake electrofishing survey due to clear, cool water conditions. In spring 2016, channel catfish collected ranged in size from 13 to 25 inches. Body condition of these fish was excellent. Channel catfish are stocked annually to maintain the population. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit.



Crappie are rarely represented in the annual electrofishing sample. In 2016, one black crappie was collected, and this fish was approximately 11 inches in length.


Very Good

Largemouth bass are the most abundant species of fish present in Ferne Clyffe Lake. Of the bass collected in spring 2016, 16% were larger than 12 inches. Most Ferne Clyffe bass range from 8 to 14 inches in size, but it is not unusual for one or more trophy-sized bass to show up in the spring electrofishing sample. Although fish up to the 10-pound mark have been collected, the largest fish in the spring 2016 sample was 5.5 pounds. Body condition of bass larger than 4 pounds was excellent, but condition of smaller fish was poorer than the management plan goal. Site Regulation: 6 fish per day limit, no length limit.


Very Good

Rainbow trout are stocked in Ferne Clyffe Lake in spring and fall to coincide with seasons that begin the first Saturday of April and the third Saturday of October. The Ferne Clyffe trout fishery is very popular with the angling public. Possession of an inland trout stamp is required for harvesting rainbow trout. 5 per day creel limit.


Very Good

Although redear are usually less abundant than bluegill in Ferne Clyffe Lake, the 2016 survey showed 68 % of redear collected were larger than 8 inches, and 45% exceeded 10 inches in length. Redear body condition was also excellent.

Location: Ferne Clyffe Lake is located within Ferne Clyffe State Park approximately one mile south of Goreville, IL in Johnson County.

Description: Ferne Clyffe Lake is a relatively clear, infertile, 16-acre, IDNR-owned impoundment. The lake is mostly surrounded by forest and has a one-mile perimeter walking trail.

Additional Lake Information: No boats allowed.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth Bass: 6 fish per day limit, no length limit
Channel Catfish: 6 fish per day limit, no length limit

Fish Attractors:

Contact Information:
Site Office
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Luke Nelson