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Lake Information

County: McHenry

Acreage: 244

Average Depth: 4.04 feet

Shoreline Length: 2.9 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 10hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? No

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

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Fish Status



Black crappie were not captured in this sample. Species specific die-offs have occurred twice in the last 8 years (2014 and 2007). This most recent die-off occurred in late September of 2014 when about 50 dead black crappie were documented at three locations around the lake.



Bluegill abundance was quite low, though this number is usually variable. The bluegill average length was 4.6 inches.



No channel catfish were captured during this survey. Channel catfish over 20 inches have been caught in previous surveys. About 1,600 channel catfish are stocked into McCullom Lake annually.



Two harsh winters (2010-11 and 2013-14) in the last four years have taken their toll on the bass population in this lake. Largemouth bass catch rates have declined since 2004. A couple of nice bass weighing close to three pounds were captured in the 2014 survey. Adult bass have an abundant food supply as yellow perch and yellow bass have exploded.



Northern pike were captured at a rate of 8.5 fish per net night in 2018. This survey did have one of the highest catch rates in recent surveys despite pike stocking being halted in 2015. The pike ranged in length from 16.2 to 32.0 inches long. The heaviest fish, a female with eggs, weighed 5.8 pounds. Unfortunately, IDNR is no longer raising and stocking northern pike. Monitoring will continue to determine if a natural reproduction can sustain a pike fishery at McCollum Lake.



Yellow perch were extremely abundant during the 2014 survey. This species can become so overabundant they develop into a stunted population, as well as compete with young of year largemouth bass.



Yellow bass were extremely abundant during the 2014 survey. This species can become so overabundant they develop into a stunted population, as well as compete with young of year largemouth bass.

Location: McCullom Lake is located at the northwest edge of McHenry off of McCullom Lake Road between Illinois Routes 31 and 47. The main entrance is at 4300 Peterson Park Road.

Description: This 244-acre, northeastern Illinois lake is relatively shallow, averaging around four feet with a maximum depth of nine feet. Shoreline access is available at several small parks, including the City of McHenry’s Peterson Park located on the northeast shoreline. Petersen Park has a handicap-accessible fishing pier that is available spring through fall. There is a launch for carry in boats. A small, undeveloped boat launch on the lake’s south shore provides boat access for small trailerable boats with motors of 10 horsepower or less (located off West Shore Drive in McHenry). Private residences surround approximately 80% of the shoreline. An aerator is run periodically through the winter so watch for open water if ice fishing. The lake is managed under a cooperative management agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: McCullom Lake is stocked with largemouth bass and channel catfish. The IDNR conducts northern pike stocking success surveys when conditions allow. Four trap-nets were fished for two nights in March of 2018. Also listed are results from the 2014 fall electrofishing survey.

Unfortunately this shallow lake is prone to fish kills and carp infestation.

We also noted hundreds small (young of year) yellow bass and yellow perch. Heavy aquatic vegetation in the summer/fall can make this lake difficult to fish.

Additional Lake Information: Two-lines or poles only when fishing at McCullom Lake.

Contact Information:
McHenry Parks and Recreation
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Andy Plauck
815-675-2386 ext. 214