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Lake Information

County: Morgan

Acreage: 476

Average Depth: 40.91 feet

Shoreline Length: 18.6 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link Dam Boat Ramp

    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Boat Ramp, Dam

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

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Fish Status



The Channel Catfish population continues to remain excellent. The lake is large and turbid enough to potentially promote natural reproduction, and it receives approximately 7,000 non-vulnerable Channel Catfish from the hatchery system biennially. In 2021, 6 Channel Catfish were collected per hour of electrofishing. Fish ranged from 9.9-21.7” and weighed up to 3.9lbs. Trap netting resulted in 28 Channel Catfish collected, ranging from 9.3-28.1” and weighing up to 10lbs. Average body condition from Channel Catfish collected via electrofishing was excellent.



White Crappie is the dominant crappie species in Lake Jacksonville, however more Black Crappie were collected than White Crappie in the 2021 electrofishing survey. The crappie fishery appears to be improving. White Crappie ranged from 4.4-13.1” and weighed up to 1.1lbs. 33.3% of the catchable population exceeded 10” and 11.1% exceeded 12”. Most structural indices met or exceeded the management goal. The 2021 spring trap netting yielded 51 White Crappie and 28 Black Crappie in 14 net nights of effort. The catch rate was substantially lower in 2021, but could be attributed to a cold front that came through on the day the nets were set. 100.0% of the catchable White Crappie population exceeded 8”, 78.4% exceeded 10” and 19.6% were 12” or greater. 60.7% of the Black Crappie population exceeded 8”, 25.0% were 10” or greater. The crappie regulation changed in 2017, to a 25 fish/day harvest limit with no more than 10 fish measuring greater than or equal to 10”. This regulation was put into place with a goal to reduce the density of fish measuring less than 10”, which will allow for more food sources and faster growth rates of the remaining crappie and bass. Anglers can catch crappie on stickups and submerged structures in the spring and fall using spinners, jigs, and minnows. The largest White Crappie ever collected during an electrofishing survey measured over 15” and weighed 1.8 lbs.



One Hybrid Striped Bass was collected via electrofishing in 2021, and it measured 7.5”. Hybrid Striped Bass had not previously been collected in electrofishing surveys since 2016. One Hybrid Striped Bass was collected in the 2021 trap netting survey. It measured 11.8”. Angler accounts suggest that the population is doing well and is providing good fishing opportunities. Hybrid Striped Bass are stocked annually into Lake Jacksonville, as hatchery production allows.


Very Good

The Largemouth Bass population at Lake Jacksonville remains very good. In 2021, the Largemouth Bass structural indices all met or exceeded the lake management goals. Largemouth Bass were collected at a rate of 80.5 fish per 1 hour of electrofishing in 2021, yielding the highest catch rate since 2018. Fish ranged from 3.1-21.4” and weighed up to 6.85lbs. 48% of the catchable-sized fish exceeded 12”, 22.4% reached 15” or better, and 8.8% measured 18” or greater. 4% of the catchable sized Largemouth Bass measured 20” or greater. 15 Largemouth Bass weighed 3lbs or more, and 4 of those fish weighed over 5lbs. Mean average body condition increased from 2020 to 2021. Lake Jacksonville is currently under a consumption advisory for Largemouth Bass measuring over 15”. No more than 1 meal/week is recommended for women beyond childbearing age and men more than 15 years old, while no more than 1 meal/month is recommended for pregnant or nursing women or women of childbearing age and children less than 15 years old. Anglers can catch largemouth bass on points, deadfalls, stickups, and along aquatic vegetation beds in the spring and fall with plastic worms, jigs, spinners, crank baits, minnows, crayfish, and worms.

Location: Lake Jacksonville is located 3 miles south of Jacksonville and 30 miles west of Springfield just off of I-72.

Description: Lake Jacksonville is 476 acres with a maximum depth of 31 feet, an average depth of 12.5 feet, 18.5 miles of shoreline, and maintains abundant aquatic vegetation beds. The lake has a nice double ramp on the north shore.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The Division of Fisheries entered into a formal Cooperative Management Agreement with the City of Jacksonville in 1984 to manage the sport fishery. Due to the poor sportfishery, the lake was completely drained, rehabilitated and restocked in 1986. This project produced one of the best largemouth bass populations in the state.

Other species present in this lake include Black Bullhead, Bluegill, Common Carp, Gizzard Shad, Golden Shiner, Green Sunfish, Hybrid Sunfish, Redear Sunfish, White Sucker, Yellow Bass, and Yellow Bullhead.

Additional Lake Information: 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only

Carp, buffalo, sucks and carpsuckers may be taken by means of pitchfork and gigs (no bow and arrow devices).

Site regulations:
Largemouth Bass: 14– 18" protected slot limit, 3 fish daily limit
Black, White, or Hybrid Crappie: No more than 10 fish greater than or equal to 10", 25 fish daily limit
Hybrid Striped Bass: 17" minimum length limit, 3 fish daily limit
Channel Catfish: 6 fish daily limit

Must possess a valid Jacksonville Lakes Permit - Available at Lake Jacksonville Boat Dock

Contact Information:
City of Jacksonville
Brett Gilbreth
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Blake Ruebush

There were 33 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2020.

Species Total Fish Caught
Channel Catfish 85
Largemouth Bass 1242

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2020 tournaments:

1     6.88 lbs
2     6.73 lbs
3     6.59 lbs
4     6.50 lbs
5     6.19 lbs

Top 5 Bag Weights of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2020 tournaments:

1 335.75 lbs
2 129.37 lbs
3 118.81 lbs
4 115.14 lbs
5 92.11 lbs

Multiple day tournaments are listed with *end date and

Interested in participating in one of these public tournaments? Contact us with tournament ID for more information.

2020-2021 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
July-2026253ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
30Largemouth Bass
July-2725144ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
30Largemouth Bass
July-2825172ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
20Largemouth Bass
September-0725105ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
40Largemouth Bass
September-2225484ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
40Largemouth Bass
October-1226254ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
30Largemouth Bass
October-1326255ApprovedLake Jacksonville Ramp (off Rt 31) boat
30Largemouth Bass