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VANDALIA CITY LAKE


Lake Information

County: Fayette

Acreage: 646

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 225hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes




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Maps are not intended for navigation.


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Poor

The size structure of the bluegill population remained poor in 2023. Very few fish over 7” long were collected and only 42% of the adult bluegill collected were over 6” long. Average body condition for the bluegill population was good, but the overall size structure will likely always be hindered by the presence of gizzard shad. Angler catches in 2024 will be primarily composed of bluegill less than 7” long, weighing less than 0.25 pounds.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Good

Channel catfish are very abundant in Vandalia Lake, but their average body condition is poor. Approximately 89% of the adult fish sampled were over 14” long and 38% were 18” or longer. Most channel catfish caught in 2024 will be 1 – 4 pounds with some exceeding 5 pounds.

CRAPPIE

Average

Black and white crappie are both present in the lake, but white crappie are much more numerous. Approximately 61% of the adult white crappie were over 9” long, 49% were over 10” long, and average body condition was below the lake management plan minimum target. Most angler catches in 2024 are likely to be white crappie 8” – 12” long, weighing 0.20 – 0.75 pounds. Black crappie weren’t sampled in 2023, but anglers may occasionally catch them.

FLATHEAD CATFISH

Fair

A small population of flathead catfish exists in the lake. A single flathead catfish was sampled in 2023 measuring 29.9” long and weighing 13.8 pounds.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Improving

Vandalia Lake has historically had low numbers of largemouth bass. Recent surveys have seen the electrofishing catch rate oscillate above and below the lake management plan target of 60 bass per hour. The catch rate in 2023 was the highest in recent years at 85 per hour, but it remains lower than similarly sized lakes in the area. Approximately 38% of the adult bass collected were in the 12” – 15” size range, 17% were in the 15” – 20” size range, and 38% exceeded the 14” minimum length limit. Average body condition for the largemouth bass population was above average (Wr = 103). This is due primarily to two factors: low bass densities and abundant numbers of shad (93% of the gizzard shad surveyed were in the 3.9” – 6.7” size range). These factors can make catching bass difficult because there are fewer overall numbers of bass, and they are very well fed. Most bass over the 14” minimum length limit should weigh 1.8 to 3 pounds.

Location: Vandalia Lake is located in Fayette County approximately 2.5 miles northwest of the City of Vandalia, Illinois.

Description: Vandalia Lake was constructed in 1967 and has a surface area of 660 acres, a maximum depth of 41 feet, and a mean depth of 25 feet. The lake has 12.5 miles of shoreline and a watershed of 16,998 acres.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The sport fish population in Vandalia Lake is comprised primarily of largemouth bass, bluegill, white crappie, and channel catfish. Other common species include yellow and black bullheads, gizzard shad, flathead catfish, bigmouth buffalo, freshwater drum, and common carp. The fish population is surveyed annually, and summaries below are based on the results of the most recent population survey and four-year trends in the population indices.

Additional Lake Information: City of Vandalia boat permits are required. These can be purchased at the Vandalia Lake Marina or the Vandalia City Hall.

Fishing Regulations:
2 pole and line fishing only
Largemouth Bass: 6 daily limit, 14" minimum length limit
Hybrid Striped Bass: 3 daily limit, 17" minimum length limit
Channel Catfish: 6 daily limit

Contact Information:
Vandalia Lake Manager, Sam Kerr
618-283-4770
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Boone LaHood
618-393-6732

There were 27 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2020.

Species Total Fish Caught
Channel Catfish 62
Largemouth Bass 674

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

1     7.62 lbs
2     6.20 lbs
3     5.36 lbs
4     5.34 lbs
5     5.20 lbs

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

1 116.20 lbs
2 115.92 lbs
3 110.80 lbs
4 98.61 lbs
5 90.18 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
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
April-0626790ApprovedRamp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
April-1325148ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
April-2725234ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-0425010ApprovedRamp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
No
May-0426791PendingRamp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-1125243ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-0825259ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-0925404ApprovedRamp boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
No
June-1525868ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
June-1526792PendingRamp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-2225799ApprovedRamp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
June-2325369ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
June-2925270ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-3025559ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
July-1325282ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-2725294ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-0425417ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
August-1025302ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-1726195ApprovedRamp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
No
August-1825382ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
August-2425309ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-0725316ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-0825431ApprovedRamp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
No
October-0525045ApprovedRamp boat
hook
34Largemouth Bass
No
October-1225334ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
October-2625103ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
October-2725123ApprovedRamp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes