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Lake Information

County: Tazewell

Acreage: 610

Average Depth: 2.89 feet

Shoreline Length: 5.2 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 25hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link Spring Lake North Spring Lake South

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    Spring Lake North, Spring Lake South

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.



Fish Status



The bluegill population indices showed 37% percent of the population over 6 inches and the average body condition value of 83 yet no fish over 8” were collected in 2022.



The channel catfish population indices showed that 97.3 percent of the population was over 16 inches with an average body condition value of 85. The annual stocking of channel catfish provides a population that many Spring Lake anglers target from the shoreline.


Very Good

The 2022 surveys showed the percent of fish over 10 inches at 20 percent. The average body condition was 88. In 2018 a new harvest regulation started for crappie. This regulation is a harvest limit of 25 fish per day with only 10 fish over 10 inches allowed. The intent of this regulation is to focus harvest pressure on the large percentage of crappie that are under 9 inches in length.


Very Good

The 2018 - 2021 fall electrofishing surveys showed that quality indices have continued to improve. The percentage of bass over 15 inches has risen from 7.9% in 2017 to 20.4%, 30.4%, 27.2%, and 30.3% in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 respectively. The 2022 sample indices were slightly lower than previous years with 28.4% above 12 inches and 15.9% above 15 inches. The body condition is an average value of 92. The bass population structure should continue to improve as the new protected slot limit remains. There has been much concern on the part of bass fishermen that the largemouth bass population structure was declining on South Spring Lake. In 2014 and 2015 we noted in the fall sample that some of our quality indices were improving for largemouth bass. However, in 2016 and 2017 indices were again in decline. In 2018 a new harvest regulation started for largemouth bass. The regulation is a protected slot from 12 to 18 inches with 3 fish per day harvest.



The northern pike population indices showed that 73.5 percent of the population is greater than 28 inches in length with a body condition value of 88. The northern pike stocking program was restarted in Illinois in 2020 and South Spring Lake will continue to receive yearly stockings.



The redear sunfish population indices are not good with no fish over 9 inches collected, and the average body condition value was 82.

Location: South Spring Lake is a 610 acre body of water located 6 miles north and west of Manito, Illinois, adjacent to the Illinois River.

Description: South Spring Lake is an elongated backwater lateral marsh of the Illinois River. It was separated by a high levee from the Illinois River in 1916. The South Lake was separated from the North Lake in 1978 by a stop log structure and a spillway for discharge water. South Spring Lake receives 103 acre feet of recharge daily from springs and seeps. Spring Lake currently has a 25 horsepower limit for outboard motors. The main access is via the Spring Lake blacktop road. A single lane boat ramp is located south of the causeway which crosses Spring Lake. South Spring Lake is a shallow, very fertile backwater. It has a 60% coverage of aquatic vegetation after April and until November of each year.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: South Spring Lake was rehabilitated in 1986 to remove an undesirable carp-gizzard shad fish population. As a result of the rehabilitation, an excellent fish population resulted. Water clarity improved and aquatic weeds flourished. Good fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and catfish soon resulted. Because of its shallow water and clarity, South Spring Lake has a tremendous coverage of aquatic vegetation. As part of an effort to reduce coverage of Eurasian milfoil (an exotic invasive plant), South Spring Lake is treated with DMA4-2, 4D each year.

Additional Lake Information: The lake is closed to boat fishing one week prior to regular waterfowl season, and until the end of waterfowl season each year. Horsepower limit: 25hp. Rental boats available. Tournaments must register at the site office no later than 30 days before the tournament.

New Site Regulation Effective April 2018:
Largemouth bass: protected slot length from 12 to 18 inches, with the harvest of 3 fish either over or under this protected slot.

Crappie: harvest limit of 25 fish per day with only 10 fish over 10 inches allowed.

Contact Information:
Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
Site Superintendent
7982 South Park Rd.
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Blake Bushman

There were 2 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2020.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 8

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

1     4.98 lbs
2     3.52 lbs
3     3.46 lbs
4     0.00 lbs
5     0.00 lbs

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

1 21.30 lbs
2 0.00 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?
April-1425918ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
40Largemouth Bass
April-2025756ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
15Largemouth Bass
25882ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
50Largemouth Bass
May-0525671ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
17Largemouth Bass
25885ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
30Largemouth Bass
June-0925216ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
20Largemouth Bass
August-1125670ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
17Largemouth Bass