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Lake Information

County: COOK

Acreage: 19

Average Depth: 13.12 feet

Shoreline Length: 1 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Ramps? No

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? 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 collected during the survey measured up to 11” and weighed up to 0.8 lbs. 80% topped 9”, 40% exceeded 10” and 10% were greater than 11% long.



In 2016, Bluegill collected ranged up to 7.4” long and weighed up to 0.32 lbs. 18% exceeded 6” long, 3% were greater than 7”, 0% exceeded 7.5” long.



No channel catfish were collected during this survey, but likely do exist in the system, especially since downstream dams have been removed which allows migrating fish, like channel catfish, to move more freely.



In 2016, bass collected during sampling measured up to 16.2” and weighed up to 2.5 lbs. 20% were greater than 12”, 12% were greater than 14”, 12% greater than 15” (legal length) and 2% greater than 16” long. This size structure provides quality bass fishing in a relatively small area, but because it is connected to the Des Plaines River, fish may not remain as residence long enough to grow really big. Fish in rivers tend to disperse up and down the system.

Location: Des Plaines Lake is located in Gurnee in northeastern Lake County.

Description: Des Plaines Lake was once a quarry and isolated from the Des Plaines River. It is now connected, and the Des Plaines River flows through the lake. Des Plaines Lake is 19 acres, has a shoreline length or 1.0 mile, a maximum depth or 36 feet, and an average depth of 4 feet. The closest kayak/canoe launch is approximately 2 miles upstream near Wadsworth Road. The lake is accessible by foot or bike along a limestone path.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Since access is so difficult and this system is connected to the Des Plaines River, very little management occurs here. Des Plaines Lake has a nice largemouth bass population because it’s a backwater of the Des Plaines River. Backwaters are magnets for many fish species that benefit from slower river flows, including bass, bluegill, black crappie, northern pike and bowfin. Additional species include pupkinseed sunfish, common carp, warmouth, green sunfish, and various sucker species.

Contact Information:
Lake County Forest Preserve District
847-367 -6640
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Seth Love