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Lake Information

County: Perry

Acreage: 25

Recreational Amenities

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

There are no zebra mussels in this lake.



Fish Status



Bufflehead Lake does not appear to have a good fishery for Bluegill. A total of 46 Bluegill were collected during spring electrofishing and fall trap netting. All Bluegill collected were under 6 inches in length. Given that Gizzard Shad are abundant in the lake, it is unlikely the Bluegill fishery will improve.



No Channel Catfish were collected during 2022, although several were collected during the 2012 trap net survey. Due to the small size of Bufflehead Lake, annual stockings of non-vulnerable size Channel Catfish are slated to begin during 2023 to ensure adequate recruitment. Growth of stocked catfish should be good considering the abundance of small Bluegill and Gizzard Shad.



A total of 13 crappie were collected during 2022 surveys, including nine Black Crappie, three White Crappie, and one hybrid. Most crappie in the sample were under 8 inches in length. However, trap net catches are inherently inconsistent in strip mine lakes and it is likely the crappie population was not adequately represented in the survey given our small sample size.



Results from the 2022 electrofishing survey suggest that Largemouth Bass abundance is limited. A total of 10 bass (40/hour) were collected, which is below the management goal of 60/hour. However, average size of bass in the sample was good and management goals for mean relative weight (plumpness) and size structure were met. Mean relative weights exceeded the goal of 90 among nearly all size classes. Bass growth in Bufflehead Lake is likely driven by the abundance of Gizzard Shad in the lake.

Location: Pyramid State Park is located south of Pinckneyville in Perry County. The Captain Section is accessed off Panda Bear Road. From State Route 127, head west on Pyatt-Cutler Road. About 6 miles west of Pyramid State Park, turn north onto Panda Bear Road.

Description: Bufflehead Lake is a 25-acre strip cut lake located on the Captain Section of the Arch Portion of Pyramid State Park. There is a gravel boat launch, but no docks or bathroom facilities. The entire lake is surrounded by Cypress trees.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Fisheries surveys conducted during 2022 consisted of community spring electrofishing survey (nocturnal) and fall netting survey. Survey results suggest that bass are not abundant, but size is good. Surveys did not collect sufficient data on the crappie population to determine quality of the fishery. However, anglers have reported the lake offers good crappie fishing.

Additional Lake Information: Note: There is no motor HP limit, however all boats must be operated at no-wake speed.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth bass: statewide limit of 6 fish/day
Bluegill or redear sunfish: 25 fish daily limit
Crappie: 25 fish daily limit
Channel catfish: 6 fish daily limit
Muskellunge: 48-inch minimum length limit

2 pole and line fishing only and bowfishing is allowed. All live bait in excess of 8" must be rigged with a quick set rig.

Please note that fishing is prohibited from November 1 through the last day of February.

Contact Information:
Pyramid State Park
Nick Abell - IDNR Fisheries Biologist