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I & M CANAL


Lake Information

County: Grundy

Acreage: 164

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Electric only

Boat Ramps? No

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

  Trout stocked in fall

  Trout stocked in spring


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Avg Wt.
(pounds)

Avg.
Length
(inches)

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Fair

0.2 lbs

7

This population could be classified as fair at best, generally dominated by smaller individuals. Larger bluegills are more commonly caught by ice fishermen. Best areas include the Morris section and the Lock 14 pool.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Good

2.8 lbs

21

Best areas include the Channahon access as well as the Aux Sable Lock and the Morris area. Lock 14 pool is the best bet due to the annual stocking program. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily creel limit.

CRAPPIE

Average

N/A

N/A

Both species of crappie can be found in the Canal. Large crappies are not common, but fish in excess of ten inches have been collected during IDNR sampling. The Armstrong Street Access area along with the Lock 14 section provides the best opportunity for these species.

FLATHEAD CATFISH

Average

7.4 lbs

27

Flathead catfish are found at the Aux Sable lock area.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Average

0.4 lbs

9

Although they can be found throughout the Canal, the best area at the present time for largemouth is the Lock 14 section in LaSalle. Bass up to 3 pounds are possible. Site Regulation: 15” minimum length limit.

SMALLMOUTH BASS

Average

0.5 lbs

10

Smallmouth bass are more commonly found in the area near the Channahon feeder and below the Aux Sable lock.

Location: Originally running from Lake Michigan in Chicago to LaSalle and the Illinois River, this once vital transportation artery is now dry in many areas while other sections contain water on an intermittent basis. The Canal travels through many towns including Lockport, Joliet, Morris, Ottawa, Utica and LaSalle.

Description: With construction commencing in 1836 and taking 12 years to complete, the Illinois and Michigan (I&M) Canal stretched 96 miles linking the Great Lakes to the Illinois River. The canal was the impetus for the settlement and development of much of northeast Illinois and is rich in history. The I &M Canal was originally hand-dug to depths of 6 to 8 feet and time has degraded much of the Canal and portions have little or no water flow. Those that do are marginal in terms of supporting viable fish populations. The best areas in terms of water supply are from Channahon through Morris, the Lock 14 section in LaSalle and to a lesser degree, the Utica section.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The I&M Canal supports a variety of fish species with better angling opportunities available near Channahon, the Aux Sable lock, Armstrong Street and Lock 14 in LaSalle. Nettle Creek aqueduct in 2013 caused dewatering of the Canal west of the aqueduct. This also impacted the feeder system for Gebhard Woods and those ponds are dewatered. No special mercury advisory or other contaminant-related consumption advisories pertain.


Catchable-size rainbow trout are released in the spring and fall in the Lock 14 pool in LaSalle and catchable-size hybrid sunfish and channel catfish are stocked at Lock 14 in conjunction with an annual children's fishing event. Aquatic vegetation treatments are conducted annually at the Lock 14 pool. A full fisheries survey of selected areas of the Canal is conducted once every five years. The 2015 survey was greatly impacted by low water levels, downed trees, creeping water primrose and other nuisance aquatic vegetation.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only. Boat access is limited and only electric trolling motors can be used.

Contact Information:
Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail
815-942-6529
Rob Miller, IDNR County Fish Biologist:
630-553-6680