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HEIDECKE LAKE


The first day to fish Heidecke Lake is April 1.

Lake Information

County: Grundy

Acreage: 1955

Average Depth: 9.02 feet

Shoreline Length: 17 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? No


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There are zebra mussels in this lake.

Lake Status Summary  ( Full PDF Report )

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Species

Rank

Avg Wt.
(pounds)

Avg.
Length
(inches)

Fish Status

CHANNEL CATFISH

Good

4.1 lbs

23

The channel catfish population at Heidecke Lake is comprised of larger average-size fish with the opportunity to catch a trophy fish a reality. The average sized channel catfish collected in 2014 measured 23.2” with fish up to 9 pounds collected.

CRAPPIE

Improving

N/A

N/A

This fishery appears to have finally taken hold. Although they can be difficult to locate, once they are found, fish of true quality size can be caught. Both species are present, but white crappie dominated the most recent fall surveys with fish exceeding 12” collected. Black crappie are stocked on an as-available basis. Site Regulation: 15 fish daily creel.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

Fair

7.9 lbs

25

The hybrid striped bass collection declined in 2014. The majority of those collected were larger fish with an average length of 19.8”, which exceeds the long-term average by 3.3”. Hybrid striped bass are stocked annually at a rate of 10/acre. Site Regulation: 10 fish daily creel/3 fish 17” or longer

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Fair

1.1 lbs

13

In the 2014 fall survey smallmouth bass outnumbered largemouth bass 3½ to 1 and were collected at a rate of 44/hour of electrofishing (13/hr. for largemouth). 16% of the largemouth bass collection fell within the protected slot (12” to 18”). This regulation appears to be having a positive impact as the number of 18”-plus bass is slowly increasing. Site Regulation: 12” to 18” protected slot, 2 fish under 12”, 1 fish over 18”

MUSKELLUNGE

Good

4.1 lbs

28

Spring 2015 trap netting catch rates decline for the second consecutive year, although approaching one fish per net night. For the first time in many years females accounted for more than 60% of the collection. The largest fish captured weighed just over 30 pounds while the average muskie collected measured 38.2”. Big fish (those 45” and larger) are becoming more prevalent in these spring surveys. Site Regulation: 48” minimum length limit.

SMALLMOUTH BASS

Good

0.8 lbs

12

In the 2014 fall survey smallmouth bass outnumbered largemouth bass 3½ to 1. 35% of the smallmouth collection fell within the protected slot (12” to 18”). This regulation appears to be having a positive impact as the number of 18”-plus bass is slowly increasing. Site Regulation: 12” to 18” protected slot, 2 fish under 12”, 1 fish over 18”

WALLEYE

Excellent

1.8 lbs

17

This population has been steadily increasing over the last several years and the 2014 fall survey produced walleyes in record number. Electrofishing catch rates were at an all-time high as walleye were collected at the rate of over 47/hour, which is nearly 7 times the long-term average. Legal size fish (16”-plus) comprised over 55% of the collection with several fish over 24” collected. Walleye are stocked annually at a rate of roughly 40/acre. Site Regulation: 16” minimum length limit, 3 fish daily creel.

WHITE BASS

Good

0.8 lbs

12

White bass were prevalent in the 2014 survey and averaged 12.1”.

YELLOW BASS

Good

0.1 lbs

7

Yellow bass numbers increased in 2014 and averaged 7.2” with fish up to 12”. NOTE! Yellow bass are not included in the aggregate “striper” limit.

Location: Heidecke Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area is located in Grundy County approximately 1 mile south and 8 miles east of Morris, between Illinois Route 47 and Interstate Route 55 on Lorenzo/Pine Bluff Road.

Description: Formerly a cooling reservoir, Heidecke Lake has 1,955 surface acres of water with 75% of shoreline comprised of rock rip-rapped dikes. A "safe harbor" created by breakwaters was constructed in 1993. There are no horsepower limitations; maximum speed is 40 mph except in designated "no wake" areas; working gasoline engine required as main propulsion unit; boats under 14' are not recommended. Zebra mussels have been found in Heidecke Lake and boaters should take appropriate measures upon departure. Shore angler access is located on the east side of lake off Dresden Road with portions of the center and east dike open to bank fishing. A handicapped fishing pier is located on the east side of the lake as well.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The fishery is evaluated via biennial major surveys and annual species-specific surveys. Attempts to introduce aquatic vegetation have generally failed. Bass spawning habitat has been installed at various locations and other habitat enhancement projects are planned. Heidecke Lake receives annual stockings of walleye and hybrid striped bass. Pure muskellunge are stocked every third year, while black crappie and largemouth bass are released based upon availability. A special mercury advisory is in effect for smallmouth bass 18" and larger which limits consumption to one meal per week for the most sensitive populations.

Heidecke Lake is maintained by periodically pumping water from the Illinois River. As a result, the lake supports a variety of fish species in addition to those listed above, including common carp, quillback, freshwater drum and others. Heidecke Lake is supported by a thriving gizzard shad forage base as well as various other minnow species. Round gobies have been recently discovered as well.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only, all other statewide regulations apply. Swimming, wading, water skiing and sail boating are prohibited. Heidecke Lake is open to fishing from April 1 to ten days prior to the opening of waterfowl season in the north zone. There are no horsepower limitations; maximum speed is 40 mph except in designated "no wake" areas; working gasoline engine required as main propulsion unit; boats under 14' are not recommended. A recently refurbished three-lane concrete boat ramp with fully blacktopped 100+ car/trailer parking is available. Boat launch is handicapped accessible. The boat access is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to sunset; bank fishing access on the center and eastern dikes opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at sunset. Since windy conditions can produce treacherous waves, the lake can be closed at the discretion of the site superintendent.

Contact Information:
Heidecke State Fish and Wildlife Area
815-942-6352
Rob Miller, IDNR Fisheries County Biologist:
630-553-6680

2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Public?
May-205687Heidecke Lake Boat Ramp boat
hook
10Multiple SpeciesNo
May-216438Heidecke Lake Boat Ramp boat
hook
60Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Crappie
Yes
August-056307Heidecke Lake Boat Ramp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
August-274591Heidecke Lake Boat Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
October-014595Heidecke Lake Boat Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No