MILL CREEK LAKE
Average Depth: 21.69 feet
Shoreline Length: 45 miles
Boat Fishing? Unrestricted
Boat Ramps? Yes
Boat Rental? Yes
There are no zebra mussels in this lake.
Lake Status Summary ( Full PDF Report )
Bluegill fishing is rated as fair-good. Recent surveys found some bluegill over 8 inches! Anglers are encouraged to voluntarily release these largest bluegill. Recent research has revealed that the presence of these larger males encourages smaller male bluegill to delay maturity. This improves growth and recruitment to larger sizes, improving angling quality. Bluegill differ visually from redear by a solid dark “gill flap” and a “barred” pattern on the body. Males have orange or copper-colored “throats”, while females have yellow “throats.”
Channel catfish are moderate in abundance. The average catch goes from 2 - 8 lbs. The CCPD maintains this fishery through purchasing and stocking of channel catfish. Fishing quality is rated as fair-good in 2016. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily creel limit.
Both white crappie and black crappie are abundant. Growth rates have been good. Anglers may catch crappie up to 18 inches and 3+ lbs! Fishing quality is rated as excellent for 2016! Note: Regulations allowing the harvest of only 2 crappie, 12-inches or longer are in effect to maintain the high quality of this fishery. Remember, culling is illegal outside of tournaments as culled fish are more likely to die after being retained on stringers or in containers and handled multiple times. Site Regulation: 25 daily creel limit, of which only 2 fish can be 12 inches or longer.
Largemouth bass densities are high due to abundant vegetation for nursery habitat. Currently, high numbers of bass from 10-14” are present, while the number of larger fish is less than desirable. A largemouth bass virus resulted in a bass kill in 1999, from which the quality of this fishery has never fully recovered. Still, bass over 6 lbs. are caught on occasion. Fishing quality is rated as excellent for number available and fair for size structure in 2016. Note: New regulations were put in effect in April 2015. Harvesting the limit of bass less than 15 inches, especially from 11-13 inches, is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to reduce bass numbers and improve growth. Site Regulation: 4 fish creel limit of fish less than 15"; one fish 15" or longer.
Muskie catch rates by anglers have been fair-good with fishing pressure relatively light. Muskie in excess of 48 inches have been caught by anglers and in surveys. Fishing quality is rated fair-good for 2016. Note: Although often maligned due to their large size and teeth, muskie can be a benefit to the entire fishery on Mill Creek Lake. The number stocked is relatively low in an attempt to establish a trophy fisher (366 annually). A recent muskie diet study in Illinois lakes indicates that when gizzard shad are present, like Mill Creek Lake, muskies feed exclusively on shad. Bass are never a preferred or abundant food item. Muskie predation on large adult gizzard shad is highly desirable on Mill Creek Lake to thin this size group. White suckers are a valuable diet item to enhance the growth of large muskie. Additional research indicates that lakes stocked with muskie experience improvements in bass numbers and white crappie growth rate compared to lakes not stocked with muskie. Site Regulation: one fish creel limit, 42" minimum length limit.
Redear sunfish are present in good numbers from 8 to 10 inches long. Fishing during the spawning season (mid-May) is the best time to catch redear. Fishing quality is rated as good to excellent in 2016! Redear differ from bluegill visually by a red, orange, or yellow-colored crescent on edge of the “gill flap” and a “freckled” pattern on the cheek and body. Redear sunfish are highly dependent on vegetation to maintain a high-quality fishery.
Location: Mill Creek Lake is located approximately eight miles west of Marshall in Clark County.
Description: This lake has a surface area of 731 acres, with a maximum depth of 60 feet and an average depth of 22 feet. Public boat launching facilities are available, and the Clark County Park District (CCPD: 217-889-3901) collects a boating access fee.
History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The fish population in Mill Creek Lake is surveyed every two years. Muskie and channel catfish populations have been maintained by stocking. Additional species of aquatic plants have been established throughout the lake to reduce shoreline erosion and stabilize habitat. Fish attractors have been constructed and placed by the CCPD for greater fishing success. Moderate fertility levels slightly reduce the overall production of fish in this lake.
Longear sunfish and green sunfish are present, but are seldom attain harvestable size. Yellow bullheads and black bullheads reach a respectable size (12”+) in Mill Creek Lake. Gizzard shad, golden shiners, and white suckers are present and serve as the primary forage base. Unfortunately, common carp were collected for the first time in 2015. Their introduction is from an unknown source and their effect on habitat is highly undesirable. Never move fish from Mill Creek Lake to other water bodies, or fish from other waterbodies to Mill Creek Lake — inappropriate species or diseases can be transferred, causing permanent and significantly negative consequences!
Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only.
Contact Information: Clark County Park District20482 N. Park Entrance Rd., Marshall, IL 217-889-3901Mike Mounce, IDNR County Fisheries Biologist: 217-345-2420
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