Average Depth: 8.5 feet
Boat Fishing? No Motors
Boat Ramps? Yes
Boat Rental? No
There are no zebra mussels in this lake.
Lake Status Summary ( Full PDF Report )
Bluegill fishing is poor-fair. They are abundant, but few fish exceed 7 inches.
Common carp are abundant with fish exceeding 8 lbs. Fishing prospects are rated as excellent for 2016.
Channel catfish are abundant in the lake. The average catch goes from 3/4 - 6 pounds, with the occasional fish over 10 pounds caught. Fishing prospects are rated as good-excellent for 2016. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit; no minimum length limit.
Flathead catfish are low in abundance. Anglers catch flatheads infrequently. Catch-and-release is encouraged. Fishing prospects are rated as poor-fair for 2016.
Freshwater Drum, commonly called drum “perch”, are moderately abundant with fish exceeding 3 lbs.
Largemouth bass are moderate in abundance due to a lack of aquatic vegetation for nursery habitat. Improved numbers of bass from ½-4 pounds are present with fish over 6 pounds caught on occasion. Fishing prospects are rated as fair-good for 2016. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit; 14" minimum length limit (large and smallmouth).
Saugeye (sauger X walleye hybrids), stocked annually, are developing into a good fishery. Saugeye are abundant from 12 to 22 inches present. Fishing prospects are rated as good for 2016. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit; 14" minimum length limit (saugeye, walleye, sauger).
White crappie are very abundant. Growth rates vary from slow to fast within this population. Anglers may catch crappie up to 12 inches and 0.75+ lbs., but there are a lot of small crappie. Black crappie are present, but relatively, rare. Fishing prospects are rated as fair-good for 2016.
Location: Lake Paradise is located approximately four miles south of Mattoon in Coles County.
Description: The lake covers 176 surface acres with a maximum depth of 16 feet and average depth of 8.5 feet. Public boat launching facilities were recently rebuilt and are in excellent condition. The City of Mattoon (217/234-3611) collects a boating access fee which covers Lake Mattoon as well. Recreational opportunities include fishing and limited boating. There is a no-wake regulation in effect on the entire lake. All tournaments must be registered through ifishillinois.org.
History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The fish population in Lake Paradise is surveyed intensively every two years. The fish are measured, weighed, and scales collected before releasing them alive. Annual evaluations of saugeye have been made. Saugeye and channel catfish have been maintained by annual stockings from IDNR hatcheries. Desirable species of aquatic vegetation have been introduced in an attempt to improve water quality, reduce shoreline erosion, and provide valuable and necessary fish habitat. Unfortunately, despite an extensive effort, success is limited.
Yellow bass, longear sunfish, green sunfish, black bullheads, and yellow bullheads are present, but are seldom harvested by anglers due to the small size attained by these species. Gizzard shad is the primary forage for sportfish.
Additional Lake Information: 2 pole and line fishing only with only two hooks or lures per pole.
The City of Mattoon (217/234-3611) collects a boating access fee which covers Lake Mattoon as well. Recreational opportunities include fishing and limited boating. There is a no-wake regulation in effect on the entire lake. All tournaments must be registered through ifishillinois.org.
Contact Information: City of Mattoon 217-234-3611IDNR District Biologist, Mike Mounce:217-345-2420
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