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FORBES LAKE


Lake Information

County: Marion

Acreage: 542

Average Depth: 15.16 feet

Shoreline Length: 22.2 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

  Trout stocked in fall

  Trout stocked in spring


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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

Poor

0.2 lbs

7

The size structure of the bluegill population improved slightly, but remains poor. Body condition was good and PSD is stable, but condition was much higher for the smaller fish than larger fish. The fishery continues to be comprised almost entirely of fish < 7” in length. Currently only 6% of the population exceeds 7”. If the size structure of the bass population continues to improve, it should help to improve the size structure of the bluegill population as well.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Good

1.8 lbs

18

Catfish remain abundant in Forbes Lake and should provide good fishing opportunities in the coming year. Condition remains excellent and growth rates are above average. Most fish will range from 1 – 4 pounds with larger fish exceeding 6 pounds common. This lake provides excellent bank fishing opportunities. Drift fishing the main lake is also very productive.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

Poor

0.3 lbs

8

Hybrid striped bass were not collected in the past year and have only been collected once in the last three years. This is currently not a very good lake for hybrid striped bass. Site regulation: 3 fish daily creel limit, 17" minimum length.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Very Good

1.4 lbs

14

To improve the growth rates and condition of the smaller stunted bass and increase the numbers of larger bass, a 14” – 18” protected slot limit was placed in effect April 1, 2015. In a single growing season, this regulation has already had a positive influence on the size structure of the bass population. The percentage of the population exceeding 14” increased to the highest it has been in 19 years. Currently 46% of the population is over 14” in length. The number of larger bass has improved as well. Prior to the new regulation, only 17% of the population exceeded 15” in length and only 1% was over 20”. Data from the annual population survey show 37% of the population now exceeds 15” in length and 14% of the population now exceeds 20”. For 2015 anglers can expect the bass under 14” to weigh up to 1.2 lbs. and bass over 18” to range from 3.5 – 6 lbs with a few larger fish up to 7 lbs.

SAUGEYE (Walleye/Sauger Hybrid)

Fair

1.3 lbs

15

Two year classes were collected in this year’s survey, but the catch rate of 3 per net-night was well below average. While the number of saugeye is down, a significant percentage of the remaining population is comprised of older larger fish, with many in the 6 – 9 lbs. range.

WHITE CRAPPIE

Fair

0.4 lbs

9

The size structure of the white crappie population declined significantly in the past year. The percentage of the population exceeding 10” in length fell to 15% (a 48% decline). Condition remained poor and growth rates below average. Anglers can expect most fish in the coming year to range from 7” – 10” in length with a few larger fish to 14”.

Location: Forbes Lake is located in Marion County, approximately 13 miles northeast of Salem Illinois.

Description: Forbes Lake was constructed in Stephen A. Forbes State Park near Salem in 1963. The Lake has a surface area of 585 acres, a maximum depth of 31 feet, and a mean depth of 12 feet. The lake has 18 miles of shoreline and a watershed of 13,800 acres.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The sport fish population in Forbes Lake is comprised primarily of largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, white crappie, and channel catfish, and is stocked annually with saugeye (walleye/sauger hybrid) and hybrid striped bass. The lake also contains a strong population of yellow bullheads and large common carp (20+ lbs). The fish population is surveyed annually.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only. All live bait in excess of 8" must be rigged with a quick set rig. Muskellunge has a 48" minimum (No longer stocked, remnant population only).

Contact Information:
Stephen A. Forbes SRA
Stephen A. Forbes State Park
618-547-3381
IDNR Fisheries Biologist: 618-393-6732

2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Public?
April-065879West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
April-135880West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
April-205881West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
April-226749East Launch boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
No
April-275882West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
April-304494East Launch boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
No
May-045883West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-066056East Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
May-115884West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-185885West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-205453East Launch boat
hook
35Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-215518West Launch boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
No
May-255886West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-015887West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-036336East Launch boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
No
June-045368East Launch boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
June-085888West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-115232East Launch boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
No
June-115444East Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
June-155889West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-225890West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-245276East Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-254393East Launch boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
June-295891West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-065892West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-095160East Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
July-135893West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-164379East Launch boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
July-164754East Launch boat
hook
16Largemouth Bass
No
July-205894West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-225454East Launch boat
hook
35Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-234864East Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
No
July-235806East Launch boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
No
July-275895West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
July-304684East Launch boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
No
August-035896West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-054909East Launch boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
No
August-105897West Launch boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-124561East Launch boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
No
August-135343East Launch boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
August-156375West Launch boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
No
August-175898West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-245899West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
August-275344East Launch boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
No
August-315900West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-075901West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-105445East Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
September-145902West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
September-165455West Launch boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
No
September-235133East Launch boat
hook
8Largemouth Bass
No
October-215056East Launch boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
October-225057East Launch boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No