Average Depth: 15.16 feet
Shoreline Length: 22.2 miles
Boat Fishing? Unrestricted
Boat Ramps? Yes
Boat Rental? Yes
Trout stocked in fall
Trout stocked in spring
There are no zebra mussels in this lake.
Lake Status Summary ( Full PDF Report )
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 SRAStephen A. Forbes State Park 618-547-3381IDNR Fisheries Biologist: 618-393-6732
|2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments|
|Start Date||End Date |
(if different from start)
|April-06||5879||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|April-13||5880||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|April-20||5881||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|April-22||6749||East Launch||boathook||12||Largemouth Bass||No|
|April-27||5882||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|April-30||4494||East Launch||boathook||10||Largemouth Bass||No|
|May-04||5883||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|May-06||6056||East Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||No|
|May-11||5884||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|May-18||5885||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|May-20||5453||East Launch||boathook||35||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|May-21||5518||West Launch||boathook||30||Largemouth Bass||No|
|May-25||5886||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|June-01||5887||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|June-03||6336||East Launch||boathook||10||Largemouth Bass||No|
|June-04||5368||East Launch||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass||No|
|June-08||5888||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|June-11||5232||East Launch||boathook||30||Largemouth Bass||No|
|June-11||5444||East Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||No|
|June-15||5889||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|June-22||5890||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|June-24||5276||East Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|June-25||4393||East Launch||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass||No|
|June-29||5891||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|July-06||5892||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|July-09||5160||East Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||No|
|July-13||5893||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|July-16||4379||East Launch||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass||No|
|July-16||4754||East Launch||boathook||16||Largemouth Bass||No|
|July-20||5894||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|July-22||5454||East Launch||boathook||35||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|July-23||4864||East Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||No|
|July-23||5806||East Launch||boathook||10||Largemouth Bass||No|
|July-27||5895||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|July-30||4684||East Launch||boathook||10||Largemouth Bass||No|
|August-03||5896||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|August-05||4909||East Launch||boathook||12||Largemouth Bass||No|
|August-10||5897||West Launch||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|August-12||4561||East Launch||boathook||10||Largemouth Bass||No|
|August-13||5343||East Launch||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass||No|
|August-15||6375||West Launch||boathook||12||Largemouth Bass||No|
|August-17||5898||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|August-24||5899||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|August-27||5344||East Launch||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass||No|
|August-31||5900||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|September-07||5901||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|September-10||5445||East Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||No|
|September-14||5902||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||Yes|
|September-16||5455||West Launch||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||No|
|September-23||5133||East Launch||boathook||8||Largemouth Bass||No|
|October-21||5056||East Launch||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass|
|October-22||5057||East Launch||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass|