SPRING LAKE (SOUTH)
Average Depth: 2.89 feet
Shoreline Length: 5.2 miles
Boat Fishing? 25hp
Boat Ramps? Yes
Boat Rental? Yes
There are no zebra mussels in this lake.
Lake Status Summary ( Full PDF Report )
This lake is characterized by a heavy growth of aquatic vegetation for much of the spring, summer and fall. The largemouth bass population is in transition from many large fish to many young, intermediate-sized fish. A common carp spawn in 2011 produced this change in the bass fishery. The Lake is starting to produce a better largemouth bass population as some control of carp spawns has occurred. IDNR is in the process of undertaking management of the weeds to increase bass numbers and sizes available to anglers. There is a window of opportunity for anglers to access the fishery from March 15 through April 30, or until the aquatic vegetation becomes too dense to fish. Fishing with surface lures at night has been a traditional method of catching large bass at South Spring Lake. A review of the data generated by the 2014 fall fish population sample shows that 15.1 % of the largemouth bass collected were over 15.0 inches in length. The young-adult ratio of the sample showed that a tremendous bass spawn occurred in the spring of 2013 and will be developing into an excellent population in coming few years.
Spring Lake has an excellent population of northern pike and is the state’s brood source for this species. It is not uncommon to catch pike of 10-12 pounds early in the spring. These fish are found in the spring seeps adjacent to the bluff on the east side of the lake. Because of the shallowness of the lake (2.9 average depth), northern pike are well suited to this spring–rich environment. The largest northern pike caught from South Spring Lake was 20 pounds. The last population survey showed that the average size of fish caught was 26 inches in length with a weight of 5.4 pounds.
Location: South Spring Lake is a 610 acre body of water located 6 miles north and west of Manito, Illinois, adjacent to the Illinois River.
Description: South Spring Lake is an elongated backwater lateral marsh of the Illinois River. It was separated by a high levee from the Illinois River in 1916. The South Lake was separated from the North Lake in 1978 by a stop log structure and a spillway for discharge water. South Spring Lake receives 103 acre feet of recharge daily from springs and seeps. Spring Lake currently has a 25 horsepower limit for outboard motors. The main access is via the Spring Lake blacktop road. A single lane boat ramp is located south of the causeway which crosses Spring Lake. South Spring Lake is a shallow, very fertile backwater. It has a 60% coverage of aquatic vegetation after April and until November of each year.
History and Status of the Sport Fishery: South Spring Lake was rehabilitated in 1986 to remove an undesirable carp-gizzard shad fish population. As a result of the rehabilitation, an excellent fish population resulted. Water clarity improved and aquatic weeds flourished. Good fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and catfish soon resulted. As part of an effort to develop a brood source for northern pike, Spring Lake has been stocked with that species for 25 years. Northern pike are trap netted at the lake and spawned at the Jake Wolf Fish Hatchery in March of each year. A total of over half a million eggs are produced for state-wide northern pike needs each year. Because of its shallow water and clarity, South Spring Lake has a tremendous coverage of aquatic vegetation. As part of an effort to reduce coverage of Eurasian milfoil (an exotic invasive plant), South Spring Lake is treated with DMA4-2, 4D each year.
Additional Lake Information: The lake is closed to boat fishing one week prior to regular waterfowl season, and until the end of waterfowl season each year. Horsepower limit: 25hp. Rental boats available. Tournaments must register at the site office no later than 30 days before the tournament.
Contact Information: Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife AreaSite Superintendent7982 South Park Rd.309-968-7135
|2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments|
|Start Date||End Date |
(if different from start)
|April-08||5711||South Ramp||boathook||15||Largemouth Bass||No|
|April-15||5676||South Ramp||boathook||20||Largemouth Bass||No|
|May-06||5045||South Ramp||boathook||25||Largemouth Bass||No|
|June-04||4623||South Ramp||boathook||35||Largemouth Bass|
|June-25||4637||South Ramp||boathook||30||Largemouth Bass||No|