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Lake Information

County: Peoria

Acreage: 600

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 25HP, No wake over 25HP

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link West End East End

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    East End, West End

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There are zebra mussels in this lake.

Fish Stocking






Channel Catfish

Non-vulnerable 8 - 10"








Fingerling 1 - 3"




Fingerling 1 - 3"



Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"




Fingerling 1 - 3"


Additional information for stocking on Johnson Lake - Banner Marsh

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



The bluegill and redear sunfish populations were not sampled in 2022. The current bluegill and redear condition is of a poor state with a poor growth rate. The competition with the gizzard shad and carp have maintained this growth slowdown.



The channel catfish population was sampled by 24 fish in 2022. These fish ranged in size from 14.8 to 27.2 inches and were in excellent body condition with a Wr average at 117. A low density population is present and an annual stocking of 800 fish is scheduled. In 2012, 684 fish were stocked at 8 to 10 inches long. 527 in 2013 and 800 in 2014, 2015 and 2016. 513 fish were stocked in 2017. 657 fish were stocked in 2018. 560 fish were stocked in 2019. 1003 fish were stocked in 2020. 1596 fish were stocked in 2021. And 800 fish were stocked in 2022.



In 2022, 11 stock size black crappie were sampled with a PSD of 91, RSD9 of 73, RSD 10 of 36, and RSD 11 of 9. No white crappie were sampled in 2022. Black crappie had poor average WR value of 73. The body condition of both populations had decreased over the last 6 years. In 2018 the crappie harvest regulation changed to a harvest limit of 25 fish per day with only 10 fish over 10 inches allowed. Anglers should be able to concentrate on crappie with the flooded brush providing excellent habitat.


Very Good

In 2022, a spring trap net survey and a fall D.C. electrofishing survey was used to evaluate the fish population. The largemouth bass population was evaluated by 93 stock size bass from electrofishing with 90 minutes of effort. The largemouth bass population appears to be defined by a high percentage of fish from 6 to 19 inches in length with good average Relative weights. In 2000, the bass regulation for the Marsh was changed from a 14 inch minimum size limit and 1 fish per day - to a 12 to 18 inch protected slot length with a harvest of 3 fish under or over the slot per day. The 2022 electrofishing survey indicated a size structure that has maintained a consistent level since 2007. The PSD of 65, RSD14 of 51, RSD16 of 29 and the RSD18 of 16 are very good and consistent over the past four years. The average body condition was at a Wr of 98. The goal of the protected slot length limit was to create a high density bass population that is composed of fish large enough to be efficient predators upon the high density of slow growing panfish and the rough fish population. The benefit to bass anglers will be more fish surviving past 14 inches to catch, and for the anglers wanting to harvest bass will be the opportunity to harvest more fish.


Very Good

The muskie population was sampled by a total of 17 stock size muskie by the spring of 2022 trap net survey (1.1 fish per net night). These fish ranged from 33.2 to 43.2 inches long. The body condition of these fish was good with an average Wr of 101. In 2001, a total of 2,174 muskie at an average size of 11.4 inches were stocked, in 2002, 725 muskie at an average size of 10.9 inches were stocked and in 2003, 1333 muskie at an average size of 10 inches were stocked into Johnson Lake. No muskie were stocked in 2004, but 600 at 10 inches long were annually from 2005 through 2014. No muskie were stocked in 2015 or 2016. In 2017, 602 fish at 12.4 inches were stocked. No muskie were stocked in 2020 due to COVID-19 hatchery production and brood fish collection. In 2021, a stocking of 5,570 fish at 3 inches long occurred on 6/3/2021 and a stocking of 738 fish at 13 inches occurred on 9/7/2021. A triennial stocking is now scheduled to maintain a moderate density of healthy muskie.



In 2022, the walleye population was sampled by 7 fish in 16 net nights of effort (.44 fish per net night). These fish ranged from 25.7 to 27.9 inches long. The body condition of these fish was very good at an average Wr of 102. At this time the stocking of 2 inch walleye may have variable recruitment to the lake’s walleye population. Several factors have probably contributed to this variability. They include: the increased density and size structure of the bass population and the esocid population, and the small size of the walleye being stocked. The bass in particular, and maybe the esocids are probably out competing and also eating the small walleye being stocked. In 1997 and 1995, 4 inch walleye were stocked and in 2000, 316 walleye at an average size of 8 inches were stocked into Johnson Lake from the site rearing ponds. The survival of these fish should be very good, but the numbers are limited. No walleye stocking occurred in 2011 due to a shortage from the state hatchery system. In 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 over 19,000 walleye at 1.25 to 2 inches were stocked each year. In 2016 through 2022, over 24,000 walleye at 1.5 inches were stocked each year.

Location: Located in Central Illinois, the 5,524 acre Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area lies adjacent to the Illinois River, 4 miles north of Banner, Illinois, along Route 24.

Description: Banner Marsh SFWA was characterized by narrow strip pits and upland ponds, but in 1994, the hydrology changed due to the intentional cessation of pumping operations in the levee district. The water level rose approximately 7 feet (435 M.S.L.) due mainly to groundwater recharge by seepage under the existing 1-100 year flood-tight levee with the Illinois River. The total surface water acreage for the site increased from 530 acres to approximately 2400 acres and created a large vegetated littoral zone.

Johnson Lake is the largest lake in the Banner Marsh SFWA at over 600 surface acres. It is composed of a maze of final cut lakes interconnected by ditches to large shallow pond areas. The shallow areas (less than 6 feet) compose approximately 400 acres of flooded brush and diverse aquatic vegetation. The maximum water depth is 64.0 feet. Water clarity often exceeds 8 feet in the summer.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The former bottomland lake and marsh was leveed and drained for agricultural practice from 1910 through 1958. From 1958 to1974 approximately 90 percent of the site was strip-mined for coal. The strip-mined areas have since been reclaimed and purchased by the State of Illinois. Under the management of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (1978 - present) the primary objective for the site is to establish a freshwater marsh providing fish and wildlife habitat in the Illinois River Valley.

Additional Lake Information: The main access area has a concrete boat ramp, 50 vehicle and trailer parking lot, restrooms and a handicap accessible fishing pier. The lake has a No Wake for motors over 25 HP. The site is open 24 hours a day, except for the Central Zone Duck Season, at which time only shoreline fishing is allowed after 1:00 p.m.

Two-pole and line fishing only except carp can be taken by bow and arrow devices, gigs or spears during May through August.

White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie:
- 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit with no more than 10 fish greater than or equal to 10 inches.
Large or Smallmouth Bass:
- Protected Slot Length Limit from 12 to 18 inches with 3 fish daily harvest limit.
- 42 inch minimum and 1 fish per day harvest limit.
Channel Catfish:
- 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
- 14 inch minimum and 6 fish daily Harvest Limit
Recreational Use Restrictions:
-All live bait > 8 inch must be rigged with a quick set rig
-Waterfowl refuge or hunting area

Contact Information:
Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area:
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Rob Hilsabeck

There were 22 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2022.

Species Total Fish Caught
Crappie 2
Largemouth Bass 899

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2022 tournaments:

1     6.45 lbs
2     6.44 lbs
3     6.18 lbs
4     6.04 lbs
5     5.56 lbs

Top 5 Total Tournament Weight of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2022 tournaments:

1 446.50 lbs
2 365.50 lbs
3 192.21 lbs
4 184.38 lbs
5 149.93 lbs

Multiple day tournaments are listed with * end date.

Interested in participating in one of these public tournaments? Contact us with tournament ID for more information.

2023 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
22750ApprovedBanner Marsh Johnson Lake boat
40Largemouth Bass
October-0123004ApprovedBanner Marsh Johnson Lake boat
12Largemouth Bass
24801ApprovedBanner Marsh Johnson Lake boat
30Largemouth Bass