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Lake Information

County: McHenry

Acreage: 20

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? electric only

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

  Trout stocked in spring

There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Fish Stocking






Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"



Largemouth Bass

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"



Channel Catfish

Non-vulnerable 8 - 10"



Largemouth Bass

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"


Additional information for stocking on Lake Atwood

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



Only two small Black Crappie were caught in the most recent survey. This lake is not stocked with or managed for Crappie at this time. Black Crappie populations in small lakes and ponds tend to have large fluctuations over time. Black Crappie over ten inches have been collected in previous surveys.



Bluegill numbers were low as this survey took place before the Bluegill had moved shallow to spawn. Bluegill were caught at a rate of 35 fish per hour (we like to see this number around 120 fish per hour). The steep-sided banks and clear water do tend to lower catch rates for Bluegill as well. The bluegill catch was skewed toward small individuals with less than ten percent of the catch measuring longer than six inches. Pumpkinseed and Warmouth also contribute to the panfish population. Pumpkinseed over eight inches were caught in previous surveys.



Channel Catfish are stocked annually by IDNR (250-350 fish between 8-12 inches). Two Channel Catfish were caught in the 2021 survey. The larger Channel Catfish was a 25.5-inch fish, weighing 7.6 pounds.



Largemouth Bass were caught at a rate of 53 fish per hour. This is slightly lower than the management goal of 60 fish per hour. This low catch rate is not a concern as electrofishing catch rates tend to the lower in clear, steep-sided quarries like Atwood. Size structure looked good with 55% of the bass measuring longer than 15 inches. The heaviest fish weighed 2.8 pounds. Largemouth Bass are stocked annually to supplement natural reproduction. No signs of stunting were evident in Lake Atwood.

Location: Lake Atwood is located at the Hollows Conservation Area in Cary, McHenry County. The entrance is located at 3804 Route 14 in Cary. Look for a large sign on the north side of Route 14, 0.9 miles east of Route 31. (GPS 42.22659, -88.25963)

Description: Lake Atwood is a 21.6-acre reclaimed gravel pit lake. Like most gravel pit lakes in the area, this lake is deep, clear, and well vegetated. Lake Atwood has a maximum depth of 30.0 feet and average depth of 14.0 feet. Steep drop-offs are common around much of the shoreline, but shallow littoral habitat is sufficient to support natural fish reproduction. The lake and much of its watershed are set in a natural setting within the conservation area and the shore is generally undeveloped, except for a concrete boat launch, paved parking lot, and handicap accessible fishing pier. Watercraft with electric motors are allowed. There are two other ponds on the Conservation Area. See full report for map.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Lake Atwood is one of 15 lakes and ponds owned by the McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD). The lake is managed under a cooperative management agreement between the MCCD and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The fish community in this lake is sampled every four to five years. Channel Catfish and Largemouth Bass are stocked annually. Rainbow Trout are stocked in the spring to coincide with the State’s Catchable Trout Program (first Saturday in April). The district stocked 30 Muskie in 2008 and 2011. Site specific regulations apply.

While catch rates for Largemouth Bass in 2021 were lower than the 2016 survey, size structure looked a little better. Bluegill abundance was low again with size structure skewed toward small fish. There is a “bonus” fishery in this lake for Walleye and Muskie as well. This is a popular place when the Trout Season opens, so don’t be surprised if there is a crowd!

Contact Information:
McHenry County Conservation District
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Andy Plauck
815-675-2386 ext. 214