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OTTER LAKE


Lake Information

County: Macoupin

Acreage: 765

Average Depth: 19.82 feet

Shoreline Length: 38.4 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 115hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link Dam Boat Ramp North End


    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Boat Ramp, Dam, North End

Maps are not intended for navigation.


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Fish Stocking

Year

Species

Size

Count

2021

Muskellunge

Adult

768

2021

Striped Bass x White Bass (Wiper)

Fingerling 1 - 3"

14475

2022

Striped Bass x White Bass (Wiper)

Fingerling 1 - 3"

10500


Additional information for stocking on Otter Lake


Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Fair

Approximately 23% of the Bluegill collected in our 2021 electrofishing survey were of quality size (6 inches and longer); however, only 5% were over 7 inches, and none were over 8 inches.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Very Good

We collected 14 Channel Catfish in our 2021 survey, ranging from 17 to 23 inches. A healthy Channel Catfish population exists in this lake.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

Very Good

These fish inhabit open water and are not often collected in our electrofishing surveys (1 fish in our 2021 survey and 1 in 2019), but a robust population occurs in the lake. In our spring 2022 Muskie survey we collected 5 Hybrid Striped Bass ranging from 19.5 inches/4 lbs to 27 inches/13 lbs. Site Regulation: 3 fish 17” or longer; 10 fish daily creel limit.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Very Good

The 2021 electrofishing survey yielded 113 Largemouth Bass/hour of electrofishing, which indicates a strong bass population. The size structure of the bass population is good, with 62% of the bass over 12 inches in length, 25% over 15 inches, 9% over 18 inches, and 2% over 20 inches. Site Regulation: 15” minimum length limit; 3 fish daily creel limit.

MUSKELLUNGE

Very Good

These solitary fish are rarely collected by electrofishing, however our netting surveys consistently catch these fish in good numbers. We collected 14 Muskies by netting in spring 2021, and 16 in spring 2022. Sizes ranged from 24 inches/5 lbs to 39 inches/15 lbs. Site Regulation: 48” minimum length limit; 1 fish daily creel limit.

WHITE BASS

Good

Site Regulation: 3 fish 17” or longer; 10 fish daily creel limit.

WHITE CRAPPIE

Very Good

White Crappie were numerous in our survey and ranged in length from 6 to 12.5 inches. Approximately 20% of the crappie collected were over 9 inches, 9% were over 10 inches, and 1% were over 12.

Location: Otter Lake is located in north central Macoupin County 6 miles west of Girard, IL.

Description: This water supply lake was built in 1968 by damming the west fork of Otter Creek. A sediment basin was created in the upper end of the lake in 2004 to improve water quality of the main lake. The lake is managed by the Otter Lake Water Commission. Most banks are steep-sided, and many are lined with riprap. The boat ramp is located at mid-lake, on the north side of Emmerson Airline Road, and the park office/bait shop is on the south side of the road. Boat permits are required and may be purchased at the office/bait shop. Otter Lake has a 115 hp motor size limit. The lake is 765 acres, has a shoreline length of 39 miles, a watershed size of 12,985 acres, a maximum depth of 51 feet, and an average depth of 20 feet.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Approximately 20 species occupy this eutrophic impoundment. Otter Lake receives stockings of 10" to 14" muskie, 4" to 8" largemouth bass, and 2" striped bass hybrids.

Additional Lake Information: Otter Lake has a 115 hp motor size limit. There is a single boat ramp at mid-lake on the north side of Palmyra blacktop. The site has a concession stand/bait shop, campground, and picnic areas. All live bait in excess of 8" must be rigged with a quick set rig. 2 pole and line fishing only.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass: 15" minimum length limit, 3 fish daily creel limit
Channel Catfish: 6 fish daily creel limit
Striped, White, or Hybrid Striped Bass: 3 fish 17” or longer; 10 fish daily creel limit
Muskie: 48” minimum length limit; 1 fish daily creel limit

Contact Information:
Otter Lake Water Commission
217-965-1566
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Eric Ratcliff
618-931-4217

There were 18 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2021.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 723

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

1     7.21 lbs
2     6.58 lbs
3     6.41 lbs
4     6.34 lbs
5     6.29 lbs

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

1 279.96 lbs
2 228.25 lbs
3 225.00 lbs
4 218.26 lbs
5 198.19 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.

2022 – 2023 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
March-2623035ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
April-1523495ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
NoYes
April-2923007ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
NoYes
May-0722764ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
May-1323401ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-2123115ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-1023403ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-2423496ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-0823064ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-1622525ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-2223405ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-0523497ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-2022952ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
NoNo
September-1623063ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoNo
October-2822984ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
NoYes