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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










Striped Bass x White Bass (Wiper)

Fingerling 1 - 3"







Striped Bass x White Bass (Wiper)

Fingerling 1 - 3"


Additional information for stocking on Otter Lake

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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


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
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Eric Ratcliff

There were 19 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2022.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 732

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.

2023 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
October-0724970ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
30Largemouth Bass
October-2822984ApprovedOtter Lake Main Ramp boat
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass