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FORBES LAKE


Lake Information

County: Marion

Acreage: 585

Average Depth: 15.16 feet

Shoreline Length: 22.2 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? Yes

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

  Trout stocked in fall

  Trout stocked in spring

larger map link Mountain Phillips Dam


    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Dam, Mountain, Phillips

Maps are not intended for navigation.


There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Fish Stocking

Year

Species

Size

Count

2020

Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"

5000

2020

Channel Catfish

Non-vulnerable 8 - 10"

2725

2020

Striped Bass x White Bass (Wiper)

Fingerling 1 - 3"

5569

2021

Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"

5000

2021

Striped Bass x White Bass (Wiper)

Fingerling 1 - 3"

14733

2021

Walleye x Sauger (Saugeye)

Fingerling 1 - 3"

30219


Additional information for stocking on FORBES LAKE


Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Poor

The size structure of the bluegill population remains poor. Body condition was much higher for smaller fish (< 6”) than larger fish (> 6”). The fishery continues to be comprised almost entirely of fish < 7.5” in length. Anglers can expect most fish to be between 5” – 7” and weigh 0.1 – 0.25 pounds.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Very Good

Catfish remain abundant in Forbes Lake and should provide good fishing opportunities in the coming year. Body condition remained above target and catch rate remained high. Most fish will range from 1 – 3 pounds, with larger fish exceeding 5 pounds. This lake provides excellent bank fishing opportunities. Drift fishing the main lake is also very productive.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)

Poor

Hybrid striped bass are also uncommon in the annual Forbes Lake surveys. Approximately 30% of the adult hybrid striped bass collected were longer than the 17” minimum length limit. The largest hybrid striped bass collected was 23.7” long and weighed just over 8 pounds. Most hybrid striped bass in 2022 are expected to be less than 14” long, but fish over the 17” minimum length should exceed 5 pounds. Hybrid striped bass fishing in 2022 will likely be poor to fair.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Very Good

On April 01, 2019 the 14” – 18” protected slot limit was replaced by a 14” minimum length limit. Following the removal of the slot limit, the bass population size structure has declined. In the 2021 survey, approximately 35% of the adult bass in the sample were longer than 12” in length. Approximately 18% of the adult bass collected were 14” or longer and only 4% exceeded 18” in length. Electrofishing catch rate decreased from 2020 to 2021, but still exceeded the lake management plan target. Average body condition remained stable and above lake management goals. For 2022, anglers can expect bass over 14” to weigh between 1.4 – 4.5 pounds and bass in the 8” – 12” range should also be abundant.

SAUGEYE (Walleye/Sauger Hybrid)

Fair

Saugeye are not very common in the annual Forbes Lake surveys. All 19 saugeye sampled in 2021 exceeded 15.5” inches in length and the largest saugeye was 21.5” long. Most saugeye collected in the survey were between 1 - 2.5 pounds, but a few larger fish were collected. Saugeye fishing in 2022 will likely be poor to fair.

WHITE CRAPPIE

Fair

The size structure of the white crappie population remained relatively poor, but crappie were very abundant. Average body condition for all sizes of crappie improved but remained below the lake management plan target. In 2021, 65% of the crappie collected were less than 7” long and 35% exceeded 8”. Approximately 61% of the total crappie collected were between 6” – 8”, while 25% were between 8” – 9” (86% between 6”–9”). On April 01, 2021, a new crappie regulation will take effect on Forbes Lake. There is no creel limit on crappie under 8” in length, but only 10 crappie 8” in length and longer may be harvested per day. Crappie fishing in 2022 should be good and anglers can expect most fish to range from 6” – 9” in length with a few larger fish over 10”. Harvest of crappie less than 8” is strongly encouraged.

Location: Forbes Lake is located in Marion County, approximately 13 miles northeast of Salem Illinois.

Description: Forbes Lake was constructed in Stephen A. Forbes State Park near Salem in 1963. The Lake has a surface area of 585 acres, a maximum depth of 31 feet, and a mean depth of 12 feet. The lake has 18 miles of shoreline and a watershed of 13,800 acres.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The sport fish population in Forbes Lake is comprised primarily of largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, white crappie, and channel catfish, and is stocked annually with saugeye (walleye/sauger hybrid). The lake also contains a strong population of yellow bullheads and large common carp (20+ lbs). The fish population is surveyed annually.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth Bass: 6 fish daily limit; 14" minimum length limit
Striped, White, Hybrid Striped Bass: 3 fish daily limit; 17" minimum length limit
Channel Catfish: 6 fish daily limit, no length limit
Crappie: 10 fish daily limit; 8" or longer. Unlimited creel on crappie under 8"



Contact Information:
Stephen A. Forbes State Park
618-547-3381
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Boone LaHood
618-393-6732

There were 48 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2021.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 914

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2021 tournaments:

1     11.65 lbs
2     10.04 lbs
3     7.60 lbs
4     7.25 lbs
5     6.95 lbs

Top 5 Total Tournament Weight of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2021 tournaments:

1 136.30 lbs
2 101.12 lbs
3 99.10 lbs
4 93.75 lbs
5 71.33 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 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
May-1921354ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-2120804ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-2219913ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
May-2621355ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-0221356ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-04
*June-05
21107ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
19Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
NoNo
June-0921357ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-1121934ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-1621358ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-1721809ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-1820861ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-2321359ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
June-2521549ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-2619988ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-3021360ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-0721361ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-1421362ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-2121363ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-2221810ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
July-2420306ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
17Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-2821364ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-0421365ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-0620264ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
August-1121366ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-1320583ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
YesNo
August-1821367ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-19
*August-20
20579ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
6Largemouth Bass
NoNo
August-2521368ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-2621811ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
August-2720862ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoYes
September-0319790ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
September-1021935ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoNo
September-1120010ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
September-1720475ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
NoYes
September-2421341ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
19Largemouth Bass
NoNo
September-2520744ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
October-2221072ApprovedEast Launch (Dam Area) boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo