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EAST FORK LAKE


Lake Information

County: Richland

Acreage: 935

Average Depth: 14.99 feet

Shoreline Length: 25 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? Unrestricted

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? Yes

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

larger map link Dam Ramp


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

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Fish Stocking

Year

Species

Size

Count

2022

Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"

10000

2022

Walleye

Fingerling 1 - 3"

34680


Additional information for stocking on East Fork Lake


Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLACK CRAPPIE

Good

Black crappie are the more dominant species in East Fork Lake and their population appeared to be doing well. Average black crappie body condition declined, but it remained above the management target. Black crappie electrofishing catch rates remained high and the majority of the fish were between 8” – 10”. Approximately 37% of the adult black crappie collected in 2023 exceeded 9” long and only 5% exceeded 10” long. If growth rates remain good, the size structure of the populations should improve further in the coming years. Most angler catches in 2024 are likely to be white and black crappie in the 8” – 9.5” range weighing 0.2 – 0.4 pounds, with some larger white crappie exceeding 10” and 0.5 pounds.

BLUEGILL

Good

The bluegill population structure remained fair and consistent with recent trends. Electrofishing catch rates increased and remained high at 249 per hour. Average bluegill body condition fell below the lake management target. There was another slight decrease in the number of bluegill greater than 7” (RSD-7=11) and the number of bluegill exceeding 8” remained low at just under 1% of adult bluegill sampled. Angling for bluegill in the coming year should be good with most keepers 5” – 7” in length and 0.10 – 0.25 pounds.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Improving

Catfish numbers have improved in recent years due to stocking efforts, but overall numbers have remained low in East Fork Lake. Average body condition remained good and above target. Most fish in 2024 will range from 18” – 24” and 2 – 4 pounds, with larger fish approaching 10 pounds. This lake provides good bank fishing opportunities and drift fishing the main lake is also very productive.

CRAPPIE

Good

The white crappie population structure remained good. The average body condition for all sizes of white crappie remained above target. The percentage of white crappie over 10” in length improved to 43%, while approximately 71% of white crappie exceeded 9” in length. If growth rates remain good, the size structure of the populations should improve further in the coming years. Most angler catches in 2024 are likely to be white and black crappie in the 8” – 9.5” range weighing 0.2 – 0.4 pounds, with some larger white crappie exceeding 10” and 0.5 pounds.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Good

In 2023, the electrofishing catch rate increased and the size structure of the population remained consistent with four-year trends. The 2023 sample showed an increase in the percentage of bass below 12” and a decrease in the percentage of bass in the 12” – 15” size range. The percentage of adult bass exceeding the 15” minimum length limit remained stable at 31%. Average body condition decreased, but it exceeded the lake management plan target. Gizzard shad are the primary forage for largemouth bass in East Fork Lake and most gizzard shad collected were between 2.8” – 4.3”. Fishing prospects for the coming year should be good and similar to last year with most keeper bass ranging from 15” – 20” in length and weighing between 1.5 – 4 pounds.

WALLEYE

Good

The size structure of the walleye population remained good this year, but fewer fish were collected than in last year’s surveys. The catch rate was 10 per hour during the electrofishing survey, 3 fish per net-night in the fall net survey, and 11 fish per net-night in the spring netting survey. Approximately 96% of the adult fish collected exceeded the 14” minimum length limit. With many fish in the 1.5 – 4 pound range, this lake should provide good fishing opportunities for walleye in the coming year.

Location: East Fork Lake is located in Richland County, approximately 1 mile north of Olney Illinois.

Description: East Fork Lake was constructed by the City of Olney in 1971 to serve as a water supply reservoir. The lake has a surface area of 935 acres, a maximum depth of 40 feet, and a mean depth of 15 feet. The lake has 25 miles of shoreline and a watershed of 9,982 acres.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: The sport fish population in East Fork Lake is comprised primarily of largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, white and black crappie, channel catfish, and is stocked annually with walleye. The lake also contains common carp, bowfin, and large yellow bullhead. The fish population is surveyed annually.

Additional Lake Information: Two pole and line fishing only. ANNUAL CITY OF OLNEY BOAT STICKERS AND CITY OF OLNEY TOURNAMENT PERMITS ARE REQUIRED. Boat stickers are available at Olney City Hall and local bait shops. Tournament permits are available at Olney City Hall.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth Bass: 6 fish daily limit; 15" minimum length limit
Walleye: 6 fish daily limit, 14" minimum length limit
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie: 25 fish daily limit collectively
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish: 25 fish daily limit collectively
Channel Catfish: 6 fish daily limit

Contact Information:
East Fork Lake
Olney City Hall:
618-393-2130
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Boone LaHood
618-393-6732

There were 57 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2023.

Species Total Fish Caught
Channel Catfish 45
Largemouth Bass 1797

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2023 tournaments:

1     7.17 lbs
2     6.74 lbs
3     6.36 lbs
4     6.33 lbs
5     6.24 lbs

Top 5 Total Tournament Weight of Largemouth Bass caught on this waterbody in 2023 tournaments:

1 258.51 lbs
2 256.38 lbs
3 236.30 lbs
4 206.90 lbs
5 195.81 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.

2024 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
April-2025579ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
NoYes
April-2125888ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
NoNo
April-2725873ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
April-2726179ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
April-2825584ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
April-2825836ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
NoNo
May-0426104ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
18Largemouth Bass
NoNo
May-0526288ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
NoNo
May-1125889ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
NoNo
May-1225821ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-1825581ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
NoYes
May-18
*May-19
26561ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
10Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
NoYes
May-1925846ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-08
*June-09
25800ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-1525890ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-2225874ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-2325709ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-2926180ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
June-3026164ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-1325891ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-1426130ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
13Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-20
*July-21
25875ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-2125876ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-26
*July-27
25589ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo
July-2826050ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
August-1725877ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
August-1826289ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
NoNo
August-2425587ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
NoNo
August-24
*August-25
26562ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
10Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
NoYes
September-07
*September-08
25393ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
17Largemouth Bass
NoNo
September-1425852ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
NoNo
September-1526020ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
17Largemouth Bass
NoNo
September-2225412ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
12Largemouth Bass
NoNo
September-28
*September-29
26082ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
35Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
NoNo
October-1225892ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
NoNo
October-2025878ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
NoNo
October-2626181ApprovedEast Fork Lake boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
NoNo