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Lake Information

County: Alexander

Acreage: 1890

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 10hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

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Fish Status



Only 10 bluegill were collected during the 2016 survey and none were over 8 inches in length.



No channel catfish were collected during the 2016 survey. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit.



Of the 17 white crappie collected in the 2016 survey, 45% were over 9 inches in length and 45% were over 10 inches in length. No black crappie were collected in the 2016.



During the 2016 spring electrofishing sample, largemouth bass were collected at a rate of 3 fish per hour. Of the five bass collected, only 1 (16 inches) was over the 14 inch size limit. Largemouth bass fishing for 2017 can only be rated as poor. Site Regulation: 6 fish daily limit, 14" minimum length limit.

Location: Horseshoe Lake is located in Alexander County at the Horseshoe Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area just south of Olive Branch, IL.

Description: Horseshoe Lake is 1890 acres in size with a maximum depth of 5-6 feet. There are numerous boat launching sites around the Lake as well as campgrounds. The Lake resembles a southern swamp with bald cypress and tupelo gum trees growing throughout.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: Biennial surveys on the lake are conducted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The next survey is planned for spring of 2018. The extensive woody vegetation and shallow nature of Horseshoe Lake make it very difficult to sample.

Additional Lake Information: There is a 10hp motor limit on Horseshoe Lake. Only trolling motors are allowed in the refuge from October 15 through March 1. All fish: 2-pole and line fishing only.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth Bass: 6 fish daily limit, 14" minimum length limit
Channel Catfish: 6 fish daily limit

Contact Information:
Horseshoe Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Nick Abell