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Lake Information

County: Tazewell

Acreage: 660

Average Depth: 2.89 feet

Shoreline Length: 5.2 miles

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? 25hp

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? Yes

Skiing? No

Swimming? No

Picnicking? Yes

Camping? Yes

larger map link Spring Lake North Spring Lake South

    Click on area names for a more detailed map.
    Spring Lake North, Spring Lake South

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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.

Fish Stocking






Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"



Northern Pike

Non-vulnerable 8 - 10"



Channel Catfish

Advanced Fingerling 4 - 7"


Additional information for stocking on SPRING LAKE (SOUTH)

Fishing Outlook  ( Full PDF Report )

Click here for a list of all reports.



Fish Status

The redear sunfish population indices are not good with no fish over 8 inches collected and the average body condition value was 91.6.

The bluegill population indices are not good with 5.3 percent of the population over 7 inches and the average body condition value of 86.5.



The channel catfish population indices showed that 71.9 percent of the population was over 18 inches with an average body condition value of 91.4. The annual stocking of channel catfish provides a population that many Spring Lake anglers target from the shoreline.


Very Good

In 2018 a new harvest regulation started for crappie. This regulation is a harvest limit of 25 fish per day with only 10 fish over 10 inches allowed. The intent of this regulation is to focus harvest pressure on the large percentage of crappie that are under 9 inches in length. The 2019 surveys showed an increase across all indices with the percent of fish over 9 inches increasing from 11 to 31.8 percent and fish over 10 inches increasing from 2.7 to 6.1 percent. The average body condition was 90.8.


Very Good

There has been much concern on the part of bass fishermen that the largemouth bass population structure was declining on South Spring Lake. In 2014 and 2015 we noted in the fall sample that some of our quality indices were improving for largemouth bass. However, in 2016 and 2017 indices were again in decline. In 2018 a new harvest regulation started for largemouth bass. The regulation is a protected slot from 12 to 18 inches with 3 fish per day harvest. The 2018 fall electrofishing survey showed that quality indices had improved as did the 2019 survey. The percentage of bass over 14 and 15 inches has risen from 12% and 8% in 2017 to 24% and 19.4% in 2018 to 31.9% and 29.8% in 2019 respectively. The percentage of fish over 18 inches at 8.5. The body condition has also increased to an average value of 92.2. The bass population structure should continue to improve as the new protected slot limit remains.



The northern pike population indices showed that the majority of the population is from 20 to 28.7 inches in length and in poor body condition with a value of 82. Currently the northern pike stocking program has ended in Illinois and South Spring Lake has not received a stocking since 2015.

Location: South Spring Lake is a 610 acre body of water located 6 miles north and west of Manito, Illinois, adjacent to the Illinois River.

Description: South Spring Lake is an elongated backwater lateral marsh of the Illinois River. It was separated by a high levee from the Illinois River in 1916. The South Lake was separated from the North Lake in 1978 by a stop log structure and a spillway for discharge water. South Spring Lake receives 103 acre feet of recharge daily from springs and seeps. Spring Lake currently has a 25 horsepower limit for outboard motors. The main access is via the Spring Lake blacktop road. A single lane boat ramp is located south of the causeway which crosses Spring Lake. South Spring Lake is a shallow, very fertile backwater. It has a 60% coverage of aquatic vegetation after April and until November of each year.

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: South Spring Lake was rehabilitated in 1986 to remove an undesirable carp-gizzard shad fish population. As a result of the rehabilitation, an excellent fish population resulted. Water clarity improved and aquatic weeds flourished. Good fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and catfish soon resulted. Because of its shallow water and clarity, South Spring Lake has a tremendous coverage of aquatic vegetation. As part of an effort to reduce coverage of Eurasian milfoil (an exotic invasive plant), South Spring Lake is treated with DMA4-2, 4D each year.

Additional Lake Information: The lake is closed to boat fishing one week prior to regular waterfowl season, and until the end of waterfowl season each year. Horsepower limit: 25hp. Rental boats available. Tournaments must register at the site office no later than 30 days before the tournament.

New Site Regulation Effective April 2018:
Largemouth bass: protected slot length from 12 to 18 inches, with the harvest of 3 fish either over or under this protected slot.

Crappie: harvest limit of 25 fish per day with only 10 fish over 10 inches allowed.

Contact Information:
Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
Site Superintendent
7982 South Park Rd.
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Blake Bushman

There were 1 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2021.

Species Total Fish Caught
Largemouth Bass 11

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

1     6.12 lbs

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

1 43.54 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.

2021 – 2022 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date ID Approval Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Max Boats Species Youth? Open to Public?
April-1619858ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
20Largemouth Bass
May-2220998ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
18Largemouth Bass
June-0520495ApprovedSouth Ramp boat
10Largemouth Bass