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HENNEPIN & HOPPER LAKES


Lake Information

County: Putnam

Acreage: 1200

Recreational Amenities

Boat Fishing? yes

Boat Ramps? Yes

Boat Rental? No

Skiing? No

Swimming? No


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There are no zebra mussels in this lake.


Fish Stocking

Year

Species

Size

Count

2021

Muskellunge

Adult

2793

2021

Northern Pike

Non-vulnerable 8 - 10"

1502

2022

Northern Pike

Non-vulnerable 8 - 10"

2097


Additional information for stocking on Hennepin-Hopper Lakes


Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLACK CRAPPIE

Very Good

Population indices show 30% of the population are above 8” with a body condition of 105, indicating fast growth potential for the crappie population.

BLUEGILL

Very Good

The population indices show 94% are above 6” and 25% are above 8”, exceeding the desired levels of population structure and representing quality fish available for anglers. The body condition was excellent with a value of 125.

BOWFIN

Very Good

The 2021 bowfin population was evaluated by the collection of 110 fish from 18 to 27 inches in length. These fish were in excellent body condition and appear to have become well established with recruitment in the lake.

BROWN BULLHEAD

Very Good

The 2021 brown bullhead population was evaluated by the collection of 19 fish from 12 to 17 inches in length. These fish were in excellent body condition with fish up to 3 lbs.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Excellent

The indices of this population are very good with 56 percent of the fish over 15 inches in length. While this is slightly lower than the 2019 survey it is still 38.5% above the 5-year average. The body condition was also very good with a value of 104.

MUSKELLUNGE

Developing

The muskellunge population has begun showing up in our sampling, most likely due to recent stockings of 13” fish which have a much higher survivorship rate than the previously stocked size classes of 6 inches or less. The 2021 sampling effort collected 8 stock sized fish with 50% being over 30 inches in length with a body condition of 97.

NORTHERN PIKE

Very Good

Population indices showed that 90 percent of the population were over 28 inches and 25% were over 34 inches.

PUMPKINSEED

Excellent

The population indices show 62% are above 6”, 42% are above 8” and 8.1% are above 10”. The body condition was excellent with a value of 117. In 2020 a new state record pumpkinseed of 1.12 lbs. was caught by an angler from the lakes. During the 2021 sampling efforts, 4 individuals were collected that were larger than the newly certified state record pumpkinseed (1.12 lbs.) that was caught by an angler from the lakes in 2020 with the largest weighing in at 1.4 lbs.

Location: Hennepin & Hopper lakes are located 3 miles south of the of the town of Hennepin in Putnam County off of Route 26.

Description: The Wetlands Initiative (TWI), a nonprofit organization, created and manages the Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes. Since 2001, TWI has been restoring the 2,700-acre site from row crops to diverse native ecosystems, including lakes, wetlands, and prairies. Throughout the project’s history, the IDNR has partnered with TWI to lend expertise in managing fisheries, stocking native fishes, and assisting in monitoring the lake and marsh.

Additional information at: The Wetlands Initiative

History and Status of the Sport Fishery: In the fall of 2009, TWI pumped out the water in the lakes so that the IDNR could apply the fish toxicant rotenone to remove the common carp. In the spring of 2010, the healthy marsh habitat returned, and the IDNR restocked the lakes with native and sport fish. Other native flora and fauna returned, including thousands of migrating canvasback ducks in the spring of 2011. However, by the summer of 2012 the aquatic vegetation began to diminish and the common carp population had completed a successful spawn and recruitment at the site. The site was drained in sections in 2012, and a fish rehabilitation was completed in November. In 2013, the site was restocked with native brood fish and fingerlings from the State of Illinois Hatchery, Jake Wolf.

Since 2013, the native fish stockings have grown rapidly and created a fishing destination for anglers. The improved water clarity has allowed the establishment of dense beds of submerged rooted aquatic plants and emergent aquatic plants.

A new IL state record pumpkinseed sunfish of 1.12 lbs. was caught from Hennepin & Hopper Lakesby an angler in 2020.

Additional Lake Information:

  • Open to fishing May 15 - Labor Day, from sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
  • The last day of the public fishing season is always Labor Day.
  • Closed Mondays except for Memorial Day and Labor Day
  • Anglers MUST fill out free fishing permit located at the kiosk by the boat launch
  • Electric trolling motors only! No gas powered motors allowed on boats (even if trimmed up).
  • Fishing is allowed from boats only. NO shore fishing is allowed.
  • Fishing allowed only within the designated fishing zone (marked by buoys)

Fishing Regulations
SpeciesSize Limit Creel limit
Bluegill/PumpkinseedNoneNo Limit
White/Black/Hybrid Crappie9" minimum length25 fish/day
Largemouth Bass15" minimum length3 fish/day
Walleye18" minimum length 3 fish/day
Muskie42" minimum length1 fish/day
Northern Pike24" minimum length3 fish/day
Channel/Blue/Flathead CatfishNone6 fish/day

Contact Information:
The Wetlands Initiative
(312) 922-0777
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Blake Bushman
(309) 435-1010