US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District

Carlyle Lake

Redirecting...

Wildlife

At Carlyle Lake, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources provide stocking and habitat improvement programs to increase fish populations and provide a diversity of species.
Fishing at Carlyle Lake and in the tail water area offers year-round varieties of fish such as white bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, largemouth bass, freshwater drum, carp, flathead catfish, and walleye.

Length and daily creel limits follow statewide regulations except as follows:

Species Minimum        Length Limit              Daily Creel Limit

Largemouth bass             14 inches                        6 fish
Walleye and sauger         14 inches                        6 fish
                                                                      In combination
White and
black crappie                   10 inches                       15 fish 
                                                                      In combination

Fishing Piers are available at Dam East (Lakeview Parking Lot), Maple Grove (North Side of Coles Creek), and Eldon Hazlet State Park (Allen Branch). These fishing piers provide access for non-ambulatory or partially ambulatory individuals. There is also a fishing pier available at the Keyesport boat ramp, however, it is not ADA accessible. 

Fish Attractor Location Map

As part of the wildlife management program, food plots of sunflowers, corn, millet and milo are planted each spring at seven locations around the lake. More than 20,000 acres of public lands are open to hunting and subject to state regulations which can be found at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website. Upland game management areas can be found all around the lake with parking lots which provide access. Carlyle Lake is also a mid-migrational resting area for waterfowl and other migratory birds, thus a variety of wildlife can be seen throughout the year. Subimpoundments #1, 2, 3 and 4 located on the northern end of the lake are intensively managed for waterfowl. These areas are part of the Carlyle Lake Wildlife Management Area.

Hunting is permitted on all public land except where posted and within 100 yards of developed recreation areas or residences. Developed recreation areas are shown on the Carlyle Lake Hunting Map. 

2017-2018 Carlyle Lake Hunting Fact Sheet

Fishing and Hunting Guide

Watching wildlife is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities in the nation. Carlyle Lake is home to many fascinating species of wildlife, and provides ample opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Upland game management areas can be found around the lake with parking lots providing access. In addition, Carlyle Lake is a mid-migrational resting area for waterfowl and other migratory birds, providing another opportunity for visitors to spot wildlife. To make wildlife watching more enhancing, the Carlyle Lake Project along with Boy Scouts earning their Eagle Scout badge, constructed viewing towers around the lake. Carlyle Lake has six established Watchable Wildlife Sites. Brown binocular logo signs are posted along the highway to indicate these sites.
Carlyle Lake provides special hunts for persons with disabilities during the first week of dove season and during duck season to all non-ambulatory or partially ambulatory individuals. These hunts are managed to provide participants an equal hunting opportunity. If interested contact the Carlyle Lake Project Office at (618)594-2484.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Fish and Wildlife Service work together to focus on the protection and restoration of threatened and endangered species, and also to restore and maintain wildlife habitat for these species.

In 1998 the Illinois Department of Natural Resources with the cooperation of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife conducted a radio tracking study on the Eastern Massassaga Rattlesnake at Carlyle. The Eastern Massassaga is listed on the Illinois endangered and threatened species list as endangered. For a complete listing of Illinois threatened and endangered species visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.