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CURRENTLY 46°
OVERCAST
WINDS NORTHEAST @ 8MPH
HUMIDITY 87%
VISIBILITY 10MI
DEW POINT 42°

Sangchris Lake

Christian County, IL
Christian County, IL
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Sangchris Lake is located 20 miles southeast of Springfield off of IL Route 104, 7 miles north of Bulpitt.
Sangchris Lake is 2325 acres. The lake was developed as a result of damming Clear Creek in 1964. The Division of Fisheries has been involved in the management of this lake from its beginning in 1965. It was owned by Commonwealth Edison and served as a cooling lake for their coal-fired power plant. The fish community is therefore highly dependent on power plant operation. Commonwealth Edison sold the plant to the current owner, Dominion Power, in the early 2000s. The maximum depth in the lake is approximately 38 feet with and average depth of approximately 13 feet. Sangchris Lake has three boat access points; one on each arm.
Sangchris Lake has three boat access points; one on each arm. Rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and boats with motors 25 horsepower or less are welcome. A motor greater than 25 horsepower may be on a boat, however it should be in the up position (out of the water), and an alternative motor 25 horsepower or less should be used on the lake. Motors of any size may be used to load or unload from the trailer. Sailboats are not permitted. The long-awaited West Boat Ramp opened in the fall of 2014. Improvements include: a new boat ramp that extends further in the water for safer boat launching, larger parking lot, new access road, and handicap-accessible sidewalks and parking.

Two pole and line fishing only. No commercial devices, such as trot lines, jugs, or bank poles, are allowed. Archery fishing is allowed for rough fish, but not within 200 yards of a developed area, such as a campground.

In August 2017, fish habitat structures were deployed into Sangchris Lake. See the map here: Fish Structures Location Map.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth bass: 15" minimum length limit; 3 fish per day limit
Crappie: 10" minimum length limit; 10 fish per day limit
Striped bass: No limit under 17; 3 fish a day over 17" limit

2,321 acres
LAKE SIZE
38 feet
MAX DEPTH
13 feet
AVG DEPTH
97.4 miles
SHORELINE
584 feet
ELEVATION
BOATING RESTRICTIONS
25hp
AMENITIES
Boat Landing
Camping
Swimming
Boat Rentals
Picnicking
Skiing
FISH TO CATCH
Black Crappie
Channel Catfish
Crappie
Flathead Catfish
Largemouth Bass
Striped Bass
NOTE: This list may not be all inclusive of all speices present in Sangchris Lake.
FISHING REPORT

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Good using plastics, minnows & jigs.

CHANNEL CATFISH

Good using cut bait & stink bait.

CRAPPIE

Good using jigs.

BLUEGILL

Good using wax worms, nightcrawlers & red wigglers.

Source: Illinois DNR

FISHING OUTLOOK
CHANNEL CATFISH
Very Good VERY GOOD
The channel catfish population is doing well both in quantity and quality. Fish up to 8 pounds are surveyed most years. A total of 39 channel catfish were collected while electrofishing in 2016 (7 fish/hr). Channel catfish collected in 2016 measured from 8.5 – 21.5” and weighed up to 3.7 lbs. Anglers can catch channel catfish in the warmer months using bottom fishing techniques near deadfalls and woody debris with cut bait, shrimp, chicken livers or night crawlers. The largest channel catfish ever collected by electrofishing measured over 27” and weighed 9 lbs.
CRAPPIE
Improving IMPROVING
Lake Sangchris contains both black and white crappie. The black crappie are a strain originally brought in from Arkansas in 1985 that have a ¼” wide black stripe running from just under the chin up over the nose to the dorsal fin. They are called black-nosed or black-striped crappie by anglers and are a beautiful and a prized sportfish. The crappie population is still developing at Lake Sangchris. The 2014 fish population survey showed dramatic increases in both black and white crappie numbers, but the 2016 survey showed lower catch rates. However, the general trend in crappie numbers over the last 10 years is positive trend. White crappie ranged from 8 – 12.5”, while black crappie ranged from 5 – 12.5”. The majority of the crappie collected in the 2016 fall survey measured over the 10” minimum length limit. The population structures are still not yet within management goals. Natural spawning may be limited due to sporadic water temperatures during the spawning season.There has been evidence of natural reproduction in the past, but it doesn’t seem to be consistent, therefore the crappie stocking program will continue until populations are stable. White and black crappie have been raised in the Lake Sangchris rearing pond since the ponds' construction in 1992. The pond was out of service for 4 years due to a bad leak, but it has been rehabilitated and is currently back in use. Brood black and blacknose crappie were stocked into the rearing pond in spring 2015, and the pond was harvested in fall 2016. We stocked approximately 13,000 black crappie averaging 5.8”. Brood blacknose crappie will be stocked into the rearing pond in spring 2017. Anglers can catch crappie on hundreds of submerged Christmas trees and other structures within the entire lake with spinners, jigs and minnows year round. A 16 ½”, 3 pound black crappie was recently brought to the biologist for weighing and identifying! Site Regulation: 10" minimum length limit; 10 fish per day limit.
FLATHEAD CATFISH
Very Good VERY GOOD
Flathead catfish are difficult to survey, but anecdotal evidence suggests angler catches are becoming more common. Lake Sangchris is now over 50 years old and is developing a reputation for producing flathead catfish weighing over 40 lbs. The largest flathead ever collected in a survey weighed 69 pounds and the largest caught by an angler weighed 81.45 pounds, which is the current state record. Flathead catfish exceeding 40 pounds are harvested every year. We collected 1 flathead measuring 14” and weighing 1 pound during the 2016 fall fish population survey. Anglers can catch flathead catfish using live bait such as minnows, sunfish, shad, or crayfish around submerged logs and deadfalls in the warmer months and deep holes in the colder months.
LARGEMOUTH BASS
Very Good VERY GOOD
Lake Sangchris is known for its high density bass population with electrofishing surveys. We collected a total of 627 bass (108/hr electrofishing) ranging from 5 – 20.5” and weighing up to 5.2 lbs. Our survey showed that 47% of the catchable population measured over 12”, 18% measured over the minimum length limit of 15”, and 5% measured over 18”. Less than desirable body condition of largemouth bass seems to be normal for this cooling lake. Hot water discharge into the lake may cause largemouth bass to burn more energy than they can consume during the hot summer months. Gizzard shad have exhibited erratic spawns in Lake Sangchris in the past and threadfin shad survival is dependent on power plant operation in the winter. Breeder threadfin shad are often stocked in an effort to offset the results of winter kills. Anglers can catch largemouth bass on points, deadfalls, and stickups within the entire lake year round with plastic worms, jigs, spinners, crank baits, minnows, crayfish and worms. The largest bass ever collected by electrofishing measured 22” long and weighed over 7 lbs! Site Regulation: 15" minimum length limit; 3 fish per day limit.
STRIPED BASS
Very Good VERY GOOD
Pure striped bass are non-native and have been stocked into Lake Sangchris every other year since 1983 when available. The striped bass stocking program has produced some great fishing opportunities. Past surveys have shown that the lake has not produced many fish over 20 pounds, but there is a good density of striped bass up to 14 pounds. Anglers can catch stripers near “striper point” located in the northern portion of the lake in the warmer months and in the hot water middle arm of the lake when water is being discharged in the winter. Anglers can catch stripers using large spinnerbaits, crankbaits, spoons, jigs, crayfish or large minnows. The current state record of 31 pounds 7 ounces was caught at Lake Sangchris! Site Regulation: No limit under 17; 3 fish a day over 17" limit.
PLACES TO SAY
STAY 22: Sangchris Lake
HISTORY AND STATUS OF FISHERY
The lake boasts 100 miles of shoreline and is characterized by a west and middle arm cooling loop and an east ambient arm. The east arm receives much of the water within the watershed, and therefore suffers from siltation. Much of the shoreline and cove habitat was once composed of dense beds of water lily and submersed aquatic vegetation. Those communities have recently collapsed and no cause has been determined at this point. A total of 26 fish species have been collected in Sangchris Lake since 1982. While their numbers and potential for successful angling are low, anglers may catch bluegill, green sunfish, green sunfish x bluegill hybrid, freshwater drum, white bass, or yellow bass.

CONTACT / CONTROLLING AUTHORITY
Site Staff
217-498-9208
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Tad Locher
217-720-0235
NOTICE: Lake-Link Inc assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions of the information for Sangchris Lake. Although we strive to provide the most accurate information as we can the information contained in this page is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.
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