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CURRENTLY 55°
FAIR
WINDS NORTH @ 0MPH
HUMIDITY 76%
VISIBILITY 10MI
DEW POINT 47°

Forbes Lake

Marion County, IL
Marion County, IL
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Forbes Lake is located in Marion County, approximately 13 miles northeast of Salem Illinois.
Forbes Lake was constructed in Stephen A. Forbes State Park near Salem in 1963. The Lake has a surface area of 585 acres, a maximum depth of 31 feet, and a mean depth of 12 feet. The lake has 18 miles of shoreline and a watershed of 13,800 acres.
Two pole and line fishing only.

Site Regulations:
Largemouth Bass: 6 fish daily limit; 14" minimum length limit
Striped, White, Hybrid Striped Bass: 3 fish daily limit; 17" minimum length limit
Channel Catfish: 6 fish daily limit, no length limit

542 acres
LAKE SIZE
31 feet
MAX DEPTH
15 feet
AVG DEPTH
22.2 miles
SHORELINE
BOATING RESTRICTIONS
Unrestricted
AMENITIES
Boat Landing
Camping
Swimming
Boat Rentals
Picnicking
Skiing
FISH TO CATCH
Bluegill
Channel Catfish
Hybrid Striped Bass
Largemouth Bass
Muskie
Striped Bass
Tiger Muskie
Walleye
White Crappie
Wiper Bass
Yellow Bullhead
Carp
Saugeye
NOTE: This list may not be all inclusive of all speices present in Forbes Lake.
TOPO MAP FOR MEMBERS
FISHING OUTLOOK
BLUEGILL
Poor POOR
The size structure of the bluegill population remains poor. Body condition was much higher for smaller fish (< 6”) than larger fish (> 6”). The fishery continues to be comprised almost entirely of fish < 7.5” in length. As the size structure of the bass population continues to improve, it should have an increasingly positive influence on the size structure of the bluegill population.
CHANNEL CATFISH
Good GOOD
Catfish remain abundant in Forbes Lake and should provide good fishing opportunities in the coming year. Body condition improved above target and catch rate remained nearly constant. Most fish will range from 1 – 3 pounds, with larger fish exceeding 5 pounds. This lake provides excellent bank fishing opportunities. Drift fishing the main lake is also very productive.
HYBRID STRIPED BASS (WIPERS)
Poor POOR
This year’s survey produced zero hybrid striped bass. The 2018 survey produced three year classes of hybrids and at a catch rate of just 2 fish per net-night. They ranged in size from 12” – 20” in length and up to 4.5 lbs. This is currently not a very good lake for hybrid striped bass.
LARGEMOUTH BASS
Very Good VERY GOOD
To improve the growth rates and condition of the smaller stunted bass and increase the numbers of larger bass, a 14” – 18” protected slot limit was placed in effect on April 01, 2015. The slot limit was designed to improve the size structure of the bass population by allowing harvest of the overcrowded, slow-growing small bass in the population while protecting the larger faster growing fish. Data from the recent fall population surveys indicated the regulation had worked as planned. On April 01, 2019 the slot limit was replaced by a 14” minimum length limit. The fall 2019 survey showed that all of the largemouth bass size structure indices met, or exceeded, their target ranges. Electrofishing catch rates and average body condition both improved and remain over the minimum target. The percentage of bass over the new 14” minimum was down slightly from 2018, but nearly 1/3rd of the adult bass collected were over 14”. For 2020, anglers can expect the bass under 14” to weigh up to 1.3 pounds and bass over 18” to range from 3.2 – 6 pounds with a few larger fish up to 7 pounds.
SAUGEYE (Walleye/Sauger Hybrid)
Average AVERAGE
Only four saugeye were collected this year. These fish represented four different year classes at a catch rate of just 1 fish per net-night and 0.25 per hour of electrofishing. These fish ranged from 9” – 23” in length and up to 5.25 lbs.
WHITE CRAPPIE
Fair FAIR
The size structure of the white crappie population improved slightly, but remained relatively poor. The percentage of the population exceeding 10” in length increased again. Average body condition improved above target for the first time in seven years. Anglers can expect most fish in the coming year to range from 7” – 10” in length with a few larger fish to 14”.
PLACES TO SAY
STAY 22: Forbes Lake
HISTORY AND STATUS OF FISHERY
The sport fish population in Forbes Lake is comprised primarily of largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, white crappie, and channel catfish, and is stocked annually with saugeye (walleye/sauger hybrid). The lake also contains a strong population of yellow bullheads and large common carp (20+ lbs). The fish population is surveyed annually.

CONTACT / CONTROLLING AUTHORITY
Stephen A. Forbes State Park
618-547-3381
IDNR Fisheries Biologist, Boone LaHood
618-393-6732
NOTICE: Lake-Link Inc assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions of the information for Forbes 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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