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Lake Information for Heidecke Lake


Located in Grundy County just southeast of Morris and under an hour’s drive from the Chicago metropolitan area, Heidecke Lake offers a diverse angling experience and provides both largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing. Impounded in the late 1970's, Heidecke Lake serves as a cooling reservoir for Midwest Generation’s Collins Station, a fossil fuel peaking plant. This is important to note as Heidecke Lake generally runs “cooler” than the nuclear plant cooling lakes which are located nearby.

Heidecke Lake is a perched cooling lake and can become very hazardous in windy conditions. There is no boat motor horsepower restrictions but boats must have a working gas-powered motor. Larger boats and watercraft with high windshields may have difficulty passing under the railroad trestle to access the north side of the lake.

Facilities and Parks: 

Three lane concrete boat ramp with fully blacktopped 100+ car/trailer parking available. Boat launch is handicapped accessible.

A "safe harbor" created by breakwaters was constructed in 1993. No horsepower limitations; maximum speed is 40 mph except in designated "no wake" areas; working gasoline engine required as main propulsion unit; boats under 14' are not recommended.

Shore angler access is located on the east side of lake off Dresden Road with portions of the center and east dike open to bank fishing. A handicapped fishing pier is located on the east side of the lake as well.

Fishing Description: 

Largemouth Bass - Due to poor natural reproduction and recruitment, an aggressive annual stocking program for largemouth bass was initiated in 1986. Intensive sampling did not indicate a favorable response to these stockings and the program was terminated. The results from the fall 2006 survey were somewhat disappointing as the number of largemouth bass collected declined by nearly 35% from the previous survey (2005). On the bright side, a high percentage of these fish were young bass which, with good recruitment, should equate to good angling opportunities for this species in the next few years. Should the aquatic plant community expand as water clarity increases, an increase in the largemouth bass population is anticipated.

Smallmouth Bass - Excellent natural reproduction and recruitment results in a self-sustaining population which produces large numbers of sub-legal size fish. Smallmouth were nearly three times as common in the fall 2006 survey as largemouth bass, with an average length of nearly 12 inches. The density of legal size bass remains good, with trophy potential also present.

Channel Catfish - This species provides the bulk of the action for most anglers and catches of channel catfish up to and exceeding ten pounds are not uncommon. The channel catfish population at Heidecke is comprised of larger average-size fish with the opportunity to catch a trophy fish a reality. Channel catfish ranked second in terms of totals pounds harvested by anglers based on the 2006 creel survey.

Striped and Hybrid Striped Bass - Rapid growth rates resulting in large size fish and overall tenacity as fighters have made Astripers@ extremely popular with fishermen. While the density of large fish has declined slightly in recent years, catches of 10 to 15 pound-plus fish are not uncommon. Hybrid stripers collected in the fall 2006 survey averaged 17.0 inches and ranged up to nearly 29 inches. Annual stockings of hybrid striped bass (and less-frequent additions of pure striped bass) maintain what has become a trophy fishery. Included in the daily aggregate creel limit of 10 fish are white bass, which in the 2006 survey averaged 12.2 inches and weighed 0.9 pound. Yellow bass, which are also present in good numbers, are not included in the aggregate striper limit.

Walleye - No longer a primary source of walleye broodstock, harvest regulations were relaxed for Heidecke Lake walleye in 1997. This fish provides the bulk of the late spring action for boat and bank anglers alike. Exhibiting excellent growth rates, walleye fingerlings are stocked on an annual basis and provide a fishery which can produce fish close to the ten-pound mark. Collected at all-time high rates in the 2006 survey, walleyes averaged 16 inches and ranged up to 24 inches. An angler favorite, walleye were the most common fish caught based on the results of the 2006 angler creel survey.

Muskellunge - Both hybrid (tiger) muskie and pure muskellunge have been stocked into Heidecke Lake, with the last addition of tigers occurring in 1997. Stocked from 1980-87, pure muskies were stocked once again in 1999 and are now released on a biennial rotation (11-inch fingerlings @ 1/acre). The 2007 spring trap net survey yielded excellent results as the collection of pure muskies increased to more than 1.5 fish per net night of effort. Males accounted for 72.6% of the collection, which lowers the overall average size fish collected in this survey to 35 inches. Several large females were collected which exceeded 44 inches, the largest measuring nearly 47 inches. An up-and-coming fishery which has trophy potential.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

The best carp fishing is from April to September along the shoreline.

Fishing for channel catfish is best from June through September along the shoreline and drift fishing the open water.

Freshwater drum are found most often from April to September along the shoreline, in open water, and near the bridge.

Muskie are best from April to June, September, and October. They are most often found in the creek mouths and riffle areas.

Smallmouth bass are best in May through October along the rip-rap.

Striped and hybrid striped bass are best from April to September. Troll the open water and fish the north arm for them.

Walleye are best from April to June and September. Troll the open water for them, especially the north side.

White bass are found most often in April, May, and September along the shoreline and near the bridge.

Channel Catfish
Smallmouth Bass
Striped Bass
White Bass
Optional Information
Surface area: 
Heidecke Lake
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Boat Rental

    Johnson Boat & Motors Incorporated
  • 510 W Illinois Ave - Morris, IL
  • (815) 942-2939
    Challenger Building Svc Incorporated
  • 1130 E Washington St - Morris, IL
  • (815) 942-3447

Vacation Rental

    Grundy County Rod & Gun Club
  • 6817 Gun Club Rd - Morris, IL
  • (815) 942-9369

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