In Illinois' west central region, situated in Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area, Baldwin Lake provides 2,018 acres of recreational waters, which also serve to cool the coal-burning, power generating plant located in Baldwin, Illinois. Whereas most lakes are reservoirs created by the construction of dams across rivers and creeks, Baldwin Lake is a "perched cooling lake" created by the building of a levee. Because few, if any, tributaries feed the lake, its elevation is maintained by rainfall and pumping water from the Kaskaskia River.
While the Illinois Power Company owns and operates the lake for its own purposes, the Illinois DNR manages the recreational activities and public use areas around the lake including boating, fishing and waterfowl viewing. Picnic facilities include drinking water and flushable toilets.
One of the largest state-run facilities in Illinois, with more than 20,000 acres of wildlife habitat that includes16,000 acres of mature forests, fields and open areas, Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area offers 12 miles of hiking trails and 14,000 acres of hunting grounds.
Baldwin Lake holds the state record for producing the largest channel catfish caught in Illinois. In 1987, Todd Baumeyer's catch weighed 45-pounds four-ounces.
Baldwin Lake is open daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Posted site-specific regulations for largemouth and hybrid striped bass and crappie are enforced.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Fisheries offers "Hook-and-Line" and "Spear/Bow and Arrow" Sport Fishing Awards to recognize anglers for fish caught in Illinois' waters. (See "Resources for this page" to learn more.)
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Baldwin Lake welcomes non-motorized and boats with less than 50 horsepower motors. Such boats include pontoons, small fishing boats and runabouts, canoes, rowboats, kayaks and sailboats.
There are no marinas or concessions available on the lake, but fishing and boating supplies and food services can be found in nearby towns.
Please consult the Lake Resource Guide for information on amenities and more available in the area.
There are no lodging facilities available at Baldwin Lake, but primitive camping is available on land that is adjacent to the Kaskaskia River.
Please consult the Lake Resource Guide for information on lodging and events in the area.
The closest major city to Baldwin Lake is St. Louis, MO. Nearby Illinois cities and towns, each with its own unique offerings, include: Baldwin, Sparta, Red Bud, Belleville and Waterloo. Baldwin Lake flows through parts of Illinois's Randolph and St. Clair counties.
Fun times at Baldwin Lake
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