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Clinton Lake

Clinton Lake, nestled within the 9,950-acre Clinton State Recreation Area (SRA) three miles east of Clinton in central Illinois, provides over 4,754 acres of inviting waters for year-round recreation. Built in the 1970s as a cooling source for Clinton Nuclear Power Generating Station, the lake opened to the public in 1978.

Although fishing has been its main attraction, a wide selection of recreational opportunities are available at Clinton Lake, which include picnicking, hiking, camping, boating, water skiing, horseback riding and hunting for upland game.

A white-sand beach at Clinton Lake designated for swimmers and sunbathers is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week, when weather permits. The beach includes changing rooms with showers and restrooms, but no lifeguards are present. While swimming is permitted in other areas of the lake, swimming within 100 yards of bridges, boat docks or ramps is prohibited.

Located close to the beach is a full-service concession offering a menu of sandwiches, snacks, beverages and its ever-popular fish dinner. The concession also sells bait, camping supplies, firewood, ice, and boats can be rented from there.

For winter fun, Clinton Lake offers cross country ski facilities and snowmobiling is allowed when conditions allow.


Clinton Lake is well-known as one of the best lakes in Illinois for catching catfish and other gamefish. Some of the best fishing spots are in the upper arms of the lake, on the banks adjacent to the bridges and in the spillway. These areas yield large numbers of good-sized walleye, hybrid and pure stripers, crappie and catfish. Other areas of Clinton Lake provide good populations of large and smallmouth bass, white bass and bluegill. Anglers enjoy reeling fish in from the Old Creek channels or submerged flats..

Site-specific size and creel limits are in effect for most species.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Fisheries offers "Spear/Bow and Arrow" and "Hook-and-Line" Sport-Fishing Awards to recognize anglers for the fish they caught in Illinois' waterways. (Click Link at right to learn more)


  Search Clinton Lake Resources
    Clinton Lake Illinois Coordinates:
40.1389N -88.8765W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
4,754 acres
Maximum Depth:
48 ft
690 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
4 ft
Major City:


Clinton Lake welcomes all boat and motor types and sizes on its main body and sailboating is especially popular. The lake gets rough when the wind blows hard, so small watercraft are encouraged to stick to the north fork. Clinton Lake is a No Wake Zone from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise. The upper arm of the lake is always a No-Wake Zone and some areas are reserved for electric trolling motors only.

Six (6) public boat launch ramps, a canoe launch ramp and a handicapped-accessible pier in the Mascoutin access area are available for easy access to the lake. The Dockside Marina provides boat rentals and a full-service bait and tackle shop. All DNR ramps are now equipped with wheelchair accessible boat docks.


The Clinton Lake SRA provides over 300 campsites, most of which are equipped with a picnic table, a grill, and are easily adapted for use by tents, RVs and campers.

Weldon Springs State Park has 78 campsites equipped with electricity and water and providing vehicle access, a sanitary dumping station, a shower building, cooking grills, picnic tables and playground equipment. Primitive campsites are provided along Salt Creek.

Please consult theLake Resource Guide for information about other lodging options available in nearby towns.


Illinois's closest major city to Clinton Lake is Bloomington. Nearby cities and towns, each with its own unique offerings, include: Decatur, Weldon, DeWitt, Lincoln, Champaign, and Farmer City. Clinton Lake flows through parts of DeWitt County.

Fun times at Clinton Lake  Clinton Lake

  Clinton Lake   Clinton Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  33 Avg. High  39 Avg. High  49 Avg. High  61 Avg. High  73 Avg. High  82 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  84 Avg. High  78 Avg. High  65 Avg. High  49 Avg. High  36
Avg. Low  16 Avg. Low  20 Avg. Low  29 Avg. Low  39 Avg. Low  51 Avg. Low  60 Avg. Low  63 Avg. Low  61 Avg. Low  53 Avg. Low  40 Avg. Low  31 Avg. Low  21