One often has Glen O. Jones Lake virtually to himself. Such small lakes are perfect places to experience fishing. There is something peaceful about the whine of a bait casting reel on a hazy summer morning. The line and lure lurch out across the water in search of a bass.

Jones Lake is found in the Saline County Conservation Area about 5 miles southeast of Equality in southeastern Illinois. It contains 1,248 acres including the lake. To reach the park, take Illinois Route 13 five miles east from Harrisburg, Illinois to Route 142. One mile further, turn right and go 5 miles to the entrance of the park.

If traveling from Eldorado, Illinois one can take Route 142 south some 7 miles and turn right at the sign for Saline County Conservation Area. It is five miles to the entrance of the park.

Early settlers came to the area around Saline County Conservation Area in search of salt. The Native Americans had been making salt in the area and had ceded their “Great Salt Springs” to the government by treaty.

Today, anglers ply the waters of Glen O. Jones Lake in the area in search of bass, crappie and bluegills. The lake, named for a local political favorite, is 105 acres with a shoreline of 2.7 miles. The maximum depth is 33 feet.

Anglers fish from shore or boat. There are two docks and two boat ramps as well as boat rentals during the summer. Motor power is limited to 10 horsepower.

Largemouth bass up to 7 pounds prowl these waters. Most are caught on plastic worms but leeches and crickets produce fish in the spring months. Bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie all will take worms in summer and crickets in the spring. Channel catfish can be caught using stink baits and chicken livers all year. Nightcrawlers are best bet in the spring.

Scattered picnic areas with tables and fireplaces are popular. The concession stand provides eats, boat rentals and bait. Camping areas are available without electric hookups. Most of the camping areas are right on the lake. Camping permits are available from site personnel upon arrival at the site.

Although Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologists have found bass in this lake up to 7 pounds, the average is probably 1 or 2 pounds.

Summer action seems to be best on crankbaits, such as Mud Bugs and topwater lures such as the Pop R. The bottom of the lake appears relatively featureless. One can work the wooded shoreline opposite the concession stand and find a number of points and submerged timber.

Redear and crappie are found almost anywhere on the lake. The area around the beaver dam is excellent. The old dam is between the concession stand and the campground. Small minnows, red worms, and pieces of nightcrawlers make good bait. Small white jigs produce for those who insist in artificial lures.

Catfish action is much better during the summer months. Nightcrawlers and dip baits will produce a cat or two.

For more details about this site, contact the Site Superintendent, Saline County Conservation Area, R.R. 1, Box 30, Equality, IL 62934. The phone number is 618 276 4405.

Gone are the salt makers as the cost of production became too high. Today outdoorsmen enjoy the peace and quiet of the area as they fish Glen O. Jones Lake. For the angler in search of a private place this may be just the ticket.



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  1. Has been many years since I have been to the lake and look forward to visiting this spring/summer. Is there no electric hook-up at the camping sites down by the water ????? Also, what is the camping fee per night ??? There will be 4 adults. 1 tent and 1 very small camper. Also, is there water available at the sights ???

    Sherri Maxfield-Lightfoot-Williams
    • Last I heard there is no electric hook ups. I don’t know about the fees. I live so close that I have never camped there. Prefer the comfort of my own bed. I would suggest you call during business hours to get that information from the park. The phone number is 618-276-4405. Hope you have a great trip.

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