The Kaskaskia River supports a large variety of game fish as it winds some 300 miles through 22 counties in Illinois. There is a variety of habitats as one fishes the Kaskaskia River Project.  Composed of 36 miles of navigational channel below Fayetteville and the reservoirs of Carlyle Lake and Lake Shelbyville, the river provides many local fishing opportunities.

To that end one can fish for numerous species below the Carlyle Dam. Most popular species for the angler are bass, channel catfish and crappie.  At this time of year of particular interest, and least known, are walleye and sauger.

Saugers populate the tailwaters due to their washing over the dam from the lake. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources stocks millions of fish each year into the lake.  The saugers are in the 2 to 4 pound class.  Just down river below the General Dean suspension bridge is one of the best places to find them.

Successful anglers throw light-colored lures. White, chartreuse or pearl are a good bet.  You can increase your odds by adding a fathead minnow as an extra enticement.

Current is a major factor in fish activity. A steady flow below the spillway is a tip off to active fish.  Fishing along current breaks is a good place to start.  Slack water eddies where they meet faster current and along deeper holes or gravel areas are good bets.

Below the Shelbyville Dam a similar situation exists for the walleye that are in that lake. Those fish are reaching up to 8 pounds.

Weather and river conditions are the basic factors in fish activity. Sauger and walleye are most active in February and March when there is good water flow.


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