Rend Lake is an 18,000 acre reservoir built to provide a dependable domestic water supply but has been developed to also provide hunting, fishing boating and other recreational opportunities with its marinas, boating, water skiing, camp sites, nature trails, golf, picnicking, swimming, fishing, and hunting is one of the premier vacation spots in Southern Illinois.  Being a relatively shallow reservoir, it is productive for sport and commercial fisherman alike.  All species of fish that are common in southern Illinois can be found at Rend Lake.  With an abundance of large crappie and channel catfish, the odds are in your favor.

Rend Lake has nearly 20,000 acres of public land available for large hunting and non-hunting wildlife areas.  Not only will you see many types of ducks & geese, but the cranes, herons and even an eagle once in a while.  Black pelicans make a stop here during their migrations.  Deer are seen everywhere as well as raccoons, fox and opossums.

More information can be found by calling Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Wayne Fitzgerald State Park, 11094 Ranger Road, Whittington, IL  62897    Phone (618) 629-2320

Carlyle Lake is the largest man-made lake within Illinois with 26,000 acres of water and 11,000 acres of land offering tremendous recreational opportunities.  Well known to sailors as one of the best and most challenging lakes for sailboats, the lake was host for the 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival Sailing Competition.  There are sailing races almost every weekend through the summer.  Boats and watercraft of all types are suitable for use on the lake.

You can go fishing for bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, walleye, sauger or more than 30 other species.  The tailwater (below the dam) is the most productive fishing area in Illinois, producing 3,260 lbs. of fish per water acre.  The state record flathead catfish and white bass have been caught in the spillway.

There’s swimming beaches, camping areas, including two state parks, golf courses, great restaurants, and the kind of hospitality that’s a prize catch indeed.

Carlyle Lake is also known as one of the top waterfowl hunting areas in the state.  From Nov.-Jan. there is a controlled pheasant hunt at Eldon Hazlet State Park.  The Department of Natural Resources also provides opportunities for hunting white-tailed deer, turkeys, squirrels, bobwhite quail, rabbits and mourning doves.  Trapping is permitted after the duck season.

For additional information please call the Carlyle Lake Project office for a 24-hour recorded message.  (618) 594-4637.

Stephen A. Forbes State Park   Picture yourself on the banks of a beautiful lake, surrounded by shady oaks and rolling hills.  The presence of a graceful heron on the water, or deer or even a wild turkey in the nearby brush may be visible.  A tug on the fishing line and you are reeling in the first of your limit of largemouth bass, bluegill or crappie.  Later, you have your choice of swimming, hiking, playing softball or volleyball, boating or water skiing.

The 585 acre lake with 18 miles of shoreline provides ample opportunities to the sport fisherman.  The lake has been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, crappie, channel catfish, hybrid-striped bass, tiger muskie, and walleye sauger hybrid.  Largemouth bass are stocked annually from brood ponds located in the park.  This, combined with a 14-inch size limit, has created excellent bass fishery.

Boat ramps provide easy access to the main lake.  There is no limit on horsepower, but various sections of the lake are marked by buoys for water skiing and “no wake” speeds.  The concession offers fishing boats for rental.  Bait, tackle, gas, snacks and meals are also available.  Slips are available to rent for pontoon boats and smaller craft on a daily and seasonal basis.

Over 2,000 acres of land are available for the hunter.  Dove hunters will find specially planted sunflower fields to be very helpful in attracting these birds.  The heavily wooded areas also provide very good squirrel hunting.  Brushy draws and fence rows provide excellent habitat for upland game such as quail and rabbit.  Turkey and deer (bow only) hunting is also available.

For additional information please call the Site Superintendent (618) 547-3381.

Salem is centrally located and has accommodations available at the Comfort Inn, 1800 West Main, (618) 548-2177, Continental Motel, 1600 East Main, (618) 548-3090, Guesthouse International, 1812 West Main, (618) 548-4212, and Super 8, 118 Woods Lane, (618) 548-5882.  RV sites are also available at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Salem.  (618) 548-1251

If you are interested in recreational transportation, Little Egypt Golf Cars has a large selection of new and previously owned golf cars for sale and two, three and four seat golf cars and four wheelers for rent.  (618) 548-2366

For other recreational vehicles, ATVs and More has one of the largest selections of new and previously owned ATVs, motorcycles, street and dirt bikes and jet skis in Illinois, at excellent prices.  (618) 548-1360.

If the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce can be of further assistance, please call (618) 548-3010 or e-mail