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Heidecke Lake

Heidecke Lake, originally built as a perched cooling lake for the Collins Power Generating Plant, which now is owned and operated by Midwest Generation, is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) as a recreational waterway. The Heidecke Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area is managed by the IDNR for fishing and hunting. They do provide picnic areas.

About an hour's drive from downtown Chicago, Heidecke Lake offers 1,950 acres of prosperous fishing waters contained by a 17-mile shoreline, the eastern side of which is ideal for bank fishing. With its vulnerability to high winds, Heidecke Lake is not suitable for water skiing, swimming, wading, sailboating or riding of personal watercraft.


This man-made lake is home to potential trophy-sized smallmouth bass, along with striped bass, muskie and walleye. Channel catfish commonly weigh more than 10 pounds and largemouth bass are becoming more populated. Open daily from 6 a.m. till sunset from April 1 until ten days before the start of the waterfowl season, Heidecke Lake is a paradise for anglers looking for a diverse fishing experience. The bank fishing area, available on the lake's eastern side is handicapped accessible and features a fishing pier with no barriers.

Please practice catch and release and abide the special fishing regulations in place for Heidecke Lake. A summary can be found here.

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. (Click Link at right to learn more.)

Search Heidecke Lake Resources
Heidecke Lake Illinois Coordinates:
41.3748N -88.3456W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Perched Cooling Lake
Surface Area:
1,955 acres
Maximum Depth:
60 ft
495 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
1-2 ft
Major City:


While Heidecke Lake has no horsepower restrictions, all boats must have gasoline-powered motors as their main source of propulsion. Large boats with high wind shields, on the other hand, might not be able to access the northern part of the lake because of a railroad trestle.

Boaters must consider that Heidecke Lake is a perched lake, which makes it vulnerable to high winds thereby creating hazardous conditions, especially for small boats. Purposely designed to maximize wind in the Illinois River Valley, Heidecke Lake is unsafe for non-powered boats. Only boats being used for fishing or waterfowl hunting are allowed on the lake.

There is no charge for launching your boat on Heidecke Lake.


Since the lake is open during daylight hours on a seasonal basis, there are no campgrounds or other lodging facilities around the lake or at the Heidecke Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area.

Please consult the Lake Resource Guide for information on available lodging and events in the area.


Illinois' closest major city to Heidecke Lake is Chicago. Nearby cities and towns, each with its own unique offerings, include: Morris, Joliet, Plainfield, Ottawa and New Lenox. Heidecke Lake flows through parts of Grundy County.

Fun times at Heidecke Lake Heidecke Lake

Heidecke Lake Heidecke Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High 30 Avg. High 35 Avg. High 47 Avg. High 61 Avg. High 73 Avg. High 83 Avg. High 85 Avg. High 83 Avg. High 76 Avg. High 64 Avg. High 48 Avg. High 35
Avg. Low 13 Avg. Low 18 Avg. Low 29 Avg. Low 39 Avg. Low 50 Avg. Low 59 Avg. Low 63 Avg. Low 61 Avg. Low 53 Avg. Low 41 Avg. Low 31 Avg. Low 19