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Lake Decatur

Lake Decatur is the largest lake on the Sangamon River, providing over 2,900 acres of resourceful water to the city of Decatur. Owned and operated by the City of Decatur, the man-made lake provides a source of tap water for the people and industry of Decatur, Illinois. In fact, most of the water from this lake is used in the processing of corn products and ethanol. While nearly three-fourths of Lake Decatur's waters are used for industrial and commercial purposes, the lake provides swimming, boating and fishing opportunities, as well.

Sections of the lake's 30-mile shoreline define borders for the Scovill Zoo as well as Faries Park and Nelson Park, which are two of Decatur's largest municipal parks.


Bass, crappie and walleye are among the heartiest of the fish which inhabit Lake Decatur's waters. Anglers rarely leave this lake unsatisfied.

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 here for details.)


  Search Lake Decatur Resources
    Lake Decatur Illinois Coordinates:
39,8624N -88.9565W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
2,905 acres
Maximum Depth:
22 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
0-1 ft
Major City:


Boats must be registered before launching on Lake Lou. Daily permits can be purchased in the Nelson Park Lake Patrol Office. To check the rates, click here.

There are five public boat launching ramps located around the lake in both parks, at the Sportsman's Club and on Lost Bridge and Country Club Roads.


There are no lodging or camping facilities available on the lake or in the Fish and Wildlife Area.

Please consult the Lake Resource Guide for information on nearby lodging options and events in the surrounding area.


Illinois's closest major city to Lake Decatur is Decatur. Nearby cities and towns, each with its own unique offerings, include: Taylorville, Lincoln, Springfield, Mattoon, Chatham, Champaign, Urbana, Mt Zion, Forsythe and Bloomington. Lake Decatur flows through parts of Macon County.

Fun times at Lake Decatur  Lake Decatur

  Lake Decatur   Lake Decatur

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  36 Avg. High  41 Avg. High  53 Avg. High  66 Avg. High  76 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  88 Avg. High  86 Avg. High  80 Avg. High  68 Avg. High  53 Avg. High  39
Avg. Low  19 Avg. Low  23 Avg. Low  32 Avg. Low  43 Avg. Low  53 Avg. Low  62 Avg. Low  66 Avg. Low  64 Avg. Low  56 Avg. Low  45 Avg. Low  34 Avg. Low  23