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Lake Shelbyville

Lake Shelbyville, located in central Illinois within 23,000 acres of land, which comprises the Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area, offers 11,100 acres of recreational waters surrounded by beaches, hiking trails, marinas, boat ramps, and over 1500 campsites. Lake Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area offers terrain conducive to hunting and fishing, which is the primary purpose of the area.

Lake Shelbyville extends about 17 miles from the Shelbyville Dam to the cities of Bethany and Sullivan with islands, inlets, coves and peninsulas that create its 250-mile shoreline. The US Army Corps of Engineers manages the lake while the Illinois Department of Natural Resources manages the wildlife area.

Two state parks, Wolf Creek State Park and Eagle Creek State Park, border much of Lake Shelbyville. Marinas, resorts and campgrounds are easily found on Lake Shelbyville, although shoreline development has been kept to a minimum to allow for spectacular views of the lake's natural beauty.


While Bassmaster Magazine selected Lake Shelbyville as one of the best bass fishing lakes in Illinois, there are abundant populations of trophy-sized bluegill, walleye, channel catfish, muskie and crappie. In cooperation with the local Department of Natural Resources, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains sizeable fish populations in all these species.

Lake Shelbyville has produced some of Illinois' largest fish in many species. The record white bass weighed four-pounds two-ounces; the largest catfish was 48 inches long and weighed 62-pounds ten-ounces, the record largemouth bass weighed eight-pounds five-ounces and the record size muskie weighed 38-pounds eight-ounces.

Anglers will find six boat launching ramps designed for small fishing boats conveniently located around the lake.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Fisheries offers "Spear/Bow and Arrow" and "Hook-and-Line" Sport-Fishing Awards to recognize anglers for fish caught in Illinois' waters. (Click link at the bottom right for details.)


  Search Lake Shelbyville Resources
    Lake Shelbyville Illinois Coordinates:
39.47167N -88.7139W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
11,000 acres
Maximum Depth:
67 ft
600 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3-6 ft
Major City:


Lake Shelbyville welcomes all boat and motor types and sizes all year round with no horsepower restrictions. Lake Shelbyville is deeper than most other major lakes in Illinois, which makes it especially popular with boaters. Although there are several boat launch ramps around the lake, most of these are designated for smaller fishing boats. Visitors with large boats must use the access areas available at the marinas, state parks or Army Corps of Engineers' sites.

Three marinas offer slip rentals, boat sales and services and a store from where to purchase supplies. Picnic areas, trails and boat rentals can all be found around Lake Shelbyville.There are also five (5) man-made beaches around the lake for sunbathers.


Lake Shelbyville lodging options include campsites in eight public campgrounds. Eagle Creek Resort, a lodge at Eagle Creek State Park provides overnight accommodations and an 18-hole golf course.

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


Illinois' closest major city to Lake Shelbyville is Springfield. Nearby cities and towns, each with its own unique offerings, include: Shelbyville, Mattoon, Effingham, Findlay, Sullivan, Bethany, Decatur and Charleston. Lake Shelbyville flows through parts of Moultrie and Shelby counties.

Fun times at Lake Shelbyville  Lake Shelbyville

  Lake Shelbyville   Lake Shelbyville

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  35 Avg. High  40 Avg. High  52 Avg. High  65 Avg. High  74 Avg. High  83 Avg. High  86 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  79 Avg. High  67 Avg. High  52 Avg. High  38
Avg. Low  20 Avg. Low  24 Avg. Low  33 Avg. Low  43 Avg. Low  54 Avg. Low  62 Avg. Low  66 Avg. Low  64 Avg. Low  56 Avg. Low  45 Avg. Low  35 Avg. Low  24