Evergreen Lake, Illinois, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Illinois - Central -

Also known as:  Evergreen Reservoir

One of Central Illinois’ best-kept secret lies just north of Bloomington: Evergreen Lake. When the growing city needed additional water supply in 1971, Six Mile Creek was dammed to create new Evergreen Lake. Then, needing even more water storage, the dam was enlarged in 1995. The resulting 900-acre reservoir is crowned by 2200-acre Comlara County Park to provide recreational opportunities for everyone. In the 40 years of its existence, Evergreen Lake has developed into one of the favorite fishing and camping destinations in central Illinois. The fishery has been so successful that record game fish are regularly reeled in. With the Bloomington area home to two major universities and two smaller colleges, beautiful Comlara County Park opened up a wealth of recreational activities for the energetic young adults.

Comlara County Park encompasses the entire 22-mile shoreline of Evergreen Lake. Stocked regularly by the Illinois Departtment of Natural Resources, the lake holds black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass,
muskellunge, saugeye (hybrid walleye), smallmouth bass, walleye, white crappie, yellow bass, bullhead and carp. Largemouth bass, musky and saugeye are regularly stocked. Repeatedly, fishermen surveyed claim Evergreen to be their most productive lake. Trophy musky, walleye and bass have been pulled from the waters in recent years. The carp have produced a regular group of bowhunting fans, and discussion is underway to develop a commercial fishery for carp in the future to reduce their numbers.

Comlara Park makes fishing especially easy; the lake has a 10 hp limit on boat motors, with certain areas off-limits to all motors during waterfowl breeding season. Irregularly-shaped with multiple arms and bays, the lake is also a great place for ice fishing. Two boat launch ramps are located on the lake: one within the Comlara Main Recreation Area and another in the White Oak Area. An Evergreen Lake watercraft registration is required on all watercraft, including sailboards. Registrations can be obtained at the Comlara Park Visitor’s Center or at self-registration drop boxes located at the boat launch facilities. The park also rents canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and rowboats with or without a 5 hp motor. A bait shop is also open during the summer months. Several fishing docks allow access for fishing from the shore.

Although the low horsepower limit precludes waterskiing and personal watercraft, visitors enjoy non-motorized water sports such as sailboarding, sailing and paddling. Accessible playgrounds, picnic areas and two swimming areas are provided in addition to a full-service campground. Glasener Beach provides a sand beach, a large area for sun bathing, a giant water umbrella and beach playground. Rental tubes are also available. Reservations are recommended on summer weekends due to the campground’s popularity. Over 20 miles of hiking trails are provided within the park, with some suitable for mountain biking.

Comlara Park management maintains several separate accessible conservation areas surrounding Evergreen Lake, including Deer Island Area, Lake View Area, Mallards Bay Conservation Area, Six Mile Creek Area, Southeast Conservation Area, Southwest Conservation Area and White Oak Area. McLean County Parks & Recreation has worked with outside organizations to improve nesting habitat for a wide range of species including programs for waterfowl nesting and blue-bird houses. Wildlife is abundant and the park is a favorite among photographers. The trails are open year-round for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in some areas.

For visitors who seek more variety during a week’s stay at the campground, nearby Bloomington and Normal hold a wealth of entertainment options. As college towns, there are a number of nightclubs and entertainment venues highly attractive to young adults. The daring can find paintball, indoor rock-climbing facilities and other active sports. The Constitution Trail in Normal is a multi-use trail with over 14 miles of hard surface. The trail is perfect for walking, jogging, rollerblading, biking, cross-country skiing, or strolling. The towns also offer plenty of restaurants, theater events, and cultural activities.

Athletes arrive annually for the Evergreen Lakes Triathlons. The area holds multiple golf courses, a small winery and numerous antique shops and farm markets. Families with children can easily spend days checking out the small amusement park with lots of kiddie rides, miniature golf, the Illinois State University Planetarium, year-round Pepsi Ice Center and the Miller Park Zoo. And those who prefer air conditioning and room service to camping and hot dogs on the grill will find plenty of choices in the city for lodgings, including chain hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and small inns.

There is no available real estate directly on the Evergreen Lake shoreline, but the nearby countryside contains all types of real estate, from existing homes and condos to buildable properties and acreage. Only 135 miles from downtown Chicago and 160 from St Louis, Evergreen Lake is the perfect distance for a close-to-home vacation or seasonal residence. And a weekend fishing or picnicking trip will only take a couple of hours of travel time on good highways. Come check out enjoyable Evergreen Lake next time you’re looking for a weekend break. You’ll soon decide to make Evergreen Lake a regular weekend getaway.

Things to do at Evergreen Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Playground
  • Amusement Park
  • Miniature Golf
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Evergreen Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Saugeye Perch
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • White Crappie
  • Yellow Bass

Evergreen Lake Photo Gallery

Evergreen Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Bloomington

Surface Area: 900 acres

Shoreline Length: 22 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 716 feet

Average Depth: 22 feet

Maximum Depth: 53 feet

Water Volume: 15,480 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1995

Drainage Area: 41 sq. miles

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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