Kellart Lake, Illinois, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Illinois - Central -

For a select and lucky few, Kellart Lake is a scenic and peaceful retreat. An hour and a half from Chicago, 45 minutes from Bloomington, Champaign and Kankakee, and two miles from Cissna Park in southeast Illinois, this 65-acre lake provides a tree-lined paradise in the middle of remote Iroquois County.

Kellart Lake is a private lake community. Private residential real estate and a few vacation rentals surround the park-like shoreline. Access to the lake is restricted to property owners and renters. Boating and fishing are the main recreational activities. Drop in a line from your own dock or motor out to the deeper water where white bass, largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill and even bowfin are biting. Motorboats up to 9.9 horsepower are allowed, but pontoon boats are a more common site on the deep, blue water. Pontoon boats make great fishing boats as well as floating islands for family and neighborly get togethers. Jet skis and similar personal watercraft are not permitted on the lake, but swimming from shore or off the back of a boat is encouraged. Many areas of the lake are no-wake zones, providing excellent opportunities for canoeists and kayakers. A small island only ads to the charm of this sparkling lake.

Visitors to Kellart Lake looking for additional fishing holes will find over 48 locations in the surrounding rolling hills of Iroquois County. Bayles Lake, Iroquois Lake, Widner Lake, Fish Lake, Kam Lake, Miller Spring Lake, Gaffield Creek, and Prairie Creek are just a few locations where you can cast for largemouth bass, crappie, panfish and record-size channel catfish. Note: Although most fish taken from Illinois lakes and streams are safe to eat, refer to the Illinois Fish Advisory (link below) before eating fish caught from any Illinois waterway.

South of Kellart Lake is the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve with 1,600 acres of hardwood forests and grassy meadows. Abundant in hiking and nature trails, the preserve contains one of the region’s premier Waterfowl Management Areas, and also a large campground complete with a swimming beach and electrical hookups. Fishing in one of three small ponds or the Middle Fork River will appeal to anglers of all ages. Boat rentals, cross-country skiing, picnicking, and educational programs are also offered in the park.

North of Kellart Lake, Kankakee River State Park sits on 4,000 scenic acres and features the Kankakee River running through it. The Kankakee River provides anglers with many opportunities for catching largemouth bass, catfish, northern pike, and walleye. Equestrian trails cover 12 miles of the park. An equestrian campground as well as a riding stable for horse rentals and guided tours can be found in the park. During winter months, trails are used for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Other activities at the park include biking, camping, canoeing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, and wildlife observation.

The Iroquois County State Wildlife Area lies northeast of Kellart Lake and covers 2,480 acres of prairie marsh and sand dune vegetation. The park is well known for its hiking and snowmobile trails along with picnic areas, archery range, hand trap range, dog training areas, and hunting. In addition to supporting huntable populations of deer and small game, the wildlife area is home to numerous non-game birds and mammals. During migration season, the marshes fill up with waterfowl and an occasional, rare sandhill crane.

Towns closest to Kellart Lake include Cissna Park, Buckley, Wellington, Woodland and Milford. The area’s agri-tourism invites visitors to experience Iroquois County’s working farms, where you can pick berries and buy fresh produce in the summer, enjoy hay rides and harvest festivals in the fall, and sip some hot cocoa after a winter sleigh ride. The historical downtown “Main Street” also provides a hometown atmosphere with numerous small shops and eating destinations.

Kellart Lake offers the unique opportunity to enjoy gloriously remote attractions, festivals, and the sights and sounds of central Illinois while still providing a quiet and exclusive lakeside retreat. Perfect for retirees, permanent or weekender residents, this jewel of a lake is not to be overlooked when a vacation rental or real estate property becomes available.

Things to do at Kellart Lake

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish species found at Kellart Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Bowfin
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Kellart Lake Photo Gallery

    Kellart Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Kellart Lake Lot Owners Association

    Surface Area: 65 acres

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 656 feet

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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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