Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk, Illinois, USA

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USA - Midwest - Illinois - Western -

Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk, located southwest of Peoria, Illinois, is a shining example of thoughtful land restoration. The 154-acre private lake is part of an upscale residential development containing more than 40 lakes in Illinois’ Western tourism region.

Fulton County, Illinois, home of Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk, lies between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Native Americans raised corn on the rich bottomlands as far back as 700 years ago. Early European trappers hunted beaver in the tributaries and eventually built cabins, dammed streams and built mills. Progress conquered the vast wetlands, tamed the seasonal floods, and eventually began to mine the area for the coal needed in a growing industrial age. By 1920, mining for coal had begun, stripping the topsoil off the rolling hills. Due to the area’s high water table, the mined pits began to fill with water. The pond that became Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk was enlarged by damming Putt Creek for coal sluicing. Harold Truax, partner in the Truax-Traer Mining Company, felt a responsibility to restore the land. By 1935, he was stocking the ponds with bass and leveling the landscape. His son, Glenn Truax, developed the lakes he called Wee-Ma-Tuk Hills, meaning “Land of Many Lakes” or “Lake in the Hills.”

Today, Wee-Ma-Tuk Hills contains 42 lakes. Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk is the largest at 154 acres; many other lakes are less than 20 acres. The country club was one of the first building projects in the new development, complete with a 9-hole golf course. The clubhouse, built in 1956, overlooked the swimming beach. The richly-appointed bar and dining room provided the venue for bands, parties and club member events. Lots were platted and sold and building began. Properties are spacious, allowing for privacy and large lawns. The development has been expanded to include an 18-hole golf course and a swimming pool. A tobogganing run, ice skating area and snowmobile trail are provided for residents. The old earthen dam was replaced with a modern structure for safety, and an overflow retention pond added to alleviate flooding in rainy years. Each homeowner pays a minimal amount for dam maintenance to the We-Ma-Tuk Hills Drainage District annually.

Fishing at Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk is excellent with catches of yellow bass, warmouth, green sunfish, flathead catfish, redear sunfish, bluegill, black crappie, white crappie, muskellunge, largemouth bass, channel catfish and walleye. The original bass fishery begun in 1935 is still healthy and is supplemented by regular fish stocking by the Wee-Ma-Tuk Landowners Association. Recent water testing shows the water to be of above-average quality, and association members remain continually vigilant to maintain water quality.

Power boating and watersports are favorite warm-weather activities, although some restrictions apply. Outboard motors, houseboats, and boats with cabins are not permitted on Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk. Motors must be less than 125 horsepower. Boats up to 18 feet and pontoons up to 24 feet are allowed. The speed limit is 40 miles per hour. All boats must have a current sticker from the Association. No wake zones are marked. The many coves and arms are a joy to explore via canoe or kayak. All other lakes in the Wee-Ma-Tuk Hills development are limited to trolling motors only. There is no public lake access or public boat ramp.

Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk is removed from busy city traffic. The closest Interstate highway passes through Peoria 20 miles to the northeast. The location hardly forces isolation, however. The small city of Canton is less than five miles from Wee-Ma-Tuk Hills. This city of 15,000 offers daily shopping, arts and crafts galleries, restaurants and public parks, including one on Canton Lake. Other park amenities include multiple baseball fields and softball fields, tennis courts and basketball courts, disc golf, playgrounds, a swim facility and a designated SCUBA diving lake. Peoria offers ‘big-city’ shopping, a variety of arts venues, and historical buildings and museums. The Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive begins in London Mills, approximately 18 miles north of Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk, and winds through picturesque villages along the Spoon River. The Spoon River Fall Festival brings many visitors each autumn to follow the scenic drive where they will be met by guides dressed in period costumes who demonstrate 19th century skills and crafts. Twenty miles south of Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk, Dickson Mounds Museum, a National Historic Site and branch of the Illinois State Museum, is a major on-site archaeological museum. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of tNative Americans in an inspiring journey through 12,000 years of history in the Illinois River Valley. Nearby in Bryant, the Fulton County Playhouse produces performances in a converted barn. The non-profit Playhouse is dedicated to providing theatrical experience to locals while offering entertainment to area visitors.

Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk real estate is available both lakefront and on the golf course. Come explore this unique lakefront community. Wouldn’t you like to live here, too?

Things to do at Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pool
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Snowmobiling
  • Tobogganing
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Warmouth
  • White Crappie
  • Yellow Bass

Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk Photo Gallery

    Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: We-Ma-Tuk Hills Drainage District

    Surface Area: 154 acres

    Shoreline Length: 8 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 601 feet

    Maximum Depth: 25 feet

    Completion Year: 1959

    Drainage Area: 19 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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