Coffeen Lake is an attractive site with a history of providing anglers and hunters great success. The site was opened in 1986 and operates under a long-term lease and management agreement between the Illinois Department. of Natural Resources and Ameren Energy Generating Company. This agreement grants authority to the State to open the lake and certain lands to the public for recreational activities, such as fishing, boating, picnicking and hunting.
The original power company built a 75-foot high earthen dam on a branch of the east Fork of Shoal Creek in 1963. The lake filled by 1966 and now serves as cooling water for the coal-fired Coffeen Power Station. The power station has a generating capacity of 945 megawatts of electricity, with the first unit coming into operation in 1965 and the larger, second unit in 1972. The heated discharge affects 73 percent of the surface water. The cooling loop is 4.1 miles in length.
The oak-hickory forests surrounding Coffeen Lake are representative of the native cover found within the Southern Till Plain Natural Division of central and southern Illinois. Soils are of loess and till, rather light and a characteristic "claypan" can be found. Pre-settlement vegetation was a mixture of 60 percent forest to 40 percent prairie and wetlands. A variety of trees, woodland and prairie plants cover the slopes of the stream valley. Visitors also may find a diverse wildlife community. Muskrats, turtles, herons and mussels are seen in or near the water. Red-tailed hawk, blue jay and dragonfles may be seen overhead. Bobwhite, coyote, white-tailed deer and black rat snake are common to the area.
The Main Access (lower pool) provides a two lane ramp and a newly constructed parking lot with an accessible loading platform and reserved parking stalls. The North Access (upper pool) provides a single lane ramp, an accessible courtesy dock and a parking lot.
Motors of 25 horsepower or less are allowed to operate on the lake. (Boats with larger motors are allowed, but are restricted to trolling motor operation only.) Motors larger than 25 horsepower can be used for loading and unloading a trailered watercraft, provided the watercraft is operated at a no-wake speed within 150 feet of the loading ramp.
Twenty-two species of fish are present in the lake, but most anglers seek largemouth bass, white crappie, channel catfish and striped bass. Coffeen Lake boasts an excellent largemouth bass and channel catfish populations. Coffeen Lake has nearly 50 miles of shoreline and is deeper than most Illinois lakes, averaging nearly 19 feet with a maximum depth of 59 feet. Power plant operations noticeably influences fish activity and fishing success, Considerable opportunities for bank fishing are available at all boat access areas. Posted site specific regulations for bass and crappie are enforced. All fishing tournaments must be scheduled through the site office. Fishing Tournament Schedule - coming soon.
Picnicking, Camping & Concessions
Toilets, drinking water and picnic facilities are available at the main access area. A private campground is located just to the north of the main access area. Bait, supplies and food can be obtained there.
Deer, squirrel, turkey, coyote and waterfowl hunting are allowed. Check site specific regulations at the site office. Site permits are required. Hunter
A controlled aquatic furbearer trapping program allows the harvest of a valued renewable resource. A public drawing is held for site trapping permits the last Saturday of October prior to each trapping season.
Please do you part in maintaining a clean area. Place all litter in the nearest trash container. If you need help or have a question, contact site personnel.
Located in Montgomery County approximately 3 miles east northeast of Donnellson, Illinois and State HWY 127. Approximately 2 miles west southwest of Coffeen, Illinois and State Highway 185.
From Springfield, IL take I 55 South to Hwy 127 south to Hillsboro, IL. Take Hwy 185 east to E. 14th Road, south to N. 4th Avenue, east to Main Access and Office.
From St. Louis, MO take I 70 east to Greenville, IL exit Hwy 127, north to Donnellson. Just north of Donnellson take N. 3rd Avenue, east to Buckeye Trail, north to N. 4th Avenue, east to Main Access and Office.
From Effingham, IL take I 70 west to Vandalia exit, Hwy 185 west to Coffeen, IL, west to Hwy 185 east to E. 14th Road, south to N. 4th Avenue, east to Main Access and Office.
From Decatur, IL take Hwy 48 south to Raymond, IL Hwy 127 south to Hillsboro, IL, Hwy 185 east to E. 14th Road, south to N. 4th Avenue, east to Main Access and Office.
N39° 03. 396 '
W089° 24. 836'
- While groups of 25 or
more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required
to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling
- At least one responsible
adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
- Pets must be kept on
leashes at all times.
- Actions by nature can
result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park
office before you make your trip.
- We hope you enjoy your
stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
- For more information
on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity,
Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.
- Telecommunication Device
for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175
for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.