Baldwin Lake, located within the Kaskaskia
River State Fish and Wildlife Area, is a 2,018-acre perched cooling
lake in Randolph and St. Clair Counties near Baldwin, Illinois.
The lake is owned by the Illinois Power Company and is leased to
the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to manage for public
recreational use. Fishing, boating, waterfowl viewing, picnicking,
and other activities are currently available. The site is open from 6am to 7pm.
Power plant operation noticeably
influences fish activity and fishing success. Fishes in Baldwin
Lake experience a longer growing season than do those in surrounding
lakes, therefore growth rates are accelerated for certain species.
Fishing at Baldwin Lake is good year round and is very popular during
the winter months. Warm water areas of the lake may have temperatures
in the 60's even in late January.
To maintain a stable elevation throughout
the year, water from the nearby Kaskaskia River is pumped into the
lake periodically. The lake averages a depth of 8 feet, however
old creek channels and ponds provide areas of 20 to 50 feet in depth.
Baldwin Lake and the adjoining lands
are designated as a waterfowl and wildlife refuge. During the winter,
peak populations of 10,00 geese and 20,000 ducks may be seen on
the area. Waterfowl viewing is a popular activity along the waterfowl
refuge drive. There are approximately 200 resident giant Canada
geese on the area which nest on the lake levees. Broods of goslings
may be seen on the area beginning in late April. Various other species
of wildlife may also be observed along the refuge drive including
white-tailed deer, shorebirds, wild turkeys, hawks, and various
Excellent fishing opportunities exist for both the boat and bank
angler. Posted site specific regulations for largemouth bass, hybrid
striped bass, and crappie are enforced. For safety and management
purposes, restricted areas are posted and enforced on the lake and
along the shoreline. While no concession is present on the site,
bait, tackle, and food services are available nearby. All fishing
tournaments must be scheduled through the site office.
A two-lane launching ramp, boat docks, and parking lot are provided.
Motors of 50 horsepower or less are allowed. Sailboating, swimming,
and waterskiing are prohibited. Due to the open nature of the lake,
boat and water safety are urged, particularly on windy days.
Toilets, drinking water, and picnic facilities are available on
the site. Primitive camping is permitted on lands adjacent to the
Kaskaskia River. Please check with the Site Superintendent for locations
and access information.
Please: This area is for all
to enjoy, so help keep it clean. Put all trash in the nearest available
To reach the Site Headquarters from the
south one would access State Hwy. 154 and go to the town of Baldwin.
In Baldwin turn north on 5th Street and travel 4 miles, passing the
Illinois Power generating facility. At the intersection of 5th Street
and Risdon School Road, turn west (left) and travel one mile to the
park entrance gate. Turn left at the gate and follow the black top
road to the site office sign. The site office is 1/4 mile south of
To reach the Site Headquarters from
the north one would access State Hwy. 13 and travel toward the village
of New Athens. While on Hwy. 13 look for the "Baldwin Lake" Highway
sign and turn south. Travel this blacktop road for 5 miles to the
intersection of Risdon School Road and turn west (right). Travel
on mile to the park entrance gate. Turn left at the gate and follow
the black top road to the site office sign. The site office is 1/4
mile south of this sign.