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Dawson Lake

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Latest Dawson Lake Report

WATER CONDITIONS: The water levels are down some. The fall season has arrived. Plan to go fishing soon! Crappie ... Fair; But small on minows.... Continued

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Dawson Lake is a Reservoir in McLean, Illinois.

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Dawson Lake is a 158 acre lake located in Moraine View State Recreation Area in McLain County. The lake is regularly stocked with channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, bullhead, crappie, walleye, yellow perch and northern pike. The lake offers anglers plenty of opportunities for quality bass and catfish fishing.

Fishing Description: 

Dawson Lake has excellent fishing throughout the late spring and summer (and into early fall) for catfish, walleye, sauger, redear sunfish, bluegill, and carp. Largemouth bass are available from March to November and can get up to 3 pounds.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Largemouth bass are found in the stump and weed beds and along the points and channels.
Channel catfish are plentiful and best found in the flats and points at night. They average over 2.3 pounds in the lake.
Walleye and sauger are best in the points and dropoffs.
Redear sunfish are found in the spawn beds and weed beds.
Bluegills are found in the weed beds and the backs of coves.
Carp are best along the shoreline and in the beds.

Facilities and Parks: 

There are eight picnic areas in shaded spots, with tables and fireplaces. Additionally, there are five picnic shelters, three available for reservations and two for first-come, first-serve use. Also, there are four playground areas for the kids.

A concession stand, located near the boat dock and launch, offers dock and boat rental, fishing tackle, bait, refreshments and various supplies. A restaurant, seating 60, serves breakfast and lunch daily.


There are 137 Class A trailer campsites with electricity and a sanitary station. Water is available in several locations in the campground. Sixty-one sites can now be reserved in Gander Bay campground.

Catfish Bay camp area and Tall Timber backpack trail provide 32 primitive class D sites. Ol' Orchard group camp has two sites able to accommodate 125 people. Timber Ridge group camp has 3 sites. Timberline Ridge horse camp has 30 Class "A" campsites complete with water, electricity, and hitching racks.

Boat Ramp: 

There is a two-lane launching ramp and docking facility and boat rentals are available at the concession stand.


27374 Moraine View Park Rd.
LeRoy, IL 61752

Directions to Lake: 

From I 74, Exit #149 at LeRoy. Follow signs into LeRoy. Turn left on US 150 to Casey General Store. Turn Right on LeRoy-Lexington blacktop (County Hwy. 21). North to sign (Moraine View State Park), next Right. Follow road into park, past main entrance to flagpole.

Dawson Lake
Waterbody type: 
United States
Surface area: 
Standard elevation: