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.
November 1 - February 15: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM
February 16 - April 15: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
April 16 - October 31: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
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 songbirds.
Fishing: 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.
Boating: 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.
Picnicking/Camping: 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 trash container.
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 this sign.
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.