Frequently Asked Questions

How / When Was Lake Carroll Formed?

Original plans for Lake Carroll started in 1971, with construction starting in 1972. The site for the lake was chosen due to the peaceful, gently rolling hills and valleys in the foothills of the driftless region. The lake, after filling, became a 640-acre recreational oasis, in the heart of a 14,426-acre watershed with nearly 7 miles of streams providing a constant supply of water to the lake.

Who Can Boat or Fish on the Lake?

Lake Carroll is a private community and boating and fishing is open to members, and their guests only. To fish, the member needs to be present with their guest and Illinois law requires a valid fishing license for all anglers fishing at Lake Carroll.

What Kinds of Boats Are Allowed on the Lake?

Lake Carroll allows a diverse boating opportunity from kayaking to surfboats or sailboats to pontoons. Our rules and regulations allow for runabouts, ski boats, bass boats and deck boats of 21 feet or less, while sailboats are required to be 24 feet or less and pontoons 25 feet or less. Follow this link to our rules and regulations for more information. Before purchasing a boat, we suggest you work with the Lake Carroll Staff to ensure your purchase is allowed on the lake.

Fishing At Lake Carroll

Lake Carroll has a diverse fishery for virtually all interest groups from the trophy fisherperson to the “worm and bobber” recreational fisher. We have a population of naturally spawning native species and for those species not spawning naturally in the lake, we have a robust annual fish stocking program.

Along with the stocking program, Lake Carroll is home to a private fish hatchery where adult walleye are collected each spring and spawned. The fry from this effort are released into the lake and raised in grow out ponds to be put back into the lake at 6” to 8” in the fall of the year.

Anglers can expect to catch a variety of panfish, including black or white crappie, bluegill, and yellow perch. The fishery is well known for its healthy population of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass with average bass caught in the 3-pound range. Walleye are annually stocked through the hatchery operation and the purchase of supplemental walleye from surrounding suppliers in Illinois and Wisconsin.

For the discerning angler, Lake Carroll is home to trophy muskie, stocked annually to help control the large gizzard shad population. These elusive muskie can grow to record size here at Lake Carroll.

Shore Fishing Opportunities

Anglers do not need a boat to enjoy fantastic fishing at Lake Carroll. There are shore fishing opportunities around the lake at both East and West marinas as well as the 3-tubes are in the North East corner of the lake.

What Services are Available at the Marina?

The West Marina provides members and their guests the opportunity to refuel boats, jet skis, and bait buckets. Members can also quench their thirst with a variety of bottled soft drinks, ice cream and snacks.

How is the Water Quality?

Lake Carroll continually works to monitor and maintain water quality. Lake Management works diligently to develop and administer sediment and nutrient reduction programs that keep our lake from ‘aging’.

In 2017, we developed a Lake Improvement Program that funded over $2.3 million towards maintaining our water quality. This included sediment reduction programs, dredging projects, and a US EPA 319 9-points watershed plan for our area. All of which focus on non-point source pollution reduction.

Wildlife at Lake Carroll

Wildlife abounds at Lake Carroll with opportunities to witness, deer, bobcats, foxes, and many species of predatory and song birds. The openness of our landscape with large lots of open grass and woodlands affords wildlife many opportunities to cohabitate with our community.

We actively manage wildlife to minimize human and animal conflict as well as maintain a healthy animal community. One way we do this is by allowing controlled bowhunting for whitetail deer. This program is open to all members of the community.

Along with the normal larger wildlife we see, we manage several larger tracts of natural prairies. One of our prairies is a remnant of prairies from long ago that is home to a federally endangered Rusty-Patch Bumblebee. Our Prairie Club is integral to the viability of these prairies.