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Lake Activities

From the beginning, Lake Springfield was intended to serve not only as the domestic water supply for Springfield's residents and as cooling water for the power plants, but also as a recreation outlet for Central Illinois. A variety of water sports—boating, fishing and swimming—can be enjoyed here.


Boats allowed on Lake Springfield include canoes, motorboats, pontoons, rowboats and sailboats. Personal watercraft, such as jet skis, are also allowed. Boats and craft of any kind with mast heights of more than 35 feet may be used, kept or stored only on the central basin and central basin marginal land.

Boating is not permitted in the vicinity of Spaulding Dam. A line of "no boat" buoys places this area off limits to boats.

All boats and other types of watercraft propelled, kept or used on the lake's reservoir or stored or kept on the marginal land must be registered and licensed in accordance with City of Springfield and State of Illinois requirements.
More Information about Boating


About 15 sport fish species can be caught in Lake Springfield. Fishing is allowed either from boats on the water or from any public portion of the shoreline. All fishers and their lines must remain at least 35 feet away from any leased residential property unless permission to fish closer has been given by the lease-holder. Fishing is NOT allowed from the shoreline of Lincoln Memorial Garden. More information about regulations relating to fishing on Lake Springfield can be found by clicking the button below.

For the convenience of fishers, there are two posted public fishing areas: at the Dividing Dam and the Sunset View Fishing Area (on East Lake Drive just south of the zoo turnoff). In addition, there is an unposted fishing pier between East and West Tom Madonia Parks, which is also designed for persons with disabilities.
More Information about Fishing


Swimming and wading are permitted in Lake Springfield only in designated areas. Rules and regulations regarding this type of water activity must be followed at all times. CWLP has the authority to prohibit these activities at any time in order to prevent pollution or injury to the lake or to prevent disease or danger to human life.
More Information about Swimming