New Update !!! May 20, 2016
Friends of SLSP Receives
$12,000 Grant from the DeKalb County Foundation!!!
The Friends of Shabbona Lake State Park organization was awarded a $12,000.00 grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation to repair the largemouth bass rearing pond at Shabbona Lake State Park. The 5 acre rearing pond was originally built in the early 1990’s. The rearing pond is vital to maintaining the fishery at Shabbona Lake, which is known as the Best Fishing Lake in Illinois, attracting over 475,000 visitors annually.
The purpose of the rearing pond is to allow small fingerling fish to grow to juvenile adult size. Predator fish feed on the young of the year fingerlings. By keeping the fingerlings in the rearing pond, it allows a significantly larger population of the fingerlings to survive to adulthood. The next time you catch a 20” Bass at Shabbona Lake, say a silent “Thank You!
Fingerling largemouth bass (1- 1½” long) from the State Of Illinois Fish Hatchery are released into the rearing pond yearly in early June. The Bass feed all Summer long on minnows, crawdads and bugs. The rearing pond is then drained in early October. By then, the Bass have grown to 5 to 7 inches. As the pond drains, the Bass are collected and placed into nearby Shabbona Lake. The survival rate of the 5,000 fingerlings has been increased from approximate 1% to over 50%.
The drainage and the collection is a popular annual event spearheaded by the Shabbona Lake Sportsman Club. Over the years, hundreds of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, young anglers and many, many fisherpersons have helped release thousands of Bass into Shabbona Lake. The date of the event is posted on www.shabbonalake.com and is open to the public.
Spencer Meyers, President of Friends of Shabbona Lake State Park was presented with the $12,000.00 grant check from Noah Nordbrock, Donor Services and Marketing Director, DeKalb County Community Foundation on May 19, 2016, at the rearing pond site in Shabbona Lake State Park.
Friends Of Shabbona Lake State Park is a 501c3 organization open to the public. More information about the organization and how to join or donate can be found at www.friendsofshabbonalake.com.
A BIG THANK YOU to the DeKalb County Community Foundation from “all of those who have fished or ever will fish” Shabbona Lake. The quote is from the “Founding Fathers of Shabbona Lake Plaque” honoring those who helped make Shabbona Lake State Park a reality in the early 1970’s. Their dedication and tradition lives on!