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Lake Catatoga Map
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This peaceful, sparkling body of water features a surface area of 66 acres and a dam on its northern end. It is nestled in Macoupin County - named after Macoupin Creek, a strong stream that winds throughout the area. 'Macopina' is the Native American word for 'water lily.' Indigenous tribes, such as the Peoria and the Cahokia, used to eat the roots of these fragrant plants.
HISTORY: Hundreds of years ago, the lands of modern day Lake Catatoga and Macoupin County were heavily utilized for hunting waterfowl, prairie chicken, and deer. Buffalo and elk were also pursued up until the mid-1700s, when a heavy snowstorm wiped them out in one fell swoop. Artifacts are frequently found in the region to this day, with the oldest specimen dating back ten thousand years. Back then, the area was covered with swampy lakes, marshes and wetlands before settlers drained most of them for cultivation purposes.
CURRENT DAY: Lake Catatoga's laid-back ambiance and convenient location have established it as a highly desirable place to live and visit. Real estate properties are available.
Can you swim in the lake? Yes
between St. Louis and Springfield, just 15 miles west of the city of Litchfield
These waters are stocked with crappie, walleye, bluegill, catfish and bass; such variety combined with an irregular shoreline make it a phenomenal fishing location.
A "no wake" policy is enforced upon the lake, creating safer conditions for swimming and boating. This also keeps the noise level down for residents with lakeside property.
Local Area Businesses
A great day trip from Lake Catatoga is the Shoal Creek Nature Conservation Area, located east of Island View Lake. The park is comprised of 276 acres of gorgeous prairie, rocky area and forest. Over 700 kinds of plants, 74 pairs of breeding birds and 71 species of butterflies attract outdoor enthusiasts from near and far. The Rotary Trail is an interpretive trail made up of two loops, totaling just under a mile in length. It is named for the Litchfield Rotary Club, an organization that installed numerous bluebird houses along the path.
The Denby Prairie Nature Reserve is also near Lake Catatoga, offering endless fields of tall grass and wildflowers. Hunters should check out the 40-acre Goode's Woods nature preserve and hunting area. It is situated just above Otter Lake, which offers some of the best muskie fishing in the state.