The lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which built Carlyle Dam across the Kaskaskia River, thereby creating a reservoir filled to a mean elevation of 446 feet (136 m) above sea level. The region of Southern Illinois where Carlyle Lake now stands is relatively flat, and the lake is relatively shallow.
As part of the lake's planning process, 600 graves were exhumed from seven small rural cemeteries, and 69 oil wells were capped. Construction of the dam began on October 18, 1958, and the reservoir's planned expanse slowly filled with water. The lake was dedicated on June 3, 1967.
Many use the lake to catch channel catfish, flatheads, largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, and bluegill. The bass scene is particularly lively, with several tagged-bass and catch-and-release championships annually.
Fishing Chip Data
In addition to other types of structure and accurate ramp locations, there are:
Total Waypoints: 578
- 47 Road Beds
- 15 Submerged Bridges
- 1 Rairoadl Bed
- 13 Humps
- 15 Stump Fields
- 13 Debris Fields (Laydowns, Logs, & Logjams)
- 58 Foundations
- 8 Timber Areas