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Lower Illinois River

Fishing Contact: (918) 683-1031

Hunting Contact: (918) 316-2281

Game Warden: (918) 431-2550, (918) 431-2544

Check out specific area regulations by clicking here.

Operator: Tailwater of USACE operated tailwater of Lake Tenkiller

Driving Directions:  Two popular public areas along the LIR USACE fishing area below dam:  From Gore travel approximately 6 miles N on Hwy 100 turn R onto Powerhouse rd and follow to the end ODWC Simp and Helen Watts Area:  From Gore travel approximately 4.2 miles N on Hwy 100 turn R onto E 0990 rd and follow to the end Gore landing: From Gore travel, 1.5 miles E on Hwy 64 then turn L onto Gore landing road.  Travel N approximately 0.6 miles and turn R into the Gore landing area.

Physical Description:  The Lower Ilinois river is an 8-mile section of river that is a continuation of an Ozark type river with cool, clear water, chert, and limestone gravel bars and Oak/hickory covered hills giving way to the bottomland of the Arkansas River at the confluence.  It is only one of two year-round trout fisheries due to the cold water releases from Lake Tenkiller.  Being a tailrace, the natural flow regime is highly altered and fishing conditions are heavily dependent upon hydropower and other releases from the Tenkiller dam.  Current conditions can be found at USGS Gage Gore & USACE Tenkiller

Species of interest:  Rainbow Trout, Striped Bass (Striped bass can be found in the pools along the LIR and are very popular).  Other species that can be found in the river or at the confluence but are less popular include Largemouth bass, White bass, Sauger, Walleye.

Fisheries Management: Rainbow trout are stocked regularly throughout the year and are very popular.

Fish Species at this Lake: 

Latest Fishing Report

  • Submitted by:
    Brek Henry
    Lake Elevation:
    Above Average
    Water Temp and Clarity:
    49 clear

    Action: Slow
    Baits:  Powerbait
    Locations: Below the dam

    Additional Information:
    Currently the river is very high due to release of flood waters coming into Tenkiller Lake. 14300 cfs at time of this report. River conditions will remain high for the next several days.