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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

Operator: Tailwater of USACE operated tailwater of Lake Tenkiller

Biologist: ODWC Porter Field Office 918-683-1031

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.

General trout regulations:  Info can be found on pg 16 of our current (2019/2020) regulations book.
Special Area Regulations:  Info can be found on pg 19 of our current (2019/2020) regulation book.
Striped bass regulations:  Daily limits and identification on pg 12 of our current (2019/2020) regulations book.

Fish Species at this Lake: 

Latest Fishing Report

  • Submitted by:
    Jerry Henry
    Lake Elevation:
    Water Temp and Clarity:
    42 and clear

    Action: Fair
    Baits:  Caddis flies, In-line Spinnerbait, Midges, Nymphs, Powerbait, Worms
    Locations: Below the dam, Shallows

    Additional Information:
    Fishing has been little tough due to the ultra clear water, anglers need to down size fishing lines