In the early 1900s, Anderson Lake was a private shooting grounds for one of the many once-famous duck clubs dotting the Illinois River valley. Since the first land purchases by the state in 1947, the site has been operated as a public hunting and fishing area.
The 2,247-acre area is in west-central Illinois, about 11 miles north of Browning in Fulton County along Route 100.
Anderson Lake is a floodplain lake that frequently receives overflow waters from the Illinois River. The lake has 1,134 surface acres with a maximum depth of 6 feet and an average depth of 4 feet. Carlson Lake is a waterfowl management area of 230 surface acres, with a maximum depth of five feet and an average depth of 3 feet. This area is drained in early summer, planted to feed duck and flooded in the fall to attract waterfowl to the area.
The area is a picturesque bottomland setting with timber species dominated by lush plant grouwth and towering silver maple, cottonwood and willow. A variety of waterfowl abounds in the area. For bird enthusiasts, large numbers of bald eagles can be seen in the winter months and white pelicans viewed during the spring on their migration north.
The area has boat docks and two public boat ramps.
The Class C campgrounds on the west bank of the lake provides for both tents and trailers. A sanitary dump station also is available.
Crappie, bluegill, bullhead, bass and channel cat fishing is consistently good in early and late spring. Ice fishing for crappie and bluegill is also popular.
Mallards and wood ducks are the primary species of waterfowl. The area provides blind sites for waterfowl hunting in the fall months. Upland game consisting of rabbit, quail and squirrel also is open to hunting. Dove hunting is available on agricultural fields planted in sunflowers and wheat if river levels permit. Deer may be taken by bow and arrow.
The site has several picnic areas, with two shelters, tables and drinking water.