Lake Mattoon is a man-made water reservoir located in central Illinois. It was created in 1957 to provide an additional source of water for the population of Mattoon and Neoga. Moreover, the lake is continuously stocked with various fish species, including catfish, bluegill, brass, and crappie. Today, lake Mattoon is both one of the primary water suppliers and the favorite recreational site for the local community – in my opinion, the lake’s main importance lies in these two features.
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Lake Mattoon was not the first man-made lake in Illinois – Lake Paradise was created first in 1907 to supply the population with water. However, throughout the years, as the population had grown, it became clear that just one lake was insufficient. Thus, lake Mattoon was established by building a dam a short distance southwest of Mattoon city. The new lake was and still is bigger than lake Paradise: while Paradise has a surface of only 210 acres, Mattoon has around 1,050 acres of surface (Mattoon’s official website, 2021). Both lakes are of crucial importance for Coles county’s population and ecosystem.
On lake Paradise, most recreational activities such as camping, skiing, swimming, and boat renting are prohibited. It is a “No Wake” lake, and boating is also limited due to the lake’s small size and its main role as a primary source of water. Therefore, when a much bigger lake – lake Mattoon – was established, it quickly became people’s most visited recreational site. Lake Mattoon provides a lot of opportunities for a good holiday: fishing, boating, camping, and many other activities are allowed here. Mattoon’s official website (2021) states that on lake Mattoon, “boating and fishing are available almost year round” (pp. 3). It can be safely said that lake Mattoon is quite valuable for the local community.
Lake Mattoon remains one of Coles county’s best recreational sites and major water reservoirs. It is a big, man-made lake with lush green shores, well-stocked with fish populations. For the community, lake Mattoon is important as both a water source and a place to relax, as it provides ample opportunities for all sorts of activities. This lake, indeed, means a lot to the population of central Illinois. Therefore, it is crucial to preserve it.
Mattoon Parks & Recreation Department. (2021). Lakes & Camping in Mattoon, Illinois. Official Government Website for the City of Mattoon, Illinois. Web.