Gages Lake Conservation Committee

About the Gages Lake Conservation Committee

The Gages Lake Conservation Committee (GLCC) is a volunteer organization that manages the conservation needs of Gages Lake, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Lake County Health Department (LCHD), and Wildwood Park District (WPD).

The purpose of the GLCC is to:

  • Promote through cooperative community interest, the conservation of Gages Lake, a glacial lake, for the recreational use and enjoyment of residents of the several surrounding communities with lake use rights.
  • Maintain a quality sport fishery, using advice from and services of the IDNR and LCHD.
  • Sample water quality and monitor results in consultation with the Northern Illinois Planning Commission, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), and the LCHD Lakes Management Division.
  • Make residents aware of their impact on the health of Gages Lake and to help provide conservation education.
  • Raise funds to support the various conservation activities.

The guiding principal in GLCC deliberations and actions shall be “what is best for the lake” and for those residents represented by the committee. A healthy lake is important to all residents and their property values.

Gages Lake Care and Maintenance

The Gages Lake Conservation Committee is responsible, in-part, for the following Gages Lake care and maintenance initiatives.

Nuisance aquatic vegetation and algae can have a major impact on the beauty and ecological balance of lakes and ponds, which is why the Gages Lake Conservation Committee works with a local licensed company and highly-trained team of scientists, biologists, ecologists, and aquatic resource management professionals for aquatic weed and algae control of Gages Lake. Invasive algae and aquatic weeds are not only unsightly but can sometimes be a danger to aquatic life and humans. They may also cause many water quality problems and be a detriment to aquatic ecosystems, while also hiding a lake’s true beauty.

Successful weed and algae control is a challenge that requires patience, diligence, and an array of strategies, including the use of herbicides in Gages Lake. When used properly, herbicides can be invaluable tools for the safe, fast and cost-effective eradication of plant species that are threatening the health and balance of Gages Lake's aquatic ecosystem. While herbicides often get a bad rap, it’s important to note that all herbicides used are registered and approved through a stringent process directed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The GLCC typically meets in April or May each year to determine zones and target areas to treat.

The Gages Lake Conservation Committee partners with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), as well as utilizes a local certified and fully licensed hatchery to restock gamefish in Gages Lake. Fish restocking offers numerous benefits to Gages Lake, such as ensuring a thriving ecosystem and balanced fish population, recreational fishing, mosquito control, and aesthetic appeal.

Species of fish that are restocked in Gages Lake include Channel Catfish, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, and Walleye.

The Gages Lake Conservation Committee utilizes a local licensed pond and lake management company for lily pad control of Gages Lake. The team of licensed aquatic pesticide applicators use EPA registered and state-permitted products that are labeled for aquatic use and are applied per label instruction to control the nuisance aquatic vegetation, which offers the most sustainable and cost-effective solution to managing lily pads. Treating lily pads with a systemic herbicide allows preservation of the natural balance of Gages Lake's aquatic ecosystems, as well as maintains and enhances the health and beauty of Gages Lake.

The Volunteer Lake Monitor tracks the water level of Gages Lake and reports their findings to the GLCC and to Lake County Environmental Health, along with any other issues they can see from the water. This allows both groups to keep an eye on water levels and track historical water level trends and events, such as droughts.

2023 Projects

The GLCC is committed to preserving, protecting, and maintaining the health of Gages Lake, and has done so through the following projects.

  • Weed and Algae Control- Treated 40 acres of Gages Lake. Targeted species were Eurasian Watermilfoil and Curlyleaf Pondweed.
  • Shoreline Cleanup- Cleaned entire lake shoreline.

  • Carp Removal- Partnered with IDNR to remove invasive carp. A total of 404 were removed.

  • Catfish Restocking- IDNR stocked 1,392 8-10" Channel Catfish at no charge.
  • Lily Pad Treatment- Treated 4.04 acres of targeted treatment areas.

  • Fall Fish Restocking- Restocking Gages Lake with 100 9-12" Northern Pike , 250 4-6" Smallmouth Bass, and 250 5-7" and 250 6-8" Walleye.


The Gages Lake Conservation Committee raises funds to support their various conservation initiatives and projects through hosting and/or sponsoring the following events:

  • Adopt-A-Highway- Each year in the Spring and Fall, the Gages Lake Conservation Committee volunteers their time for trash clean-up along US Highway 45.
  • Ice Golf Tournament- Every February an Ice Golf Tournament is held on Gages Lake where funds raised through registration fees, raffle, and donations goes to the GLCC for Gages Lake conservation needs.
  • Carp Fishing Derby- Each spring the GLCC, Gagewood Lions Club, and WPD host an annual Carp Fishing Derby at Willow Point Park. Basic fishing instructions are given for beginners, and participants can learn to bait their hook upon early arrival. All ages are welcome and some fishing poles are provided. Prizes are awarded for each age group.
  • Gages Lake Boat Parade- A boat parade is held every year on the second weekend in July to raise funds for the GLCC through registration fees and donations. Participants choose a theme for their boat and decorate it accordingly, and participate in a parade on the lake to showcase their boat decorations where judges choose category winners for the award ceremony.
  • Kayak Poker Run- Every August the Kayak Poker Run event is held on Gages Lake, where participants can use kayaks, paddle boats, paddle boards, and canoes to navigate to five different waterfront homeowner’s docks where they will collect a new card at each home in hopes of ending up with the best poker hand at the end. Food and live music are included. Funds raised through registration fees, raffle, and donations goes to the GLCC.
  • Harvest Fest- The GLCC attends the Wildwood Park District’s annual Harvest Fest event as a vendor every year. At their booth, you can try your hand at minnow races, learn about Gages Lake native plant and fish species, and learn more about the GLCC’S conservation initiatives.
  • Snow Much Fun- The GLCC sponsors the Wildwood Park District’s Snow Much Fun event every January by leading an ice fishing demo and providing ice fishing gear for all to use. The 2024 Snow Much Fun event will take place on Saturday, January 20th from 10-11:30am at Pebble Beach Park.