Once a private duck-hunting club, the 2,247-acre Anderson Lake and adjacent 230-acre Carlson Lake were purchased by the state in 1947 and put under the auspices of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. These lakes are floodplain lakes, receiving overflow from the nearby Illinois River during flood periods. The complex is known for its waterfowl population, primarily Mallard and Wood Duck, which are especially numerous during the fall months. During winter, substantial numbers of Bald Eagles utilize the site; and large numbers of American White Pelicans can be seen here each spring during the annual northward trek to their summer breeding grounds. The bottomland forest associated with Anderson Lake is mature, holding large specimens of silver maple, cottonwood, and black willow. Massive planted shade tree specimens such as tulip poplar, black walnut, red maple, and American sycamore are located throughout the camping areas. These giants attract songbirds such as American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, and Chipping Sparrow. In addition to waterfowl, the lake itself hosts raptors such as Osprey and Red-tailed Hawk, as well as a large colony of Purple Martins (summer).
This 1,132 acre bottomland impoundment is adjacent to the Illinois River, 12.5 road miles southwest of Havana. Periods of high or rising water can produce excellent fishing for shore anglers and trout lines.
The Class C campgrounds are on the west bank of the lake and provide for both tents and trailers. A sanitary dump station is also available.
Waterfowl populations consist chiefly of mallard and wood duck. The area provides blind sites for waterfowl hunting in the fall months. Upland game consisting of rabbit, quail and squirrel is also open to hunting.