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 growth 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.