A tremendous variety of outdoor recreational opportunities and natural beauty awaits you at Carlyle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, 60 miles east of St. Louis, near Vandalia. The area is at the northern end of Carlyle Lake and at the southwestern tip of Fayette County. Carlyle Lake is a 26,000-acre multipurpose lake administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Department of Natural Resources has a 25-year lease on part of the Army Corps' property to conduct a variety of habitat management measures aimed at increasing food, shelter and nesting areas for numerous wildlife species. Recreational opportunities abound on the lake and at Eldon Hazlet State Park, at the southern end of the lake. At the Fish and Wildlife Area, however, the pleasures are simple and revolve mainly around enjoying the beauty and solitude of nature as visitors birdwatch, fish and hunt. The federal lease land and state property provide almost 9,500 acres of wildlife habitat. The Fish and Wildlife Area is blessed with habitat diversity: approximately 2,000 acres of woodland, 5,800 acres of open water and wetlands, 200 acres of grassland, and 1,500 acres of cropland planted for wildlife food and cover. The area is divided by the following management areas: Westside Management Area, Eastside Management Area, Flooded Dead Timber Area and Open Water Area.

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