Saylorville Reservoir

General Information

County: Polk
Location: North edge of Des Moines
Acres: 4970.00
Maximum Depth: 44 ft. (1987 - 836 MSL)
Motoring Restrictions: none

Nearby Parks

Big Creek State Park

Amenities

Amenities at Saylorville Reservoir include:
  • Boat Access
  • Fishing Jetty
  • Accessible Pier
  • Boat Rental
  • Picnic Area
  • Beach
  • Trails
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
No recent updates
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  • 07/07/2015 - 15,827 Muskellunge (4.5")
  • 06/23/2015 - 20,000 Largemouth Bass (2")
  • 06/19/2015 - 31,226 Muskellunge (4.0")
  • 06/16/2015 - 188,102 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.5")
  • 05/21/2015 - 18,123 Northern Pike (4.2")
  • 05/20/2015 - 41,607 Northern Pike (2.9")
  • 05/12/2015 - 50,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 05/12/2015 - 850,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 05/05/2015 - 50,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 05/05/2015 - 650,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 04/30/2015 - 100,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 04/28/2015 - 10,000,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • annual 2014 - 195,440 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • annual 2014 - 209,599 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • annual 2014 - 2,100,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 08/14/2014 - 73,125 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • 06/24/2014 - 76,500 Largemouth Bass (2")
  • 06/13/2014 - 12,097 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • 06/02/2014 - 29,874 Northern Pike (2-3")
  • 05/12/2014 - 76,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/12/2014 - 78,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/09/2014 - 7,000,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 08/08/2013 - 9,820 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.6")
  • 07/01/2013 - 124,031 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.9")
  • 06/27/2013 - 20,000 Largemouth Bass (1.5")
  • 06/07/2013 - 75,891 Walleye (1.6")
  • 05/31/2013 - 94,843 Northern Pike (2.9")
  • 05/24/2013 - 150,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 05/02/2013 - 1,000,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 06/21/2012 - 83,505 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2.0")
  • 05/31/2012 - 20,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • 05/14/2012 - 5,700,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/14/2012 - 3,850,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 05/11/2012 - 3,000,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/08/2012 - 63,220 Northern Pike (2.7")
  • 06/24/2011 - 20,000 Largemouth Bass (1.2")
  • 06/23/2011 - 49,335 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.8")
  • 05/23/2011 - 100,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 05/23/2011 - 1,000,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 05/20/2011 - 63,066 Northern Pike (2.9")
  • 05/12/2011 - 7,762,625 Walleye (Fry)
  • 04/08/2011 - 137,308 Northern Pike (Fry)
  • 06/24/2010 - 10,000 Largemouth Bass (1.2")
  • 06/22/2010 - 126,342 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (3")
  • 05/20/2010 - 63,064 Northern Pike (2.5")
  • 05/13/2010 - 1,000,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 04/25/2010 - 7,326,751 Walleye (Fry)
  • 07/27/2009 - 11,650 Largemouth Bass (2.5")
  • 06/18/2009 - 20,297 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2.5")
  • 05/20/2009 - 100,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 05/20/2009 - 1,500,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 05/08/2009 - 63,126 Northern Pike (2.5")
  • 05/04/2009 - 7,000,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 06/18/2008 - 134,775 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.8")
  • 06/10/2008 - 65,560 Walleye (1.7")
  • 05/14/2008 - 1,000,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 05/12/2008 - 12,000,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 05/09/2008 - 73,316 Northern Pike (2.4")
  • 04/17/2008 - 150,000 Northern Pike (Fry)
  • 07/02/2007 - 40,128 Walleye (4.0")
  • 06/20/2007 - 82,273 Walleye (2.2")
  • 06/15/2007 - 25,000 Largemouth Bass (1.1")
  • 04/30/2007 - 4,200,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 04/05/2007 - 85,000 Northern Pike (Fry)
  • April 2006 - 50,000 Northern Pike (Fry)
  • 06/28/2006 - 50,000 Largemouth Bass (1.4")
  • 06/21/2006 - 42,152 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2.0")
  • 06/16/2006 - 31,705 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.9")
  • 05/11/2006 - 800,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 04/25/2006 - 7,000,000 Walleye (Fry)
The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Bigmouth Buffalo
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Black Bullhead
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: unlimited
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Black Crappie
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black and white crappie, 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Bluegill
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Channel Catfish
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 15 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 30 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Common Carp
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
  • Flathead Catfish
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 15 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 30 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Freshwater Drum
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
  • Largemouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 15-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Northern Pike
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: 6 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Quillback
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
  • Smallmouth Buffalo
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Walleye
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined walleye, sauger and saugeye; 5 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined walleye, sauger and saugeye; 10 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • White Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • White Crappie
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black and white crappie, 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • White Sucker
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
Saylorville can provide some fair angling for crappie, white bass, hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass and channel catfish. Spring is the best time to target crappie in Saylorville, after that they become an occasional catch. Black crappies surveyed in 2016 ranged in size from 6 to 11.5 inches. White crappies ran a little larger with most in the 8.5 to 12.5 inch range. White bass and hybrid striped bass were not surveyed in 2016, but do provide one of the most popular groups of fish to target during the summer months. White bass sizes in Saylorville typically range from 8 to 13 inches. Encounters with hybrid striped bass over 25 inches are possible. A decent largemouth bass population is present. In the 2016 surveys decent groups of fish in the 8 to 13 inch range and 15 to 17.5 inch range were observed. Saylorville is a good destination to catch larger channel catfish. Channel catfish are consistently found in good numbers and good size. Sizes observed in 2016 were from 8 to over 30 inches, with many fish in the 20 to 28 inch range.(2016)

Contacts

Fish Surveys

Lake Fish Survey Data Data from the most recent fisheries survey of this lake is provided on this external web site. This data may include information from various netting surveys and/or electroshocking surveys. Data includes numbers of fish sampled, and fish size ranges. Not all lakes are sampled every year.

Lake Mini-report

Lake Reports Summary report information about selected (~130) lakes regarding water quality, upstream land use, usage, economic value and more. Reports are customizable by the user to include only that information which the user desires to include.

Water Quality

Iowa-Caught Fish Are Safe to Eat, In Almost All Cases

The vast majority of Iowa’s streams, rivers and lakes offer safe and high-quality fish that pose little or no threat to human health if consumed. Some limitations may apply for young children and pregnant women. Here’s a Fish Consumption Fact Sheet from the Iowa DNR and the Iowa Dept. of Public Health for more information. Here is a list of current fish consumption advisories for Iowa lakes and rivers.