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Saylorville Reservoir

General Information

County: Polk
Location: North edge of Des Moines
Acres: 5950.00
Maximum Depth: 44 ft. (1987 - 836 MSL)
Motoring Restrictions: none


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

Fishing Report

For good summer fishing anglers should drift/slow troll the open water for bluegill and crappie. The Des Moines River Reservoirs are producing some good white bass fishing. For information on central Iowa's lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.
Channel Catfish - Good: With water levels back to normal drifting cutbait for channel catfish above the mile long bridge is producing good catches of 2 to 6lb fish.
White Bass - Good: The white bass bite is good trolling lip-less, rattling crank baits. Mornings have been the better bite. Points along the west shoreline mid-lake are producing the best numbers. Anglers are also finding a good white bass bite below the spillway.

Fishing Forecast

Fall gill netting in 2013 found white bass present in good numbers. There were two distinct size groups. The most abundant was a younger group from 6 to 8.5 inches and the second group was 10 to 14 inches. White bass up to 16.5 inches were sampled. Wipers were sampled up to 29 inches in length. Crappies are not sampled in big numbers with gill nets, but black crappie were caught up to 12 inches and white crappie up to 11 inches. Walleye were caught up to 20 inches with a large year class in the 9 to 11 inch range. Many of these fish should be 15 inches or better by late summer 2014. Channel catfish are consistently found in good numbers and good size. Sizes in 2013 ranged from 13 to over 30 inches.(2013)

Lake Maps

Download Printable Lake Map
Download Printable Fishing Structures Map

You can zoom in on the map for bathymetric information for some lakes

Popular Fish Species at this Lake


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.