Rathbun Reservoir

General Information

County: Appanoose
Location: 8 miles northwest of Centerville
Acres: 11000.00
Maximum Depth: 50 ft. (2008 - No year listed.)
Motoring Restrictions: none

Amenities

Amenities at Rathbun Reservoir include:
  • Boat Access
  • Accessible Pier
  • Boat Rental
  • Picnic Area
  • Beach
  • Trails
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Concessions
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
  • Carry Down Boat Launch
  • Fish Cleaning Station
Please remember to take your trash with you so your favorite fishing spot is clean. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions regarding angling in south central Iowa.
Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish have been biting on nightcrawlers and cut bait. Walleye anglers have also been catching catfish on crankbaits.
The current lake level is 905.84. The current surface water temperature is in the low 80's °F. Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body.
Walleye - Fair: Anglers have been catching walleyes by trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses around rock piles and submerged points. Use crankbaits that mimic gizzard shad. Some anglers are also catching walleyes by casting jigs in the shallows.
White Bass - Good: Anglers have been catching white bass using chrome colored crankbaits or lead heads and white jigs. Rathbun also contains hybrid striped bass (wipers) and those are being caught using the same techniques that are being used for white bass.
Download Printable Lake Map

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

  • Oct 13 2015 12:00AM - 14,192 Walleye (8.8")
  • May 1 2015 12:00AM - 9,863,955 Walleye (Fry)
  • Jun 29 2015 12:00AM - 20,911 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • Jun 23 2015 12:00AM - 185,495 Largemouth Bass (1,050)
  • Jun 18 2015 12:00AM - 102,747 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.6")
  • Apr 22 2015 12:00AM - 319 Walleye (18.5")
  • Apr 20 2015 12:00AM - 18,097 Walleye (8")
  • Apr 1 2015 12:00AM - 36,221,084 Walleye (Fry)
  • annual 2015 - 80,500 Walleye (8")
  • Oct 24 2014 12:00AM - 650 Largemouth Bass (5")
  • May 14 2014 12:00AM - 4,525,454 Walleye (Fry)
  • annual 2014 - 74,551 Walleye (8")
  • annual 2014 - 38,815,441 Walleye (Fry)
  • annual 2014 - 245,528 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • October 2013 - 83,139 Walleye (9.0")
  • 09/25/2013 - 7,500 Largemouth Bass (4.0")
  • 08/08/2013 - 30,695 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.6")
  • 06/28/2013 - 1,823 Walleye (2.0")
  • 05/03/2013 - 50,483,182 Walleye (Fry)
  • October 2012 - 88,006 Walleye (8.5"-)
  • April 2012 - 40,500,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 06/06/2012 - 596 Walleye (8.9")
  • 09/28/2011 - 79,683 Walleye (8.3")
  • 04/25/2011 - 36,298,421 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/19/2010 - 88,030 Walleye (9.7")
  • 04/20/2010 - 53,800,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 09/15/2009 - 77,802 Walleye (7.5-9)
  • 06/17/2009 - 19,070 Channel Catfish (2.3")
  • 06/03/2009 - 13,896 Walleye (2.0")
  • 04/30/2009 - 49,500,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/23/2008 - 8,000 Walleye (6.9")
  • 10/07/2008 - 79,750 Walleye (9.2")
  • 07/17/2008 - 6,147 Walleye (3.0")
  • 07/17/2008 - 6,451 Walleye (3.7")
  • 06/05/2008 - 36,942 Channel Catfish (4.0")
  • 05/02/2008 - 42,803,750 Walleye (Fry)
  • October 2007 - 81,455 Walleye (10")
  • 06/29/2007 - 533 Walleye (4.0")
  • 06/15/2007 - 1,151 Walleye (2.0")
  • 04/25/2007 - 26,721,500 Walleye (Fry)
  • July 2006 - 2,788 Walleye (3.5")
  • 09/29/2006 - 7,771 Walleye (6.5"-)
  • 09/25/2006 - 84,280 Walleye (6.8"-)
  • 08/10/2006 - 1,600 Channel Catfish (7.2")
  • 04/20/2006 - 51,100,000 Walleye (Fry)
The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Black Crappie
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black and white crappie, 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:
  • 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:
  • 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:
  • 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:
Crappie angling is improving as high water conditions in 2015 resulted in good growth of crappies. Tremendous numbers of 8 inch crappies are available, but good numbers of 9-11 inch crappies can be found. White bass and hybrid striped bass angling will be good in 2016. Most of these fish are between 10 and 14 inches in length. Channel catfishing is always excellent and flathead catfish up to 40 pounds have been recently sampled. Largemouth bass angling will likely be down some as numbers have declined since the 2007-2013 period.(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.