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
Surface water temperatures in the Rathbun district lakes are in the low to mid 40's. The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. For more information, contact the Rathbun fish hatchery at 641-647-2406.
The current lake level is 903.50 msl and the water temperature is 43°F. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. All the docks and fish cleaning stations have been removed for the year. The ramps at the Rathbun marina are closed for the season.
White Crappie - Slow: Use jigs or jigs tipped with live bait along the rip-rapped shorelines.
Channel Catfish - Slow: Try nightcrawlers or cut bait.
Walleye - Slow: Look for areas with variations in depth and try trolling crankbaits that mimic shad. Trolling nightcrawler rigs can also pick up a few fish. Some fish will start to move shallow with the cooler temperatures.
Download Printable Lake Map

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

  • spring 2016 - 52,400,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • fall 2016 - 87,899 Walleye (9.6")
  • 6/29/16 - 43,866 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fingerling)
  • 6/22/2016 - 79,663 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.5")
  • 6/20/16 - 76,043 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fingerling)
  • 5/11/16 - 2,427 Walleye (Adult)
  • 10/13/16 - 1,347 Walleye (9.4")
  • annual 2015 - 80,500 Walleye (8")
  • 10/13/2015 - 14,192 Walleye (8.8")
  • 06/29/2015 - 20,911 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • 06/23/2015 - 185,495 Largemouth Bass (1,050/lb)
  • 06/18/2015 - 102,747 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.6")
  • 05/01/2015 - 9,863,955 Walleye (Fry)
  • 04/22/2015 - 319 Walleye (18.5")
  • 04/20/2015 - 18,097 Walleye (8")
  • 04/01/2015 - 36,221,084 Walleye (Fry)
  • annual 2014 - 74,551 Walleye (8")
  • annual 2014 - 38,815,441 Walleye (Fry)
  • annual 2014 - 245,528 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • 10/24/2014 - 650 Largemouth Bass (5")
  • 05/14/2014 - 4,525,454 Walleye (Fry)
  • 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"-9.5")
  • 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 (7.5-9.6")
  • 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)
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.