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Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)

General Information

County: Mahaska
Location: 1 mile south of Barnes City
Acres: 182.00
Maximum Depth: 28 ft. (2006 - Data collected as part of the statewide lake mapping program.)
Motoring Restrictions: No Size Limit at No Wake


Amenities at Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake) include:
  • Boat Access
  • Fishing Jetty
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp

Fishing Report

Please remember to take your trash with you so your favorite fishing spot is clean and unlittered. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions regarding angling in south central Iowa.
Black Bullhead - Fair: Recent surveys show good numbers of bullhead in the 9-11 inch range. Try nightcrawlers fished on the bottom in about 6 feet of water.
Bluegill - Fair: Anglers should try small jigs or chunks of nightcrawler fished under a bobber. Sorting will be required for larger fish.
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits fished along the shorelines.
Remember Hawthorn Lake has a slot length limit for largemouth bass and all 12 to 16-inch bass must be immediately released.

Fishing Forecast

Hawthorn Lake was renovated in 2010 and restocked in 2011. Hawthorn Largemouth Bass are very abundant. Their size structure is dominated by large numbers of 14 to 16-inch fish. Bluegill are common with fish up to 8 inches abundant. Redear Sunfish up to 9 inches are available. Muskellunge were stocked in 2012 and 2014. Fish up to 30 inches are available.(2014)

Lake Maps

Download Printable Lake Map

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

Popular Fish Species at this Lake

Fish Stocking

  • 10/29/2013 - 40,600 Redear Sunfish (2.0")
  • 09/25/2013 - 1,937 Channel Catfish (8.0")
  • 07/09/2013 - 5,184 Largemouth Bass (1.5")
  • 05/29/2013 - 1,923 Channel Catfish (5.1")
  • 10/11/2012 - 35,000 Black Crappie (2.0")
  • 06/19/2012 - 17,700 Largemouth Bass (1.3")
  • 06/06/2012 - 150 Redear Sunfish (Adult)
  • 05/07/2012 - 151 Muskellunge (12.6")
  • 06/20/2011 - 17,700 Largemouth Bass (1.3")
  • 05/18/2011 - 1,770 Channel Catfish (2.0")
  • 03/29/2011 - 70,000 Bluegill (1.3")


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: No daily limit on private waters
  • Bluegill
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: No daily limit on private waters
  • Channel Catfish
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 8 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: All 12 to16-inch fish must be immediately released
    • Other:

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.