5 miles east of Wapello
Amenities at Lake Odessa include:
- Boat Access
- Picnic Area
- Hard Surface Boat Ramp
|For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Station at (319) 694-2430.|
|The gate for the Toolesboro road has been closed as the Mississippi River is flow in through the breach in the Iowa River levee and across the road there. The Sand Run and Schaffer ramps are still usable even though Odessa is a little higher than normal.|
Although Lake Odessa is more of a wetland complex managed primarily for waterfowl is does provide some very high quality fishing. Anglers can expect to catch about anything that can be caught in the Mississippi River. Crappies are probably one of the more sought after species with good numbers of 11+ inch black crappies present. Anglers should concentrate on these fish during their spring spawning run as well as in late fall when the crappies will feed heavily during their fall migration to their overwintering spots. Channel catfish, Bluegills, and Largemouth Bass are other species that provide quality fishing in Odessa. Also Odessa provides the Bowfishermen a good place to pursue their sport with good water clarity and an abundance of shallow water habitats where their rough fish prey abound.
Anglers should be aware of the fact that during the summer months that the water level in Odessa is lowered to promote vegetative growth to provide waterfowl with food during the fall migration. During September the water level is brought back up to the normal pool level. This summer drawdown while making boating a little tougher actually improves the fishery as it crowds the smaller fish in with the bigger ones promoting the growth of the predator fish (bass, crappies, catfish) while thinning out the prey numbers (bluegills, etc) which then have a growth increase when the water is brought back up for the fall and the vegetation is flooded providing insects for food with less competition because of the reduced numbers of small fish. (2007)
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Popular Fish Species at this Lake
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.
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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.