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Lake Odessa

General Information

County: Louisa
Location: 5 miles east of Wapello
Acres: 3000.00
Maximum Depth:
Motoring Restrictions: none

Amenities

Amenities at Lake Odessa include:
  • Boat Access
  • Picnic Area
  • Trails
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp

Fishing Report

For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at (319)694-2430.
Bluegill - Good: Anglers continue to catch some really nice bluegills along the inlet channel.

Fishing Forecast

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)


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

  • 09/26/2012 - 9,007 Channel Catfish (8.7")
  • 09/16/2010 - 3,761 Channel Catfish (8.9")
  • 09/08/2008 - 9,238 Channel Catfish (7.4")
  • 09/28/2006 - 5,820 Channel Catfish (6.1")
  • 09/29/2004 - 19,052 Channel Catfish (7")

Regulations

The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Black Bullhead
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: unlimited
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Black Crappie
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black and white crappie, 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited; Mississippi River backwaters, combined black and white crappie - 50 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: No daily limit on private waters
  • Bluegill
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish; Mississippi River backwaters, combined bluegill and pumpkinseed - 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited; Mississippi River backwaters, combined bluegill and pumpkinseed - 50 fish
    • 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: Associated chutes and backwaters of border rivers (Missouri, Big Sioux, and Des Moines) where intermittent or constant flow occur have a catfish combined daily bag of 15 fish. Associated chutes and backwaters of the Mississippi River have no daily bag or possession limit.
  • 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: Associated chutes and backwaters of border rivers are included where intermittent or constant flow occur. A 14-inch length limit applies to Mississippi River backwaters, and a 12-inch length limit applies to Missouri River backwaters.

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.

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