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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
  • Boat Rental
  • Picnic Area
  • Beach
  • Trails
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Concessions
  • 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.
Crappie - Slow: As the water cools, look for areas with tree piles or stumps. Try using a minnow and jig combination or a minnow and a bobber.
Walleye - Slow: Try areas with a change in depth around underwater islands and submerged points. Use baits that mimic gizzard shad and try trolling or casting in these areas.
White Bass - Slow: Troll or cast lures that mimic gizzard shad. Look for areas in the main lake where shad are breaking at the surface.
The current lake level is 913.04. The water temperature is 75° F. Don't forget Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to clean, drain, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Spray boats and trailers with high pressure hot water (above 104 degrees) or let them dry for at least 10 days (5 days in the sun).
Channel Catfish - Slow: With the recent rains, look for areas where runoff is coming into the lake and target those areas.

Fishing Forecast

Low water conditions in the mid-2000's had a negative influence on crappie production in those years. The lake refilled in the spring of 2007 and a large year class of crappies was produced. At this time these fish are running between 7 and 8 inches. These fish should begin to reach 10 inches in late 2009 and 2010. Walleye angling at Rathbun should be excellent as large numbers of fish between 14 and 19 inches are present. Most of these fish are members of the 2006 year class and range from 15 to 19 inches in length.(2009)


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

  • 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)
  • 09/19/2005 - 68,029 Walleye (9.5")
  • 06/28/2005 - 41,941 Walleye (2.6")
  • 04/21/2005 - 47,856,600 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/15/2004 - 2,440 Walleye (7.5")
  • 10/06/2004 - 71,795 Walleye (8")
  • 06/22/2004 - 50,922 Walleye (1.5")
  • 04/20/2004 - 35,198,000 Walleye (Fry)

Regulations

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:
  • 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:

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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