Lake Wapello

General Information

County: Davis
Location: 7 miles west of Drakesville
Acres: 289.00
Maximum Depth: 33.7 ft. (2007)
Motoring Restrictions: No Size Limit at No Wake

Nearby Parks

Lake Wapello State Park


Amenities at Lake Wapello include:
  • Boat Access
  • Fishing Jetty
  • Accessible Pier
  • Boat Rental
  • Picnic Area
  • Beach
  • Trails
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
  • Fish Cleaning Station
Most of the waterbodies in the district have fishable ice but conditions will vary so use caution. 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.
Ice thickness is about 7 inches on the west end of the lake but is not as thick out from the beach area. Anglers have been catching some crappies and bluegills using teardrop jigs tipped with a waxworm. Target areas around the cedar tree piles and fish near the bottom.
Download Printable Lake Map
Download Printable Fishing Structures Map

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

  • 9/22/16 - 1,607 Channel Catfish (9.1")
  • 6/16/2016 - 3,130 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.3")
  • 6/16/2016 - 3,132 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.4")
  • 06/29/2015 - 2,715 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (1.7")
  • 06/16/2016 - 2,730 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • annual 2014 - 3,541 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2")
  • 09/22/2014 - 1,714 Channel Catfish (8")
  • 09/27/2013 - 889 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (6")
  • 09/14/2012 - 2,000 Channel Catfish (8.5")
  • 06/28/2012 - 2,044 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2.0")
  • 06/28/2012 - 3,114 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (2.0")
  • 05/27/2011 - 2,102 Channel Catfish (2.0")
  • 10/19/2010 - 20,000 Bluegill (1.0")
  • 09/09/2010 - 2,169 Channel Catfish (8.9")
  • 06/22/2010 - 27,100 Largemouth Bass (1.2")
  • 10/28/2009 - 70,000 Bluegill (1.5")
  • 10/27/2009 - 1,161 Channel Catfish (7.3")
  • 10/27/2009 - 5,287 Redear Sunfish (2.6")
  • 06/24/2009 - 13,000 Largemouth Bass (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: Catch and release only
    • Possession Limit: Catch and release only
    • Length Limit: Catch and release only
    • Other:
Wapello is one of Iowa's premier largemouth bass fisheries. These fish are presently protected by a "catch and release" regulation and no harvest is allowed. This regulation is constantly under evaluation to ensure it is helping us meet our management objectives. Largemouth over 18 inches in length are very common. Bluegill angling is fair, with most fish in the 6-8 inch size range. Crappie angling is improving and fish up to 9 inches will be availble in 2016. Hybrid striped bass were introduced in both 2014 and 2015 and these fish have now grown up to approximately 13 inches.(2016)


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.