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Welcome to Rathbun Lake

Rathbun Lake
Rathbun Lake
Rathbun Dam construction began in 1964 and was completed in 1969 with multi-purpose operation beginning in October 1970. The Dam, which is located in Appanoose County, Iowa, is 142.3 river miles north of the confluence with the Missouri River. The Dam is a constructed earth-fill embankment and measures approximately 2 miles in length at a height of approximately 101 feet.
The Rathbun staff have been busy planting 150 trees around campsites that lack shade in Island View and Bridge View parks.  The plantings are part of a long term forest management program to diversify the species and age of our park trees.  Tree species consist of Sycamore, White Oak and Cottonwood and range from 3 to 6 feet in size.
Tree Planting
The Rathbun staff have been busy planting 150 trees around campsites that lack shade in Island View and Bridge View parks. The plantings are part of a long term forest management program to diversify the species and age of our park trees. Tree species consist of Sycamore, White Oak and Cottonwood and range from 3 to 6 feet in size.
Four Trumpeter Swans were released at Coffey Marsh on the South Fork arm of Rathbun Lake.  They are part of the DNR's statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort, with hopes that they will help restore a wild free flying population in Iowa.
Trumpeter Swans
Four trumpeter swans were released at Coffey Marsh on the South Fork arm of Rathbun Lake. They are part of the DNR's statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort, with hopes that they will help restore a wild free flying population in Iowa.
Rathbun Lake Staff uses prescribed burns to help manage native grasslands around the lake.  Approximately 125 acres are still occupied by some combination of the original prairie species that once clothed much of Rathbun Lake Project’s 33,909 acres.  These scattered patches are being augmented by past and present prairie reestablishment plantings on the land surrounding Rathbun Lake.
Natural Resource Management
Rathbun Lake Staff uses prescribed burns to help manage native grasslands around the lake. Approximately 125 acres are still occupied by some combination of the original prairie species that once clothed much of Rathbun Lake Project’s 33,909 acres. These scattered patches are being augmented by past and present prairie reestablishment plantings on the land surrounding Rathbun Lake.
Rathbun Lake has ten recreation areas that offer camping, boating, swimming, fishing and other activities for our visitors.  The Corps of Engineers manages five park areas that contain over 475 campsites.  Rathbun's two marinas are operated by concessionaires that provide additional services for visitors.  The 125 acre Rathbun OHV Park provides trails for all riders and a practice track for more experienced riders.
Recreation at Rathbun Lake
Rathbun Lake has ten recreation areas that offer camping, boating, swimming, fishing and other activities for our visitors. The Corps of Engineers manages five park areas that contain over 475 campsites. Rathbun's two marinas are operated by concessionaires that provide additional services for visitors. The 125 acre Rathbun OHV Park provides trails for all riders and a practice track for more experienced riders.
Milo food plots like the one shown here provide a great source of food for all types of wildlife.  The smaller grain is utilized by many upland bird species like quail, pheasants and turkeys.  Along with providing a food source, Milo also provides excellent habitat cover during the winter months.
Food Plots
Milo food plots like the one shown here provide a great source of food for all types of wildlife. The smaller grain is utilized by many upland bird species like quail, pheasants and turkeys. Along with providing a food source, Milo also provides excellent habitat cover during the winter months.

Outdoor Recreation

Need to Know

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Rathbun Project Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  We are closed on the holidays.
The Rathbun Lake Project is regulated by Title 36 CFR 327 governing public use of Corps of Engineers water resources development projects. For a list of all rules and regulations please reference this link.

Contact Rathbun Lake

Rathbun Project Office
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
20112 Hwy J5T
Centerville, IA 52544

Phone: 641-647-2464
Fax: 641-647-2888

Email: Rathbun@usace.army.mil

 

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