US Army Corps of Engineers
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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

Rathbun Lake News Releases

Public invited to comment on planned autumn releases from Rathbun Lake
7/31/2020
In 2016 in response to stakeholder input, the Corps of Engineers revised its operating guidance for Rathbun Lake. The new guidance allows for an annual opportunity, every autumn, for the lake to...
Camp Branch swim beach closed at Smithville Lake for precautionary measure
7/20/2020
KANSAS CITY, Mo. –The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District identified a potential toxic blue green algae bloom at Smithville Lake near Camp Branch swim beach. As a precautionary measure,...
Army Corps of Engineers reports an increase in adult drowning at its lake and river projects this summer
7/9/2020
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that more than 30 people lost their lives to drowning in June at lake and river projects the agency manages. The June statistics represent a 47 percent...

Welcome to Rathbun Lake

As our recreation areas begin to reopen we want to remind you that we need your help during these trying times.
All reservations for Island View, Bridge View and Prairie Ridge campgounds at Rathbun Lake must be made online at www.Recreation.gov or through their mobile app. We are not accepting any cash payments. Due to #COVID19 the Recreation.gov 877 reservation number is temporarily inactive. All payments and reservations must be completed online.
As we implement a phased reopening of campsites and recreation areas closed due to COVID-19, a complete list of recreation area status updates can be found online at: www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Locations/District-Lakes/Recreation-Area-Status.
Follow CDC guidelines, even when outdoors. We are not staffed to maintain/clean lake & park areas. Be cautious about touching anything. Sanitize and wash often. Practice social distancing.
We are taking precautions and have closed our Visitor Center effective March 13, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide timely updates regarding other potential facility closures at our lakes on our websites and/or social sites.
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.
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 four park areas that contain over 475 campsites. Rathbun Lake's marina is operated by a concessionaire that provides additional services for visitors. The 125 acre Rathbun OHV Park provides trails for all riders and a practice track for more experienced riders.
Join our team! Current job openings can be found on OPM's USAJOBS website. https://usace.usajobs.gov/
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.

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