US Army Corps of Engineers
Kansas City District

Welcome to Rathbun Lake

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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.
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

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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

High water levels expected in Kansas and Missouri throughout the holiday weekend
5/22/2019
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to monitor reservoirs and rivers in Kansas and Missouri. Due to widespread heavy rainfall, water elevations across...
Army Corps of Engineers promotes water safety this summer season
5/20/2019
Summer is almost here and that means millions of Americans will be planning visits to our nation’s lakes and rivers. As the steward of many of these public waters, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers...
Turn Around, Don’t Drown: High water impacting recreation areas at Kansas City District lakes
5/7/2019
The Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges everyone to never drive through flooded roadways. Please turn around, don’t drown. As you are well aware this spring has been a wet one....

 

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