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Wappapello Lake

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About Wappapello Lake

Lake Wappapello is a gem located in Southeast Missouri approximately 20 miles North of Poplar Bluff in one of the oldest mountain regions of North America, the St. Francois Mountains. Although some larger Missouri lakes may draw more attention than Wappapello Lake, 2.5 million people visit this 8,400-acre reservoir each year to enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, and all sorts of outdoor recreation. Steeped in rich American Indian history, the lake was named after Shawnee Chief Wappepilese.

The Dam

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created Wappapello Lake during the 1930's with construction of the Wappapello Dam across the St. Francis River. The project, completed in 1941, provides flood control and hydroelectricity to southeastern Missouri. The complete structure consists of an earth dam, a concrete outlet structure, and a concrete emergency spillway. The dam is a rolled earth fill with riprap stone protection on the slopes. It has a length of 2,700 feet and height of approximately 109 feet above the old channel bed.

The Lake

The lake is confined by the steeply sloped Ozark Hills. The main portion of the lake is formed by the St. Francis River Valley. The topography varies due to the many secondary water sources feeding into Lake Wappapello which include Otter Creek, Caldwell Creek, and the East and West Forks of Lost Creek. This results in ravines, valleys, and an irregular shoreline. At the normal recreation pool of 8,400 acres, the elevation of the lake is 360 feet above sea level. The lake's flood pool capacity can expand to 23,200 acres at elevation 395 feet. During winter months, lake levels are reduced to 5,600 acres to make room for melting snow and spring rains.


Although built for flood control and hydroelectricity, Wappapello Lake offers all types of water sports and outdoor recreation, with fishing at the top of the list for anglers. Largemouth bass, white bass, channel catfish, crappie, and bluegill are among the fish that are commonly caught at Wappapello Lake. There is ample access for boaters and shoreline fishermen. Anglers who like putting their skills to the test in a competition can join one of the tournaments held on the lake. Of course, it can be just as fun to spend a relaxing day on the lake fishing alone or with a buddy. The park has three concrete boat launches available for visitor usage. They are located at Asher Creek Campground, the old marina and just past cabin 8 at the Allison Point day-use area. There is a courtesy dock located at the old marina launch. There are no launch fees or motor restrictions. There are two campgrounds available. One is perched on the ridge and one nestled near the lake. They offer basic and electric hookup campsites, hot showers, modern restrooms and laundry facilities. Eight modern cabins with kitchens, perfect for families, can be reserved for use.

Lake Level, Moon Phase and Weather
Last updated: Unknown Data Provided by WeatherBug.
Lake Level Unknown



Fishing Report

Fishing Report

Normal Pool Elevation 359.74

Current Wappapello Lake Elevation

Wappapello Lake Fishing Report 01/02/2013


St. Francis (above Wappapello):

St. Francis (below Wappapello):

No report available.


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