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Wappapello Lake

Wappapello Lake also referred to as Lake Wappapello, built in 1941 by the Army Corps of Engineers on the St. Francis River in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in southeastern Missouri for flood control, provides 8,400 acres of recreational waters during the warmer months. During the winter, the water level is lowered to a conservation pool of 5,200 acres in preparation for receiving spring flood waters.

Wappapello State Park provides opportunities for recreational activities from April through October. These include hiking, biking, boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, horseback riding, hunting and wildlife viewing. The park also offers a visitor center, interpretive programs and historic & cultural sites.


The most sought after fish in Wappapello Lake include largemouth bass, white bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish.

Fishing is permitted throughout the lake with the exception of areas at or near boat ramps or around the swimming beach. Several underwater fish shelters created with sunken brush around Wappapello Lake are marked with buoys and available for public use.

Wappapello Lake holds the state record for producing two of Missouri's largest fish. In 1989, Mary Yount caught a Black Buffalo that weighed 53 pounds and in 1994, Jerry Cox caught a Brown Bullhead that weighed two-pounds seven-ounces.


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    Wappapello Lake Missouri Coordinates:
36.9319N -90.2792W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
8,400 acres
Maximum Depth:
45 ft
360 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
6-10 ft
Major City:
St. Louis
St. Louis


Wappapello Lake welcomes all boat and motor types and sizes and provides six marinas around the lake to provide services. The full-service marinas provide boat rentals, boating and fishing supplies, fuel and groceries.

Several public boat launch ramps provide ample and easy access to the lake.


Wappapello Lake lodging options include campgrounds at the Wappapello State Park and housekeeping cabins and camper cabins around the lake.

Please consult the Lake Resource Guide for information on lodging and other facilities in the area.


The closest major city to Wappapello Lake is St. Louis, which is 130 miles away. Other nearby cities and towns: Williamsburg, Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Sikeston, Jackson and Kennett. Wappapello Lake flows through parts of Butler and Wayne counties.

Fun times at Wappapello Lake  wappapello Lake

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Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  46 Avg. High  51 Avg. High  61 Avg. High  71 Avg. High  79 Avg. High  88 Avg. High  92 Avg. High  92 Avg. High  84 Avg. High  73 Avg. High  60 Avg. High  48
Avg. Low  23 Avg. Low  27 Avg. Low  36 Avg. Low  46 Avg. Low  55 Avg. Low  65 Avg. Low  69 Avg. Low  67 Avg. Low  59 Avg. Low  46 Avg. Low  36 Avg. Low  27