Towell Lake


Bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass are proven stocking combination that provides both food and sport-fishing. When stocked in this order and properly managed, these species provide great fishing and good eating.

Area Information

Driving directions: Located on Route RA five miles east of Rolla off the north outer road of I-44. 

Annual Prospects Report

Winter Draw Down will happen again in January and February of 2024.  Boat launching may be difficult.  

Fishing on Towell Lake (Little Prairie Conservation Area) can be difficult for both boat and bank anglers due to the heavy angling pressure in spring and summer, as well as, varying amount of vegetation in the lake. Recent efforts to control aquatic vegetation has been successful and will continue, meaning easier fishing for both bank and boat anglers. 2024 will continue to see improvement in areas with habitat for bank fisherman. Anglers report good bass fishing along the edges of this vegetation.  Cedar tree piles, which serve as fish attractors, were placed in areas along the points of the lake for boat anglers and no more than 50 yards out from the popular bank fishing areas.

Towell Lake has a very large shad population that produces big bass and a decent crappie population. Largemouth bass are extremely abundant, especially below the slot length limit of 12-15 inches. A few largemouth bass over 8 pounds are caught every year and fish over 20 inches are common. Anglers using lures imitating injured shad report good luck for bigger fish, especially at dusk into the night in spring and summer. Anglers have found success in March and October fishing for crappie off the edges of dead vegetation. Anglers should expect crappie to average about 8 inches in length. Channel catfish are stocked annually and anglers targeting them are having success during the summer, especially bank anglers fishing from the dam. Normally, boat anglers fishing around the downed trees on the north side of the lake or the dam area, in early July, seem to experience the best catches. However, bank anglers were very successful catching channel catfish, during 2021. Catfish anglers are successful at night fishing from the bank with baits that smell bad or bleed. Springtime redear sunfish fishing can be very good with live baits in deep submerged brush or when fish are shallow spawning. Fishing at Towell Lake can be very rewarding; all it takes is a little time and patience to figure out what strategy works best.

Driving Directions

Take the Hwy V Exit in Rolla, MO off of Interstate 44. From there take the north outer road west towards St. James for 1.5 miles. Turn north on Hwy RA. In 1 mile just after mobile home community there are 2 turn-ins for Towell Lake at Little Prairie CA.

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Towell Lake in ozark region

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