Places to Go: Lake Paho Conservation Area

By Larry Archer | September 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: September 2022

Lake Paho Conservation Area

Good fishing and a little history

A day on the water, dock, or bank of Lake Paho Conservation Area’s (CA) namesake waterbody can yield several different catches and, if one is paying attention, a history lesson.

Now in its 75th year, Lake Paho, located in Mercer County, was the first built by MDC, with construction beginning in 1947. Lake Paho CA’s name even reflects its special place in MDC history, said Wildlife Management Biologist Jonathan McCulley.

“It’s actually Native American for ‘one’ or ‘first’,” said McCulley. “This was the first lake that the department created.”

Located west of Princeton on US Highway 136, the 273-acre Lake Paho offers anglers plenty of avenues for pursuing black bass, white bass, catfish, crappie, and more. Away from the water, the area’s remaining 2,000-plus acres provides hikers, bikers, birders, and hunters with additional opportunities.

For those who want to make more than a day trip of their visit to Lake Paho CA, the area has three campsites, said Wildlife Crew Leader Darrel Cunningham.

“We have primitive camping, which pretty well means there’s no electricity, no water,” Cunningham said. “We do have gravel sites for RVs with grass in between them for tenters, and then we provide a pit toilet in each campground.”


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This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
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Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
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