10/15/19 Prospect Report: Valley Water Mill Lake

Associated Area

Driving Directions

Take US Highway 65 north from Springfield, exit at Valley Water Mill Road/County Road 102 and proceed west 1.4 miles. The lake and associated parking lot are located on the left.

Valley Water Mill Lake is a 13-acre lake managed under a cooperative agreement between the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish, and few black crappie are present in the lake with largemouth bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish providing the best fishing opportunities.  Approximately one-quarter of the bass population will be in the 12 to15-inch protected slot providing catch-and-release fishing opportunities. A good portion of the harvestable bass will be greater than 15 inches, and the opportunity exists for anglers to catch a bass greater than 5 pounds.  Several redear sunfish over 8 inches will be available for harvest.  Fishing pressure is high on larger bluegill, but harvestable-sized bluegill will continue to be available in 2020.  Channel catfish angling should also be good. The Department of Conservation supplements the catfish population by stocking additional 8 to 12-inch channel catfish each fall. Favorite baits for catfish include nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and prepared dough baits. The best times to fish the lake are during late-fall and early-spring as the lake’s extremely clear water promotes excessive vegetation during the summer months.  To increase chances of success in summer months, use weedless techniques for bass and flyfish for bluegill.  The lake is ADA accessible with two fishing piers and a hard-surfaced shoreline trail bordering a portion of the lake. No boats are allowed on the lake, and the lake and surrounding facilities are only open between sunrise and sunset.

Invasive species threaten aquatic resources like Valley Water Mill Lake.   Please protect the lake by not dumping excess live bait or aquariums.