Black River (below Clearwater Lake)


Annual Prospects Report

The Black River downstream of Clearwater Lake supports an excellent walleye population.  Most male walleye are less than 3 pounds, but female walleye up to 14 pounds are present in the river.  Anglers interested in walleye should fish the river between Sportsmans Access (Poplar Bluff, MO) and Clearwater Dam.  Local anglers fish for walleye primarily during the winter months, but walleye can be caught throughout the year.   Walleye spawn from mid-February to March 15th.  During this time period, male walleye are concentrated on the riffles.    Spotted bass (Kentucky bass) and largemouth bass are the most numerous of the black bass, but a few smallmouth bass are present in the river.  The river supports an excellent channel catfish population, with many fish up to 5 pounds.  Flathead catfish are not as abundant as channel catfish, but they do reach good size (40 pounds).  The sucker population is also excellent.  Depending upon water clarity, gigging for suckers should be good.  During the paddlefish snagging season, anglers have a good opportunity to catch a Paddlefish below Clearwater Dam.  Paddlefish average between 10 and 25 pounds. 

Anglers interested in getting the current lower Black River levels can contact the Clearwater Lake Corps of Engineers at (573) 223-7777 or visit the following web site:,63160,00060.  Additional information on this section of river can be obtained by calling the number above or by e-mailing Paul Cieslewicz at

Black River (below Clearwater Lake)





Best Bets

From annual prospecting surveys