St. Francis River (above Wappapello Lake)


Annual Prospects Report

The St. Francis River above Wappapello Lake offers an opportunity for anglers to catch all three species of black bass.  Spotted and largemouth bass are more common in the pool habitats and smallmouth bass are more common in the shut-ins from Hwy. 72 to Silver Mines (Hwy. D).  Black bass greater than 12 inches are common with many greater than 15 inches. Shadow bass (goggle-eye) angling will be fair. Most are 5-7 inches, with some greater than 8 inches. Channel catfish can be plentiful from Coldwater Access down to Wappapello Lake.  Most channel catfish are 12-24 inches.  Gigging for northern hog suckers and redhorse should be fair to good from Gruner Ford Access (Hwy. H) in St. Francois County to Wappapello Lake. In 2015, approximately 70,462 fingerling walleye were stocked at Coldwater Access and E Highway. Results from 2018 springtime electrofishing samples indicate walleye fishing should be good in 2019.  Sampling results showed that most of the fish stocked in 2015 have reached the 15-inch minimum length limit.  Anglers can expect most of the walleye to range in size from 15 to 20 inches.  Anglers should concentrate their efforts from Millstream Gardens Conservation Area in Madison County to Coldwater Access in Wayne County. A fair number of quality white bass can also be caught in the St. Francis River in the spring when they run up from Wappapello Lake.  For additional information pertaining to the lake please call the phone number above or email Dave Knuth at  

St. Francis River (above Wappapello Lake)