Lake Wappapello is a reservoir on the St. Francis River, formed by Wappapello Dam. Wappapello Lake, MO is a 45,000-acre project nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains on the St. Francis River in Southeast Missouri. Completed in 1941, Wapppapello Lake annually provides an estimated $3.9 million in flood protection to agricultural lands and developed areas along the St. Francis River. In 1996, the mascot Ranger Willie B. Safe was created at Wapppapello Lake as part of a water safety awareness campaign. Selected as the 1999 Natural Resources Project of the Year, Wappapello Lake averages nearly 2.5 million visitors per year.
Wappapello lake is located 120 miles south of St. Louis, Missouri. Its primary purpose is flood control though it has evolved into a recreational area with ample opportunities to boat, fish, swim or camp. The reservoir lies overwhelmingly in Wayne County, but its southernmost reaches (near the dam) extend into northern Butler County. Lake Wappapello State Park lies on the southwestern side of the lake. Both the dam and reservoir are owned and operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Lake Wappapello offers great opportunities for all types of fishermen. With several creeks extending off of the main channel of the lake, there are plenty of fishing spots for all seasons for catching a variety of fish, including crappie, white bass, catfish, bluegill and black bass.