Each fall, Corps of Engineers and Missouri Department of Conservation staffs construct several large, hardwood brush piles in the lake. These brush piles always hold good numbers of bass and crappie.
Bass Fishing – Clearwater Lake has no minimum length limit for black bass. Largemouth bass is in great shape according to MDC.
White Bass – This lake has a good white bass population. In April and early May, white bass migrate up the Black River to spawn; the best fishing is upstream of Webb Creek Marina. White bass of 1-3 pounds are common.
Catfishing – Channel catfish are common, throughout the lake. Flathead catfish are also present in the lake in low numbers.
Crappie – MDC reports this lake as fair for crappie.
History of Clearwater Lake
Early history of the Clearwater Lake area goes back to paleo-Indians who camped and hunted along Ozark Rivers, perhaps as long as 14,000 years ago. Later we find the Osage Indians as masters of this area around the time of the American Revolution, Shawnees and Delawares moved here, and were the Indians the first English-speaking settlers found here. Many of the local place names are based on those of the Shawnee.
French, and later Germans, settled along the Mississippi and ventured here. The early English-speaking people settled in family groups along stream valleys in the early 1800s. Many were of Scotch-Irish descent and came here from the eastern mountains. Major settlement came, however, after the Civil War when railroads and a timber boom occurred. This was an area that changed hands several times during the Civil War.
Near Clearwater at Patterson was a Civil War fortification called Fort Benton. It is associated with the Battle of Pilot Knob, not far north of here, which was the bloodiest battle west of the Mississippi.
About the time of the Civil War the railroad towns of Piedmont and Ellington were established. Timber was the earliest industry, beginning in the early 1800s with a timber boom. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a second major boom occurred, giving rise to many of the place names we have today. Timber remains an important industry in this area today.
Clearwater Lake is a reservoir on the Black River close to Piedmont, Missouri. Clearwater is used for flood control in the White and lower Mississippi River Basins.
Construction began in 1940 but was halted temporarily at the advent of World War II. Clearwater Lake Dam opened in 1948 as an earthen and concrete dam, 114 feet high. The lake has a surface area of about 2.5 square miles.
A whopping 5,500,000 cubic yards of earth was used to make the dam. Elevation to the top is 608 feet. The emergency spillway is 190 feet long with a crest if 567 feet. The spillway tunnel length is 1,771 feet long with a diameter of 23 feet.
Clearwater Lake has 1,630 acres at the top of the conservation pool during the winter months. The flood pool top is 10,350 surface acres with a total storage capacity of over 413,000 acre feet of water.