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Lake Sugema Recreation Area

19640 Jersey Ave.
Keosauqua, IA 52565

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The 574-acre lake is stocked with bluegill, black crappie and channel catfish. But Lake Sugema is known for the best largemouth bass fishing in the area, if not all of Iowa. Extensive planning was done by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to establish underwater structure that helps fish survive and reproduce.

This lake is also good for fishing because of the steps taken to prevent siltation. Besides the hundreds of farm ponds, crop rotations, crop residue management and other soil saving practices farmers have established in the lake's drainage area, the lake is protected by a series of smaller sediment-control dams.

Facilities at the lake include parking lots, boat ramps, fishing jetties, a fishing pier for the handicapped, floating boat docks, and wildlife islands.

The area immediately surrounding the lake, Lake Sugema Wildlife Management Area, encompasses about 3,000 acres. This land has been purchased by the DNR and Van Buren County to be managed as a wildlife area. That management is helping to build on the number of wild turkey, deer, squirrel, geese, quail, rabbits, songbirds, and other wild animals. Habitat is also being developed for raccoon, fox, mink, muskrats, and bald eagles, among other wildlife.

This area is meant for public hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, picnicking, nature study, primitive camping and other fun in the outdoors.

Recently, the 350 acre inviolate waterfowl refuge located in the northwest corner of the Sugema Wildlife Area has been permanently removed. The former refuge was established in the fall of 1995 to provide an undisturbed feeding and resting place for migrating waterfowl primarily ducks. The wildlife staff at Sugema has been monitoring waterfowl use on the refuge during the fall migration for the past 16 years. Waterfowl use of the 61 acre wetland located within the refuge has not been enough to warrant continuation of the refuge area. Most of the ducks that migrate through the area each fall are found using the main lake, private wetlands and on the Des Moines River throughout Van Buren County. The former wildlife refuge at Sugema is now open for all types of hunting use except that the area is still within the closed Canada Goose zone surrounding the Lake Sugema Wildlife Management Area.

For more information or questions, contact Jeff Glaw, wildlife biologist for the Sugema Wildlife Unit at 641-799-0793.

Lake Sugema - Planned for your enjoyment!

Whether it's fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, picnicking, camping, or just getting into the outdoors, Lake Sugema was planned to help you enjoy the outdoors.


Lake Sugema campground is located on the South entrance to the lake on Hwy. 2 (19640 Jersey Ave., Keosauqua) It has a shelter house, sewer dump station, handicapped-accessible shower house, playground. All campsites have 30-50amp service. There are 22 hard surface pads with 12 of them being full hookups and 10 of them being elec/water. There are also 7 gravel pads with elec. There is a boat dock and boat trailer parking area with elec. A great hiking trail that begins at the east end of the campgrounds connects to the beautiful Lacey-Keosauqua State Park. 

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Van Buren County Conservation Board are managing the lake, wildlife and recreation area.

Download Lake Sugema Map
Download Topography Map of Lake Sugema
View layout of campground sites.
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