June 3, 2013

Canoes and Kayaks Now Allowed on Maffitt Lake

Maffitt Lake shorelineDale Maffitt Reservoir is a 200-acre lake that sits amongst the tall oaks overlooking Des Moines Water Works’ L.D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant.  For the first time ever, Des Moines Water Works is now allowing the use of canoes and kayaks on the lake. Effective June 1, canoe and kayak enthusiasts now have the opportunity to purchase an annual user permit, which will allow them to launch their watercraft on these pristine waters.

The lake, primarily located in Polk County, also has corners that reach into Warren, Dallas and Madison Counties. The reservoir was constructed in the early 1940s, as a backup water source and named in honor of then General Manager of Des Moines Water Works.  In 2000, Des Moines Water Works began operating the L.D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant at Maffitt Reservoir in effort to produce enough water for Des Moines and surrounding areas’ growing population. For decades, nature lovers and anglers have enjoyed the serenity of the lake, as ducks, geese, river otter and a multitude of fish species call it home.

The annual boat permit can be purchased at Des Moines Water Works General Office, located at 2201 George Flagg Parkway, in Des Moines, for $20.00. No motors or sails of any kind will be allowed, which will help ensure the lake remains a high quality water source for the area’s drinking water supply. 

In addition to the land used for the lake itself, Des Moines Water Works maintains hundreds of acres surrounding the lake in an effort to protect the watershed. Today, Des Moines Water Works owns and maintains nearly 1,500 acres that comprise Dale Maffitt Reservoir and Park.

Located southwest of Des Moines, Dale Maffitt Reservoir and Park is truly a hidden gem. Fishing, picnicking, and hiking are favorite pastimes at Maffitt Reservoir and Park. For the general public’s convenience, several docks that extend nearly 20 feet into the lake are located along the shore. A nature trail of approximately 4.5 miles leads hikers around the lake.

Park hours are 7:00 am-8:00 pm (Standard Time) and 6:00 am-9:00 pm (Daylight Savings Time). Take Army Post Road west, across Interstate 35 and follow the signs.

For more information on the use of canoes and kayaks on Maffitt Lake, please contact Des Moines Water Works at (515) 283-8700.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone 2 Comments
Labels: , , , , , , Posted in Maffitt Reservoir, Parks

2 Responses to “Canoes and Kayaks Now Allowed on Maffitt Lake”

  1. June 04, 2013 at 3:22 pm, Todd Robertson said:

    I hope you re-consider the wording on the new paddling permits. To exclude stand-up-paddleboarding (SUP) does not make sense. It is the fastest growing segment of the paddling industry and Iowa is one of the leading states in SUP sales. Serious paddlers, fishermen and nature lovers use SUP. They are not toys and they do not invite careless behaviour like say, inner tubes. I planned on SUPing and taking photographs o saturday morning after buying my permit on Friday. What are your plans for corrections? I am being flooded with calls from SUP users here at the IDNR and would like to know what will be done. For selfish reasons too! I want to SUP Maffitt!


    • June 04, 2013 at 3:31 pm, Laura Sarcone said:

      > Hi, Todd
      Stand up paddleboarding was discussed by our staff, Board and legal department. Paddleboarding requires in/out of the water and that is not allowed to maintain water quality in the lake. The permit is for canoes and kayaks only.

      Des Moines Water Works


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