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Putnam County

Rodman River

NOTE: A temporary catch and release regulation will be in effect for Rodman Reservoir during the drawdown. It will be illegal to possess Largemouth Bass in Rodman Reservoir from November 1, 2019 through March 15, 2020.

CURRENT UPDATE: Rodman Reservoir is currently drawn down to 8 feet lower than normal water levels as part of the active management of the reservoir. Since the 1990s, the reservoir has been drawn down every 3-4 years to expose the lake bottom, allowing organic material (muck) on the bottom of the lake to oxidize and dissipate. This keeps the muck from building up in the reservoir and maintains hard bottom for fish spawning and native plant growth. The reservoir will remain at the current level until approximately March 1, 2020 when it begins to refill to normal levels. Not only is this an opportunity to scout structure that is normally under water, but the fishing is also usually very good as the fish are concentrated into a smaller area. The reservoir can be accessed via temporary ramps at Kenwood and Orange Springs.

A premier largemouth bass fishery located in north Northeast Florida, covers 9,500 acres and is about 15 miles long. It is located south of Palatka off of Hwy 19. The reservoir was created in 1968 when an earthen dam was built across the Ocklawaha River. A four-gate spillway (Kirkpatrick Dam) controls the water levels of the reservoir. The reservoir from its headwaters at Eureka Dam to Paynes Landing consists of flooded woodlands. The transition section from Paynes Landing to Orange Springs consists of flooded standing timber and areas of floating vegetation. The pool section from Orange Springs to Kirkpatrick Dam, including the river channel and the Cross Florida Barge Canal, consists of floating and submersed vegetation, dead standing timber and submersed and partially submersed trees and stumps. The Barge Canal and river channel have water depths up to 30 feet deep. Submersed vegetation (hydrilla, coontail and eel grass) is common in the pool section of the reservoir. Drawdowns are conducted every three to four years on the reservoir for aquatic plant control and fish and wildlife habitat enhancement.

Local contact:
Gary's Tackle Box 352-372-1791.

Note: Look out for floating logs and exercise caution when navigating.

NOTE: A temporary catch and release regulation will be in effect for Rodman Reservoir during the drawdown. It will be illegal to possess Largemouth Bass in Rodman Reservoir from November 1, 2019 through March 15, 2020.

CURRENT UPDATE: Rodman Reservoir is currently drawn down to 8 feet lower than normal water levels as part of the active management of the reservoir. Since the 1990s, the reservoir has been drawn down every 3-4 years to expose the lake bottom, allowing organic material (muck) on the bottom of the lake to oxidize and dissipate. This keeps the muck from building up in the reservoir and maintains hard bottom for fish spawning and native plant growth. The reservoir will remain at the current level until approximately March 1, 2020 when it begins to refill to normal levels. Not only is this an opportunity to scout structure that is normally under water, but the fishing is also usually very good as the fish are concentrated into a smaller area. The reservoir can be accessed via temporary ramps at Kenwood and Orange Springs.

The reservoir drawdown that anglers have become accustomed to every 3 to 4 years is scheduled to occur this fall until the spring of 2020. The reservoir will be eight feet below normal water level for over three months from the middle of November 2019 to the beginning of March 2020. Temporary boat ramps will be located at Kenwood Landing, Orange Springs, and Hog Valley, where anglers can launch into the Barge Canal and river channel. The Orange Springs ramp is also a popular bank fishing site. During the drawdown, anglers targeting largemouth bass can expect to experience excellent fishing using a variety of baits around the river channel bends from Kenwood to Cypress Bayou as well as areas in the main pool. Black crappie anglers will have success trolling live minnows and/or jigs along the edges of the Barge Canal, as well as the river channel bends in the Kenwood area. Bream anglers can expect to catch plenty of stocky warmouth between Orange Springs and Cypress Bayou using worms and grass shrimp to get the best results.

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfishBlack crappie

FWC Trophy Catch Logo

TrophyCatch Tracker

TrophyCatch is FWC's citizen-science program that rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass 8 pounds or larger. The following TrophyCatch bass have been submitted from Rodman Reservoir:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 476

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 96

Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 2