Charity Lake became a reality in 1966 when a group of people decided they wanted a recreational lake. The construction of the lake was made possible by the generous donations given by many community members, which is how the name “Charity Lake” was born. Over the years, the park has been kept in good shape for those who enjoy using the area for recreational purposes. The many and varied activities at Brickyard Hill and Charity Lake make for exciting leisure time for all ages. The camping area near Charity lake offers fire rings, restrooms, and picnic tables that are available to the public. Because of the expanse of the area, wildlife is plentiful. In the lake itself, there is a good population of bass, catfish, and sunfish. Charity Lake was actually the first lake in Northwest Missouri to be stocked with smallmouth bass. In the area surrounding the lake, there is a wide range of hunting choices for those hunters licensed in Missouri. An abundance of deer, rabbits, squirrels, and turkeys populate the timber surrounding Charity Lake.
On Saturday, June 4th, the public is invited to attend the ribbon cutting and rededication at Charity Lake to celebrate the lake’s 50th anniversary. The ribbon cutting ceremony begins at 11 a.m., followed by complementary food and drinks. The Missouri Department of Conservation is providing a number of fishing poles at the lake for youth and adults on Saturday as well. (Adult permits required) This event, filled with fishing, food and fun, is a perfect way to kick off the summer with family and friends. Please bring your own lawn chairs.
By Tory Mason, Fisheries Management Biologist, MDC
Created in 1962, Brickyard Hill Conservation Area, its name derived from a brick factory that was established in 1900, is one of the most unique and rugged landscapes in NW Missouri. Hidden amongst the steep contours of Brickyard Hill Conservation Area you will find Charity Lake, one of the most beautiful small reservoirs in Northern Missouri. Back in the early 1960’s, a bunch of locals donated their time and equipment to build the lake, making the task of naming of the lake an easy one. Although the distinctive dry loess hill prairie habitat and the unique plant species that occur on Brickyard Hill Conservation Area get all the attention, the clear 13- acre lake can definitely grab its own attention through quality fishing. Stocking records clear back to 1966 show that everything from several different minnow species to bullheads, flathead catfish, redear sunfish, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, grass carp, and channel catfish have been introduced into the lake. We still see very large individual grass carp when completing annual electrofishing surveys, and records show that the last time those fish were stocked was 1986….now that’s an old fish!! We have learned quite a bit in the past four decades about stocking success of different species in small reservoirs and currently, channel catfish are stocked annually to continue to provide quality channel catfish opportunities because channel catfish rarely reproduce successfully in small, clear reservoirs. Interestingly, Charity has been known, and is currently known for quality-sized bluegill, yet not one bluegill has ever been stocked by MDC. Historical sampling data shows that the overall fishery has changed very little over the years. What you can always count on when fishing Charity Lake is very high numbers of small to medium sized largemouth bass, a very large crappie here and there, and a chance to catch bluegill over 8 inches in length, making Charity Lake one of the top 2 or 3 bluegill lakes in NW Missouri.