Jewell County State Lake was primarily created as a fishing spot, and it’s surrounded by a region of grassland hills. This lake is heavily used and found between Lovewell and Glen Elder Reservoirs. There’s a sheltered retreat here you won’t find on bigger waters. Native prairie grass, shrubs, and woodland trees dominate the local vegetation. The native grasses include buffalo grass, western wheat grass, gram a, sideoats, switch grass, Indian grass, and little bluestem. There are trees as well as shrubs surrounding the lake, but also under the dam and above the drainages leading into the lake. They are primarily but not limited to cottonwood, green ash, black walnut, mulberry, black locust, American plum, dogwood, osage orange, eastern red cedar, willow, and hackberry.
At the time of writing, the fishery has walleye, crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, channel catfish, redear sunfish, and saugeye. Increased fishing access is available thanks to five fishing piers.
The major lakes of Kansas, including Jewell, are the best places to catch great stringers of walleye, as this fish has a preference for lakes that are moderately deep and have bottoms of rock, sand, or gravel. Walleye is usually found in cold water lakes, but it does survive in warmer waters too. It’s a prized catch since the filets taste great. Kansas walleye are known to spawn in the spring and then sometimes choose to migrate out of the lake up into feeder streams in order to spawn. If they don’t have that option available to them, they hunt out shallow shoals or bars with clean bottoms close to deep water. It’s a toothy fish that eats practically anything it’s able to catch and fit into its mouth. Walleye have a preference for smaller fish, but they’ll eat insects, worms, and even crustaceans. They are rather wary of things around them and seek the safety of deep, dark waters. A good time to fish for walleye is between dusk and midnight, especially during the summer heat.
Use live bait, plastic worms, grubs, small spinner baits, spoons, and crankbait to fish for Kansas walleye.
Public hunting is somewhat allowed. However, given the small size of the land area, the opportunities are restricted. Many non-game wildlife or song birds either inhabit the area, or pass through and use it. Specific game species include pheasant, turkey, fox, rabbit, whitetail deer, furbearers, waterfowl, mule, squirrel, dove, and quail. There are food plots that encourage local wildlife to use this area and also to supplement the food provided by both surrounding agricultural tracts and native plants.
The fishery is a place to find carp, bullhead, walleye, green sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass. There are five fishing piers placed around the lake to boost access to fishing, and a trio of fish feeders are in place to enhance the growth and conditions of the fish.
Designated sites are available for camping. There are seven picnic shelters featuring grills and tables, and pit toilets are placed in convenient locations around the perimeter of the lake. The Group Shelter can be reserved, but camping is not allowed without a special permit. Swimming is not at all permitted, and climbing or tying onto fish feeders is not tolerated.
Motorized boats are permitted, but only at no wake speeds, and only for hunting and fishing. If you want to fish the cover areas of the lake with tremendous effectiveness, use a small one- or two-person bass boat that has a trolling motor. The west side of the lake has a boat ramp adjoining a parking lot.