Bethany Lakes

The North Bethany City Reservoir and Old Bethany City Lake in Harrison County received upgrades recently. The ceremony on the new fishing dock included, left to right, Laura Ruman, MDC fisheries programs supervisor; Bethany Mayor Jonne Slemons; Randy Brejnik and Charles Crabtree, Bethany aldermen; Josh Roller, conservation agent, and Jerry Wiechman, MDC fisheries management biologist.

The Missouri Department of Conservation presented the city of Bethany, Missouri, with funds to help pay for improvements at a city reservoir and city lake.

Josh Roller, Harrison County conservation agent, said the financial assistance helped improve access for fishing and boating. The upgrades were completed at North Bethany City Reservoir and Old Bethany City Lake this year. Both serve as water supply lakes.

The conservation department presented the city of Bethany a check for $153,537 on Sept. 20. Earlier, the department provided a $23,305 grant for the projects.

The department reimburses up to 75 percent of project costs under the Community Assistance Program, which provides anglers close-to-home places to fish.

The department administers the grants as part of the federal Sport Fish Restoration program within the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The federal program is funded through the purchase of fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels.

Roller said both lakes meet the requirements of the American Disability Act and are accessible.

He said the funds to help pay for installation of a new floating dock, construction of a new parking area, improvements at two existing parking areas, renovation of a walkway and a fishing platform and the replacement of two privies.

The Old Bethany City Lake had an upgraded platform and new privy. The North Bethany City Reservoir installed a floating dock, placed a new privy and repaired the parking lot.

Jerry Wiechman, MDC fisheries management biologist, said there was not a floating dock at the lake previously. The North Bethany City Reservoir is one of the deepest lakes in Northwest Missouri at over 40 feet in depth.

“The dock helps anglers get past the vegetation at the shoreline,” Wiechman said. “It allows for a better chance to catch decent fish. It also has a roof on it so its shaded. The water is relatively clear at the reservoir. Anglers can walk out on it and see bluegill swimming around in the vegetation.”

Boating is allowed but only with electric motors and the boat must go at a no-wake speed because it is a water supply lake.

He said the department put fish attractors around the dock to try to concentrate fish. The lake is managed by the conservation department and has bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and large-mouth bass.

For more information about MDC’s Community Assistance Program for public fishing and boating lakes statewide, visit

Margaret Slayton can be reached