Thomas Hill Reservoir Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Macon, take Highway 36 west 5.25 miles, then Route C south 10 miles to College Mound, then Route T west 2.40 miles to the main entrance.


Primarily forest and old fields. Facilities/features: campground, boat ramps, boat docks, picnic areas, a fishing jetty, and 4,950 acres of fishable water. The area also has a waterfowl refuge north of Route T and upland hunting on several thousand acres. A heated water discharge canal offers unique winter fishing opportunities.

About This Area

The Thomas Hill Reservoir Conservation Area property is owned by Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. of Springfield, MO. The reservoir was constructed to provide a source of water to cool the power plant during energy production. The public is restricted from a small portion of the area near the power plant.

The area is managed by the Conservation Department under a multi-year lease. The area consists of the 4,950-acre Thomas Hill Reservoir, surrounded by 4,381 acres of land which is approximately 60 percent open and 40 percent forested. The area has 2.2 miles of stream frontage on the Middle Fork of the Little Chariton River. The north end of the reservoir features several wetland units, created and maintained by beavers, that attract a variety of nesting and migrating birds.

Management of the area includes farming, timber harvest, and controlled burns to improve wildlife habitat and increase species diversity.

Thomas Hill Reservoir is managed primarily for largemouth bass, crappie, hybrid striped bass and catfish. The warm water discharge remains ice-free during the winter providing a unique winter fishing opportunity.

Bald eagles are present on the reservoir and can usually be seen from Route T, especially in the winter.

The area also has an improved campground with concrete pads, shelters, fire grates, and privies. Three concrete boat ramps are located on the lake.

General Information





  • Regulations pertaining to interior ponds and strip pits have special provisions. See area brochure link for specific regulations.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  Camping is available at the Route T campground which includes 10 improved sites. The campgroud offers small covered shelters, concrete pads, a privy and picnic tables. Primitive overflow camping is available adjacent to the permanent campground when campsites are full.  
Fishing - Bass Good population.  
Fishing - Catfish Fair population.  
Fishing - Crappie Good population.  
Fishing - Other Good population. Hybrid striped bass 
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Dove Fair population.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population.  
Hunting-Squirrel Fair population.  
Hunting-Turkey Fair population. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Waterfowl-Open Hunting Fair population. Waterfowl hunting is prohibited on the lands and waters of the main arm of the reservoir north of Route T and south of Ginger Street, is designated as a waterfowl refuge from Oct. 15 to the close of waterfowl season.  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Lake - Concrete   Thomas Hill Reservoir   
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   Campground has 10 camping pads, covered shelters, a privy and picnic tables.  
Dock - Boat/Courtesyaccessible  At parking lots C and G.  
Dock - Fishingaccessible  Access from parking lot C.  
Fishing Jetty/Platformaccessible   
Parking Lotaccessible 12  Parking lots B, C & G have limited ADA accessibility.   
Privy/Restroomaccessible  Two privies at Parking Lot G that are ADA, one privy at Parking Lot C that is ADA, and one privy at Parking Lot B that is ADA.  

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond Thomas Hill Reservoir 4950.00 acres The warm water arm provides good fishing during the winter. 

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Lakes/Ponds 4950.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 463.00  
Crop Land 210.00  
Wetland 281.00 On wetland units depending on fall precipitation. 
Old Field 2330.00  
Other 2124.00 Restricted area 
Forest and Woodland 1097.00  
Total Area Acres:9431.00 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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