Central baffle flume (CBF) can be utilized as a control structure to measure flow discharge in irrigation channels under free and submerged flow conditions. Stage-discharge relationship has been extensively studied for various geometrical parameters and flow conditions, whereas internal structure of the flow around a baffle has not been investigated in the literature. To address this need, the present work investigates the turbulent flow around a central baffle through high-resolution numerical simulations using an open source computational model. Velocity measurements were conducted in a laboratory flume to setup and validate the numerical model. Comparison of the numerical results with the experimental measurements proves that the present numerical model can predict water depth and velocity field. Longitudinal distance from the apex to the intersection point of water and critical depths can be estimated as Lxc = 2Le, where Le is the longitudinal length of the guide walls. A horseshoe vortex system identified in front of the baffle produces a significant bump on the free-surface and rib vortices generated from the baffle extend up to the sidewalls of the channel. The vertical separation layer observed downstream of the baffle results in a reverse flow and a vortex pair is formed by the impingement of the resulting reverse flow on the back of the baffle. Reverse flow, plunging flow structure, splash and rebounding wave events observed at the downstream produce substantial hydrodynamic effects on the baffle. Geometry of the central baffle was modified to suppress recirculation effects based on the insights into the complete flow structure around the baffle. Eventually, vortex structures were suppressed and the length of the recirculation zone was reduced by 76%.