Welcome to Northwest Iowa Outdoors

  • Northwest Iowa Outdoors holds annual youth fishing derby
  • Cutting trees on Iowa’s public lands
  • Curly-leaf pondweed
  • Zebra mussel larvae sampled in Big Spirit Lake
  • Keeping our Lakes Alive
  • Iowa Spring Turkey
  • Taking a Look at Walleye Stocking Data
  • Walleye Workshop kicks off Iowa Great Lakes Walleye Weekend
  • Northwest Iowa Outdoors Pro-Staff visits Chain Ranch
  • Ice going, going…gone?
  • Upper Great Plains Muskie Club offers seminar Saturday, March 21
  • Ted Takasaki headlines IGLFC’s spring fishing seminar
  • Love That Northwest Angle
  • Winter Bird Feeding Tips
  • Using your eyes to see beneath the ice
  • It’s all about the kids
  • Bluegill Bite Turns on for Iowa Team Extreme

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Recent NWIO Articles

  • Northwest Iowa Outdoors holds annual youth fishing derby
    Northwest Iowa Outdoors holds annual youth fishing derby

    On June 6, 2015 Kingsley Iowa based Northwest Iowa Outdoors held its annual youth fishing derby at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville Iowa.  The event was held even though the weather forecast promised a rainy morning.  The rain held off and allowed to 76 attendees to enjoy a fun filled morning fishing with their friends and families. The fishing started at 8:00 A.M. and concluded at noon.  Upon registration youth received a free tackle box full of gear, and plenty of bait, compliments of Small Town Sportsman in Kingsley.  First time fishermen were able to gain the help from the Read more →

  • Cutting trees on Iowa’s public lands
    Cutting trees on Iowa’s public lands

    By Steve Weisman Want to get a controversy started? Well, let’s talk about cutting trees on Iowa’s public lands! You are going to get a whirlwind discussion for and against. Why is it such an emotional topic? We see people planting trees in their yards and shelterbelts around farmsteads. While at the same time, we see landowners razing old farmsteads and leveling the trees that have stood there for generations. I have a family farm in northwest Iowa, and 18 years ago we put in two 7-row tree belts as part of the Conservation Reserve Program and to help wildlife. Read more →

  • Curly-leaf pondweed
    Curly-leaf pondweed

    By Steve Weisman Say the words “water” and “exotic” and right away we think of zebra mussels, bighead carp and Eurasian watermilfoil. However, exotics cover so much more than that. In our Iowa Great Lakes chain, we have other exotics that are now part of these bodies of water. One of them, which seems to be more noticeable both last year and this year is curly-leaf pondweed. Although it is in all of the lakes, it seems to be more obvious on East Okoboji. I noticed it a year ago about this same time, in the portion of the lake Read more →

  • Zebra mussel larvae sampled in Big Spirit Lake
    Zebra mussel larvae sampled in Big Spirit Lake

    By Steve Weisman Ever since zebra mussels were discovered on the Okoboji chain in late 2012, we’ve been worried about Big Spirit Lake. There was the fear that sooner or later it would happen, and they would be found in Big Spirit. On Thursday, May 28, Mike Hawkins, fisheries biologist at the Spirit Lake Hatchery, sent out a release confirming that zebra mussels had been found on Big Spirit. Over the past few days, Hawkins has spent a lot of time giving interviews with local media and regional media sources discussing the findings.   Here is the May 28th release… Read more →

  • Keeping our Lakes Alive

    By Steve Weisman Outdoor Editor “Keep our Lakes Alive.” That’s a pretty powerful statement, isn’t it? I think it’s what those of us living in the Iowa Great Lakes area want. However, when you consider that the watershed for the Iowa Great Lakes (acres of lakes and land) adds up to 85,933 acres, achieving this goal becomes a pretty daunting task. How can we as residents even begin to address an 85,933-acre watershed? That’s where the Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance (CWA) comes in. Formed in 1990 through the efforts of the Dickinson Soil and Water Conservation District and the Read more →

  • Iowa Spring Turkey
    Iowa Spring Turkey

    by Clark Schmitz, Brunsville, IA As the winter of 2014/15 finally came to an end it was time to think about warmer weather and turkey season. The hunt preparations, which are part of the fun, included getting the decoys and blind ready, practicing up with the calls and of course some much needed target practice. A quick visit to the IA DNR website and my archery turkey tags arrived in no time. After scouting the turkey woods I would be hunting, I chose a fairly narrow ridge / saddle to place my pop-up blind a week prior to opening day. Read more →

  • Taking a Look at Walleye Stocking Data
    Taking a Look at Walleye Stocking Data

    By Steve Weisman Once again the DNR’s gill netting process on the Iowa Great Lakes was a huge success. As a result, the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery was able to harvest enough eggs to produce a new stock of fish for many of the states lakes and streams. This year more than 3,300 walleyes were taken from Big Spirit Lake, East Okoboji and West Okoboji, with 2,117 walleyes coming from Big Spirit alone. In addition DNR officials also take both northern pike and muskie for stocking purposes. Roughly 500 pike and over 300 muskies came from the three lakes. Largest Read more →

  • Walleye Workshop kicks off Iowa Great Lakes Walleye Weekend
    Walleye Workshop kicks off Iowa Great Lakes Walleye Weekend

    By Steve Weisman You can feel it in the air…the anticipation for one of the most anticipated openers in the Hawkeye state: the 33rd annual Great Walleye Weekend. Set for May 2-3, this two-day fishing tournament brings all kinds of folk together to, yes, FISH! The tournament kicks off at midnight, actually 12:01 on Saturday morning and concludes at noon on Sunday. But what if there were something more, you know something to help kick this annual tournament off. Well, thanks to Shane and Christa Kendall, owners of Great Lakes Marine Service & Sales (GLMS) there is! GLMS www.greatlakesmarneservice.biz), will Read more →

  • Northwest Iowa Outdoors Pro-Staff visits Chain Ranch
    Northwest Iowa Outdoors Pro-Staff visits Chain Ranch

    By: John Hackett Hog hunting is becoming more popular with northwest Iowa hunters every year.  To see what all the hog hunting buzz is about, the Northwest Iowa Outdoors Pro-Staff took a 3 day trip to the Chain Ranch in near Canton Oklahoma.  The Chain Ranch has 20,000 acres available for free range hog hunting, along with its 160 acre preserve. Our first evening at the ranch we hunted the preserve.  At first I was skeptical of hunting a preserve.  Didn’t know for sure if would be more like shooting farm animals than actually hunting wild hogs.  But the way Read more →

  • Ice going, going…gone?
    Ice going, going…gone?

    By Steve Weisman Things are changing. The first week of March we were still ice fishing, and as I write this column, Big Spirit, East Okoboji, Minnewashta, Upper Gar and Lower Gar are completely ice free. West Okoboji, as it normally does, is taking longer. What is amazing is that this all happened without a spring rain. However, we had several sunny 60+ degree days. The power of the spring sun is truly amazing. I stopped in at the Hatchery, and the northern pike spawn will be over and done quickly. They bring them in, take the eggs needed and Read more →


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