Brushy Creek Lake
Brushy is ice free. Expect bluegill and crappie fishing to pick up with warming water temperatures.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Ice is off of Storm Lake. Fish for crappie in shallows where water temperatures are greater. Anglers are having luck fishing small minnows in the marina on the west end of the lake. After ice out is a good time to target channel catfish using cut bait.
Black Hawk Lake
Black Hawk Lake is free of ice. Surface water temperature is about 44 degrees. After ice out is a good time to target channel catfish using cut bait. Expect to pick up bluegill and some crappies in the shallows as water temperatures continue to increase.
Arrowhead Lake is free of ice.
Ice is off most of our area lakes. Surface water temperatures range from 40-45 degrees. For more information on the Black Hawk District, call 712-657-2638.
Expanding open water from city beach south along shore and a large section of open water from Dodge’s Point to Venetian Village to north shore pump house. Ice is unsafe and unfishable. Crappie – No Report. Walleye – No Report.
Cornelia is ice-free.
Crystal is partly ice-free with open water expanding from the boat ramp and aerator.
Winnebago River is ice-free. Water levels have not raised much and should provide some action near the Fertile dam for pike, smallmouth, and bullheads. Try a 1/8 ounce jig tipped with a worm or minnow.
Area lakes north of Highway 18 have 14+ inches of ice, but it is getting honeycombed. This weekend will likely be the last weekend for ice fishing. Anglers should use extreme caution.
For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
West Okoboji Lake
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body.
West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)
Walleye – Slow: Few walleyes are being caught by local anglers around the Highway 18 bridge.
West Fork Des Moines (Emmetsburg to Humboldt)
Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish are becoming active in the outside bends in deeper pools. Fish are being caught using stink bait. Walleye – Slow: A couple walleyes have been seen by those fishing for catfish. Some fishermen are having success using yellow twister tails.
Ice fishing is not recommended. Warmer weather is melting ice along the edges. Crappie – No Report. Bluegill – No Report.
Ice fishing is not recommended. The lake is about half open water. Anglers have been fishing from the shoreline, but fish activity has been slow. Bluegill – No Report. Crappie – No Report.
Ice fishing is not recommended. The lake still has ice, but it is very thin. Bluegill – No Report. Crappie – No Report. Largemouth Bass – No Report.
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body. Bluegill – No Report.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
The Upper Iowa has about 1.5 feet of visibility. Walleye – Fair: Walleye are starting to bite. Crankbaits and spinners are working well from shore.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
The Upper Iowa River below Decorah is seeing some spotty fish activity. Walleye – Fair: Anglers using a jig tipped with a long piece of worm are having luck finding walleyes.
Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are up about 2 feet and water is very turbid. There is still ice on the mill pond, but ice fishing is not recommended. Walleye – No Report.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels have stabilized and clarity is excellent. Anglers need to sneak up on fish with the clear water. Walleye – No Report. Smallmouth Bass – No Report.
Decorah District Streams
Take care when accessing parking areas as frost is coming out of ground and there may be soft spots. Insect hatches are beginning to take off with warmer temperatures. Streams are in excellent condition. Anglers have been taking trout on light spruce flies, small #20 caddis fly nymphs, and streamers. Spin fishers using worms fished through riffles are taking nice catches. Brook Trout – Good: The scientific name for brook trout is “Salvenlinus fontinalis.” “Salvenlinus” is an old name for char or type of trout and “fontinalis” means living in springs or fountains. Brown Trout – Good: This time of year lends itself to great brown trout fishing. Off colored water and top water insect hatches in the afternoon can spur a feeding frenzy. Rainbow Trout – Good: Traditionally now is a good time to find rainbow heading upstream to spawn. If you do land a spawning fish, please practice CPR (Catch, Photograph, and Release).
Temperatures this weekend are expected to be in the mid 40’s to low 30’s with some form of precipitation on Sunday. Ice fishing is not recommended on any lakes. Area rivers are in great condition. This year’s catchable trout stocking schedule is now available on-line at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/TroutFishing.aspx. For local information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing has remained fairly stable around 8.0. The boat ramp at Village Creek is open. Water temperature is in the upper 30’s. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being picked up in Minnesota. Slough trolling slowly with crankbaits. Yellow Perch – Fair: A few nice yellow perch are being caught in the boat ramp area at Village creek. Water is still cold, so continue slow fishing techniques.
Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville has fallen half a foot to 16.0 over the past few days. The Lynxville boat ramp is open and the tail waters have been popular for fishing. Water temperature is in the upper 30’s. Walleye – Fair: Some nice sized walleyes are being caught in the tail waters vertical jigging with minnows. Sauger – Fair: Sauger bite has been slow but should pick up over the next week.
Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has fallen over a foot and a half the past few days to 7.5. The boat ramps at Guttenberg are open and tail water fishing has been popular. Ice has not quite gone out of backwaters and panfishing is slow. Water temperature is in the upper 30’s. Sauger – Fair: Sauger bite in the tail waters is slow but should pick up over the next week. Walleye – Fair: A few nice sized walleyes are being caught in the tail waters vertical jigging with minnows.
Most of the ice has gone out of the main channel and sloughs, but slush ice remains in backwaters. Ice fishing has ended for the year, but tail water fishing is just beginning to pick up. Boat ramps at Lynxville and Guttenberg are open as well as most main channel ramps. River levels are on a slight fall and water temperatures are in the upper 30’s.
Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 7.4 feet at Dubuque Lock and Dam and 9.7 feet at the Dubuque RR Bridge. Water is expected to be stable to falling all week. Boat ramps are mostly all open, but may still be subject to some ice flows. Sauger – Fair: Sauger and walleye tail water fishing is well underway with anglers reporting fair success using three way rigs with minnows.
Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level at Bellevue is at 8.5 feet and falling. Most ramps on the Pool are open, but some may be subject to periodic ice flows. Paddlefish season is open. Paddlefish rules are fairly complicated; review them before heading on the water. Anglers must know if they are fishing on the Iowa or Illinois side of the river. Sauger – Fair: Anglers are reporting some sauger mostly on three way rigs or a jig and minnow.
Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 8.4 feet at Fulton, 11.8 feet at Camanche, and 6.6 feet above the dam at LeClaire. Levels are generally falling in all locations. Paddlefish season is underway. Paddlefish rules are fairly complicated; review them before heading on the water. Anglers must know if they are fishing on the Iowa or Illinois side of the river. Sauger – Fair: Sauger are being reported by anglers using a jig and minnow or three way rigs.
Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level at Rock Island is at 8.5 feet and falling. No fishing was reported to us this week.
Backwaters still have ice in them and anglers are still ice fishing in some places, although ice is very tenuous. Boat ramps are mostly all open; ice flows have hampered anglers at times this week. Paddlefish season is open. Paddlefish rules are fairly complicated; review them before heading on the water.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities is 8.59 feet and falling. The Marquette St. ramp is open. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being caught in Sylvan Slough, but fishing has been hit or miss. Sauger – Fair: A few saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough, but fishing has been hit or miss.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine is 7.76 feet and falling. The ramps at Muscatine are open and there is a dock in the water at the upper ramps. Big Timber (The Breaks) has open water. Sauger – No Report: We have not received any reports this week for tail water fishing for saugers by the dam. There were no boat trailers in the parking lot on the morning of March 19th. Fishing is most likely going to be tough with the higher water levels.
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston is 9.84 feet and falling. The gates at the Lock and Dam are being reported as out of the water and there is a lot of current. The main channel is open and the Toolsboro ramp is accessible. The road into Toolsboro is muddy. There has been little fishing activity with the higher water levels. Paddlefish – No Report: We have not received any paddlefishing reports, but with the higher water and the gates up at the lock and dam, paddlefishing is usually tough. Sauger – No Report: We have not received any tail water fishing reports for sauger, but with the higher water levels and the gates at the lock and dam being up, fishing is usually tough.
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington is 6.51 feet. We have not received any fishing information for this pool.
Mississippi River Pools 16-19. Tail water stages have risen a couple of feet in the past couple days, but are beginning to fall again. Tail waters are accessible by boat at Davenport, Muscatine, and at New Boston. We have not received any reports on tail water conditions below Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington. Main channel water temperature is 34-37 degrees. Ice is breaking up in the backwaters. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
Grundy County Lake
The lake is ice free.
As of Wednesday, March 18, the lake was partially open, but expected to be all open by the weekend.
Rodgers Park Lake
As of Wednesday, March 18, the lake was partially open, but expected to be all open by the weekend.
The lake is ice free.
Kent Park Lake
We have received no information regarding fishing on this waterbody.
As of Thursday, March 19, about half of the lake is ice free. Only the 2 ramps on the North Arm are usable. Almost the entire north arm is open. About half of the south arm is open. None of the mid lake around the park is open. Hopefully the lake will be close to ice free this weekend.
Central Park Lake
As of Wednesday, March 18, the lake was partially open.
Pleasant Creek Lake
As of Wednesday, March 18, the lake was still 90 percent ice covered.
The lake is ice free, but no one has been fishing yet.
Otter Creek Lake
The lake is ice free, but there has been no fishing activity.
Union Grove Lake
As of Tuesday, March 17, only the south end of the lake was open and no ramps were usable.
As of Thursday, March 19, most of the lake was open. Only some protected bays still have ice. There is still not a clear ramp, as some ice is either laying on the ramps or still holding on the water just in front of the ramp. The water level is down to normal spring pool of 679.3 and is muddy. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some shore anglers are catching a few catfish on shad in the upper ends of the lake.
Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
Outflow from Coralville Reservoir on March 19 is 2200 cubic feet per second. Flows are predicted to gradually decrease and match inflow to the lake above.
Wapsi River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Anglers are fishing below the dams and picking up a few walleyes. The backwater area at Pinicon Ridge is beginning to open up.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
The ice has gone out. Try sunny shallow areas as they are the first to warm up and hold active fish.
Lake Miami is undergoing a lake renovation project. The lake is 6-8 feet below normal and the boat ramps are difficult to use. New jetties and cedar tree piles have been installed.
East Greater Ottumwa Central Park Pond
A trout stocking event is planned for March 28th at 11:00 AM.
Current lake level is 904.30. Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels; properly drain, clean, and dry boats before transporting to another water body. Spray boats and trailers with high pressure hot water (above 104 degrees) or let them dry for at least 10 days (5 days in the sun). The lake is free of ice. Target shallow areas that catch a lot of sunshine; they will warm up first and hold active fish.
Red Haw Lake
Ice thickness has deteriorated due to the warm weather. Use caution.
Ice thickness has deteriorated with the warm weather. Use caution. Fishing activity has been slow.
Take your trash with you so your favorite fishing spot is clean and litter free. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions regarding angling in south central Iowa. Use caution in south central Iowa as the lakes and ponds have varying thicknesses of ice.
Big Creek Lake
The Beach, East and West boat ramps are ice free. The main body of water is completely open. There is one large piece of ice by the dam, but expect it to be gone by the weekend. Boat ramp docks are not in yet.
Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Walleye – Slow: The Des Moines River north of Saylorville is ice free. Flows are currently good for spring walleye fishing. Anglers fishing around Boone and Fraser are having limited success, but the walleye bite should pick up the next couple of weeks. Fish jigs tipped with minnows or twister tails very slow.
Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Open water fishing from the Highway 65 bypass to Scott Avenue Dam has been good. Walleye – Good: Walleye are being caught from Scott Avenue dam to the Highway 65 bypass. Anglers should practice slow retrieval of jigs and minnows.
Central Iowa ponds and lakes are mostly ice free. More fishing reports will resume as anglers begin open water fishing. For information on central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
Fish surveys indicate a large crappie population in Greenfield. Fish average 9 inches. Bluegill – No Report. Crappie – No Report. Largemouth Bass – No Report.
Anglers can expect to catch 8 inch bluegills and 9 inch crappie this spring. Bluegill – No Report. Crappie – No Report.
Littlefield has a good panfish population. Bluegill – No Report. Black Crappie – No Report.
Crappies have moved into the pontoon arm of the lake. Cast small two feet under a bobber to catch panfish. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappies are being caught in the pontoon arm of the lake casting small jigs. Warm sunny days are best. Bluegill – No Report. Largemouth Bass – No Report.
Crappies are being caught in the canals. Crappie – Fair: Anglers are catching crappie in the canals casting minnows or jigs. Sorting is necessary for larger fish.
Farm Creek Lake
Farm Creek will provide good fishing this spring for all species. Bluegill – No Report. Black Crappie – No Report. Largemouth Bass – No Report.
Open water fishing has begun on area lakes. Anglers are targeting panfish in shallow bays that warm sooner than deeper parts of a lake. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.
Channel Catfish – Good: Channel catfish of all sizes have been caught on cut bait fished along shallow mud flats.
Mount Ayr district lakes are ice free. Water temperature in most district lakes is approximately 45 degrees. The district includes Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke and Madison counties. For more information, call: 641-464-3108.