Brushy Creek Lake
Any remaining ice on Brushy is unsafe. Anglers can begin preparation for the open water season.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Remaining ice on Storm Lake should be considered unsafe. There are already areas of open water near shore, near the islands, and the inlet. More reports will be added once open water fishing begins.
Black Hawk Lake
Remaining ice on Black Hawk Lake should be considered unsafe for ice fishing. All of Town Bay is open and large areas near the inlet have opened up.
As of Thursday March 3rd, test holes drilled near the boat ramp showed 4 inches of clear ice under 4 inches of cloudy ice. Areas of thin ice near shore and inflows exist, making for variable conditions. Ice should be considered unsafe, especially with warmer temperatures the next few days.
Black Hawk Pits
Most of Black Hawk Pits are now open water. Any remaining ice is unsafe. More reports will be added as open water fishing begins.
Anglers in the Black Hawk District can begin preparation for open water season. Ice fishing is not recommended – most lakes in the Black Hawk District are partially to completely open. Any remaining ice is unsafe. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District Office at 712-657-2638.
Ice is unsafe.
Shorelines with cattails are getting honeycombed; angler activity is slowing down as shoreline ice is starting to weaken. The last few days have been cold and slowed the melting. There will be some ice fisherman out this weekend yet, but beyond that is hard to predict. Yellow Bass – Fair: Anglers have been walking out to the West Aerator, Farmers Beach and Ventura boat ramp and doing decent for yellows. Walleye – Good: An occasional walleye is still being caught near the West Aerator. Use jigging spoons, small lipless cranks or 1/8 oz. jigs with minnows. Channel Catfish – No Report: No reports, but catfish activity picks up during late ice conditions. Use light jigs tipped with a small piece of cut bait or three to four spikes or wax worms. Farmers Beach and the island have been good in the past.
Shell Rock River (above Greene)
Northern Pike – No Report: Look for backwaters and stream mouths to catch northerns.
Northern Pike – Good: Anglers have been catching northerns along backwater eddies and creek mouths on various locations. Fish with cut suckers, minnows or a slow artificial presentation.
Most lakes in Cerro Gordo, Hancock and farther north have some ice remaining but most should be considered unsafe. For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Big Spirit Lake
Ice conditions: 12-16 inches of ice but thickness varied. Use caution while on the ice. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are picking up some nice perch off of Bakers point and north of the pump house in 20 feet of water. Try small silver spoons or gold tear drops tipped with maggots or wax worms.
Ice conditions: 12-14 inches of ice but conditions varied. The aeration system is in use. Use caution while on the ice. Fishing activity was minimal the past week.
East Okoboji Lake
Ice condition: 12-14 inches of ice but thickness varied. Use caution while on the ice. Yellow Bass – Good: Some nice yellow bass have been caught out in front of Parks Marina. Tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms work well. Keep moving to find active schools of fish. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers have been picking up some nice perch on Peppermint point and in front of Parks Marina. Pilkie type lures or tungsten jigs tipped with maggots or wax work well.
Ice conditions:15-17 inches of ice. Use caution while on the ice. Yellow Bass – Slow: A few yellows have been picked up on the southeast shoreline in 10-12 feet of water. Try small tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms or maggots.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Ice conditions: 12-15 inches of ice but thickness varied. Use extreme caution during ice activities. The aeration system is in use. Walleye – Slow: A few walleyes have been caught in the northwest bay. Evenings are the best bite. Try glow spoons tipped with minnow heads.
West Okoboji Lake
Ice conditions: 12-16 inches of ice but ice varied. Use caution while on the ice. Bluegill – Good: The southwestern shoreline in Millers bay has been producing some nice bluegills in 8-10 feet of water. The north end of Haywards bay has also been producing some nice bluegills along with some nice crappies. Gold tear drops or small tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms work well. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are finding some nice perch on Haywards bay in 16-18 feet or water. Mornings are the best bite.
Ice conditions: 12-13 inches of ice but conditions varied. The aeration system is in use. Use caution while on the ice. No reports from the last week.
Five Island Lake
Ice conditions: 12-13 inches of ice but conditions varied. Use caution while on the ice. The aeration system is in use. Yellow Bass – Good: Anglers are catching good numbers of yellow bass. Keep moving until you find active fish. Use tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms.
Lost Island Lake
Ice condition: 12-13 inches of ice. Ice conditions can vary. Use caution while on the ice. Yellow Bass – Good: Multiple reports of a hot yellow bite. Keep moving until you find the schools of fish. Small tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms work well. Early morning and evenings are the best bites.
Upper Gar Lake
Ice conditions: 10-13 inches of ice. Use caution while on the ice. No reports from the last week.
Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
Ice Conditions: 12-13 inches of ice. Ice conditions varied. Use caution while on the ice. No reports from the past week.
Area lakes have some slush pockets near shore. Walleye season is closed on Big Spirit, West and East lakes.
Volga Lake has 12 plus inches with about 2 inches of ice on top. Use caution when going out on ice. Driving on ice is not recommended. Warmer weather will change ice conditions quickly. Fish seem to be hanging around brush piles and other structure. Crappie – Slow: Crappie can be found hanging around brush. More aggressive fish are hanging around above the brush. Tip a jig with a wax worm and golden rod wasp larvae. Bluegill – Slow: Try dropping your jig tipped with a wax worm slowly down to the bottom keeping it about a foot off the bottom. Jiggle your line for a short bit and stop. Repeat. Try a brightly colored jig.
No anglers have been out this past week. Ice conditions are highly variable at this time. Ice fishing is not recommended.
No anglers have been out this week. Edges are open preventing anglers from getting on the ice. Ice conditions are becoming highly variable. Ice fishing is not recommended.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
We received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
We received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Turkey River (above Clermont)
The only places that have ice are in the impoundments. Going on the ice is not recommended. The river is open below the dams. The river is up about a foot.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Ice fishing is not recommended. Check ice depths often if you do venture out.
Decorah District Streams
Trout streams are in excellent condition. Flows are up due to snow melt. Streams may cloud up in afternoons on warmer days due to snow melt. This is an excellent time of year to hook into a brown trout. Look for sporadic midge hatches on warmer days. For these hatches, use #18 or 20 emergers or nymphs with a #22 or #24 drop hook gnarly midge. Use more streamers or scuds as prey availability has changed and fish are looking for something meatier. Brook Trout – Good: Overhead movement and shadows will scare a wily brook trout. Take care when approaching streams with exceptionally clear water. Use larger jigs or streamers that imitate minnows or small trout. Brown Trout – Fair: Sny Magill and North Cedar Fish and Wildlife areas were the first private lands purchased for the purpose of trout stream management open to the public, according to the 1975 Job Completion Report by Fisheries Management Section to the State Conservation Commission. Rainbow Trout – Good: Anglers will find larger rainbows moving upstream this time of year. Try using baits imitating minnows and small trout.
Temperatures are on the rise through the weekend to upper 40’s. Ice conditions continue to change depending on temperature and rain. River levels are falling and many have stabilized. Clarity is good on most rivers. For more information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Reports of anglers still getting out onto Martens Lake (a.k.a. Sweet Marsh), but fishing has been slow for bluegill and crappie. Access has only been by parking on the east side parking lot and walking in along the dike. Use extreme caution when heading out onto this waterbody. Bluegill – Slow. Crappie – Slow.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Anglers are beginning to pick up some walleye on the Cedar River below the low head dams in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig tipped with a twister tail and minnow bounced off of the bottom, stay as light as possible with weight of the jig if possible.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
Some anglers have been fishing the Shell Rock River but there are no reports at this time.
Wapsi River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Some anglers have been fishing the Wapsipinicon River but there are no reports at this time.
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Some anglers have been fishing the Maquoketa River but there are no reports at this time.
Ice fishing season is winding down, contacts in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area are reporting poor ice conditions. Ice fishing is not recommended at this time. Anglers are beginning to gear towards open water walleye and northern pike angling on the interior rivers as the spring spawn nears for both species. Trout streams are in excellent condition now as most of the snow cover has been lost. For further information, contact the N.E. Manchester District Office at 563-927-3276.
Mississippi River Pool 9
Mississippi River level at Lansing has fallen back to 8.1 feet and may begin to rise slightly over the next week. With warmer temperatures predicted over the next few days, ice fishing is not recommended.
Mississippi River Pool 10
Mississippi River level at Lynxville raised last week and has fallen back to16.3 feet and is predicted to be stable to falling slightly over the next week. Tailwater fishing at Lynxville has had mixed results over the past week due to water level changes and weather. Sauger – Fair: Fewer reports of sauger over the past few days due to water level changes and weather. Fishing should improve as weather warms and the river stabilizes. Walleye – Fair: A few nice walleyes reported, but mixed results due to water level changes.
Mississippi River Pool 11
Mississippi River level at Guttenberg raised last week and has fallen back to 8 feet and is predicted to fall slightly over the next week. Tailwater fishing at Guttenberg has had mixed results over the past week due to water level changes and weather. Fishing should improve as weather warms and the river stabilizes. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being caught in the tailwaters on jig and minnow. Sauger – Fair: Fewer reports of sauger over the past few days due to water level changes and weather. Fishing should improve as weather warms and the river stabilizes.
Most of the ice has left the main channel in the upper pools of the Mississippi and the tailwaters are currently free of ice but occasional ice flows may occur as backwater and side channel ice leaves. Ice fishing is not recommended as backwater ice will deteriorate rapidly over the next week.
Mississippi River Pool 12
Water level at Dubuque tailwater is 7.8 feet and 10.1 feet at the RR bridge. This is up slightly from last week. It is expected to stay somewhat steady. Ice fishing is taking place in Pool 12, but many places have marginal ice. Access to the tailwater is good from Hawthorne Street Boat ramp. Yellow Perch – Fair: Not catching many but some “wall mounter” type yellow perch have been reported. Black Crappie – Fair: An occasional nice crappie has been reported but the bite is generally slow. Sauger – Slow: Fishing is reported as slower than expected but a few fish are being caught. Most anglers are using a jig and minnow.
Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level at Bellevue is 9.1 feet which is up from last week. Expect water to remain somewhat steady this week. Some sauger fishing is taking place in the tailwater but reports are mixed. Ice fishing is not safe in most locations. Yellow Perch – No Report: We have not had any yellow perch records this week but some nice fish were reported this winter. Sauger – Fair: The Bellevue ramp is open for boat launching. Some scattered good reports but most anglers report catching only a few fish, mostly on a jig and minnow.
Mississippi River Pool 14
Water level at Camanche is at 11.4 feet and 6.2 feet at Le Claire. These readings are all up from last week and the river water levels are expected to remain steady. Backwater ice fishing is done on Pool 14. Walleye – Good: A couple trophy walleyes were caught and released this week in Pool 14 although fishing is not necessary red hot.
Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels at Rock Island are around 8.6 feet, which is up from last week. Expect water levels to stay somewhat steady this week. Boat ramps in the upper parts of Pool 15 like at Pigeon Creek were open to most boats. No fishing was reported to us from Pool 15.
Some ice fishing is still taking place especially in Pool 12 but use caution. Bad ice is present in a lot of places. Paddlefish snagging season has begun and will run through April 15. Review paddlefish rules or call the DNR station if uncertain. All snagging on the Mississippi is restricted to the area within 500 yards below navigation dams and their spillways. There are also restrictions on the numbers that can be snagged and hook size used.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 8.61 feet and starting to fall. The Marquette St. boat ramp is open. There has been some walleye and sauger fishing by the dam and in Sylvan slough but fishing has been hit or miss. Sauger – Slow: Some fish are being caught by the dam and in Sylvan Slough. Try vertical jigging with plastics and minnows or pulling three-way rigs with minnows. Walleye – Slow.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 16 above Muscatine is 7.64 feet. Fishing for walleye and saugers below the dam has been slow with the higher river conditions. Boats are able to launch in Muscatine. Sauger – No Report. Walleye – No Report.
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston is 9.69 feet. The gates at the lock and dam are out of the water. Boats are able to launch at Toolsboro. Fishing for walleye and saugers below the dam has been slow. Sauger – Slow. Walleye – Slow.
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 19 above Burlington is 6.41 feet. We have not received any reports on tailwater fishing.
Mississippi River Pool 16-19: Tailwater fishing has been slow over the past few days. The river has muddied some making tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers difficult. If you have questions on fishing pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
The lake is mostly open.
Rodgers Park Lake
The ice is starting to go out.
The lake is ice free.
Most of the lake is open and courtesy docks may go in as early as next week.
Central Park Lake
The ice is starting to go out and should be gone next week.
Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is currently about 12 feet low for the upcoming restoration project. The lake is partially open.
The lake is ice free and the courtesy dock is in.
Otter Creek Lake
1/3 – 1/2 the lake is open, depending on temperatures each day. The ice should go out next week.
Union Grove Lake
The lake is currently drained for the renovation project started this winter.
The lake is ice free. The lake is falling for the spring drawdown. As of March 3rd, the lake level is at 681′ and is predicted to reach spring pool (679.4′) by Monday the 8th. Catfish anglers should start thinking about ice-out cats. Try shallow, muddy, windblown bays with dead shad. There have been some anglers under the 380 and 965 bridges but no reports are available.
Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
There is 5600 CFS being released from the Coralville Dam as of March 3rd. Outflows should continue to slowly decrease. Walleye – Fair: A few fish are being caught below the Coralville dam on jigs.
Wapsi River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
The river is open and a little high. Fishing should start picking up soon.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Red Haw Lake
The ice is gone from Red Haw. Look for areas with flowing water and try using cut bait for channel catfish.
Lake Keomah State Park is undergoing a road construction project so access to the park is limited. The boat ramps are still accessible by using the entrance to the north and east of the park.
Look for areas with flowing water and try using cut bait for channel catfish.
Bob White Lake
A complete fisheries renovation was completed in September. Fingerlings were stocked in the fall.
The current lake level is 904.74. Look for windblown shorelines and try cut bait or shad sides for ice-out channel catfish. Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body.
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.
Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Walleye – Slow: Current river levels are high making for tough fishing conditions, but levels are dropping. This could make for good walleye fishing conditions by mid-March. Popular areas to target first are the Fraser dam and Boone Waterworks. Use slow presentations of jigs tipped with twisters, paddle tails or live minnows.
Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Walleye – Slow: Current river levels are high making for tough fishing conditions, but levels are dropping. This could make for good walleye fishing conditions by mid-March. Popular areas to begin targeting first are the Center Street and Scott Street dams and below the Saylorville spillway. Use slow presentations of jigs tipped with twisters, paddle tails or live minnows.
The ice fishing season has ended in Central Iowa as all lakes are partially to completely open. More fishing reports will resume when open water fishing begins. For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
Greenfield has a good panfish population with 8 inch bluegill and 10 inch crappie. The lake is also good for early season catfish.
Mormon Trail Lake
Mormon Trail has a large population of 8 to 10 inch crappies.
Lake Anita is a good early season crappie destination. As the water warms anglers should target the pontoon area of the lake for actively feeding crappies.
Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Ice out catfishing can be very good this time of year. Always get permission to fish private farm ponds. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish actively feed after ice out on dead fish. Cast shad sides in the upper ends of ponds where water warms first for best success.
The open water fishing season is here in the southwest district. Good catfishing has been reported on farm ponds. More reports will be added as they come in. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at (712) 769-2587
The dock at the main boat ramp is installed. Crappie – Fair: Crappie up to 10 inches have been caught using minnows fished near deep cedar tree brush piles.
Three Mile Lake
A public meeting to discuss proposed fish renovation is scheduled for March 15 at 6:30 pm in Room 900 of the Allied Health Building on the Southwest Iowa Community College campus in Creston.
All lakes in the Mount Ayr district are 100 percent ice free. For more information, please call 641-464-3108.