Black Hawk Lake
Water temperatures are around 43 degrees. Bluegill – Fair: Use small tube jigs or hair jigs tipped with bait fished under a bobber in Town Bay and around Ice House Point. Try also near the inlet. Most fish are 6.5-7.5 inches. Channel Catfish – Fair: With these water temperatures, it is a good time to target catfish from shore. Use cut bait and stink bait at Ice House Point, Lakewood Point area, the rock pile north of Cottonwood Point, and the east shore near the outlet. Black Crappie – Fair: Use small jigs fished under a bobber. Walleye – Fair: Some walleye are being caught from shore on twisters and minnows. Most are being picked up in Town Bay and along Ice House Point, but anywhere along shore with rocky structure and drop-offs can produce fish (e.g, Gunshot hill and east end near the outlet). Muskellunge – Fair: A few musky Anglers have been picked up a few musky since ice-out. There is a 40 inch minimum length limit on musky in Black Hawk Lake.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Storm Lake is ice-free. Water temperatures in the marina are around 42 degrees. This is a good time of year to target catfish from shore using stink bait and cut bait. As water temperature begins to slowly rise, look for walleye fishing from shore and panfish in the marina to start picking up.
A few panfish have been picked up. More reports will be available as we receive them.
Water temperatures in Western Iowa lakes are in the low 40’s. Panfishing was good on several lakes last week, but this cool down has reduced some of the fishing activity. More reports will be available as we receive them. Look for shore fishing to start picking up next week as water temperatures gradually warm and fish move into near-shore areas. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.
The lake is about 90 percent ice free. No fishing activity reported this week.
The cold temperatures and higher river levels have slowed the northern pike bite, but expect it to pick back up as the water levels drop. Northern Pike – Slow: Try fishing below the dams with live chubs.
Most of the lakes in the north central area are ice free. For information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
East Okoboji Lake
The ice is almost completely out on East Okoboji, making it possible to take boats out. Black Bullhead – Fair: The most active fish right now are bullheads.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
The lake is free of ice except around parts of the shoreline.
The middle of the lake is open and there is a minimal amount of ice around the shorelines. The fish will begin moving to shallow water as this ice deteriorates and the water gets warmer.
West Okoboji Lake
The majority of the lake is ice free with a minimal amount of ice in the bays and along the shoreline.
All lakes have begun to open up with a few becoming completely open water. The fish will begin to move to shallow water as the water begins to warm up. Shore fishing will to start to pick up on all area lakes. For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are falling and clarity is improving. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye – Slow: Walleye are starting to bite. Try a jig tipped with a flat tailed twister. Channel Catfish – Good: Use dead chubs fished under a bobber.
Decorah District Streams
The 2017 Catchable Trout Stocking Calendar is out – stocking starts until April 3. Streams are in good condition, but flows remain elevated. Gravel roads are soft in spots as the frost goes out. Decent hatches of caddis and stone flies and midges have been occurring with the recent spring-like weather. Spin fishers using swimbaits and spoons are catching nice fish. Brook Trout – Fair: Use flies or lures that look like sculpins, dace or suckers. Brown Trout – Good: Fishing when the water turns off color from run-off will turn the browns on. Try critters imitating small caddis fly larvae or gnats hatching off the water. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Black fly midge or hares ear wet flies are attracting bows fished in the riffles. Slowly pull a black bead head fly with a yellow scud dropper through the upper and lower ends of pools for trout in deeper water.
With warmer temperatures and windy weather, the lake ice will go out quickly. Any ice left is not safe. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use a dead fish on a hook in shallower water on windblown shorelines.
The aerators have been turned off; ice is covering about half of the lake. No one has been out on the lake. Channel Catfish – Fair: Find a rocky windblown shoreline for best luck. Try a dead chub or some other minnow.
Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are falling, but flows remain up. Water clarity is improving.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are falling and clarity is improving. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Walleye – Slow: Anglers were catching a few walleye below dams in deeper holes. Use jigs tipped with twister tails.
The lake is ice free. Channel Catfish – Good: Use dead minnows or other dead fish along windblown shores to attract a cruising cat.
Area rivers are falling after rainfall earlier in the week. Rivers have been producing a few nice fish. It’s going to get cold in Northeast Iowa again this weekend with highs in the 20’s. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Most anglers are targeting walleye, but catching other species too. Walleye – Fair: Use jig and minnow combinations in deeper holes or slack water areas off of main flow. Channel Catfish – Good: Dead cut baits fished on the bottom of the river work very well this time of year. Northern Pike – Good: Cast jig and minnow combinations or float a live chub or shiner underneath a bobber.
Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa River is holding fairly stable and should offer some walleye angling opportunities this weekend. There have been no reports, but clarity remains fairly good for the river.
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There are no fishing reports for this week.
Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
There have been good reports of anglers catching walleye on the Wapsipinicon River, mainly below the low head dams. Walleye – Good: Use jig and minnow combinations in deeper holes or slack water areas off of main flow.
Interior rivers are providing some angling opportunities as they fluctuate this time of year with varying weather conditions. Reports have been particularly good on the Cedar and Wapsipinicon rivers for walleye, channel catfish and northern pike. Area trout streams are in excellent condition, contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276 for more information.
Mississippi River Pool 9
River levels are at 10.3 feet at Lansing and are predicted to rise very slowly over the next week. The ice is all out, but many boat ramps are under high water. Army road at New Albin is closed. Walleye – Fair: Walleye fishing is occurring in the tailwaters and over closing dams, but may be more difficult with the high water and current. Sauger – Good: The sauger bite has been good vertical jigging in tailwater areas, but the high water may create some challenges. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch fishing continues to be successful at the public boat ramp areas and side channels with little or no current.
Mississippi River Pool 10
River levels are 20.4 feet at Lynnville with a slight rise predicted. Fish will be scattered and difficult to find until water levels stabilize. Walleye – Fair: Walleye fishing is occurring in the tailwaters and over closing dams, but may be more difficult with the high water and current. Sauger – Good: The sauger bite has been good vertical jigging in tailwater areas, but the high water may create some challenges. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch fishing continues to be successful at the public boat ramp areas and side channels with little or no current.
Mississippi River Pool 11
River levels are 12.0 feet at Guttenberg and are predicted to rise slightly this week. Lock gates are up at Lock and Dam 10. Fish are more active, but still scattered with the high water. Walleye – Fair: Walleye fishing is occurring in the tailwaters and over closing dams, but may be more difficult with the high water and current. Sauger – Good: The sauger bite has been good vertical jigging in tailwater areas, but the high water may create some challenges. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Perch fishing continues to be successful at the public boat ramp areas and side channels with little or no current.
The Upper Mississippi River levels have fallen since last week and are expected to slowly level off. Many boat ramps still have a lot of water on them. Water temperature in the channel is in the low 40’s. Fish are hugging close to the rocks and in the trees.
Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 12.9 feet at Dubuque tailwater and near 14.8 feet at the RR bridge. Levels are down from last week and are expected to fall a bit more. Some of the smaller boat ramps in Pool 12 are still under water. Tailwater angling is underway, but high water has made finding walleye and sauger difficult. Sauger – Fair: Some tailwater angling is taking place. Anglers are rating tailwater fishing from fair to good with most anglers using a minnow rig. High water makes it difficult to find fish. Walleye – Fair: Walleye tailwater angling is underway. A gig and minnow rig is the most common rig.
Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is near 13.6 feet at Bellevue. This is down from last week and will fall another 1/2 foot or so. The tailwaters ramp is open, but the DNR ramp is flooded. Paddlefishing is underway. Paddlefishing is underway – find rules and tips on the DNR paddlefish website. Walleye – Fair: High water levels and water level changes are limiting catching walleye a bit. Sauger – Fair: Most anglers are using a minnow rig. Yellow Perch – Fair: A few nice yellow perch have been caught in the shallow waters in the tailwaters and mouths of tributary streams. Dead minnows work best.
Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is near 13.9 feet at Fulton, 15.7 feet at Camanche and 9.8 feet at Le Claire. Water levels are falling. Paddlefishing has started – find rules and tips on the DNR paddlefish website.
Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level is 14.5 feet at Rock Island. The water is expected to recede all week. No angling was reported to us.
The Mississippi River water levels are high, but water is retreating. The main channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Paddlefishing is underway – find rules and tips on the DNR paddlefish website. Many boat ramps are still under water or have debris on them. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 14.23 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The docks have been pulled at the Marquette St. ramp in Davenport. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Sauger – No Report: Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Walleye – No Report: Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 13.85 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The gates are out of the water at the dam. The Big Timber access and Kilpeck Landing are closed due to the high water. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Sauger – No Report: Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Walleye – No Report: Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions.
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 15.35 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. The Toolsboro ramp is closed due to the high water. The gates are out of the water at the dam. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions. Sauger – No Report: Fishing has been slow with the higher water levels. Walleye – No Report: Walleye fishing has been slow with the higher water levels.
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 11.16 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet. River stage is 16.06 feet at Burlington and flood stage is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high water conditions.
River stage throughout Pools 16-19 crested on Monday and Tuesday and have been falling the past couple of days. River stages are still high and some boat ramps are still closed due to the high water. Water temperature is around 43 degrees and water clarity is poor. There has not been much fishing with the high water levels and recent storms/high winds. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
Environmental Discovery Park North Pond
The spring trout release will be at 10 am on March 24th (Friday). We’ll stock 1000 trout at that time. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: The trout fishing will be very good, with lots of limits caught shortly after 10 am on March 24.
Lake Belva Deer
The docks are always in at this lake, they are built that way. The fishing cleaning stations’ water pumps haven’t been put back in yet. Very little fishing activity; mostly people who just want to get the boat out.
The weather hasn’t been good to get a lot of people out to fish. The up and down weather isn’t good for getting fish to bite either. The docks haven’t been put in yet.
Lake of the Hills
The spring trout release will be on March 24 (Friday) at noon. 2000 trout will be released. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Forecasting the fishing at Lake of the Hills shortly after 12 pm on Friday, March 24th.
The spring trout stocking will be at noon on March 24th (Friday). 1000 trout will be stocked at that time. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Come out on, or after, March 24th and catch some trout.
For more information on the above lakes, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.
Central Park Lake
The lake is mostly drained at this time for an upcoming renovation project. There is still a pool of water that contains fish. The relaxed fishing regulations have been extended to take advantage of these fish. There are no length or bag limits for fish in Central Park Lake. Normal regulations still apply to the new pond in Central Park.
The water level is at normal spring pool of 679.4′ At this level, boating above Bobber’s Grill is difficult to impossible for most boats. Channel Catfish – Good: Some catfish are being caught on shad guts and cut bait at the 965/380 bridges.
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs or worms/waxworms around brush and off the jetties. Many fish were reported as being 7-8 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs or waxworms around/off the jetties. Most fish were 7-9 inches.
Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
Flow coming out of the Coralville Dam on 3/9 is 3500 CFS.
Kent Park Lake
Fishing regulations will be relaxed beginning March 1 for Kent Park Lake only. There will be no length or bag limits for fish in the lake at that time to take advantage of the fish before the lake is drained later in the year for a scheduled renovation project. Contact the Johnson County Conservation Board at 319-645-2315 for questions about the project. Bluegill – Fair: Use wax worms around brush.
All boats may run at no wake speed at this time. Boat docks are not in yet. Black Crappie – Slow: Some fish are being caught over structure in 15-20 feet of water on minnows. Walleye – Slow: Some fish were caught over structure in 15-25 feet of water on minnows.
Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is currently down 12′ for the restoration project. The in-lake construction is completed. The main boat ramp is open but it is extremely shallow; use caution at these water levels. There have been some anglers fishing by boat and off shore, but no reports are available.
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Anglers have been catching channel catfish using nightcrawlers along windblown shorelines. As the water continues to warm, use small jigs in the shallows for active bluegills.
Use cut bait along windblown shorelines for channel catfish. As the lake continues to warm, look for areas along the shallows that will have active bluegills. Try small jigs in these areas.
Catch channel catfish with cut bait along windblown shorelines. As the water warms, try the shallows for active bluegills.
Use cut bait along the windblown shorelines or jetties for channel catfish. Try shallow areas for bluegill as the water continues to warm.
The current lake level is 904.07 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Channel Catfish – Good: Use shad or shrimp along the windblown shorelines.
Red Haw Lake|
Catch channel catfish with cut bait on the windblown shorelines. Try small jigs along the shorelines for bluegills as the water continues to warm up.
Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.
Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout were stocked here on Feb. 9th. Use spinners, panfish jigs and waxworms or minnows under a bobber.
Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Now is a good time to snag big head and silver carp below the Red Rock spillway. The fish are there in high numbers and anglers are doing well. Walleye – Slow: Fishing below the dams from Saylorville through Des Moines is slow; test the waters for walleyes and white bass when warmer weather returns. Slowly retrieve jigs tipped with twister tails, paddle tail swimbaits or live minnows.
Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout were stocked here on Feb. 3rd. Cast small inline spinners, spoons, panfish jigs and wax worms or live minnows under a bobber.
More fishing reports will resume when warmer weather brings anglers back to the water. For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
Big Lake (Including Gilbert’s Pond)
1000 rainbow trout were stocked here on Feb. 16th. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Trout fishing has been very good at Big Lake. Cast small spinners or minnows under a bobber.
Greenfield Lake has a good fish population. It’s also a good destination for early spring fishing for channel catfish.
Lake Anita will provide good fishing this spring. Find a large crappie population in the lake averaging 9 inches and bluegills up to 9.5 inches. The pontoon area is a hotspot for crappie this time of the year.
Crappie fishing the canals can be good on warm sunny days after ice out. Manawa has a decent population of 10 to 12 inch white crappie. Manawa is also a good destination for early season catfish. White Crappie – Fair: Cast twister tails or minnows under a bobber in the canals. Sorting is needed for the larger fish. Black Crappie – Fair: Manawa has a large year class of 5 to 7 inch black crappie. This big group of fish will provide good crappie fishing over the next couple of years.
Littlefield Lake has quality size black crappies and bluegill.
Orient lake has a good population of 10 inch crappie that will provide good fishing this spring. The bluegills will average 7 inches.
Prairie Rose Lake
Expect to catch quality size bluegills again this spring. The crappies stocked in 2014 will reach an acceptable size to harvest in 2017. The lake also supports a good population of channel catfish and the largemouth bass will provide good catch and release fishing.
Very few angler reports are available at this time. Fish will move into these shallow areas as the water temperatures warm. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.
Green Valley Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 18 inches with jigs fished near fish mounds. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish of all sizes have been caught on cut-bait fished along the bottom or along windblown bays.
Water temperature in Mount Ayr district lakes is in the low to mid-40’s. For more information, contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.