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Ed Carlson

Tony Dean pass's the torch to Mitchell

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Tony Dean retires from the TV business

Brad Dokken Grand Forks Herald

Published Sunday, May 25, 2008

One of the pioneers in outdoors television is passing the torch.

Tony Dean, longtime host of “Tony Dean Outdoors,” has sold the rights of his popular program to Devils Lake fishing personality Jason Mitchell. Dean, 67, is helping Mitchell through the transition, co-hosting new programs that will air beginning in December and teaching the new host some of the ropes of the trade.

The new show will be called “Jason Mitchell Outdoors.”

Tony Dean, who launched the “Tony Dean Outdoors” TV program in 1985, is retiring from television but will remain involved in outdoors and conservation issues.

“Tony has really set the standard for outdoor TV throughout the years, and he’s been very influential,” Mitchell, 33, said. “I want to continue the legacy he created.”

In a telephone interview from Jackson Hole, Wyo., where he was attending a conference, Dean, of Pierre, S.D., said he’d been thinking about passing the TV show on to someone else for awhile but wanted to find the right person.

According to Dean, Mitchell was a logical choice. He’s not only a savvy communicator, Dean said, but Mitchell also knows sales, having established a successful guiding business and marketing a line of fishing rods.

“You’ve got to be a salesman, and if you can’t sell advertisers, you can have the greatest show in the world, and it’s not going to get on the air,” Dean said. “Jason has proved he’s very good at sales and likes it, and he’s very good at it. I think he’s going to turn into a pretty good outdoor communicator.

“He’s a great kid,” Dean said. “From the day I met Jason, I liked him and saw great potential for him.”

Dean, who launched “Tony Dean Outdoors” in 1985, said he plans to spend more time working as an advocate for conservation issues and hopes to establish what he calls a “conservation think tank” aimed at changing public policy programs and keeping grasslands and wetlands in place.

Dean says he’s developed a plan for the think tank and is exploring ways to fund it. He also plans to continue his daily “Dakota Backroads” radio show and writing occasional outdoors articles for newspapers such as The Forum and the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus Leader.

Leaving the TV business, he said, wasn’t a difficult decision.

“Not really,” he said. “I had my run, well over 25 years doing it, and it’s time to pass the torch.”

Focus on stories

A Minot native, Mitchell said he aims to carry on Dean’s tradition of storytelling. It won’t be a show about how to catch more fish, in other words, but will focus on people and places across the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Michigan.

Nothing will be staged, he says, and the show won’t be filled with blatant product pitches.

“You have to be able to promote and sell a product so advertisers can feel the results, but at the same time, you can do so with a level of integrity,” Mitchell said. “I think the best way to do that is to set down the egos and not, ‘I’ve got a TV show, and I’m the world’s greatest fisherman.’

“There are so many interesting things happening out on the water,” Mitchell said. “People want a good story. It’s our job to find those and tell them.”

Where “Tony Dean Outdoors” also included hunting segments, Mitchell says he plans to keep the new show focused on fishing. Most shows will feature two segments. The first season features 19 episodes, and shows in the works include walleye fishing on the Missouri River south of Bismarck, an interview with Dean looking back on the longtime host’s career, a historical perspective on Devils Lake and the bluegill bonanza on North Dakota’s Lake Metigoshe.

Production and filming for the show will be based in Bismarck, where cameraman Paul Oster lives, but Mitchell said he plans to remain in Devils Lake. Thanks to the Internet, Mitchell said, he and Dean can collaborate with Oster remotely.

Mitchell says he also plans to scale back his time on the water as a fishing guide. The career transition, he says, isn’t scary, and it didn’t take him long to decide when Dean approached him in October about taking over the show.

“It’s pretty exciting, actually,” Mitchell said. “I’ve been in the trenches a long time. I love guiding, but I’m starting to get wore out. People think, ‘Fishing, that isn’t work at all,’ but you fish 100 days in a row with only one or two days off, and it just wears you down. And if you don’t guide that many days, it’s hard to make a living. I’m getting older and slowing down. I’ve got a family now.”

‘Labor of love’

Dean started his broadcast career as a weekend radio host in Bismarck and later worked in Fort Collins, Colo., Sheyenne Wyo., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Huron, S.D. Before launching his TV show, Dean hosted a radio program for South Dakota’s Department of Game, Fish and Parks for 20 years and also spent some time with In-Fisherman Radio.

He said “Tony Dean Outdoors” almost went bankrupt the first year but survived and eventually flourished.

“It’s been a labor of love right from the start,” Dean said. “I had an advantage when I started because I already had communications experience. It was so much easier for me to learn than someone who came from a totally fishing background to try to become a communicator. I enjoyed every minute of it.”

As for Mitchell, hosting an outdoors TV show is a far cry from his early days as a guide, when he’d sometimes sleep in his boat at night for lack of anywhere else to stay and wrap a drift sock around his head as protection from mosquitoes.

“I loved to fish so I just got by,” Mitchell said. “If someone would have told me when I was a kid that I’d be doing this, I’d have fallen right out of my boat.”

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Tony has been, and continues to be, a shining standard for sportsman with his open style of educating sportsman and his demeanor of friendly communication. I have long admired Tony s, style, and at times his willingness to risk controversy when it came to conservation. He occasionally risked controversy not for the sake of sensationalism, or the press, but because it was the right thing to do and it needed to be done. I thank him for sharing his experiences, skills, and advocacy with us over the past 25 plus years.

I too feel Tony has a wise eye for talent and I have long suspected he was grooming Jason for the opportunity to fallow in his footsteps.

In my view Jason Mitchell is a No-Brain'r choice, a sportsman's sportsman, a real Go-Get'r of a guy. I could not think of a better candidate than him to be the next shining example of a Sportsman educator for our region, and beyond.

Jason is most definitely a sales savvy guy, you bet-ch-ya he is. I have had the honor of working with him from time to time and I trust him explicitly. His own product line is built from the ground up from experiences, both good and bad, to refine a quality product that is functional and quality laden.

I wish Tony and Jason smooth waters in there travels ahead.

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When Tony Dean speaks people listen. I'm glad to hear he will still use his voice for conservation efforts. I also would like to thank him for his contribution for the sportsman and the land and the lakes we play on.

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I was wondering when the official announcement would be made, as the talk had been out for a while now about this. I've always enjoyed Tony Dean and I've watched he and Jason Mitchell together on various episodes and think it'll be a smooth transition. Congrats all around!

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I'm going to miss watching Tony Dean.

Jason Mitchell is a no-brainer to take over. I've talked with Jason a few times and the man is a class act. An excellent choice to take over the helm as they say. I'll go as far as to call him the working man's guide, a sportsmans sportsman, and just a flat out honest hard working fella. As an added bonus, I absolutely love his ice rods.

Good luck to Tony and I'm really looking forward to seeing where Jason takes this.

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10-4 to that, his ice rods are Sweet! If you like his ice rods, wait tell you get your hand wrapped around one of his open water rods...very nice indeed. He also has a few new ice ranger tools coming out for 08-09 that I predict will be big hits. I best let him spill the beans on that when the time is right.

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I grew up watching Tony Dean, he is a class act for sporstman to follow. I lost my longtime fishing buddy (my uncle 2 years ago) watching Tony is like a spitting image of my uncle. Whenever Tony is on, it brings me back to memories of my uncle. Have good retirement Tony!!

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I think alot of people watched him over the years when he was on TV. He was always a treat to watch, and learn alot of cool things from him on the TV.

Im sure we will see him around. But enjoy the retirement!

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I love Tony Deans show. Something about his voice that puts me at ease. I hate to see him go but Jason will be a great way to start a new era.

Congrats Tony on your retirement and congrats to Jason on a start of a new adventure. Good luck to you both.

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I will miss Tony Dean on TV but Jason is a more than comparable replacement. Now looking forward to "Jason Mitchell Outdoors".

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Tony deans shows were of top notch quality and I'm sure the same will hold through for Jason Mitchell. His ice and open water rods are also of very high quality.

Good luck Jason on your new venture and we all look forward to viewing your shows.

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I always like the Tony Dean shows.

I'm sure Jason will do a great job.

Sifty

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I really enjoyed Tony Dean also and the hunting segements the most, sorry that the new person isn't going to continue this. The huntings bits Tony did you never see much like it from other shows now it's seems will be gone for good. Thats too bad but things always change.

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Southwest? Where are you getting your info that hunting segments won't continue? I think Tony normally did a goose hunt, and a pheasant hunt each year: I'd think that Jason will most likely have the same opportunities?

Congratulations to Jason for this great opportunity, and good luck to Tony in his conservationist pursuits: He'll be able to do a ton of good for the outdoors and the outdoorsperson!

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I liked the show a lot. It was kind of like "fishing with grandpa". It jsut had that quality about it. It was a lot better than a "midwest magazine bassed outdoors" show that is more about selling resorts and goods.

I will give mitchell a shot though.

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From the shows I know he has already shot for this upcoming season...my money is squarely on...folks will like it.

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I have absolutely no clue what Jason has up his sleeve, but I'll say this.......If he want's to go to SW MN pheasant hunting I'll take him out. Film or no film. I'd actually rather just go hunting with the guy. I said it before and I'll say it again, he's a class act. Guys like Jason Mitchell are always welcome on the hunt with me.

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I think what SW was referring to was, the goose and pheasant but he had some deer hunting mixed in there. The thing about these shows, were that they were "real". They were more down to earth, Tony didn't go after the 192 point buck like every other show.

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Jason will do a great job with the show, it will be an interesting change. Tony will be missed.

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I was just referring to Jason's press release, thats all, never

heard of the guy before but like the one of the posters said above Tony just went hunting and not just looking for trophies,

my young son's liked the hunting segment's, always seemed like

a hunt anyone could go on instead of some of these shows that

you would have to break the bank for the hunt. Hope Jason still

does some hunting shows Tony's were great and fun to watch the

last 20 years.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • be nice if they were back in St. Cloud...  I liked that place....
    • I caught one in a live trap couple years ago. Personally I'd try to rid yourself of them.
    • I grew up with purple Martin's. They seem to like power lines nearby. They eat all sorts of bugs. The diving never bothered us.  As far as the neighbor, I'd have said something.
    • This was my experience, may be completely different than others. I put up a house in my back yard, less than 40 feet from my house, pole was about ten feet tall. Had to remove a lot of sparrow nests until the martins found it, but I did have martins move in. They were beautiful to watch fly for sure. Unfortunately they would dive bomb anyone that came anywhere near, maybe with a taller pole that would not happen? They would fly silently up behind you, then squawk right as they went past. I knew I would not put up the house the following summer when I saw my neighbor, who was working on his boat in his driveway, swinging his landing net at one that was diving at him. From watching them, they would mainly catch dragonflies to feed to the young ones. By the time the mosquitos came out at dusk, the birds were all done flying, so they did not help with mosquitos. This was just my experience. A lot of people have houses and enjoy them, my guess is that if the pole was higher maybe the birds would not see people as a threat. I still have the house, if I ever move to a lake I will try it again.
    •   Yep you are right. I did go to the Sportsman's warehouse up in Anoka and St Cloud when they were here. 
    •   I think you are thinking of Sportsman's Guide- they are in south st. paul,  Sportsman's warehouse was in Woodbury.
    • NORTHWEST Arrowhead Lake
      Ice is 12 inches thick. Black Crappie - Fair: Use minnows or waxworms on a jig in areas with structure anywhere from 10-15 feet deep. Bluegill - Fair: Catch keeper size bluegills with a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm fished near structure.  Bacon Creek Lake
      Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan. 27th.   Black Hawk Lake
      The winter aeration system is on in Town Bay. Expect areas of thin ice and open water in Town Bay. Ice thickness is around 15 inches off of Ice House boat ramp. Bluegill - Fair: Use a teardrop jig and waxworm fished off the bottom near Ice House Point and Gunshot Hill, the rock pile off of Gunshot Hill, and the rock pile off Cottonwood Point. Anglers have had luck fishing waxworms in 8 feet of water in the dredge cuts in the east basin. Some sorting is needed. Walleye - Fair: Use a spoon and minnow fished on the rock piles off Cottonwood Point and in the east basin. Low light hours and after sunset are best.  Black Hawk Pits
      Ice is around 10-12 inches thick. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with waxworms fished near the bottom.  Brushy Creek Lake
      Use caution, conditions are variable - drill test holes often and expect less ice near inflows, in the main channel, and near trees. Walleye - Fair: A few walleye are being picked up with jigging spoons and a minnow head. Low numbers, but most are bigger fish with some over 25 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Decent numbers of bluegill catches reported with waxworms on a teardrop jig. Some sorting is needed. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a minnow on a jig fished near structure in 10-15 feet of water.  Moorland Pond
      Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan. 20th. Use small tube jigs tipped with bait or live minnows under a bobber.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Most ice is around 16-19 inches, but there are variable conditions near shore - some areas of shoreline had open water within the last couple weeks so use caution. Walleye - Fair: Use rattle spoons and jigging spoons with a minnow head in 8 feet of water on the edges of the old dredged area in the west end. Most of the action is at the west end of the lake off Casino Beach, Frank Starr, and College Island. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some perch have been picked up while targeting walleye. Black Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being picked up while fishing for walleye.  Most lakes in western Iowa are maintaining 10-18 inches of ice. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. Blue Pit
      Trout are still being caught. Fish near the pier with small jigs tipped with live bait. Rainbow Trout – Fair. Clear Lake
      Ice thickness is 17-20 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Ice heaves have made access on the lake difficult in spots.Yellow Bass - Good: The bite has picked up. Use light tackle and be mobile to stay on fish. The best bite is still at dawn and the last hour of light. Walleye – Fair: Try jigging spoons and minnow heads near the island. The best bite is still at dawn and the last hour of light. Yellow Perch - Fair.  Crystal Lake
      Ice thickness is 17-20 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Black Crappie - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with spikes or a minnow head near the edge of the dredge cut. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with spikes near the edge of the dredge cut.  Rice Lake
      Ice thickness is 17-21 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Walleye - Slow.  Silver Lake (Worth)
      Ice thickness is 17-19 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators.   For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.  East Okoboji Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Yellow bass action is picking up; fish traditional sites and move often to find active fish.  Five Island Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Ice anglers have had good pole bending activity with numbers of fish harvested. Yellow Bass - Good: Action has picked up, good numbers of fish have been harvested; fish the dredge cuts for the best action. Black Crappie - Good: Incidental catches by yellow bass anglers reflect bonus numbers in the creel.  Ingham Lake
      Use caution; thin ice conditions around the aeration system. Walleye - Fair: Walleye action has slowed; persistence will be rewarded with a good catch.  Lost Island Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Good numbers of fish are being caught; fish the Stoney Point area for the best action. Walleye - Fair: Numbers of fish are reported from Lost Island Lake; change tactics with the changing weather conditions. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some yellow perch and black crappie are being caught by anglers fishing for yellow bass.  Minnewashta Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Report of bluegill being caught; sorting is needed. Anglers are also catching crappie and yellow bass mixed in the bite.  Silver Lake (Dickinson)
      Use caution; thin ice conditions around the aeration system.  Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
      Walleye - Fair: Ice anglers report catching walleye; best bite is during late day. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fishing action has been very variable; ice anglers are catching nice size perch.  Spirit Lake
      Limited access to the lake.  Trumbull Lake
      Yellow Perch - Good: Persistent and patient anglers will be rewarded with good numbers of yellow perch 12 inches and larger in the creel. Northern Pike - Good: Action has picked up; anglers are harvesting northern pike from the lake.  West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Bluegills continue to be fussy; persistence and patience will be rewarded with good numbers of fish caught. Reports of improving water clarity. Northern Pike - Good: Good numbers of fish up to 36 inches are being caught. Tip-up action will improve in the next few weeks.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.  NORTHEAST Cedar River (above Nashua)
      Ice conditions may change fast with warmer temperatures. Backwaters have about 20 inches of ice. Use caution when going on ice. Check ice depths often. The bite is variable. Bluegill - Slow: Find fish in slack water out of current. Stumps, brush piles, and deep holes hold fish. Use small jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Black Crappie - Fair: Find fish in 8-10 feet water. Use minnows, waxworms, and multi-colored spikes on a teardrop shaped bladed lure.  Decorah District Streams
      Current water clarity is marginal. Weekend clarity will depend on precipitation type and amount. Streams with better watersheds will clear quicker. Slack water in deeper holes may freeze, but should melt in the afternoon With a slower bite, use bigger flashier flies and lures. Parking lots on wildlife management areas are not plowed. Use care when parking along the road. Brook Trout - Fair: Midges hatch all season. Try wholly buggers or a flashy fly for a hungry brookie. Brown Trout - Good: Afternoon melt water should turn on a brownie. Insects will hatch on sunny afternoons. Use small midge patterns. With off color water, try a flashy spinner or fly. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Drift a feathered spinner, crankbait or a hook tipped with worm along an undercut bank.  Lake Hendricks
      Ice thickness is at least 24 inches with snow. Water is stained yellow. Few anglers are out. Anglers finding habitat will find fish. Open water around the aerator. The bite has slowed. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Move around to find fish. Use a small jig tipped with a minnow head. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms or spikes around structure.  Lake Meyer
      Ice thickness is about 24 inches ice with variable amounts of snow. Water is turbid. Afternoon bite is best. When the bite slows, move to a different spot. Few anglers have been out.  Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Black Crappie - Slow: Key in to brush and dangle a small jig about a foot or two above the stems. Volga Lake
      Ice thickness is 20+ inches topped with melted snow. Water is stained. Afternoon bite is best. Black Crappie - Slow: Drop your lure about 3 feet above structure and watch them swim up to the bait. Use small teardrop shaped jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Bluegill - Slow: Fish around structure in 14-16 feet water about a foot off the bottom.  Expect a wintry mix of precipitation this weekend. Temperatures warm slightly through the weekend with mid 30s by Sunday. Most stream clarity is marginal at best with current runoff activity. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   We have not received any reports this week. Ice edges are getting soft and the bite has been slow; anglers are not getting out. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information. MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level at Lansing has bumped up to 8.2 feet. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet; use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may become unsafe with warmer weather. Ice cleats may be needed as snow disappears. Walleye - No Report: Access to tail-water areas is difficult with large areas of ice flows. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Yellow Perch - Good: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Sauger - No Report: Use jig and minnows fished off the bottom in the tailwater areas and deeper side channels. Bluegill - Fair: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Fair: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both rod and reel and tip-up anglers are catching several 15-18 inch bass using red spike waxies through the ice.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level at Lynxville has risen to 15.8 feet and may rise slightly over the next week. The tail-water at Lynxville is still iced in. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet of ice; use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may become unsafe with warmer weather. Ice cleats may be needed as snow disappears. Late ice can be good fishing on Bussey Lake. Avoid the boat ramp area as ice is not stable. Park along the south side of causeway road and walk down. Walleye - No Report: Access to tail-water areas is difficult with large areas of ice flows. Yellow Perch - Good: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Bluegill - Fair: Ice anglers are catching bluegill.  Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Slow: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both rod and reel and tip-up anglers are catching several 15-18 inch bass using red spike waxies through the ice. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has risen over a foot to 8.1 feet and may rise slightly over the next week. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet of ice; use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may become unsafe with warmer weather. Boat ramps at Guttenberg are still locked in ice, but may recede in the coming weeks. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Yellow Perch - Good: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Bluegill - Fair: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Fair: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both rod and reel and tip-up anglers are catching several 15-18 inch bass using red spike waxies through the ice.  Upper Mississippi River levels are rising with rains and the breakup of local tributaries. Most ramps are still iced in and areas below the dams covered in ice flows. Warmer weather and runoff have fish more active. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet of ice. With thawing snow, shorelines and areas with current may become weak or unsafe; use caution.  Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are stabilizing at 8.7 feet at the Dubuque Lock and the RR bridge is 11.4 feet. This is up several feet from last week. Ice fishing is treacherous with open water now formed along the edges of most backwater areas. Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water levels are stabilizing at 12.4 feet at Bellevue. This is up several feet from last week. Ice fishing is treacherous with open water now formed along the edges of most backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are still rising and are 9.4 feet at Fulton, 12.4 feet at Camanche and 6.7 feet at LeClaire. This is up nearly five feet from last week. Ice fishing is treacherous with open water now formed along the edges of most backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are still rising and are 12 feet at Rock Island. This is up five feet from last week. Fishing has been non-existent after the big rain event.   The River changed dramatically this week due to the heavy rainfall on frozen ground. The River rose from 3 to 5 feet throughout the district. Ice conditions changed considerably and tailwaters are somewhat open for boat launching, but the water clarity is poor. Ice fishing will be tough with open water near shorelines. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.  Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 10.68 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 5 feet since Monday. Current forecasts have the tailwater stage reaching 11.7 feet. Unsafe ice conditions with the recent rain, warm weather, and rising river levels.   Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 9.6 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 5 feet since Monday. Tailwater stage is forecasted to reach 10.9 feet by the weekend. River stage at Muscatine is 11.7 feet and forecasted to reach 12.7 feet. The ramp and parking lot at Big Timber is closed due to flooding. There are unsafe ice conditions due to recent rains, warm weather, and rising river levels.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 12.18 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 6 feet since Monday. The current forecast has the tailwater stage reaching 14.7 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet. Unsafe ice conditions due to recent rains, warm weather, and rising river levels.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 7.90 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is rising. Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 18 has risen close to 5 feet since Monday. River stage at Burlington is 12.95 feet and forecasted to reach 14.9 feet. Flood stage at Burlington is 15 feet. Unsafe ice conditions due to recent rains, warm weather, and rising river levels. River stages have been on the rise this past week with the recent rains and warm weather. Water clarity is poor. Tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers has been slow. There are unsafe ice conditions with the recent rains, warm weather, and rising river conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062. SOUTHEAST Big Hollow Lake
      Unsafe ice conditions. Lake Belva Deer
      Unsafe ice conditions. Lake Darling
      Unsafe ice conditions. 60 degrees and rain on Monday. 43 degrees and rain on Monday night into Tuesday has ruined what ice was left. Last couple of days of colder weather has refrozen open water, hiding the bad spots.  Lake Geode
      Drained for renovation work scheduled for later this year.  For more information on the fishing at the above lakes and rivers, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430. Central Park Lake
      The lake is drained for the renovation project that is going on now.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake is holding at winter pool of 683.4 feet. Ice conditions are deteriorating with the runoff and increase in flow. Water clarity is poor.  Diamond Lake
      There is open water around the lake and ice conditions are not safe.  Grundy County Lake
      There is still 12 inches of ice, but the edges may be getting soft by the weekend.  Hannen Lake
      There is 10 feet of open water around the edges. Ice fishing is not recommended.  Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
      There is open water around the lake;  ice conditions are not safe.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is drained for the renovation project that will take place next winter.  Lake Macbride
      The lake edges are either open or soft. You need a plank to access most areas. The remaining ice away from the shore is 6-8 inches in most areas, but use caution. There have been a few anglers around the main ramp, under the highlines, across from the beach, and on the south arm. A plank may be needed to get on. Some people have been walking off the boat rental docks; use caution. Bluegill - Fair: Use a jig/waxie around any brush or deeper rock. Size is marginal at best as these fish top out at 7.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: It is day to day on good catches. Some days have been good and others are slow. Fish over deeper wood or stumps or look for suspended fish over the deeper basin with a jig/waxie.  Otter Creek Lake
      The edges are soft and open in some areas. The remaining ice is reported as about 8-10 inches. There was an angler out yet on the 21st; use caution.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 8.5 feet low from the restoration project. The lake came up some with the runoff, so shorelines are bad and accessing the ice may be extremely difficult. The remaining ice may be fishable; use caution.  Rodgers Park Lake
      There is 6 feet of open water around the edges of the upper end. The lower end is a little better. Ice fishing is not recommended.  Sand Lake
      Ice fishing is not recommended. Union Grove Lake
      The edges are soft and open in places. The aeration hole is very large.  Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
      Ice conditions on the river and backwaters are not safe.  Most of the smaller lakes are unsafe to ice fish. Some of the larger lakes have decent ice, but the edges are soft or open; use extreme caution. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615. Lake Miami
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Lake Sugema
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended. Lake Sugema is about 25% open water and Tug Forks West is open.  Lake Wapello
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 903.19 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. The ramps at the Rathbun marina are closed for the season and all the campgrounds are closed. Unsafe ice conditions. The main lake has areas of open water. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Red Haw Lake
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Unsafe ice conditions across the district. The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.   SOUTHWEST Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
      Rainbow Trout - Good: Use spoons or small panfish jigs tipped with waxworms or live minnows. Trout tend to swim the perimeter, so set up close to shore in 3 to 10 feet of water.  Big Creek Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers fishing mid-lake, generally out from the beach area and marina area in 25 to 35 feet of water are finding a fair crappie bite.  Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
      Walleye - Fair: Anglers are catching fair numbers of walleyes below the Saylorville spillway slowly fishing jigs tipped with twister tails and/or minnows.  Don Williams Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching crappies suspended 10-15 feet down in 20-30 feet of water in the late afternoon and evenings. Midday they are also being found shallower near sunken habitat in 10-15 feet of water. Two size ranges are being caught. Expect to fish through many 5-7 inch fish for the 9-10 inch fish.  Hickory Grove Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Catch 7-8 inch bluegills over brush piles and suspended in deeper water. Move around to stay on active fish. Black Crappie - Slow: Most anglers are finding the crappie fishing to be slow, but when fish are caught the size is good. Crappie catches have been mostly limited to dawn and dusk.  Lake Petocka
      Rainbow Trout - Good: Trout were stocked Feb. 10th. Fish the perimeter of the lake with small panfish jigs and jigging spoons tipped with waxworms.  Ice thicknesses in Central Iowa are staying in the 8 to 14 inch range with some edge deterioration from rain runoff. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
       
        Lake Anita
      Ice has started to deteriorate on the main lake. Use extreme caution. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill fishing is best in the afternoon. Catch fish up to 9.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Best bite is late afternoon and after dark. Fish will average 9 inches.  Littlefield Lake
      Anglers report 6 to 8 inches of ice and fair fishing. Use extreme caution this week as ice will start to get soft and be unsafe. Bluegill - Good: Fishing is good around the cedar tree piles for bluegills up to 9 inches. Morning and late afternoon bite is best. Be prepared to sort for larger fish. Black Crappie - Slow: A few 10 to 12 inch black crappies are being caught around the tree piles.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose still has fishable ice, but it will start to deteriorate this week. Bluegill - Fair: The best bluegill fishing has moved to the morning bite. Fish will average 8.5 inches. Black Crappie - Slow: Black crappie become active just before dark. Fish are 9.5 inches.  Lakes and ponds in the southern part of the district are unsafe to fish. Use extreme caution; ice will start to deteriorate this week. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.
    • Little bit of an ugly win last night but two points is two points, Stalock was pretty incredible too, so close on that empty netter. Time to crush the rangers and get a little winning streak going here. 
    • Please delete if not allowed.
      Retriever Training
      Have a opening in April. First time taking clients. I train my 3 labs 5-6 days a week all summer and also run a few hunt test's. Would like to make it a full time job. Prefer to take on dogs with good prey drive and a willingness to please, I will be choosie on what dogs I will take with a one week trial period free of charge. Can do everything from obedience to Master level dogs. Your dogs will be kept in outside kennel runs on concrete. Please contact me for details. Located in Squaw Lake, MN. 218-553-0176
    • Is this a lug nut wrench?....Maybe.