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Rick

Northeast Iowa Fishing Reports

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With Coralville res. no longer safe for ice-fishing due to dropping water levels and Macbride not worth fishing, I made another drive over to Otter Creek by Marshalltown this afternoon.

Things have slowed since my first trip over there, but I still had some success. I only caught a couple small bluegill, but for not quite an hour before sundown the yellow bass started hitting pretty well. At times, my graph looked like this:

full-3973-42193-2_2_14ottercreeklcd.jpg

Problem was, most of the yellow bass I caught looked like this laugh :

full-3973-42194-2_2_14ottercreekyellow.j

I did catch a few in the 8-9" range, but most were too small to keep.

I tried a fathead on a light tip-up today, but had no results on that. A spike on a small yellow jig produced most of my fish this afternoon.

The ice was probably 20" thick, if not more, and this is not far north of Interstate 80. Barring a major warmup, I will be ice-fishing well in to March in Iowa this year. cool

I was told by a local that the bite at Otter Creek has slowed quite a bit in the last couple weeks, but with lakes and ponds down here now covered with ice and snow for two months now that is to be expected. I did catch some fish, so the trip was worthwhile. As a bonus, I didn't have to watch the first half of the Super Bore. laugh

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Been spending lots of time at the Miss. near Harpers now that my wife is fully retired. Fishing has really been on and off with the higher water levels. The river is about 9 ft.so it's getting better( normal pool is 8ft.).Still have some grass coming down from some where, so trolling cranks can be a pain at times, but many are doing ok pulling crawlers. Pan fish bite in the  back waters near my wife's place  has been picking up with some nice gills, perch, and the northern can be fun! I haven't figured out the crappies yet, although others have!:cry:

If any of you are in he area, and see a red Ranger RT 178 say hi! :)

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NORTHEAST Iowa fishing reports

Volga Lake

Panfish activity continues to be slow but catfish activity is excellent. Volga Lake is one of the best catfish lakes around.  Bluegill - Slow: Use a small piece of worm near brush piles along the dam and other rocky shoreline. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Fish over brush piles or rock reefs.  Crappie - Slow: Drift along open water using a small tube jig. Channel Catfish - Good: Fish stink bait or worms off the bottom near submersed logs or along a rocky shore.

 

Lake Hendricks

Lake Hendricks has a lot of great shoreline access.  Fishing for catfish is great on a hot summer day. Bait your hook with a piece of worm or stinkbait and wait for the pole to bend. Stay hydrated while you're waiting. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills can be found spread out along the weed beds. Use a hook tipped with a small piece of night crawler fished under a bobber. Channel Catfish - Good: Fish have been active about mid-day around the jetties and rock reefs. Stink baits and night crawlers are working for finicky catfish. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Bass can be found along the weed edges and around the rock reefs. A jig tipped with a twister or worm will get some attention.

 

Lake Meyer

As of 8/6, water levels continue to be about 9 feet below normal. The boat ramp is unusable and will remain so until water levels are allowed to return to normal. DNR and Winneshiek CCB personnel have been busy installing a variety of fish habitat. Water retention structure construction should be completed by November 1, 2015 when water levels will be allowed to return to normal. Bluegill - Slow: Anglers willing to brave the rocks to get to water can find bluegills. Successful anglers are using a hook tipped with a small piece of night crawler under a bobber. Largemouth Bass - No Report: ,Channel Catfish - Slow: Little angling is being attempted due to low water levels but fish can still be caught.

 

New Hampton Pond (Garnant)

Garnant Pond has an abundance of small sunfish and carp. It is scheduled for renovation the middle of August. The pond will be drained and a fish toxicant will be applied to all wet areas to make sure no fish will be left. The pond will then be restocked with bluegills, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. This combination assures an excellent fishery for all to enjoy. Common Carp – Slow.

 

Split Rock Lake

Split Rock Lake experienced a complete fish kill in 2014. It was stocked with 7000 inch bluegill in the fall of 2014 and 700 two inch channel catfish and 490 two inch largemouth bass this spring. Bluegill - No Report.

 

Ringneck Haven

Ringneck Haven had a partial winterkill in 2014 and is now overpopulated with green sunfish. The Iowa DNR is currently in the process of rebuilding the fishery. This spring it was stocked with 200 fingerling northern pike, 400 two inch channel catfish, 280 two inch largemouth bass, 5,000 inch long yellow perch, and 100 eight to ten inch largemouth. Anglers are asked to release any bass, pike, perch, and catfish if caught until the sunfish population is under control. Green sunfish – Fair.

 

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)

Water levels have stabilized with improved clarity. Be mindful of new strainers, such as log jams, tree falls, and other obstructions. The best spots to fish at this time of year are where the tributaries empty into the river. Many types of fish can be caught here including trout. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth bass are hitting jigs tipped with twister tails. Crankbaits imitating crawdads should turn a smallie head.

 

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)

Be mindful of new snags, log jams, and other strainers when paddling in water with increased flows. Visibility has improved. Fish are hanging out near the mouths of the tributaries. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Successful anglers are using a jig tipped with a dark twister tail with a flash of color or crankbait. Cast around log jams and other woody structure. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a crawler or stink bait. Walleye - Good: Successful anglers are using an crayfish imitation crankbait. Anglers fishing around current breaks toward evening are finding fish. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Anglers using a hook tipped with a crawler can expect to catch drum.

 

Turkey River (below Clermont)

New snags, log jams, submersed logs and other debris may be observed. Use care when paddling around obstructions. Water temperatures are in the mid 70's. Water clarity has improved this week. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Fish a jig tipped with a twister tail along seams and eddies.

 

Cedar River (above Nashua)

Water levels have stabilized and clarity improved. It'll be a great weekend to get on the river and wet a line. Channel Catfish - Good: Successful anglers are using chubs and chicken liver fished around brush piles and log jams. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Fish a jig tipped with a twister tail or night crawler in eddies below the dams and off current areas. Walleye - Slow: A few anglers have been catching walleye but you really have to be patient.

 

Decorah District Streams

Trout streams are in good condition. Much of the wild parsnip (yellow lacey flower) is dying back but still be careful around this plant. The sap reacts with sunlight and can cause the skin to blister. Spin fishers using silver spinner baits with a variety of shiny blades should catch fish. Look for more frequent Tricorythodes and Ephoron (mayfly species) hatches through August. Ants, beetles and grasshoppers will become more prevalent as summer progresses. Brown Trout - Good: Off color or slightly turbid water is a great time to catch brown trout. Use a flashy spinner to antagonize finicky browns. Rainbow Trout - Good: A good quality trout stream will typically have trout, sculpins, and white suckers but outstanding insect diversity. Brook Trout - Good: Seven coldwater streams in Northeast Iowa have consistent brook trout natural reproduction.

 

Another fabulous weekend is in store for us. Temperatures will be in the low 80's for daily highs and 60's at night. Water levels on area rivers have stabilized with improved clarity. Reminder to trout anglers, during the heat of the summer, a few trout streams are not stocked in July and August. Abundant opportunities to catch trout continue to be available. For more information, call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

 

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)

Angling success has been good for bluegill and channel catfish. Bluegill - Good: Float a small piece of worm or crawler under a slip bobber near the edge of weed beds around the lake. Fishing has been best early morning or later evening hours. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are biting well during all hours of the day. Shrimp, cut bait, stink baits and chicken livers fished on the bottom are all good choices for Casey Lake. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Weedless spinnerbaits fished off of the dam and near and around jetties are your best bet for largemouth bass action during early morning and late evening hours.

 

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)

Reports have been good for smallmouth bass and walleye. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Artificial crankbaits and spinner baits or live bait tipped on a jig fished around rocky shorelines and tail ends of riffles is good this time of year. Walleye - Good: Artificial crankbaits or half a crawler tipped on a light jig can be deadly for walleye this time of year. Fish near woody structure and off current breaks and eddies.

 

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)

Creel information on the Maquoketa River reflects anglers as having good success on walleye and smallmouth bass. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Artificial crankbaits and spinner baits or live bait tipped on a jig fished around rocky shorelines and tail ends of riffles is good this time of year. Walleye – Fair. Artificial crankbaits or half a crawler tipped on a light jig can be deadly for walleye this time of year. Fish near woody structure and off current breaks and eddies.

 

Interior river levels remain in excellent condition making for a perfect weekend to get out and fish. Fishing reports for the inland lakes in and around Blawk Hawk County have been slow this past week. Trout streams in N.E. Iowa remain in excellent condition, for further information contact the N.E. Iowa District Office at 563-927-3276.

 

Edited by Rick

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Some drive-by ice reports for the I-380 corridor from my trip to Clear Lake yesterday.

A couple ponds around Brandon were capped, while a couple others looked to be mostly open.

Meyers Lake in Evansdale, just south of Waterloo, was mostly capped over, but there was open water around the aerators.

Most of the water at George Wyth, just north of Waterloo, was still open.

North of there every pond I saw was capped, but I did not see anyone out on them until I was almost to Clear Lake.

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NORTHEAST IOWA FISHING REPORTS

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Ice conditions in the impoundments are unsafe, especially with fluctuating water levels. Water clarity is improving. Walleye - Slow: Use a worm hooked in a worm harness fished below the dams. 

Decorah District Streams
Many streams remain slightly off color. Slack water in deeper holes may freeze, but should melt by 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 - Brown Trout are aggressive with melt water or run-off inputs. Increasing numbers of insects are hatching on sunny afternoons. Use small midge or caddis 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 12 inches. Few anglers are out. Open water around the aerator. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Slow: Move around to find fish. Use a small jig tipped with a minnow head. Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms or spikes around structure. 

Lake Meyer
Ice thickness is about 12 inches.Water clarity is improving. Early morning 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 12+ inches. Early and late bite is best. Culverts were placed on the ice for habitat; avoid this area as ice may not be safe. 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. 

Temperatures warm to the upper 30s through the weekend. Possibility of rain/snow Saturday night into Sunday. River and stream clarity is improving.For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

 

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports of a few walleye being caught on the Cedar River in Black Hawk and Bremer Counties.  Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. 

Manchester District Streams
Trout Streams are in good condition. Continue to use winter tactics including streamers, jigs, and crankbaits.  Brown Trout - Good: Browns can be easier to catch on days where the water color is stained. Rainbow Trout – Slow. Brook Trout – Slow.  

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
There have been no reports on the Maquoketa River, but levels remain good for walleye angling opportunities. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. 

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There have been no reports on the Shell Rock River, but levels remain good for walleye angling opportunities. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. 

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
There have been no reports on the Shell Rock River, but levels remain good for walleye angling opportunities. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. 

Ice fishing is not recommended anywhere as conditions are not safe. Eastern Iowa rivers are beginning to open; open water fishing opportunities are available on the Cedar, Shell Rock, Wapsipinicon and Maquoketa. Flows are above seasonal averages on rivers, but are not excessively high for spring. Area trout streams are in good condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is fairly stable at 7.9 feet.Main channel ice has broken up and the ice flows have moved through. Ice conditions are variable with very few areas having safe access. Walleye - Fair: Expect the bite to pick up as water temperatures rise. Use crankbaits fished on a 3-way rig or jigs with minnows. Black Crappie - No Report: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Sauger - Fair: Use jig and minnows fished off the bottom in the tailwater areas. Bluegill - Good: Some last ice bluegills are still being caught in backwaters with no current. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern pike will start to feed actively before the spawn. Look for the bite to pick up with warming temperatures.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville has fallen a foot to 14.3 feet. . Main channel ice has broken up and the ice flows have moved through. Ice conditions are variable in the backwaters with very few areas having safe access. Walleye - Fair: Expect the bite to pick up as warmer water temperatures rise. Use crankbaits fished on a 3-way rig or jigs with minnows. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Sauger - Fair: Some fish are in the tail-waters. Expect the bite to pick up with warmer water temperatures this week. Bluegill - Fair: Some last ice bluegills are still being caught in backwaters with no current. Black Crappie - No Report: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern pike will start to feed actively before the spawn. Look for the bite to pick up with warming temperatures. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
Guttenberg tail-waters have fallen several feet to 6.08 feet this week. Main channel ice has broken up and the ice flows have moved through. Backwater ice conditions are variable with very few areas having safe access. Walleye - Fair: Expect the bite to pick up as water temperatures rise. Use crankbaits fished on a 3-way rig or jigs with minnows. Black Crappie - No Report: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Sauger - Slow: Some fish are in the tail-waters. Expect the bite to pick up with warmer water temperatures this week. Bluegill - Fair: Some last ice bluegills are still being caught in backwaters with no current. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern pike will start to feed actively before the spawn. Look for the bite to pick up with warming temperatures. 

Upper Mississippi River levels have fallen slightly this week with main channel areas mostly free of ice flows with water temperatures still in the low 30's. Water clarity is still poor from the spring melt-off. Ice fishing is not recommended due to unsafe ice. 

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels are stabilizing at 5.7 feet at the Dubuque Lock and the RR bridge is 8.3 feet. This is down a few feet from last week. Some ice flows still reported. Places like O'Leary's backwater still have some ice in them, but it is melted along the shore. Yellow Perch - No Report: Look for the perch bite to pick up as the ice melts. Northern Pike - No Report: Expecting the northern pike creel to increase over the next couple of months. Walleye - Fair: Some scattered reports of walleyes being taken in the tailwaters and more along wing dams. Fishing is fair to poor, but could improve with better weather conditions. 

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels are stabilizing at 6.5 feet at Bellevue. This down over a foot from last week. Both Bellevue City ramp and the DNR ramp are open, but some minor ice flows are still seen.  Paddlefish season is now underway. Please review the Paddlefishing regulations. Paddlefish - Fair: Some were caught, especially on the opener, but fish are reported up off the bottom. Sauger - Fair: Hit or miss. Some reported good catches when weather was nice while others struggled. Walleye – Fair.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels are falling and are 6.2 feet at Fulton, 10.3 feet at Camanche and 5.1 feet at LeClaire. This down over a foot from last week. Paddlefish season season is underway;  Ramps are mostly open and free of ice, but you will find periodic ice chunks. Paddlefish - No Report: Season is underway; please review the Paddlefishing regulations. Sauger - Fair: Anglers report sauger fishing as scattered, but it could get decent if water levels stabilize. 

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are falling and are 7.8 feet at Rock Island. This is down two feet from last week and will be much more "fishable" this week. Sauger - Fair: Fish are scattered, but some are being reported on jigs and minnow. 

The River levels have dropped throughout the district. Tailwaters are open for boat launching, but some ice flows are still occurring. Ice fishing appears to be over in the district, but some ice remains in backwaters especially in Pool 12. Most backwaters are now open water in Pool 13 through 15. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976. 

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 7.81 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is falling. Marquette St boat ramp is open. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. Sauger - Slow: Reports of a few saugers being caught in Sylvan Slough. Try vertical jigging with minnows or pulling three-way rigs with stick baits or minnows. 

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 6.78 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is falling. We have not received any reports on tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers. Sauger - No Report: Try fishing below the dam with jigs and minnows or pulling three-way rigs with stick baits or minnows. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 8.99 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is falling. We have not received any tailwater fishing information for walleye and saugers this week. Sauger - No Report: Look for saugers below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or pulling three-way rigs with stick baits or minnows. 

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 6.12 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is falling. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleyes and saugers. 

River stages have been falling the past few days. Water clarity is poor. Tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers has been slow. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

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NORTHEAST IOWA FISHING REPORTS

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Open water fishing is around the corner. Large chunks of free-floating ice are causing hazardous boating conditions. Walleye - Fair: Use a worm hooked in a worm harness fished below the dams. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers fishing below dams are catching catfish using a big hook loaded with nightcrawlers. 

Decorah District Streams
Catchable trout stocking starts April 2 – check out this year’s trout stream stocking calendar. Plan a trip to your favorite trout stream. Snow melt continues. Better water clarity in the morning turning off color by afternoon. Gravel roads and parking areas are rough and mushy as the frost comes out.  Brook Trout - Good: Early morning is a good time to catch a brookie. Use a streamer to mimic minnows or subsurface flies like scuds or pheasant tail nymphs. Brown Trout - Good: Melt water and run-off inputs drive Brown Trout into a feeding frenzy. Use small midge, caddis, or flashy streamer patterns. Rainbow Trout - Good: Catch a post-spawn Rainbow Trout below a riffle. Float a feathered spinner or crankbait past a hungry mouth and hang on. 

Lake Hendricks
Ice fishing not recommended. 

Lake Meyer
Ice fishing not recommended. Anglers have not been out. 

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Upper Iowa is mostly ice-free. Anglers are finding fish below the dams and in deeper holes. Walleye - Fair: Use jigs with twister tails and crankbaits. White Sucker - Fair: Anglers report suckers are starting to hit. 

Volga Lake
Ice fishing not recommended. Open water around edges. 

Rain Friday night, turning to snow Saturday; snow accumulation is likely. Temperatures in the low 40s for highs, but dipping below freezing at night. Rivers and streams are fishable. Ice covers most lakes,  but not safe to walk on.For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

 

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports of a few walleye being caught on the Cedar River in Black Hawk and Bremer Counties. Anglers have also been successful on northern pike in Black Hawk County. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. Northern Pike - Fair: Float a live chub or shiner under a bobber in slack water areas off of the main current break. 

Manchester District Streams
Trout Streams are in excellent condition. Use streamers, jigs, and crankbaits. With spring like temperatures, there have been good afternoon hatches. Brown Trout - Good: Browns can be easier to catch on days where the water color is stained. Rainbow Trout – Slow. Brook Trout – Slow.  

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
There have been a few reports of anglers catching walleye on the Maquoketa River; river levels remain good for walleye angling opportunities. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. 

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There have been a few reports of anglers catching walleye on the Shell Rock River; river levels remain good for walleye angling opportunities. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. 

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
There have been reports of anglers catching walleye on the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. 

Eastern Iowa rivers are open; open water angling opportunities are available on the Cedar, Shell Rock, Wapsipinicon and Maquoketa. Area trout streams are in excellent condition. Anglers are beginning to catch walleye as the spring walleye spawn approaches. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

 

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is 8.3 feet and is expected to rise slowly over the next week.Many overwintering fish are still in backwaters, but starting to move out as temperatures warm. Walleye - Good: Walleye are a couple of weeks away from spawning and should be actively feeding. Troll three way rigs with crank baits. Yellow Perch - Good: Perch bite is getting better; many 10+ inch fish are being reported. Sauger - Good: Sauger bite is picking up as fish are in pre spawn feeding mode. Northern Pike - Fair: Pike should be spawning soon, but some nice pike have been caught on live bait. 

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville is 15.3 feet and is expected to rise slowly over the next week.
Many overwintering fish are still in backwaters, but starting to move out as temperatures warm. Tailwaters are concentrating a lot of active fish right now. Walleye- Good: Walleye are a couple of weeks away from spawning and the bite is picking up in the tailwaters. Troll three way rigs with crank baits. Yellow Perch - Good: Perch bite is getting better along the shorelines in the tailwaters; many 10+ inch fish are being reported. Sauger - Good: Sauger bite is picking up in the tailwaters as fish are in pre-spawn feeding mode. Northern Pike - Fair: Pike should be spawning soon, but some nice pike have been caught on live bait. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg is 6.7  feet is expected to rise slowly over the next week. Many overwintering fish are still in backwaters, but starting to move out as temperatures warm. Tailwaters are concentrating a lot of active fish right now.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye are a couple of weeks away from spawning and the bite is picking up in the tailwaters. Troll three way rigs with crank baits. Yellow Perch - Good: Perch bite is getting better along the shorelines in the tailwaters; many 10+ inch fish are being reported.  Sauger - Good: Sauger bite is picking up in the tailwaters as fish are in pre-spawn feeding mode. Northern Pike - Fair: Pike should be spawning soon, but some nice pike have been caught on live bait. 

Upper Mississippi River levels are slowly starting to rise as the spring thaw continues. Most backwater areas are now free of ice with water temperatures slowly climbing into the lower 40's. Spring fishing is starting to get better as water temperatures warm up.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels are near stable at 6.5 feet at the Dubuque Lock and the RR bridge is 8.9 feet. This is up a bit from last week.  A slight rise in water levels may occur this upcoming week, but it will be fairly stable. Yellow Perch - Slow: A few scattered reports; no big catches yet, but some might be on these elusive fish. Northern Pike - Fair: More and more reports of northern pike being picked up occasionally by tailwater anglers. Some of the melted backwaters also may see some pike angling. Walleye - Fair: Some scattered reports of walleyes being taken in the tailwaters and more along wing dams. Fishing is fair to poor, but could improve with better weather conditions. Some nice slot fish are being reported. 

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels at Bellevue are 6.5 feet and are stable. This is up a bit from last week. Both Bellevue City ramp and the DNR ramp are open, but but no courtesy dock yet at the DNR ramp. Paddlefish season is now underway. Please review the Paddlefishing regulations. Yellow Perch - Fair: A few scattered catches of sizable perch mostly from the tailwaters.  Paddlefish - Fair: Some paddlefish were caught early; fishing has slowed a bit, but pods of Paddlefish could return to the tailwater. Sauger - Fair: Hit or miss. Some good reports of few, but nice sauger. Other reports of people really struggling.  Walleye – Fair: Fairly slow fishing, but some nice slot fish are being picked up. Northern Pike - Fair: Tailwater anglers report catching a few northern pike. They will be preparing to spawn soon. 

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels are falling and are 5.9 feet at Fulton, 10.2 feet at Camanche and 4.8 feet at LeClaire. This is up a bit from last week.  Paddlefish season season is underway;  please review the Paddlefishing regulations. Ramps are open and ready for use. Paddlefish - Fair: Good fishing seen early in the season; it has slowed greatly, but some fish are still present. Sauger - Fair: Anglers report sauger fishing as scattered, but it could get decent if water levels stabilize. The bite has been spotty all spring. Most anglers are using minnow rigs. Walleye - Fair: Not many being caught, but reports of some very nice sized fish. 

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are falling and are 6.8 feet at Rock Island. This is up from last week; conditions should remain favorable for angling this week. Sauger - Fair: Fish are scattered, but some are being reported on jigs and minnow. 

River levels are holding near steady throughout the district. Tailwaters are all open for boat launching. Most backwaters are now open water, especially in Pool 13 through 15, but some ice still reported in Pool 12. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976. 

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NORTHEAST IOWA FISHING REPORTS

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Open water fishing is around the corner. Large chunks of free-floating ice are causing hazardous boating conditions. Walleye - Good: Use a worm hooked in a worm harness or a jig tipped with twister tail fished below the dams. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers fishing below dams are catching catfish using a big hook loaded with nightcrawlers. 

Decorah District Streams
Catchable trout stocking starts April 2 – check out this year’s trout stream stocking calendar. Plan a trip to your favorite trout stream. Most of snow is gone. Gravel roads and parking areas are rough and mushy as the frost comes out.  Brook Trout - Good: Early morning is a good time to catch a brookie. Use a streamer to mimic minnows or subsurface flies like scuds or pheasant tail nymphs. Brown Trout - Good: Melt water and run-off inputs drive Brown Trout into a feeding frenzy. Use small midge, caddis, or flashy streamer patterns. Rainbow Trout - Good: Catch a post-spawn Rainbow Trout below a riffle. Float a feathered spinner or crankbait past a hungry mouth and hang on. 

Lake Hendricks
Ice fishing not recommended. 

Lake Meyer
Ice fishing not recommended. Anglers have not been out. 

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Upper Iowa is mostly ice-free. Anglers are finding fish below the dams and in deeper holes. Walleye - Good: Use jigs with twister tails and crankbaits. White Sucker - Fair: Anglers report suckers are starting to hit. 

Volga Lake
Ice fishing not recommended. Open water around edges. 

Rain Friday night, turning to snow Saturday. Temperatures in the upper 30s for highs, but dipping below freezing at night. Rivers and streams are fishable. Ice covers most lakes, but it is not safe to walk on. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

 

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports of a few walleye being caught on the Cedar River in Black Hawk and Bremer Counties. Anglers have also been successful on northern pike in Black Hawk County. Walleye – Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. Northern Pike - Fair: Float a live chub or shiner under a bobber in slack water areas off of the main current break. 

Manchester District Streams
Trout Streams are in excellent condition. Use streamers, jigs, and crankbaits. With spring like temperatures, there have been good afternoon hatches. Brown Trout - Good: Browns can be easier to catch on days where the water color is stained. Rainbow Trout – Slow. Brook Trout – Slow.  

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
There have been a few reports of anglers catching walleye on the Maquoketa River; river levels remain good for walleye angling opportunities. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. 

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There have been a few reports of anglers catching walleye on the Shell Rock River; river levels remain good for walleye angling opportunities. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. 

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
There have been reports of anglers catching walleye on the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow; concentrate on areas of deeper open water. 

Eastern Iowa rivers are open; open water angling opportunities are available on the Cedar, Shell Rock, Wapsipinicon and Maquoketa. Area trout streams are in excellent condition. Anglers are beginning to catch walleye as the spring walleye spawn approaches. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

 

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing is 8.21 feet and is expected to rise slowly over the next week.Many overwintering fish are still in backwaters, but starting to move out as temperatures warm. Walleye - Good: Walleye are a couple of weeks away from spawning and should be actively feeding. Troll three way rigs with crankbaits. Yellow Perch - Good: Perch bite is getting better; many 10+ inch fish are being reported. Sauger - Good: Sauger bite is picking up as fish are in pre-spawn feeding mode. Northern Pike - Fair: Pike should be spawning soon, but some nice pike have been caught on live bait. 

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville has risen about a foot at 16.2 feet and is expected to rise slowly and level off over the next week. Many overwintering fish are still in backwaters, but starting to move out as temperatures warm. Tailwaters are concentrating a lot of active fish right now. Walleye- Good: Walleye are a couple of weeks away from spawning and the bite is picking up in the tailwaters. Troll three way rigs with crankbaits. Yellow Perch - Good: Perch bite is getting better along the shorelines in the tailwaters; many 10+ inch fish are being reported. Sauger - Good: Sauger bite is picking up in the tailwaters as fish are in pre-spawn feeding mode. Northern Pike - Fair: Pike should be spawning soon, but some nice pike have been caught on live bait. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has risen about a foot at 7.7 feet is expected to rise slowly over the next week. Many overwintering fish are still in backwaters, but starting to move out as temperatures warm. Tailwaters are concentrating a lot of active fish right now.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye are a couple of weeks away from spawning and the bite is picking up in the tailwaters. Troll three way rigs with crankbaits. Yellow Perch - Good: Perch bite is getting better along the shorelines in the tailwaters; many 10+ inch fish are being reported.  Sauger - Good: Sauger bite is picking up in the tailwaters as fish are in pre-spawn feeding mode. Northern Pike - Fair: Pike should be spawning soon, but some nice pike have been caught on live bait. 

Upper Mississippi River levels are slowly starting to rise as the spring thaw continues. Most backwater areas are now free of ice with water temperatures slowly climbing into the lower 40's. Spring fishing is starting to get better as water temperatures warm up.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels are rising and are 7.3 feet at the Dubuque Lock and the RR bridge is 9.7 feet. The water will continue to rise this upcoming week. The channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Yellow Perch - Good: Several reports scattered around the pool, but mostly from the tailwater. Northern Pike - Fair: More reports of northern pike being picked up by tailwater anglers. Some of the melted backwaters also may see some pike angling. Walleye - Good: Some scattered reports of walleyes being taken in the tailwaters and more along wing dams. Some nice slot fish are being are being seen every week. 

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels at Bellevue are 7.9 feet and are rising. Both Bellevue City ramp and the DNR ramp are open, but no courtesy dock available yet at the DNR ramp. Paddlefish season is now underway. Please review the Paddlefishing regulations. The channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch of all sizes are being caught in the tailwaters.  Paddlefish - Slow: Some paddlefish were caught early; now only an occasional fish is reported. Sauger - Good: Hit or miss. Some good reports of nice sauger. Most are being taken on minnow rigs. Walleye – Good: Nice slot fish still being reported.  Minnow and jig or pulling crank baits are the most popular strategies. Northern Pike - Fair: Tailwater anglers report catching a few northern pike. They will be preparing to spawn soon. They are a little late in spawning this year and as of yet have not spent their eggs. 

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels are rising and are 7.8 feet at Fulton, 10.8 feet at Camanche and 5.7 feet at LeClaire. This is up a bit from last week.  The water temperature is around 42 degrees.
Paddlefish season season is underway;  please review the Paddlefishing regulations. Ramps are open and ready for use. Paddlefish - Slow: Good fishing seen early in the season; it has slowed greatly. Sauger - Fair: Lots of good reports mixed with some anglers having troubles catching sauger. Most anglers are using minnow rigs. Walleye - Fair: Not many being caught, but reports of some very nice sized fish. 

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are falling and are 8.8 feet at Rock Island. This is up from last week; conditions should remain favorable for angling this week. 

River levels are rising slowly throughout the district. Water levels are still very conducive to angling! Some ice is still reported in Pool 12 in a few backwaters. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976. 

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NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water clarity is poor. Water levels are stable, but will rise with snow melt. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information.  

Decorah District Streams
Catchable trout are stocked in all streams as weather and water conditions permit. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily plans. Plan a trip to your favorite trout stream. Check out this year’s trout stream stocking calendar. Trout country received 6-12 inches of snow. Most snow covered roads should melt quickly when the sun comes out. Fun in snow covered woods continues for hearty trout anglers. Brook Trout - Good: Use a streamer to mimic minnows or subsurface flies like scuds or pheasant tail nymphs. Brown Trout - Good: Melt water and run-off inputs drive Brown Trout into a feeding frenzy. Use small midge, caddis, or flashy streamer patterns. Rainbow Trout - Good: Float a feathered spinner or crankbait past a freshly stocked fish. A piece of worm under a bobber also works in the deeper holes.

Lake Hendricks
Few anglers have been out. 

Lake Meyer
Anglers have not been out. Water is off color with recent snow event and melt water. 

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water clarity is poor. Water levels are up, but currently stable. Conditions could change fast depending on snow melt. Water temperatures were low 40. 

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are relatively stable, but clarity is poor. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. 

Volga Lake
Few anglers have been out. Docks are in. 

Temperatures reaching upper 50s for highs, dipping into 30's at night. Cooler nights will help slow the snow melt. Our area received 6-12 inches of snow on Wednesday. Turbid conditions on area rivers and streams. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

 

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
River levels remain high and muddy. Backwater areas may produce some catfish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait. 

Heritage Pond
Heritage Pond was stocked last Saturday, April 14th with both rainbow and brook trout. Trout fishing should be good; the weather forecast looks to be more of average seasonal temperatures next week. Brook Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners. Rainbow Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners. 

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Reports of anglers catching walleye, smallmouth bass, channel catfish and even an occasional trout on the Maquoketa River in Delaware County. The river remains up a bit, but clarity is not bad. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait fished on the bottom. 

North Prairie Lake
North Prairie Lake was stocked last Saturday, April 14th with both rainbow and brook trout. Trout fishing should be good; the weather forecast looks to be more of average seasonal temperatures next week.  Brook Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners. Rainbow Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners. 

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock River has been high and muddy, but is starting to drop in water levels. No fishing reports for this week. 

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
No reports on the Wapsipinicon River as the river continues to rise and remains muddy. It may the perfect time to try for some catfish on the backwater areas of the river. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait fished on the bottom. 

Few fishing report this past week as winter will not let go of its grasp. Interior river levels have been on the rise and conditions are muddy with the snow melt. Trout stream stockings continue and streams remain in good condition. 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 risen nearly a foot with a steady rise predicted this week. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike - Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait. 

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville has come up several feet to 18.8 feet with a slow steady rise expected.. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye- Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike -  Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has risen two feet at 10.3 feet with a slow steady rise this week. The gates are all up at the Lock and Dam. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike - Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait.

The Upper Mississippi River is on the rise with heavy snowfalls and melting. Water clarity is diminishing as levels rise. The bite has slowed with water temperature staying unseasonably cold near 36 degrees. Expect a fast warm-up and increase in fish activity as temperatures rise.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels are rising at 9.3 feet at the Dubuque Lock and the RR bridge is 11.5 feet. Levels are up from last week and will continue to rise all week. The channel water temperature is still only around 39 degrees. Yellow Perch - No Report: Some scattered reports of ring perch catches earlier, but not many people out fishing for them. Northern Pike - No Report: The pike spawn is late this year due to the weather; they might be still spawning some. Once done, pike can go on a good bite. Try flashy spinners. Walleye - Slow: Fishing has been good at times for walleye and sauger this spring, but poor weather is limiting activity and slowing the spawning season. Some walleyes may still be spawning. 

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water levels at Bellevue are 10.3 feet and rising. Both Bellevue City ramp and the DNR ramp are open, but no courtesy dock is available yet at the DNR ramp. Paddlefish season is over for the year. The channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger - Slow: Hit or miss. Some reports of sauger being caught. Most are being taken on minnow rigs. Walleye – Slow: Nice slot fish are still being reported, but fishing is slow. Minnow with a jig or pulling crank baits are the most popular strategies. 

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels are rising and are 9.7 feet at Fulton, 12.6 feet at Camanche and 7.3 feet at LeClaire. The water temperature is around 41 degrees. Paddlefish season is now closed for the year. Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger - Slow: Just not many people out walleye or sauger fishing in the cold weather. Both species are still spawning due to the extended cold water season. 

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are 9.8 feet at Rock Island. Water levels are up from last week and will be on a steady rise this upcoming week. Conditions are still favorable for angling. 

The River levels will be rising this upcoming week. Water conditions are conducive to angling, but the weather has not been. Paddlefish season is closed for the year.  If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976. 

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 9.85 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been rising the past few days. There has been some walleye and sauger fishing in Sylvan Slough. Sauger - Slow:Some saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough. Try fishing with jigs and minnows or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 8.29 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been rising the past few days. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. Sauger - Slow: Try fishing fishing in the tailwaters with jigs and minnows or pulling three-way rigs and stick baits. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes in the tailwaters or down by GPC. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 9.98 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. The gates are out of the water at the dam. River stage is forecasted to reach 11.9 feet over the weekend. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week. 

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 6.39 feet at Lock and Dam 19 above Burlington and is rising. River stage is forecasted to reach 8.2 feet over the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 10 feet. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week. 

River stages have been on the rise the past few days. Main channel water temperature dropped to 41 degrees; water clarity has been fair. We have not received much for fishing reports this week. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

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