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Cedar River Fishing Reports or Wapsipinicon River Fishing Reports


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Great question delmuts, I have often wondered about those regulations (or lack there of) too.

Mr. Gelwick's responce was informative but sad too. Did you know that 50-100 years ago most of Iowa's waters had healthy populations of naturally reproducing walleyes? Run off from farm fields has had a terrible effect on our water quality and now we rely on stocking for many of our game fish.

Let's hope some day there will once again be natural reproduction of zooplankton and walleye in our interior waterways.

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I wish the IDNR could be a little more pro-active in getting this information out; the letter explains very well why there is no minimum size, or any slot at all, on most Iowa rivers.

I don't like seeing people keep 8" walleye either, as it just seems wrong, but the biologists have found, time and again, that a minimum size requirement would do little to improve walleye fishing in Iowa, and I'll take their word on it.

The exception, of course, is the Mississippi, but there you do have a largely self-sustaining population of fish, so protecting them makes sense, in the same way that slot limits in northern Minnesota protect spawning and slower-growing fish up there. There is some walleye (and wiper) stocking done by the power plant at Cordova, IIRC, but the walleye population in the Mississippi does not depend on those fish.

BTW, most southern Minnesota lakes need to be stocked with walleye, whose growth rates are closer to those found in Iowa than northern Minnesota; there are generally no size restrictions on those southern Minnesota lake walleyes, either, for the same reason Iowa doesn't impose size limits.

I know there is a lot of support out there for some sort of size limit on Iowa river walleye (I've seen that on-line petition, too), but beware of what you wish for, as you just might get it. Clear Lake, Iowa, has had a 14" minimum size limit on walleye for years, and ask anyone who fishes it regularly for walleye what the fishing is like: you can catch 13.9" walleye and under all day, when you aren't catching yellow bass, but 14" and up fish are hard to come by.

Also check what happened when the Wisconsin Sportsman's Congress decided to impose a 14" minimum on largemouth and smallmouth in northern Wisconsin. The thinking was that it had to produce bigger bass. Right?

Wrong. The result of that regulation, along with general catch and release, was a population of small fish, with very few over 14". This was due to competition for limited food sources, a problem harvest of small bass would overcome.

Obviously, bass in northern Wisconsin are not managed the same way as stocked walleye in Iowa, but my point is that allowing popular opinion to over-rule what the biologists tell us often leads to unintended results. Based on what the biologists tell us I believe that would be the case if a minimum size limit for Iowa walleye is rammed through over the objections of the IDNR.

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The issue of natural reproduction by walleye in Iowa is one that often comes up. It is another area where I wish the IDNR had the resources to get good information out to the public.

With the exception of the Mississippi, there is generally little successful reproduction by walleye in Iowa rivers. That much has been made clear by the DNR. That lack of natural reproduction is due to poor water quality, as walleye eggs need a lot of oxygen, and the high silt load in Iowa rivers smothers many of them, and to lack of proper habitat, as most backwaters, which the newly hatched fry need for food and shelter, were drained and filled decades ago, as kiowa mentioned.

When it comes to walleye reproduction in Iowa's natural lakes and reservoirs, my sense is that it varies from lake to lake, although it is generally low as well.

For instance, the IDNR uses words like "limited" and "minimal" to describe natural walleye reproduction in Lake Macbride and Pleasant Creek (Palo). I wish I had a better idea of what those terms meant. Are 5% of the adult walleye in Macbride actually hatched there? 10%? 20%? I released a 21" walleye on Macbride this past Sunday, and I'd like to have a better idea of whether any of the eggs she drops this spring might grow up to be caught by someone in three years.

The IDNR says there is no successful reproduction by walleye in Clear Lake; again this is due to poor water quality and lack of suitable habitat for walleye fry. All the walleye in there are stocked fish.

I don't blame the IDNR for not making this information easily available, as that takes money, and the DNR's budget is itself "limited". I had to physically go to the fisheries stations in Decorah and Macbride to get most of the information I cited here; so far as I know it is not available on-line.

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It just bugs me to watch people take home those little guys; and i mean the 10 inchers and under.( how do they clean them and not loose a finger?? grin)

I was/am a in favor of even a 12 in. length. just to give those little bitty guys a chance to grow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Went over to the cedar yesturday. ( felt good to get out again! :))Wish had had as many fish as the otter had sitting on an ice self below the dam!!! Two other people fishing, although the one guy was just learning how to fish below a dam! Saw no one catch anything. I finally caught a 9 incher just before i left.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Headed over to the cedar yesturday. Hmmmm!

Stopped at one spot. Walked on the edge of shore ( on the ice over the rocks) to get to an open area. Ice was soft but held. Didn't catch anything so decided to go to Nashua.

Found out my hunting boots hold water in as well as keeping it out! blush Was on the iced over the rocks( there are rocks under the ice to support it) except in about a three ft. wide spot. Water all along the edge is just a few inches deep, but! There is a hole right there and about 2 ft. deep. Ice gave way. Water very COLD !! Quished my way back to the truck, WENT HOME! grin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tried to fish the cedar tuesday. Below the Nasuha dam the foam was very heavy and unfishable til later in the morning.( the cold cause it to freeze! a jig would just bounce on it! crazy) Water is very dirty, and judging by the ice; had dropped over a foot in the last couple of days. Tried one other area, but to much ice coming down river to fish. Will try again in a couple of days.

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  • 1 month later...

Went to the river this morning. All i could catch was two smallies, and a three lb. northern.( who manage to get my thumb in it's mouth! cry. Took a while for the bleeding to stop! blush)

Also took wifes' son-in=law. He did well. Caught five decent walleye,( 13-19 in.) and missed some others.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Went over Sat. morn. Water looked dirty. and the flow had increased. Did manage to bring home four eaters. Caught 8 or 9, and missed others.( wind was a pain at times!!)

did see one caught on the other side, but otherwise not much action.

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  • 6 months later...

Been fishing the cedar lately. Results vary.( course i never claim to be any good at fishing!! grin) Yesturday the water started falling shortly after i got there. The walley were hitting earlier, but i got in on the tail end of it.( caught a 17 ") Guys that wade out in the middle were doing better. The bass kept it interesting thou. Caught two smallies over 16" and several smaller ones. Also manage four little lg. mouths

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  • 5 months later...

Fished the cedar yesturday morning. Had a good morning. Brought home three nice walleye.( 2- 19 in & 1 16in.)Should have caught more, but was having trouble feeling fish and getting a hook set using flouro.( it was below freezing at first) As it warmed up i could switch to braid and did better. Also released a 9-10 lb northern.

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Fished the cedar for a while this morning. Caught one 20" walley,(should of had three more!)one little northern,( shook off one and was bitten off twice)and two smallies!First one felt like a walley(no fight), but the second showed he was a smallie!!!!! grin

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